According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), delivery truck accidents increased in Georgia in 2009. Many of these accidents were caused by driver error, insufficient driver training and a truck's mechanical failure. If you are the victim of a truck accident it is important to have an experienced truck accident attorney in Flint River District who can get the proper compensation.
Accidents involving delivery trucks such as those operated by United Parcel Service (UPS), FedEx and the United States Postal Service and other delivery services can cause severe injuries. Though drivers and pedestrians are accustomed to seeing the brown or white delivery trucks in their neighborhoods, the stop-and-go driving necessary in the delivery field can be hazardous.
Delivery truck drivers face rigid time requirements for completing their deliveries. Pressure to deliver packages within time parameters may cause driver errors including improper turning, speeding in residential areas, tailgating and unsafe lane changes.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established regulations to promote safe delivery protocols. Some of these regulations include:
- Drivers must have drug and alcohol screening and testing
- Drivers must be trained in hours-of-service (HOS) rules
- Delivery trucks must have regular maintenance and inspection
- Driver training requirements
- Rules to prevent driver fatigue
Legal claims against delivery companies can be complicated because many delivery trucks are independently owned and operated. Proving who is at fault in a Georgia delivery truck accident may require extensive review of the company's documents. An attorney will send a spoliation letter to a trucking company after an accident involving an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck. "Spoliation" is the destruction, concealment, loss or alteration of evidence and is illegal. A spoliation letter puts the trucking company on notice that it must preserve evidence related to the accident because an accident victim has a claim against the company. The accident-related evidence may subsequently be requested by the victim's attorney.
Depositions and trucking records may be sought from the trucking company or the truck's owners. Trucking company employees, the truck driver and those who loaded the cargo may be questioned. Mandatory driver logs, weight registers and maintenance checks may also be reviewed. Event Data Recorders (EDRs) can also be demanded for speed records near the time of the accident.
If you or someone you know has been hurt by a distracted truck driver, meet with a truck accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Shane Smith. We can assist you in every stage of your case including obtaining the available evidence. Give us a call at (770)487-8999 to schedule a meeting today!