The Type of Tractor-Trailer Involved Is Important
In the State of Georgia, commercial trucks account for a significant portion of accidents involving serious injuries and wrongful deaths. When one considers the number of interstate and state highways that connect to Atlanta alone, the frequency of crashes involving commercial vehicles shouldn’t surprise anyone. And because of the size of the trucks involved (usually over 10,000 pounds), it’s usually the car driver who sustains the greatest injuries.
To properly pursue an injury cases against a truck driver and his trucking company, the type of carrier that struck you is very important. There are two general types of carriers involved in transporting goods using semi-trucks.
Intrastate Carrier – An intrastate carrier only operates within the borders of the State of Georgia. These carriers are governed by the regulations of the Georgia code.
Interstate Carrier – An interstate carrier transports goods across the state lines. These carriers must register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, get a USDOT number, and obtain authority to operate from FMCSA.
Identifying which type of carrier has struck your vehicle is an important early step that can pay dividends down the road. The type of carrier involved determines the set of regulations that govern the trucking company and the driver’s conduct.
Proving that the driver of the truck and/or its trucking company failed to comply with Georgia or Federal trucking requirements, whichever is available, is the best way to ensure justice is served in your case. These regulations are established to ensure that the drivers of commercial vehicles are operating in as safe a manner as possible. Any violation—whether it’s exceeding the maximum number of hours of service, or a failure to maintain the proper equipment on a vehicle—can be a factor that contributed to the cause of the crash or increased its severity.
When selecting a Georgia personal injury attorney to handle your commercial vehicle crash, you should ask whether he or she has experience in handling accidents involving both interstate and intrastate carriers. If not, make certain that they are at least experienced with the government regulations that are applicable to your case. Choosing an attorney who is experienced with litigating truck crash injury cases in Georgia is the key to obtaining an appropriate settlement or award.