Types of Truck Accidents in Georgia

Types of Tractor-Trailer and Trucking Accidents in GA

When commercial drivers make mistakes, fail to obey traffic laws or drive while under the influence, we suffer the consequences. Truck accidents are responsible for 4,000 deaths each year, making commercial vehicles one of the biggest dangers on America’s roadways. You are far more likely to be harmed in a truck accident vs a car accident. If you are injured in a truck accident, our tractor-trailer accident lawyers are here to help.


Truck accident data chart.

This chart from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the breakdown of fatalities in large-truck crashes.

A truck accident in Georgia

A head-on collision occurs when the front end of a truck collides with the front end of another vehicle. If a driver falls asleep and ends up on the wrong side of the road, he’s likely to cause a head-on collision.

This type of accident often results in devastating injuries and fatalities, especially if the commercial truck hits a small sedan or coupe.




Jackknife Truck Accidents in GA

Jackknifing is a type of accident that occurs when a truck driver brakes quickly, causing the truck’s trailer to swing outward. This type of accident gets its name from the angle formed by the trailer and the cab. Butler Kahn knows how to handle these types of truck accident cases. Additional facts:

  • Wet Roads – It’s more common for jackknifing to occur when the roads are slick.
  • Increased Speed – “A 10 mph increase in the posted speed limit increases the odds of a jackknife by 49 percent for combination trucks.”
  • Poor Lighting Conditions -“Poor lighting conditions increase the odds of a jackknife by 43 percent.”
  • Bad Weather – “In a single-vehicle fatal crash, the odds of a jackknife are 3.22 times higher during adverse weather conditions.”
  • Curvy Roadway -“The odds of a jackknife on a curved roadway are 86 percent higher than the odds of a jackknife on a straight roadway.”
  • Increased Length Of The Truck -“A 10 percent increase in the total length of the truck corresponds to an increase of 14 percent in the odds of a jackknife for combination trucks.”

A jackknife truck accident

Brake Failure Truck Accidents in GA

If a truck’s brakes fail while the truck is in motion, the driver may not be able to stop in time to prevent an accident. Brake failure can occur if the trucking company does not properly maintain its vehicles, or if the truck’s driver does not complete daily vehicle inspections as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA). Another potential cause of brake failure is an imbalance in the truck’s braking system. A common cause of brake imbalance is failure to adjust brake components properly.

Rear-End Truck Accidents in GA

Rear-end accidents are especially dangerous because commercial trucks weigh so much more than other vehicles that their impact crushes the receiving vehicle. Most rear-end accidents are because a truck driver’s negligence in one of these ways:

  • Following Too Closely
  • Speeding
  • Distracted Driving
  • Impaired Driving
  • Improper Lane Change

A rear end truck accident

T-Bone Tractor-Trailer Accidents in GA

T-bone accidents can also happen when a car strikes the side of a tractor-trailer. For example, our law firm handled a case that involved a tractor-tractor trailer illegally backing across a highway with its trailer perpendicular to the lanes of travel. Unable to see the trailer in time, the victim collided with it and suffered fatal injuries. Our firm was able to secure a $2 million policy limits settlement in that case long before it went to trial.

A truck has a t-bone accident

Truck Rollovers in GA

If a truck driver loses control and his truck starts sliding sideways, the truck is likely to roll over. Many rollover accidents are preventable if drivers and trucking companies follow federal and state regulations. For example, obeying speeding laws makes it less likely that a truck will roll over while the driver is negotiating a curve. Distracted driving, speeding, driving under the influence, and reckless behavior also cause rollover accidents.

A truck rollover in Georgia.

Underride Truck Accidents in GA

Underride accidents occur when a truck driver slams on the brakes suddenly, causing a smaller vehicle to go right under the truck’s rear trailer. This type of accident is extremely dangerous because the top of your car is not meant to withstand so much force. Even if your vehicle did well in front crash testing, there’s a strong chance the top of the vehicle will be crushed in an underride accident.

An underride truck accident in Georgia

Lost Loads

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSR § 392.9) and Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-248.1) require drivers to inspect their loads and ensure all cargo is secure. If cargo is not secured properly, there is a risk of it falling off the truck and obstructing the roadway. There is also a risk that the cargo will shift and throw the vehicle off balance, making it difficult for the driver to make turns or negotiate curves.

Unsecured cargo can therefore put other vehicles at risk in two ways: first, loose cargo could strike another vehicle, and second, shifting cargo could cause the truck driver to lose control and cause the truck to strike another vehicle.

A truck loses a load in Georgia

Tire Blowout Truck Accident in GA

If you’ve ever had a tire blowout, you know how difficult it is to maintain control of your vehicle. Just imagine trying to control a truck weighing 40,000 or 60,000 pounds. This type of accident often causes significant damage because the driver does not have control over the truck which leads to a massive crushing impact. High speed + loss of control + heavy machine = devastating consequences.

A tractor trailer has a tire blowout in Georgia

Wide-Turn Tractor Trailer Accidents in Georgia

The rules under which large commercial trucks operate, including the Commercial Driver’s License Manual and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, set forth specific rules about how large trucks should complete turns without putting other drivers at risk. For instance, when making a right-hand turn, a large truck should not veer left before beginning the turn, because that could allow other drivers to become trapped on the truck’s right, between the truck and the curb. Instead, the truck should swing into the far lane of the road that it is turning onto.

Responsible truck drivers also know how to make a safe left turn. The first rule is clearance. Commercial truck operators must look 12 to 15 seconds down the road because their trucks move slower and are harder to stop than other vehicles. So before a commercial truck turns left, its driver must make sure that it has 12 to 15 seconds of clearance.

Wide right turns can cause tractor trailer accidents

Box Truck Accidents in GA

box truck in Georgia

Flatbed Truck Accidents in Georgia

The purpose of the tow truck is to move a damaged or nonworking vehicle. The two most common types of tow trucks are the flatbed and the wheel lift, as seen below. For the most part, they all have the same equipment. A flatbed truck is a truck that does not have sides or walls where the cargo—like a towed car—is stored.

A tow truck

Red and white flatbed truck

When investigating a flatbed truck accident, all factors need to be considered.

  • Was the driver properly trained?
  • Was the driver insured by the parent company?
  • Was the driver’s driving history considered before hiring?
  • Was the truck cared for and maintained?
  • Were the correct precautions taken when loading and transporting the cargo?
  • Was the driver of the tow truck under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
  • Was the driver speeding or driving recklessly?

Box trucks are often used in deliveries around town. These drivers are experienced but are put under immense pressure to deliver on time and on route. Even though truck companies want their trucks to keep moving and earning money for the company owners, tired or fatigued drivers put other people at risk. For that reason, there are “Hours of Service” rules that limit how long a truck driver can work without taking a break. These rules help keep other drivers on the road safe from exhausted, overworked truck drivers.

Many other factors can contribute to a collision with a box truck. The driver could be drunk or impaired, the driver could be distracted by a navigation device or a CB radio, or the truck company could be pressing the driver too hard to make too many deliveries in too little time.

Two common box truck accidents are blind spot accidents and rollover accidents.

A blind spot accident occurs when the box truck cannot see the vehicle that is traveling beside it. When the driver doesn’t see the vehicle in their rear quarter section or blind spot, the truck may change lanes improperly, causing a collision.

A rollover accident occurs when a box truck turns over. This type of accident happens most often when taking a turn too fast or when the driver doesn’t have enough experience to be driving the truck in the first place.

Cement Truck Accidents in Georgia

Cement trucks vary in weight greatly depending on whether it is carrying cement or not. Normal concrete weighs about 4,000 lb. per cubic yard. Lightweight concrete weighs about 3,000 lb. per cubic yard. If a truck is carrying 10 cubic yards, then the weight of the concrete is approximately 40,000 lbs. The truck will weigh approximately 26,000 lbs. for a total of 66,000 lb. This immense weight can cause a catastrophic collision with serious injuries.

A truck crash on the highway.

If you were hurt in a collision with a cement truck, both the driver and the cement truck company can usually be held responsible.

Bus Accidents in GA

The National Highway Safety Traffic Association reports that more than 200 deaths occur each year because of bus accidents. Even if the accident is not deadly, it can still cause serious injury for the passengers of the bus and the vehicle it collided with. Investigating a bus accident can lead to several responsible parties who are at fault for the accident:

  • The bus driver
  • Government entities (if a school or public transportation bus)
  • The bus owner
  • The bus management company
  • Other drivers involved in the collision

A school bus accident in Georgia.

Garbage Truck Accidents in GA

Garbage trucks are seen every day on the roads and in neighborhoods. Pedestrians and cars are sometimes victims of garbage truck accidents. There are several different kinds of garbage trucks.

  • Side Loaders
  • Front Loaders
  • Grapple Trucks
  • Pneumatic Collection
  • Rear Loaders

Built with heavy frames and lugging heavy hydraulic equipment built to crush trash, garbage trucks are designed with large blind spots. Blind spots can affect the garbage truck driver’s vision which can adversely affect the driver’s ability to see innocent pedestrians.

Dump Truck Accidents in GA

A dump truck accident can happen at a construction site or on the highway while driving to or from an active construction site. A 5-axle dump truck can weigh over 65,000 pounds. That means that even in a low-speed accident, a dump truck can cause serious damage. Bumpers on dump trucks may be mounted unusually high off the ground or may be absent altogether. That gives the dump truck additional ground clearance, but if the dump truck collides with another vehicle, another vehicle is at risk of sliding underneath—or “under riding”—the dump truck.

A dump truck accident in Georgia.

Contact a Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer

If you were recently injured in a truck accident, contact the experienced Georgia truck accident attorneys at Butler Kahn. We can help you recover compensation for your injuries.


“I’m so happy with the team at Butler Kahn!! The entire staff is so welcoming, professional and are all outstanding advocates. I’m especially grateful for my handling attorney, Matt Khan.” – Kourtney C.

Play Video

After a collision, a truck company should preserve all evidence that relates to the collision, especially data from any tracking device that the truck company installed on the tractor-trailer. That electronic or GPS data can show how fast the truck was going and how long it had been driving. But some companies allow the evidence to be destroyed.

Georgia Driver Qualification Files

Trucking companies rarely release maintenance records, driver logs, and other documents to accident victims, but the semi-truck accident lawyer in GA drivers turn to may know how to make them give us the evidence.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) requires trucking companies to maintain a driver qualification file (DQF) for every driver. The DQF includes employment applications, driving records, road test results, vehicle maintenance records, hours-of-service logs, training certificates, and drug test results. The information in the DQF is essential to building a case against the driver or the trucking company.

We take that evidence, we study it carefully, and then we use it to show the driver’s qualifications—or lack thereof—to the jury.

Play Video

A smart truck accident lawyer studies not only the collision, but also the truck driver.

Georgia Truck Driver Qualifications

Georgia truck driver in the cab of his big rigTruck drivers must meet certain qualifications before they are allowed to operate commercial vehicles. For example, a driver must be at least 21 years old, have a valid commercial driver’s license, possess a valid Department of Transportation (DOT) medical certificate, and be able to read and speak English. He or she must also be in reasonably good health and have a good driving record. If the driver involved in your accident does not meet all of these requirements, the trucking company that hired him may be responsible.

Once we get the DQF from the trucking company, our attorneys review all of the documents to determine if the driver was qualified to be on the road.

Information From Data Recorders

Like airplanes, many trucks are equipped with data recorders. These recorders are an important source of information in a trucking accident case. A truck’s electronic control module typically records average speed, time spent in gear, and other data related to vehicle operation. Control modules also record data during a crash, which is valuable when trying to determine if a driver is at fault for an accident. For example, the electronic control module can confirm whether a driver was speeding in the seconds before the crash. Not every truck has this equipment, and sometimes the trucking company fails to preserve this important evidence. But if we’re able to obtain it, our team of experts knows how to download and analyze this data.

Interviews and Depositions

Over time, memories fade, making it difficult to determine what really happened at the scene of a crash. That’s why the semi-truck accident lawyer in Georgia that drivers rely upon may interview accident witnesses and first responders as soon as possible. We will meet witnesses wherever we can find them. Witnesses may have noticed the truck driver driving aggressively, running a red light, or changing lanes without using a turn signal just before the accident occurred. At Butler Kahn, we find out as much as we can about the case so that we can win it when the time comes.

We also take depositions from the witnesses involved in your case. During a deposition, the witness testifies under oath about what happened before, during, or after the crash. Our attorneys have extensive experience taking depositions and getting the information needed to build a strong case.

When you are involved in a trucking accident, time is of the essence. Almost as soon as a crash occurs, the trucking company has investigators on the scene looking for ways to blame the accident on someone else. Not only do we review accident reports, interview witnesses, and take depositions, we also front all of the costs of the case. We only get paid back if and when we win the case. This allows you to focus on your medical recovery while we fight on your behalf.

Trucking accidents need trucking accident attorneys. Call us and learn more about what we can do to help.

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