Injured in a Truck Wreck: Atlanta Truck Driver Laws You Need to Know

truck accident laws attorney

Large trucks are essential for our economy, and ensuring that we all have the goods, produce, and food that we need to live adequately. And while drivers of big rigs are charged with a high duty of care in the operation of their vehicles, large truck crashes–many of which are caused by drivers’ errors–take the lives of people every single year in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia.

If you have been in a truck wreck, it is important that you understand truck driver laws, and what you can do if you weren’t at fault for the crash. For assistance in navigating the civil law system, contact our Atlanta truck accident attorney today.

Truck Driver Laws in Georgia

In order to operate a large truck in Georgia, a driver must be in compliance with both state and federal operating laws. This means that the driver must:

  • Have a commercial driver’s license
    • Must be at least 18 years old;
    • Must meet federal medical certificate requirements (must be medically qualified to operate a truck safely);
    • Must attend a CDL school; and
    • Must pass CDL tests.
  • Meet hours of service requirements, which stipulate that a driver cannot drive more than eleven hours after ten consecutive hours off duty, and can only drive a maximum of ten hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.

As stated above, truck drivers are also obligated to follow all rules of the road and operate their vehicles with a high duty of care. When this duty of care is breached and causes an accident as a result, the truck driver, or the trucking company, can be held liable as such.

What Caused Your Truck Accident and Who’s Liable?

If a truck driver violates any of the laws listed above, or commits an act of negligence, they can be held liable for damages that result. Negligence and illegal acts include:

  • Driving without a license;
  • Failing to meet hours of service requirements (i.e. driving more than the law permits);
  • Speeding;
  • Driving aggressively;
  • Performing illegal lane changes;
  • Driving while distracted (using a cellphone);
  • Driving while intoxicated or impaired; and
  • Driving while fatigued.

Actual breaches of law are known as negligence per se; a breach of what is reasonable is called negligence. The truck driver may be held independently liable for a crash caused by any of the actions above if they are an independent contractor, or a trucking company/truck driver employer may be held liable.

Seek Legal Counsel Today

A truck accident may change your life, leaving you with injuries that will forever alter how you move, work, and feel. If you are harmed in a trucking accident in Atlanta, it is important that you prove that these injuries would not have occurred but for the negligence/negligence per se of the trucking company or truck driver. At our law offices, our experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer can help you build your claim and seek damages. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

The foregoing answers are not legal advice and are merely a general overview. You are advised to consult a lawyer to address your specific situation regarding your situation. For more information or to inquire about a free consultation, contact the experienced Atlanta attorneys at Apolinsky & Associates at (404) 377-9191 or send us an email.


About the Author

Stephen Apolinsky

Stephen D. Apolinsky is a Personal Injury Attorney who specializes in representing individuals and families concerning wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases. Stephen is licensed to practice in Georgia, Alabama, and the District of Columbia. With over 33 years of experience representing personal injury victims, Stephen has successfully tried over 80 cases to verdict before judges or juries, and has negotiated over 300 cases to out-of-court settlements. Stephen has been recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyer, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association.