Collisions With Trucks Parked On The Side Of The Road
Trucks on the side of the road are a common sight, and they can present a significant hazard to other drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 159,000 people were injured in crashes with large trucks in 2019. Learn why it is common to see trucks on the side of the road, a few of the laws which truck drivers must follow when parked, and other important information for victims of commercial vehicle accidents. If you or a loved one was involved in a collision with a truck parked on the side of the road in Georgia, consider speaking with a knowledgeable, compassionate attorney at The Mark Casto Law Firm at (706) 940-4030 to learn how we may be able to help you seek fair and just compensation for your losses and suffering.
The Importance Of Seeking Medical Attention
If you or a loved one was involved in an automobile accident, you must seek immediate medical evaluation and treatment. Symptoms of some injuries may not appear until hours or days after the accident, and adrenaline or the shock of the accident might mask some symptoms as well. Prompt medical care will help ensure that your injuries are identified and treated as soon as possible.
Receiving immediate medical treatment following an accident can also help build a foundation for a personal injury claim. Insurance companies commonly work to minimize the amount of compensation paid to victims and may attempt to blame the victim's injuries on pre-existing conditions or attribute them to other incidents that happened before or after the accident. Medical evaluation and treatment immediately following the accident documents the victim's injuries, creating a relationship between the injuries and the accident.
Why Do Drivers Park Trucks On The Side Of The Road?
There are many reasons why semi-truck drivers might park their trucks on the side of the road. The trucking industry is complex and heavily regulated, and drivers sometimes have to pull over as a result. Here are a few reasons why you might see trucks on the side of the road:
- The driver has reached the legal limit on the number of driving hours for the day
- The driver needs to rest
- Mechanical issues with the truck
- Flat tires
- Navigation issues
- The driver is ill
- An emergency related to the truck's cargo, such as a spill or other cargo obstructing the road
- Traffic stops by law enforcement
Laws Regarding Trucks On The Side Of The Road
Under Georgia O.C.G.A Section 40-6-200, the Georgia Department of Transportation can prohibit, restrict, or limit parking on highways within the state. This means that parking trucks on the side of the road for any reason other than an emergency could potentially amount to illegal parking.
In addition to state laws, there are federal laws that require drivers to take specific safety steps when parking a truck on the side of the road. Federal law 49 CFR § 392.22, found in the United States Federal Register, requires commercial drivers stopped on the side of the road to:
- Immediately activate the vehicle's hazard warning flasher signals
- Place approved warning devices at specific points near the truck within ten minutes of pulling over
- Place an additional warning device 100 feet from the vehicle if it is stopped near a curve or hill in the road
- Take other precautions in specific circumstances
Laws concerning procedures for trucks on the side of the road can be complicated and confusing for victims to understand. An experienced trucking attorney at The Mark Casto Law Firm may be able to help commercial vehicle accident victims understand their rights under the law, and seek fair and just compensation for their injuries.
Manipulative Insurance Company Practices
Following collisions with trucks on the side of the road, victims frequently take the seemingly simple step of speaking with the commercial trucking company's insurance company. Insurance companies are often eager to settle commercial vehicle collision claims quickly, but victims should take notice of insurance adjusters' tactics and practices. Insurance companies may use several strategies to try and reduce the amount of compensation paid to the victim.
Insurance Adjuster Tactics
Here are some of the tactics and strategies insurance adjusters might use to reduce the amount of compensation paid to victims:
- Attempting to talk to a victim while the victim is hospitalized, on sedative medications, or pain medications
- Seeking to obtain the victim's full medical history to look for pre-existing conditions that could be used to explain the victim's injuries
- Using common conversational questions to discredit or minimize the victim's claims, such as asking the victim, “How are you?” If the victim replies with a statement such as, “I am okay,” it could be used later to argue that the victim's injuries were less severe than alleged
- Recording conversations with the victim and using the victim's own words against them in the future
- Trying to get the victim to confess, admit to negligence, or make other statements of guilt regarding the motor vehicle accident
- Offering a low settlement amount with the hope that the victim will accept quickly
- Purposefully causing delays during the settlement process to frustrate the victim
- Stalling the settlement process to cause the victim to miss the legal time limit to file a civil lawsuit
- Verbally offering partial payment and sending the victim a check, but stating in fine print that if the victim cashes the check, the insurance claim will be settled completely
How An Experienced Trucking Attorney Can Help
The practice of parking semi-trucks on the side of the road is very common, and also potentially very dangerous. Victims of collisions with trucks parked on roadways are often left facing the commercial trucking company's army of insurance adjusters and lawyers. An attorney can advocate for victims in negotiations with insurance and legal teams and represent victims in civil court if a settlement agreement is not reached.
If you or a loved one was involved in a collision with a commercial truck parked on or beside a roadway in the state of Georgia, consider speaking with a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney at The Mark Casto Law Firm at (706) 940-4030 to learn how we may be able to help you seek fair and just compensation for your injuries and suffering under the law.