If you’re one of the many commuters driving through Atlanta’s I-85 with any regularity, you’ve probably noticed that traffic can be quite heavy at the best of times. Indeed, there may be an abundance of commercial tractor-trailer rigs on that stretch of the interstate at all hours. These trucks colliding with personal vehicles can even become occurrences that happen almost weekly.
With such frequency, it is important for drivers to understand what they can do should they be in the unfortunate circumstance of needing a personal injury lawyer. We can outline some of the major incidents that have happened along this route. In doing so, we will also list some of the factors that could play an important role in any legal proceedings that come out of these cases moving forward. Our hope is that our clients come away from this with a good grasp of how we can help them navigate these difficult situations.
Vehicle Accidents on Highways in Atlanta, Georgia
When a collision like this occurs, it is standard procedure for the State Patrol to send out a special team. This team consists of people who have extensive training in assessing and reconstructing the scene of a recent accident. The purpose here is for the unit to determine whether the cause of the incident is some kind of criminal negligence. While this is certainly a good first step, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the best interests of the victims come into play here.
Even if there is some evidence of a criminal action as part of the collision, certain parties may be hesitant to move forward with prosecuting or seeking damages. What this may come down to is an injury lawyer’s ability to make sure that any charges they bring forward will be strong enough to win the case. In short, the state has a vested interest in making sure that the time and effort they might put into an investigation has a good chance of paying off. For this chance to improve, a good personal injury lawyer in the Atlanta area is a must. In order to give you a better idea about the type of analysis that a legal representative may bring to the table, we will take a look at a few relatively recent cases in Atlanta.
Accidents on Atlanta’s I-85 Are Common
As a large city, Atlanta has a lot of commerce and infrastructure attracting new residents every year. Along with this, thousands of people pass through the city every year for business, entertainment, or relaxation. Indeed, I-85 is a major artery that runs through the central part of the city, giving millions of commuters access to other parts of the country as they pass through it. With so much traffic going on at all times, it is not a great surprise that some type of collision is common. In 2019 alone, over 30,000 accidents of some kind came in as reports to Atlanta’s police. Every accident is different, but it makes sense to look at a few of them to determine causes and the level of severity.
Commercial Trucking Collisions on I-85
Accidents involving commercial trucks can be some of the most serious ones that occur on I-85. Most commercial trucks are large rigs that will pull long trailers behind them. Some may carry oversized loads as well. While these loads tend to be secure, the additional weight can make it difficult to make changes in either speed or direction quickly. This is why it is important for your average commuter to be aware of their surroundings at all times when on the I-85. If you are near any semi-trailer rigs, you should take extra care to make sure that you are not traveling in the driver’s blind spot. Remember that these rigs need time to slow down, stop, or complete turns as well. Colliding with the trailer portion of these vehicles can result in damage to your car or person. To get a better understanding of how all these factors come together in an Atlanta, GA I-85 accident, we’ll look at some examples from recent history.
Tractor-Trailer Accident Kills Man
Back in 2018, one driver died as the result of an encounter with a tractor-trailer rig. The semi was stationary at the time, and the driver had placed signage to indicate that there was a temporary problem with the vehicle that required attention. Unfortunately, the commuter driving the smaller truck did not realize that the larger vehicle was not moving forward at the same pace. Because of this, the personal vehicle crashed into the rear of the semi when it was still going at a high speed. The resulting impact killed the driver, although the owner of the tractor-trailer did not receive any injuries.
If we look at this case on the surface, it may seem quite clear that the outcome was the result of simple negligence on the part of the pickup driver. This person wasn’t aware of the situation and crashed into the semi. However, that’s not all there is to this investigation. There have been similar cases in which the tractor-trailer remained parked in the travel lane for a prolonged period. It is standard procedure to move a faulty rig out of this path as soon as possible, putting it instead in the emergency lane designed for these purposes. Additionally, there is some question as to whether the warning signs were far out enough to give sufficient notice to drivers.
1 Person Killed and 3 Injured on I-85 South
Some collisions between two vehicles can be the result of interference from a third. This is just what happened when an SUV impacted with another on the road. The rig forced the sport vehicle out of its proper lane. When the semi attempted to change lanes, it did not leave enough room for the SUV, forcing the latter vehicle to move in order to escape the path of the larger vehicle. Unfortunately, this put it on a direct course with a box truck.
Because there was also a steep hill on one side, the SUV flipped over several times. This rotation ejected a passenger from the vehicle. These events culminated in the death of one and injury of several others. Unfortunately, the semi rig driver simply kept going along the route without stopping. However, police eventually tracked the vehicle and its driver to a different county. This police work can be an important component that personal injury lawyers in Atlanta make use of later.
FedEx Vehicle Involved in Crash on I-85
Once again, watching out for any stopped vehicles on busy highways is important, and this is the case when a FedEx delivery truck impacted a police cruiser. The law enforcement vehicle was performing a traffic stop at the time, and the officer in charge of it was on his way back from talking with the commuter he had stopped. Along the way, the FedEx driver crashed into the cruiser, moving the vehicle forward to hit the officer. Fortunately, the man didn’t sustain any serious injuries. The FedEx truck flipped over, leaving its driver in a condition that required hospitalization. It is possible that the FedEx employee failed to pull out of the lane of travel in time.
One Fatality in Tractor-Trailer Crash
Similar to the first case we mentioned, a passenger car collided with a stopped semi rig. The driver of the car died, but the question remains as to whether the semi driver had stopped their rig legally. Tractor-trailer drivers must adhere to many rules regarding safety on the road, but some of them may bend these rules at times. It is possible that the semi driver was not using the emergency ramp for any professional purpose. If drivers use this part of the highway just to take a break, personal injury lawyers can work with detectives to find this out.
The Singleton Law Firm, LLC has a long history of providing solid legal work and good emotional support to any clients involved in traffic incidents in the Atlanta’s I-85 area. Particularly for any first-timers, having an experienced attorney in your corner can make all the difference in your case. If you know anyone who has injuries as the result of an accident, don’t hesitate to call us at (770) 889-6010.