Tag: Trucking Accidents

Fulton County Cracks Down on Unsafe Trucking Practices

If sharing the road with tractor trailers doesn’€™t make the average Atlanta commuter a little nervous, then the following safety statistics should. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 31 percent of all Georgia trucking accidents resulting in fatalities occurred in Fulton County in 2011. If that statistic isn’€™t frightening enough, consider that deaths from tractor trailer accidents account for more than 13 percent of all vehicle fatalities in the entire county.

This past summer, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration decided that enough was enough. The organization helped to pass new laws that focus on minimizing the fatigue associated with long hours on the road and reducing the risk of tragic trucking accidents. Advocates of motor vehicle safety believe that these new laws will help to prevent a total of 1,400 crashes and save innocent lives.

New trucking laws mandate that tractor trailer drivers:

  • Cannot work more than 14 hours in a 24 hour period.
  • Cannot record more than 70 hours of work during a specified work week.
  • Must take a 30 minutes rest for every 8 hours of recorded work.

If truck drivers or trucking companies are caught violating these new laws, they will be subject to any and all fines imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Trucking Accidents at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

Although it is good to know that Atlanta lawmakers are working to keep our roads safe, accidents still happen. The Atlanta trucking accident attorneys at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP are committed to helping victims of trucking accidents gain the compensation and peace of mind that they deserve.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in an Atlanta trucking accident, call Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP at 404-445-1411 or 1-800-688-2357 for a free initial consultation.

Fatigued Truck Driver Critically Wounds Actor Tracy Morgan

Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was critically injured on Saturday, June 7, 2014 when Wal-Mart truckdriver Kevin Roper failed to observe slower moving traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike. Roper attempted to swerve his tractor-trailer away from the Mercedes limo-bus, but was unsuccessful.

Upon impact, the chauffeured limo bus was overturned, causing a chain reaction crash that involved 4 other vehicles. The fatal tractor trailer crash occurred around 1 a.m. Saturday morning. Morgan’€™s mentor and fellow comedian James €œJimmy Mack’€ McNair was killed at the scene. Morgan’€™s assistant Jeffrey Millea and comedians Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton sustained injuries; Fuqua and Millea remain in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital.

Tracy Morgan sustained several injuries in the trucking accident, including a broken leg, broken femur, broken nose, and several broken ribs. Morgan underwent surgery to repair the broken bones in his leg, and remains in critical yet stable condition.

Allegations that truck driver Kevin Roper had not slept for 24 hours prior to the fatal crash began to surface shortly after the trucking accident. Roper pleaded €˜not guilty’€™ to one charge of vehicular homicide and multiple counts of assault by auto, despite allegations that he was sleep-deprived.

Truck drivers are permitted to work up to 14 hours per day, with a maximum of 11 hours spent driving, according to federal safety and rest regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). Regulations also require truck drivers to have at least 10 hours between shifts for sleep.

Wal-Mart president and CEO Bill Simon stated that €œWal-Mart will take full responsibility, € if Roper is found guilty of the charges. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver fatigue causes over 100,000 vehicle crashes and approximately 1,550 fatalities.

Trucking Accidents at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

Our legal team at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP in Atlanta, Georgia understands the complex federal regulations governing tractor-trailers in the United States. We know that tractor-trailer accidents can be devastating. Our team finds justice for families and individuals injured in tractor-trailer accidents.

Contact Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP if you or someone you love has been involved in a trucking accident. Our team thoroughly investigates the trucking company and driver to bring you the results you deserve.

Truck Driver Looking at Facebook at Time of Crash

Last May, Arizona Department of Public Safety officer Tim Huffman was killed when truck driver Juan Espinoza ran into several emergency vehicles that were responding to a roadside accident. Investigators who examined the dashboard camera of Espinoza’€™s vehicle found that he was perusing Facebook and looking at pictures of scantily clad women at the time of the fatal crash.

Video evidence also revealed that Espinoza’€™s wallet was blocking the view of the dash camera as he plowed into 3 police cars and 2 fire trucks on Interstate 8 highway. Investigators allege that the 33-year-old truck driver intentionally placed his wallet in front of the dash camera so that he could €œlook at or manipulate his phone’€ without being recorded.

Just before impact, another police officer was seen waving frantically in an attempt to get Espinoza’s attention. When he realized that the distracted driver wasn’t looking, he jumped out of the way to safety. Moments later, Espinoza’s white phone was seen flying through the air.

In 2012 alone, over 400,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver. If that statistic isn’€™t sobering enough, consider this: at any given daylight moment, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or interacting with electronic devices while driving.

Trucking Accidents at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

If you or a loved one has been wrongfully injured by the negligent acts of another, contact the expert trial attorneys at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP. During your free initial consultation, we will listen to your case and explain your legal options. If we take your trucking accident case, we will use our experience and extensive resources to fully investigate the accident and gain the compensation that you deserve.

Below are some of the case results achieved by the lawyers of Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP:

$600,000.00 : Auto Accident (Orthopedic Injuries)

$495,000.00 : Commercial Vehicle Accident with Traumatic Brain Injury

DeKalb Couple Injured in Trucking Accident Awarded $3.2 Million

After 12 long hours of deliberation, a DeKalb County jury awarded Johnny and Carolyn Parks, a Flowery Branch couple injured in a trucking accident on June 21, 2011, a $3.2 million verdict. Of that sum, $2.8 million was awarded to the injured couple, and $392,000 accounted for attorneys’€™ fees.

According the plaintiffs’€™ attorney, Andrew Ausband, Johnny and Carolyn Parks were traveling in the second right hand lane of I-85 when they saw a HERO unit stopped ahead. The driver had left his vehicle, and was trying to remove a large tire tread from the road. Both Parks and the driver in front of him stopped; the tractor trailer, however, did not.

Driven by Jessie Arnold, the Atlanta Dealer Trades tractor trailer plowed into Parks’€™ vehicle from behind, forcing their car 60 feet ahead and into another lane of moving traffic. Unable to stop, the truck also struck the car that had stopped in front of the Parks, as well as the HERO unit driver.

The defense counsel, led by Adam Long of Eraclides, Gelman, Hall, Indek, Goodman & Waters, argued that Arnold had tried to apply the brakes, but the braking system failed. The truck, which had been purchased just three months before and was apparently in good condition, was sold to Atlanta Dealer Trades by a company called JCF Auto Transport, Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio.

The $3.2 million verdict would have been even greater, but the DeKalb County jury had difficulty deciding whether or not to award punitive damages against the defendant, Atlanta Dealer Trades. In an attempt to motivate the deadlocked jury to reach a verdict, the State Court delivered an Allen charge; after almost two more hours of deliberation, he mentioned that he was inclined to call a mistrial. In order to avoid this, Ausband quickly withdrew the claim for punitive damages, removing the burden of decision from the jury.

Trucking Accident Law at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor trailer accident caused by the negligence or willful misconduct of another, contact the expert trucking accident lawyers of Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP. Equipped with over 70 years of combined experience, Glenn E. Kushel and Nicholas C. Moraitakis have the resources needed to help you gain the compensation that you deserve.

Listed below are just a few of the case results achieved by the trucking accident attorneys of Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP:

  • $600,000 €“ Automobile accident that caused orthopedic injuries
  • $495,000 €“ Commercial vehicle accident resulting in traumatic brain injury

For more information, contact our Atlanta-based trial law firm at (404) 445-1411.

Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

Trucking accidents are on the rise with the increased need to transport goods and always-growing population. Federal laws govern the trucking industry, but they are often ignored by drivers and other companies associated. Trucks cause severe damage in accidents on the road due to their sheer size and weight.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the amount of hours truck drivers operate their vehicles. It is not uncommon for drivers to ignore these rules and succumb to driver fatigue—one of the most common causes of trucking accidents. Other driver errors include inattention, substance abuse, and failure to adjust to road conditions during inclement weather.

Equipment failure, like defective tires and brakes, is another common cause of trucking accidents. Truck drivers and their companies are required by law to do pre-trip inspections as well as regular maintenance on their trucks.

The FMSCA also regulates the loading of trucks as well as the securement of materials. Truck loads must be distributed evenly on trailers. An imbalanced load may cause trucks to flip or lose traction. Unsecured materials or goods can fall into lanes while the truck is moving, causing life-threatening accidents.

Who is Liable in Trucking Accidents?

In addition to a driver, trucking companies may be held accountable for trucking accidents. Many times these companies practice unsafe ideals with schedules and loading. Additional parties that may be held responsible may include:

  • Parts manufacturers that assemble defective vehicles
  • Cargo companies that overload trucks
  • Shippers that do not conduct background checks on trucks or truck drivers

It is always important to work with experienced lawyers after a trucking accidents. Each party may have their own lawyers and insurance companies that will work to deflect any responsibility from the defendants. The legal team at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP understands how severe and traumatic trucking accidents can be. Our attorneys will gather the necessary evidence and file all essential documents for your trucking accident lawsuit.

Contact Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP are Atlanta’s premier trucking accident lawyers. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a trucking accident, contact our expert staff. Your initial consultation is free, call: (404) 445-1411.

Atlanta Trucking Accident Attorney

A collision with a semi-truck or other tractor trailer can cause serious injury, property damage, immeasurable trauma and even death. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, you need an Atlanta trucking accident attorney who knows how to fight for the compensation you deserve. That’€™s where the experience and expertise of the Atlanta truking accident attorneys at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP come into play.

Hire an Experienced Atlanta Trucking Accident Attorney

Although the insurance company of the party at fault is required to pay, trucking companies sometimes try to offer a lower settlement. Don’€™t accept any offer until you’€™ve spoken with an Atlanta trucking accident attorney.

During your consultation, your Atlanta trucking accident attorney will work with you to help answer the questions that will help determine your settlement including:

  • Was I hurt because of the truck driver’€™s negligence?
  • Can I prove the accident was the truck driver’€™s fault?
  • Will I have enough proof to receive fair compensation?
  • How much compensation can I ask for, and how long will it take to receive it?
  • How much medical care will I need?
  • What will happen to my family if I don’€™t fully recover from my injuries?
  • And many other questions.

An Atlanta trucking accident attorney can also represent the families of truck accident victims in the case of wrongful death.

At Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP, our trucking accident attorneys work on a contingency basis. You pay no attorney’€™s fees unless we obtain a fair settlement or win a jury award on your behalf.

Speak with an Attorney at Moraitakis & Kushel

Call (404) 445-1411 or contact us online to speak with an Atlanta trucking accident attorney today.

Another Tragic Trucking Accident Increases Public Concern

On the night of September 26th, a trucking accident near Davis, Oklahoma resulted in the deaths of four softball players from North Central Texas College. The results of a toxicology test have not yet been revealed, but police report that the truck driver, Russell Staley, was found dazed in his cab with a bag containing several prescription drugs, some of which were known to cause drowsiness, and a silver pipe that allegedly smelled of marijuana.

Accident Increases Public Outcry for Trucking Industry Reform

Tragic stories like this have become all too familiar and all too frequent. Especially since the June 7thNew Jersey Turnpike accident that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed comedian James McNair, the subject of truck driver fatigue has gained increasing media attention. After Tracy Morgan’€™s accident and fatal accidents like this in Oklahoma, the public has called for stricter reforms and regulation in the trucking industry in order to prevent future accidents.

It is not yet known whether or not Staley, the truck driver responsible for the Oklahoma accident, was sleep-deprived at the time of the accident, but the evidence of prescription and potentially illegal drugs in his truck cab is very disturbing.

A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board has said that the organization will be implementing a full investigation into what caused the accident, in the hopes of determining what could prevent future, similar accidents.

While it is likely completely eradicate all automobile and trucking accidents, the expert attorneys at Moraitakis & Kushel believe that those accidents that are avoidable should be prevented by the trucking company regulations and safe, responsible driving habits by truck drivers. While the loss of four young women is tragic in itself, the tragedy is compounded by the fact that the accident could have most likely been prevented if proper safety guidelines had been followed.

Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP, Trucking Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one are injured in a trucking accident, call the experienced team at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP to seek justice.

With over 70 years of combined legal experience, Moraitakis & Kushel work tirelessly to help their clients seek justice and proper compensation. If you would like to meet with our legal experts to discuss a possible case, call (404) 261-0061 or toll free at 1(800) 688-2357 to schedule a free consultation in our Atlanta area office.