Georgia 18 Wheeler Truck Hit and Run Accident Lawyers
Every driver in Georgia has an obligation to stop and make themselves known to the other people when involved a crash. Even truck drivers have a duty and obligation to bring their trucks to a stop as soon as it is safe to do so and remain on scene. If the situation involves a small fender-bender, perhaps the parties can exchange papers and be on their way. However, with a large truck weighing approximately 80,000 pounds, the chances that a large truck colliding with a passenger car and only causing minor damage are remote. There is likely to be substantial damage, and the passengers in the car are in danger of getting severely hurt or killed. It is inconceivable, therefore, why a tractor-trailer driver would flee the scene of an accident but it does happen.
Hit-and-run is a crime in Georgia. Hit-and-run is a felony if a person was severely injured or killed and a misdemeanor for less serious wrecks. In addition to creating a punishment for hit-and-run accidents, Georgia Code 40-6-270 delineates a driver’s responsibilities when involved in an accident involving injury or property damage. Under that section, a driver must:
- Bring the vehicle to a stop and return to the scene of the crash,
- Exchange papers with other drivers including presenting a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance upon request,
- Render aid to those who are injured, or at the very least call for an emergency response, and
- The driver must remain on scene until all of the requirements have been met.
In addition to Georgia state law, the regulations issued by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) also requires the truck driver to stop and make them known as well as render aid to whoever requires it. Providing aid to an injured motorist or passenger may help save a life even if the truck driver is not a trained medical professional. A truck driver can help stop a crash victim from bleeding or try to remove someone from a wreck or even set up a barrier to warn on-coming drivers about the hazard and prevent further damage. Leaving the scene deprives the crash victim of potentially life-saving intervention.
The motivation for a person fleeing the scene of a crash is not well understood. Some psychologists say that the driver who flees lacks empathy for the victim of the accident. Others who have studied the issue offered an opinion that fears, more specifically self-preservation, is the primary motivating factor for drivers who run from accidents.
Whatever the primary motivating factor, drivers who flee accidents do not want to suffer the repercussions of their actions. Typically the driver who flees the accident is trying to avoid additional criminal or civil liability. It is unlikely that a trained CDL-holding truck driver would get scared and flee for no reason. The driver who runs from accidents may:
- Not have a valid driver’s license or CDL;
- Be under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both;
- Not have proper insurance;
- Could have warrants for their arrest; or
- Was operating the truck in an unlawful manner such as driving while distracted by cellphone use or texting.
If are involved in a hit-and-run accident with a large truck, and you have the ability to do so, you should:
- Call the police immediately,
- Try to recall as much information about the truck and the driver as possible by getting a partial license plate number, the color of the truck, any identifying features of the driver, or anything else you can recall like an insignia on the tractor or trailer,
- Obtain the direction of travel and watch it for as long as you can,
- Orient yourself to your precise location so that you can tell authorities exactly where you are, and
- Ask other witnesses if they noticed anything that will help identify the driver and truck that fled from the crash.
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