A DOT-recordable accident in Georgia must meet the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) criteria for reporting to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This agency keeps track of collisions involving commercial vehicles. The FMCSA collects this data to understand the hazards large commercial trucks cause.
Using this information, FMCSA can adjust the regulations that commercial drivers must follow to promote safer roadways. To make this data as useful as possible, DOT sets restrictions for the types of accidents it records. We explain these reporting requirements and how our firm can help after a commercial vehicle accident in Georgia below.
Criteria for a DOT-Recordable Accident
A collision incident must meet the following circumstances to be considered a DOT-recordable accident.
The Accident Must Involve a Commercial Vehicle
At least one vehicle in the accident must be a commercial carrier vehicle. If you were in an accident that only involved smaller vehicles, your accident is not DOT-recordable. These vehicles include passenger vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles. Pedestrian accidents also do not qualify.
According to FMCSA guidelines, you can tell a vehicle is a commercial carrier if any of the following apply:
- The vehicle weighs more than 10,000 lbs. This weight includes both the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and the gross combination weight rating (GCWR).
- It has nine or more seats, including the driver’s seat.
- It has a hazardous material placard.
The vehicle involved only has to meet one of these criteria for the collision to potentially be DOT-recordable. Whether or not it is ultimately reportable also depends on the consequences of the accident.
Types of Accidents the DOT Records
Only serious accidents involving carrier vehicles are DOT-recordable. At least one of the following circumstances must be true about the collision in order to qualify:
- It resulted in a fatality. If you lost your loved one to one of these crashes within 30 days of the accident, this can be considered a fatality caused by the crash.
- It resulted in an injury. The DOT only applies this to injuries that required immediate medical care away from the accident site. This means that the agency does not count minor first aid on the crash site or a doctor’s visit in the weeks after an accident when determining if there were injuries.
- It resulted in a tow-away. If at least one of the vehicles in the crash was rendered unusable and had to be towed away from the scene, it is DOT-recordable.
Exceptions to DOT-Recordable Accident Criteria
There may be exclusions to some of these requirements in cases of large, noncommercial vehicles. For example, family motorhomes or horse trailers may not qualify, even though they could weigh more than 10,000 lbs.
A lawyer from our firm can look over the specifics of your case to see if the accident was DOT-recordable. Then, they can offer you advice on how best to seek damages if you suffered injuries or losses because of the collision.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-214-2001
How a Lawyer Can Help You After a Commercial Vehicle Accident
If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with a large carrier vehicle, you may be facing damages. These could include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You could recover compensation for these losses with the help of a personal injury lawyer from our law firm.
Our Team Can Establish Liability in Collision Cases
If you hire us, we will investigate your accident to determine who was at fault. You may share part of the blame for what happened, but you could still recover damages as long as the other party was more at fault than you were.
This is why every bit of evidence counts. A thorough investigation can uncover things like:
- Video footage
- Photographs of damages and injuries
- Witnesses present before, during, or just after the collision
- Medical records of your or your loved one’s injuries
- Police reports of the accident
- Other official documents
We use this type of evidence to build a case showing that the other driver was negligent. If the driver who hit you was engaging in risky driving behavior, they may be held liable for the resulting accident and injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), common examples of driver negligence include the following:
- Drunk driving
- Drug-impaired driving
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
We Negotiate for Fair Settlements on Behalf of Truck Accident Victims
Once we have built your case, we will go to the appropriate insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. Insurance companies will often initially offer less money than victims need and deserve, so we will use the evidence we collected to prove the value of your damages. At Kaine Law, we know their tricks and how to combat them.
If negotiations are still not enough, we are ready and willing to try your case in court. There, a judge or jury can render a verdict on the economic and non-economic damages you may be owed for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A lawyer from our team will be by your side every step of the way through this process, advocating for you and your family’s best interests.
Contact Kaine Law Today to Learn More
Call Kaine Law now at (404) 214-2001 to learn more about DOT-recordable accidents in Georgia and to receive a free consultation regarding your commercial collision case. We serve clients across Georgia, including those in Atlanta, Conyers, Lawrenceville, and Stockbridge. Our team is ready to help you recover the compensation you deserve, so do not wait; call today.