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Power Play? Semi-Truck Driver Waits Out Live Wires On His Truck

powerlines.jpgWhat would you do if a live wire fell on your vehicle? Do you know what safety calls for in this situation? Sometimes I get asked very good questions like this in my practice as an Atlanta truck accident lawyer. Well, if you do not know the answer to this question, a somewhat unusual car and truck accident this morning in Atlanta might be instructive.

Earlier today, the driver of a Honda said she had no recollection of hitting either a power pole or fire hydrant on West Marietta Street. The impact resulted in live wires being strewn across a semi-truck with the driver inside. She told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution that she “was at the stoplight and … blacked out.”

Atlanta Fire Rescue was called to the West Marietta Street location where traffic was shut down in the eastbound direction and local power was out for a while.

What is very important to note in this situation is that the driver of the semi-truck did not exit his vehicle because he knew to remain in his cab until he knew that the power had been cut. Had he tried to leave his vehicle, Atlanta Fire Capt. Bobby Ferrell said ” ‘the downed wires could have proved lethal.”

He explained that those within a vehicle near a downed wire should ” ‘[n]ever open the door and get out of your car when wires are down’ ” since we should “treat all downed wires as if they are live and energized.” That might be easier said than done as it would be a very difficult experience to wait for the authorities. But this advice could save a life.

The driver of the vehicle was mainly concerned that her insurance will increase based on this incident. She may be responsible for the damages she caused to the fire hydrant and the power lines, but her carrier would likely pay for this. Insurance carriers can increase your insurance premiums based on your driving record. If a medical condition caused the accident, she still might be responsible for what occurred to public property.

Georgia’s Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner provides an Automobile Insurance Rate Comparison calculator for consumers looking for insurance. Rates vary depending on many circumstances, but this comparison can be helpful to those seeking to find insurance.

As a Georgia accident and insurance lawyer, I am aware that many drivers do not know what their policies cover or provide and when an accident occurs they need expert help. Sometimes the language is difficult to understand and is not written in plain English — which would make the insurance contract more accessible to the average person.

Whether or not you believe you have insurance that will cover an injury or damage after an accident, it is vital to get the help of a professional who can guide you through the process. And, as I always advise clients, do not talk with the carrier without professional support. Insurance companies often try to intimidate their policyholders after and accident hoping they can reach a quick settlement that is likely not the most fair settlement for you.

As an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney, I can guide you through your insurance concerns. Often there is not one, but several policies that can pay your claim. Insurance is often “stackable” meaning that you could obtain the policy limits of several policies, thereby increasing the total recovery.

Insurance companies are very experienced at avoiding payment of claims. If you have been injured in an automobile or other motor vehicle accident and have any questions about your insurance coverage or your ability to recover your medical and other damages from another driver, please contact me at the Georgia Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle. As an Atlanta car crash and bus crash lawyer, I have the knowledge and experience to help victims get through the legal process.