Truck accidents are different from normal car crashes, and not just because of the extremely serious injuries and damage they cause. Unlike car accident cases where one driver is typically held liable, truck accidents usually involve several entities, including the owner of the truck, the company that loads the cargo, the company responsible for maintaining the truck, and the driver.
At the SHElaw firm, we take pride in helping families rebuild their lives following an injury or the loss of a loved one in a trucking wreck. Our North Decatur truck accident lawyers are well recognized throughout the state for their premier legal advocacy and their commitment to making our highways safer.
When you choose to work with us, you can be sure that a team with extensive experience is working to get you the justice and compensation you deserve. Get in touch with our North Decatur auto accident lawyers by calling us at 470-378-1162.
Georgia Truck Accident Statistics
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were over 107,000 truck accidents in the U.S. in 2018 that caused injuries. In Georgia, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety shows that:
- There were 135 deaths in 2018 in GA truck accidents and 195 in 2019.
- 78% of the fatalities in GA trucking accidents occurred in other vehicles.
- Georgia was ranked 4th in the country for accidents involving commercial trucks.
- The rate of fatal truck accidents in GA has been increasing over the past decade.
With these numbers in mind, GA has stepped up its efforts in enforcing commercial vehicle driving laws. However, there are still far too many truck accidents occurring on our roads, and large trucks remain to be among the most dangerous vehicles on the road.
What Do I Do After a Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one got in a truck accident, you might be experiencing a whole gamut of emotions. It’s essential to know what you should do following the accident. For best results, do the following:
Call 911 and Help Others
You should call 911 right away. The police will come to the scene of the accident and record a statement. They will also ensure paramedics come to attend to the injured.
As you wait for the police and paramedics to arrive, check on other people involved in the crash to see if they are okay.
When it’s safe to do so, exchange relevant information with the truck driver and other motorists involved. Be sure to capture their contact and insurance information, as well as their employer details. Also, gather the contact information of any witnesses.
Document the Scene
Use your phone to take photos/videos of the scene, including close-ups and wide shots. Be sure to capture any skid marks, road conditions, road signs, damage to the vehicles, or injuries sustained.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if it doesn’t seem like your injury is serious, you should seek medical attention. Even if you don’t go to the ER, you should still make an effort to go to your doctor. In a lot of cases, accident injuries are not immediately apparent, and not getting prompt medical help could make the injuries worse.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
the best thing you can do next is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Truck accident cases can easily get complicated, and the insurance companies might attempt to take advantage of the situation if you don’t have a lawyer representing you.
What Are the Laws Regarding Truck Accident Liability?
The risk of truck accidents is quite high, which is why the government has put in place rules and regulations to ensure maximum safety on the road. To establish liability for a truck accident, these rules will be considered.
Some of the most important rules include:
- All drivers must be licensed by the state, having passed the required tests.
- All drivers must undergo special training to keep them with the skills required for the job.
- All truck drivers must undergo physical tests after every two years.
- Truck drivers are not allowed to carry alcohol unless it’s the cargo.
- Truck drivers are not allowed to operate the attacks under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- The FMSA only allows truckers to work a maximum of 11 hours a day.
- Any cargo in transit must be properly and safely fastened.
- Trucks are required to display HAZMAT markings and other indicators to protect other road users.
How Can a North Decatur Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Here are some of the ways our North Decatur truck accident lawyers can help with your case:
An experienced truck accident attorney has the necessary resources and skills to investigate your case, collect and preserve evidence, and obtain the necessary documentation to file your claim. Your attorney will also investigate witnesses and pursue different experts to strengthen your case.
Filing Your Claim
Your lawyer will also help file the necessary paperwork as soon as possible, and make sure that everything is done on time.
Once you file your claim, you will have to communicate with the insurance companies. But most insurers will devalue your claim or deny it altogether. Working with a lawyer means that they will be responsible for handling any communication and negotiations with insurance companies so that you ultimately get the settlement amount you need and deserve.
If the insurance company is unable to reach a reasonable settlement amount, your lawyer will proceed to take the case to trial. The trucking accident lawyers at SHE law have extensive trial experience, and you can rely on us to deliver a favorable outcome.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
Georgia courts may award three types of damages in a truck accident case.
In trucking accident cases, economic damages include all the damages that can be calculated to exact dollar amounts. They typically include medical expenses, lost earning capacity, lost income, and property damage.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are much harder to objectively calculate or assign a dollar value. They include pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, anxiety and depression, and loss of companionship or consortium.
In some rare cases, the court may decide to award punitive damages, which are awarded alongside economic and non-economic damages. However, these are only awarded if the guilty party is found to be grossly negligent, malicious, reckless, or in sheer disregard for human life.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell exactly how much a case is worth without understanding the full details of the case. However, the value of a trucking accident will be mainly determined by:
- The kind of medical treatments the victim needs now and, in the future
- The extent of the victim’s pain and suffering
- The victim’s ability to work following the accident
- The victim’s likelihood of making a full recovery
- The defendant’s culpability
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?
The deadline for filing acclaim is determined by the state statute of limitations. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including trucking accident cases, is 2 years from the date of the accident.
How Is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined?
The following are some of the common rules when it comes to determining fault in a Georgia truck accident:
- If one driver breaks the law and the other doesn’t during the accident, the one at fault is deemed liable.
- If the truck was not properly maintained leading to the crash, the responsible entity may be found liable.
- If the truck driver was negligent in their actions, such as if they were distracted while driving, they can be held liable.
Keep in mind that Georgia is a comparative negligence state, meaning that you are only entitled to financial compensation if you’re less than 50% responsible for the crash. Your best bet is to consult with an experienced North Decatur truck accident attorney about the specifics of your case.
Can a Lawyer Prove the Truck Driver Was Negligent?
Yes. An experienced lawyer can use the available evidence along with the police reports to demonstrate how the truck driver was negligent in their actions. Besides this, your lawyer will also check whether:
- The truck was maintained properly
- The state and federal truck regulations were followed properly
- The driver credentials are valid
- The local traffic laws were followed
- There could be any manufacturing defects that might have led to the crash
- A reconstructed accident scene matches the available evidence
Who Can Be Held Liable?
As mentioned earlier, several entities can be held liable for the accident and your injuries. These include:
- Trucking companies
- The driver and his or her employers
- Carriers and cargo loaders
- Truck owners
- Truck maintenance services
- Truck manufacturers
- Truck parts manufacturers
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Some of the most common causes of trucking accidents that we come across in these kinds of cases include the following:
- Driver Fatigue
- Poor Road Conditions
- Reckless Driving
- Drug Use and Driving While Intoxicated
- Distracted Driving
- Poorly Trained or Inexperienced Drivers
- Oversized or Improperly Secured Freight
- Lack of Truck Maintenance
- Equipment Malfunction
Schedule a Free Consultation With a North Decatur Truck Accident Lawyer!
If you or a loved one was recently involved in a truck accident in North Decatur, don’t handle the lawsuit on your own. We provide all our injury clients with a no-fee guarantee, as we work on a contingency fee basis. This way, you don’t have to pay us anything upfront unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
You can rest assured that we will not rest or back down when the trucking company or their insurance providers resist accountability. We will do everything in our power to ensure you’re paid in full for the injuries and other damages you sustained