The trucking industry remains a key driver of the economy in Georgia and the nation as a whole. However, the size and weight of commercial trucks, especially fully-loaded ones traveling at highway speeds, make them very dangerous. A truck collision can completely wreck and dismantle a regular car, leading to catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
Injuries sustained in a truck accident are often severe and may require expensive, long-term treatment and care. If you were injured in a truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. However, truck accident claims are often complex and involve large sums of money, which most insurance companies would rather avoid paying.
This is why you need to enlist the services of an experienced Duluth truck accident lawyer to protect your rights and ensure maximum compensation. The Herro Law Firm has handled many truck accident cases. Call our Duluth car accident lawyers today at (404) 433-6876 to get the legal assistance that you need.
Truck Accident Statistics
While truck accidents are rare compared to auto accidents, they have a significantly higher fatality rate. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), on average, Georgia records between 180 and 230 fatal truck accidents each year.
According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Georgia saw more than 135 fatalities in 2018 in truck accidents. While this was a drop of 37.5% from 2017, the number increased to 204 in 2019. Georgia was ranked 4th among the states with the highest number of truck accidents in 2016.
Generally, occupants of the passenger car involved in a truck accident are more likely to die than the truck driver. The figures show that truck drivers die in less than 15% of truck accidents while the drivers of passenger cars are killed 57% of the time.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
The stakes in a truck accident claim are often high, and it is important to ensure that you take all the right steps. For the best outcome in your case, here’s what you need to do.
It is important that you call 911 after any accident, especially a truck accident. The police will respond to the scene, investigate the accident, and help determine the exact cause of the accident and who’s at fault. They will also call the paramedics. Keep in mind that most insurance companies require an official police report to accept a claim.
Help Others and Exchange Info
Your next step should be to assess your surroundings, check on others and render help where necessary.
Ensure to collect the contact details and insurance information of the other driver(s) involved in the accident. You should also provide your details to the other driver(s).
Document the Scene, Speak with Witnesses
If you are able to, make sure to take photos and videos of the scene of the accident as this will be crucial in proving your case later on. Also, note down any details that may be crucial to your case and speak to any witnesses available at the scene and collect their contact details.
Seek Medical Attention
This is the most crucial step after a truck accident, even if you are feeling fine. Seeking medical attention will help to identify any hidden injuries that may take time to manifest. This will help to ensure you get proper treatment fast. Also, having your injuries documented by a physician will make it easier to prove your claim.
Contact a Duluth Truck Accident Lawyer
When it comes to filing a truck accident claim, it is in your best interest to get an experienced Duluth truck accident lawyer involved as soon as possible. A truck accident lawyer will be able to guide you on the best course of action and will be instrumental in protecting your right to fair compensation.
What Are the Laws Regarding Truck Accident Liability?
Truck drivers as well as their employer companies are required to adhere to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.
Here are some important rules:
- The FMCSA governs the number of hours a trucker can drive in a day.
- Truck owners must properly inspect their vehicles to make sure that they can be operated safely.
- Trucking companies are required to hire competent drivers.
- Trucking companies must maintain accurate logbooks to confirm that the trucker has only driven for the stipulated hours.
- Truckers must ensure that loads are properly distributed and secured.
- Truck drivers are also required to have a valid commercial driver’s license, be certified for the specific truck they are operating, and carry a minimum liability insurance policy.
Georgia personal injury law allows victims of truck accidents to collect compensation from any party who violates their legal duty and causes a truck accident.
How Can a Duluth Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Our truck accident lawyers will assist with all aspects of your case, including:
When we take on your case, we start by conducting a thorough investigation. We collect all the necessary evidence to help prove fault and build a strong case for you.
Filing a Claim
Ensuring that our claim is filed properly and within the set deadlines is paramount when it comes to truck accident claims. Even a simple error or omission can cost you your claim. Our truck accident lawyers will handle the paperwork and ensure that everything is done correctly.
Our truck accident lawyers won’t settle for anything less than what you fairly deserve. They will handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf and ensure you are not taken advantage of.
If the insurance company is uncooperative or doesn’t present a fair settlement offer, we will prepare your case for trial. We will ensure that we have all the necessary facts and evidence to present a strong case before the court.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
In a successful Duluth truck accident case, you can recoup the following types of damages:
These are those damages that can be objectively verified through financial statements. These include medical expenses, lost income, loss of earning capacity, property damage, in-home care costs, etc.
These are subjective damages that can’t be assigned a monetary value. These include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, emotional distress, etc.
Punitive damages are not designed to compensate truck accident victims rather they are meant to punish the at-fault party for gross negligence, malicious, or reckless actions. They also help to discourage others from similar behavior. Punitive damages in Georgia are capped at $250,000.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
The answer to this is not as straightforward as you might expect. There are plenty of factors that are considered when determining how much you are owed. These include the type and severity of your injuries, lost income, and lost future income, among others. A truck accident will help you to determine how much your claim is worth.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?
In Georgia, truck accident victims have up to two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. Failure to do so within the stipulated time limit will cause you to lose your right to compensation.
How Is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined?
Fault in the state of Georgia is governed by the doctrine of negligence. For any party to be held liable for your injuries and damages, you have to prove the following elements of negligence.
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care.
- The at-fault party violated this duty of care.
- The accident was caused due to the at-fault party’s negligence.
- You suffered actual damages as a result of the accident.
Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that you can recover compensation if your percentage of fault is below 50%, however, your amount of compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Can a Lawyer Prove the Truck Driver was Negligent?
To prove negligence on the part of the driver, your Duluth truck accident lawyer will seek to gather the following evidence.
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- The trucker’s log
- The trucker’s toxicology report
- The truck’s maintenance logs
- The load manifest
Who Can Be Held Liable?
In a trucking accident claim, various parties can be held liable. This is one of the reasons why personal injury claims involving truck accidents are so complex.
Our team will conduct a thorough investigation to identify the liable party or parties, which can include:
- The Truck Driver
- The Trucking Company
- The Company Who Loaded the Truck
- The Vehicle or Parts Manufacturers
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Some of the leading causes of truck accidents include:
- Drunk Driving and Drug Use
- Distracted Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Driver Fatigue
- Poorly Trained or Inexperienced Drivers
- Poor Road Conditions
- Oversized or Improperly Secured Freight
- Lack of Truck Maintenance
- Defective or Malfunctioning Vehicle Parts
An Experienced Duluth Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help!
Truck accidents are some of the most serious and tragic accidents on our roads today. The probability of suffering severe injuries is particularly high in a truck accident. If you are injured in a truck accident, you will most likely need a lot of financial support to cover your medical bills and deal with other challenges.
Given the complexity of truck accident cases and the stakes involved, your smartest move is to reach out to a skilled Duluth truck accident lawyer. At The Herro Law Firm, we have a team of highly competent truck accident lawyers who are prepared to do everything necessary to ensure that you get justice and the financial compensation that you deserve.