Road accidents involving large commercial trucks can be terrifying to the victims due to the sheer size of the truck and the damage it can do. While the law places stringent regulations on trucking companies to maintain an acceptable level of safety, these accidents happen far more often than they should.
Many trucking companies adhere to these laws and have great safety records. However, the current statistics point to negligent practices in some of these companies. If you or a loved one is a victim of such an accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our Gwinnett truck accident lawyers are committed to aggressively protecting your rights and fighting to get you a fair award for your damages.
At The Herro Law Firm, we have the resources and expertise needed to investigate serious truck accidents and recover compensation for your damages. We offer free case evaluations to all our clients. Reach out to our Gwinnett auto accident lawyers today at (404) 433-6876 and learn more about how we can help.
Truck Accident Statistics
Throughout the country, truck accidents have been on the rise, and Georgia is no exception. According to truck accident data from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety:
- 234 fatalities in Georgia truck accidents were recorded in 2020.
- 204 deaths were recorded in Georgia truck accidents in 2019.
- 192 deaths were recorded in Georgia truck accidents in 2018.
From this data, it’s quite evident that the rate of fatal truck accidents in Georgia has been on the rise since 2018, despite the government’s continued efforts to prevent them.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
Immediately after the accident, if you’re able to move, the following are some of the things you should do at the scene of the accident:
Be sure to report the accident to the local authorities as soon as possible. Have the police and paramedics come to the scene of the accident and report with the responding officer.
Check on the other people involved in the accident for injuries while you wait for the paramedics to arrive. Provide first-aid to those that need it if you’re in a position to.
Exchange names, contact information, and insurance information with the truck driver at the scene of the accident. Be sure to also ask for the truck driver’s employer details and any other relevant information.
Document the Scene
Use your phone to take photos and videos of the scene, any damage to the vehicle, and all other details that might be relevant to your case. In case there are any witnesses, speak with them and get their contact information.
Seek Medical Attention
One of the most critical things to do following a truck accident is to make sure you’re okay. As such, you need to seek medical attention, even if you feel okay.
Contact an Attorney
To make sure that your rights are protected and increase your chances of receiving the maximum compensation available for your claim, consider contacting an experienced Gwinnett truck accident lawyer at The Herro Law Firm. We can start to investigate your claim immediately, and your initial consultation with us is always free of charge.
What Are the Laws Regarding Truck Accident Liability?
When filing a claim to recover damages following a truck accident, it’s wise to be aware of the laws governing truck accident claims, and whom you can potentially sue for damages. For truck accident cases, a lawyer can help identify the at-fault parties and to prove their liability in your accident case.
Once the at-fault parties are identified, you will need to collect evidence like medical records, police reports, surveillance or dashcam footage, and eyewitness statements to prove the case. You also need to assess the total amount of losses and damages you suffered.
One of the most important laws to keep in mind here is that Georgia is an at-fault state, meaning that drivers are required to pay for the damages in accidents that occur as a result of their negligent actions. That’s why it’s essential to prove who caused the accident.
The state of Georgia uses the comparative negligence doctrine, which reduces the recovery amount based on your share of fault in the accident. If for instance you are found to be 20% at fault for the crash, you will only be eligible to recover 80% of the total compensation.
How Can a Gwinnett Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Here are some of the ways our truck accident lawyers in Gwinnett can help with your case.
Your attorney will examine several documents, including police reports, medical records, and other forms of evidence. If there are any witnesses, your lawyer will interview them. Your lawyer will also know where to look for evidence of fault on the defendant’s part.
Filing the Claim
When looking to file a claim following a truck accident, there’s a lot of paperwork that needs to be filed correctly and on time. Failure to do this appropriately might compromise your ability to recover financial compensation. Your truck accident attorney will ensure that your claim is filed appropriately.
Truck accident lawyers are capable of negotiating with insurance companies to obtain a favorable settlement for you. We can build a strong case on your behalf to prove why you deserve the full compensation amount.
The insurance company may sometimes be unwilling to negotiate a fair settlement. In such a situation, your lawyer will take your case to court. Our team of personal injury lawyers has decades of trial experience and has secured many legal victories for clients like you.
The best thing about these kinds of cases is that you don’t have to worry about paying the legal fees upfront. Our Gwinnett truck accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, and we’ll only charge you if we win you compensation. Our commitment is to help you focus on making a full recovery and get you back on your feet.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
Truck accident victims may be able to recover three types of damages.
These are damages that can be calculated to an objective dollar amount. They include the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost income from time spent away from work
- Property damage
- Cost for rehabilitation
These are the intangible damages you suffer that cannot be assigned an exact dollar amount. They typically include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
The jury or court may decide to award punitive damages when the defendant is proven to be guilty of gross negligence, willful misconduct, intentional malice, or indifference to human life. While rarely awarded, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and discourage others from such behavior.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
There’s no way of knowing exactly how much a truck accident case is worth, at least until a complete case assessment and review. Still, we can account for the key factors that can help point us to a rough estimate. Some of these factors include:
- Your age
- Your occupation
- Whether you are the breadwinner in your household
- Your mental wellbeing
- Your physical restrictions
- The extent of your injuries and the recommended treatment plan
Our attorneys can help you get an accurate estimate of the worth of your claim and work to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your case.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?
Yes. There’s a deadline in place to bring a truck accident claim, which is covered under the statute of limitations for personal injury cases. You have 2 years from the date of the accident to bring your claim. However, generally speaking, the sooner you file your claim, the better. Failure to meet this deadline would be forfeiting your right to bring the claim in the future.
How Is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined?
Our case investigations will certainly point us to the person or entity that contributed to the accident. Once this is established, it’s time to apply the theory of negligence, which is comprised of proving the following:
Duty of Care
Everyone driving on Georgia roads has a duty of care to drive their vehicle safely. Those loading the truck and parts manufacturers, and entities that maintain the street also have a duty to have everyone’s safety in mind.
Breach of Duty of Care
The at-fault party must have failed to uphold their duty of care towards you. An example would be a truck driver failing to yield, or the trucking company failing to appropriately screen prospective employees.
The negligence of the at-fault party must have been the direct cause of the accident. For instance, the truck driver hit you from their failure to yield, or the driver the trucking company hired had a record of driving while intoxicated.
The accident must have caused you compensable damages. In this case, you have the right to pursue damages from the other party.
Can a Lawyer Prove the Truck Driver Was Negligent?
Negligence from the truck driver can result in a serious crash. If this happens, an experienced lawyer can help you prove that the truck driver was negligent in several ways. An attorney will be able to obtain the police report, witness testimonies, drug and alcohol tests, and any surveillance footage.
A lawyer can also use domain professionals like accident reconstruction experts to help build a strong case. In case the truck driver was drowsy, a lawyer will be able to obtain driving logs to see if any FMCSA regulations were broken. They can even subpoena to find out if the trucker was texting or on the phone while driving.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
As already mentioned, liability can span across several parties in trucking accidents. However, most accidents usually happen within the scope of the truck driver’s employment and the companies responsible for their employees.
Here are the entities that can be held liable:
- Truck Driver: Driver error is one of the main causes, and this definition could range from distracted driving to driving while intoxicated to driver fatigue, and many other factors.
- Trucking Company: the trucking company can be held liable for employing unqualified staff (drivers), or failure to maintain a safe operation of the equipment, among others.
- Truck Manufacturers: A truck manufacturer could be held liable if they are found to have sold a defective truck that ultimately caused the accident.
- Truck Maintenance Company: Truck maintenance companies can be deemed liable for failure to fix or replace damaged parts that ultimately caused the accident.
- Truck Loading Company: Cargo companies that are responsible for loading the truck can be held liable if they are found to have overloaded the truck that caused the accident.
Making a claim against the wrong party may have it dismissed – meaning you may lose your chance of receiving fair compensation. An experienced truck accident lawyer can investigate your accident and gather the necessary evidence to hold the right party liable for your damages.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Some of the leading causes of truck accidents include:
- Distracted Driving, including texting while driving
- Driver Fatigue
- Reckless Driving, including speeding
- Lack of Truck Maintenance
- Driving While Intoxicated
- Oversized or Improperly Secured Freight
- Poor Road and Weather Conditions
- Poorly Trained or Inexperienced Drivers
- Equipment Malfunction
Get a Free Consultation With a Gwinnett Truck Accident Attorney!
Our lawyers in Gwinnett, GA have an extensive track record of success in handling trucking accidents. We have handled countless claims including trucks that were traveling too fast for the conditions, gravel truck accidents, loads dumped on the highway, and multiple vehicle crashes.
If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident, reach out to a Gwinnett truck accident lawyer today at The Herro Law Firm. We have the experience, resources, and commitment to help you fight for full and fair compensation for your damages. You can start your journey with a free case review with one of our members. Call us now at (404) 433-6876.