Georgia Truck Accident Lawyers
On any roadway in America, you will likely see tractor trailers. These are the large, jointed trucks that deliver goods to retailers where you can purchase them. Sharing the roadway with these trucks can be intimidating – they are much larger than any passenger vehicle and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
If there is a tractor-trailer on the road, there is a chance you will be involved in a truck accident. Truck accidents can be similar to car accidents, but they are not the same thing. One thing to always keep in mind when you are sharing the road with large trucks is that in a truck accident, the person in the passenger vehicle faces a much higher risk of suffering a severe injury.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents can result from many of the same issues that cause car accidents. These include poor roadway maintenance and design, vehicle malfunctions and often, driver negligence. Driver negligence can occur on the part of the truck driver or an individual driving a car, either the car that collides with the truck or another car that creates a scenario where a collision between the truck and another car are inevitable.
Any driver can cause a truck accident through the following types of negligence:
- Drunk driving;
- Driving while under the influence of drugs, including prescription medication;
- Aggressive driving;
- Disregarding posted traffic rules;
- Distracted driving;
- Drowsy driving; and
- Poor vehicle maintenance.
Certain types of negligence are unique to truck drivers and the companies that employ them. These include:
- Overloading trucks. When a truck’s trailer is too heavy for its tractor to pull, it can topple over or become dislocated from the tractor;
- Dangerously drowsy driving. Anybody can drive when they are too tired to safely do so, but quotas and deadlines can force drivers to go beyond their safe driving limits. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains hour and workweek requirements for drivers to keep them safe; and
- Poor truck handling. Commercial trucks are much larger and shaped much differently from passenger vehicles and because of this, must be driven differently. A truck driver who speeds or fails to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles can increase his or her risk of causing an accident.
Ways you Can be Injured in a Truck Accident
There are many ways you can be injured in a truck accident. In some cases, a victim only suffers a minor scratch or bruise in an accident. In others, he or she sustains a severe injury that leads to a permanent disability or even a premature death.
A few types of injury you can suffer in a truck accident are:
- Broken bones;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries; and
- Traumatic brain injuries.
In many cases, the injury the victim suffers immediately is not the only injury he or she will face because of an accident. A traumatic brain injury can cause a victim to suffer cognitive disabilities, memory loss, and loss of function in his or her body. A spinal cord injury can leave a victim permanently paralyzed.
There is are also psychological ways a victim can suffer after a truck accident. Facing a severe injury can launch a victim into depression or cause him or her to experience anxiety. These individuals may need psychological therapy and medication to recover from these conditions.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Stop your vehicle and if possible, take it to a safe place off the roadway. Call 911 if anybody involved in the accident needs emergency medical care.
If nobody needs emergency care, call the local police to have an officer sent to the scene. Fill out an official accident report with the officer and be sure to take a copy with you when you leave. It is also important that you take as many photos of the accident scene as you can to fully illustrate what happened and that you do not leave without exchanging insurance information with the truck driver. If there were witnesses to the accident, take down their contact information as well.
As soon as you can after the accident, get medical care for yourself.
Pursuing Compensation for your Truck Accident Damages
A truck accident injury can be very expensive for a victim. If you are facing financial damages after being injured in a truck accident, you can file a personal injury claim to pursue compensation for the following damages:
- Your medical bills;
- Your lost wages; and
- Your pain and suffering damages.
Initially, your lawyer will likely advise you to file your claim with the negligent party’s insurance provider. If the truck driver is an owner-operator, you will file your claim with his or her motor carrier insurance policy. If the driver is an employee, you will file your claim with his or her employer’s insurance provider.
In your claim, you will need to demonstrate how the accident occurred because the driver was negligent in some way. The photos, testimonies, and official accident report you collected at the scene can support this claim. You will also need to demonstrate the financial extent of your damages, which you can do with copies of your medical bills and projections for long-term medical needs, documentation of your career-related financial losses, and documentation that shows your intangible damages related to the injury, like your reduced quality of life and emotional trauma.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of the accident. If you cannot resolve your claim with the insurance provider, your lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit to have the case handled in court.
Work with an Experienced Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a collision with a truck, you can potentially be facing steep financial damages. If the collision occurred because of another party’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages through a truck accident claim. Learn more about filing and pursuing a personal injury claim with our team of experienced truck accident lawyers at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. Contact our firm today to schedule your initial legal consultation with us.