The flow of trucks on Georgia’s highways continues to build. Not only is Georgia the hub of the Southeast, but it is also a major through-point for cargo that arrives in ports at points south. Add to that an explosion in online commerce, and Georgia drivers have to contend with large trucks at practically every time of day.
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed by a crash with semi-truck or big rig, The Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys serves Athens, GA and surrounding areas. Contact us online or call 770-626-7895 to request a consultation.
Common Ways That Truck Drivers Cause Accidents
Any truck driver may make their own errors or poor judgment decisions, which can include:
- Careless driving, including improper lane changes and not checking a blindspot
- Distracted driving, especially using a mobile device behind the wheel
- Drowsy driving because the driver is trying to maximize their travel ability late at night
- Not taking the truck off the road when there are possible mechanical failures
Truck Accident Injuries
The result is that motorists can suffer serious injuries in an accident with a truck. Federal regulations permit a truck to weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. A truck weighs over 25 times more than the average passenger vehicle. As a result, there is a tremendous amount of force released in truck crashes.
A truck accident, on average, will result in more severe injuries that can include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal injuries and organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Your Damages in a Truck Accident Case
Given the seriousness of many truck accident injuries, it follows that compensation for truck accidents tends to be higher than that for a motor vehicle crash. Not only are accident victims more seriously injured, but there is a trucking company involved in the crash that has a large insurance policy.
Commercial truck insurance companies will usually not write a policy for less than $1 million in coverage. If trucking companies are smart, they will have much more available coverage because juries have been known to issue large verdicts, especially when the trucking company has behaved especially poorly.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in a truck accident, you can sue the trucking company. The truck driver is an agent of the trucking company, which is legally responsible for all of the driver’s actions when on the job. You may be entitled to the following types of damages:
- The complete costs of your medical care and rehabilitation
- Lost wages for the money that you can have earned from work
- Pain and suffering for the discomfort and mental health challenges related to the accident
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death damages for what the family has lost if your loved one was killed in the accident
How Trucking Companies Jeopardize Your Safety to Make Money
Although truck traffic has major benefits for the economy, it also imposes many risks on other drivers who share the road. Trucking companies get to take large cuts of the revenue, while they often cut corners at every turn. Even though trucking companies have high-profit margins, they are always trying to squeeze out even more money.
Trucking companies may do things like the following:
- Put trucks on the road that otherwise will not pass inspection and cut corners on maintenance
- Hire inexperienced drivers because they do not want to pay the going rate for truck operators with more experience
- Pressure drivers to do whatever is necessary to arrive on time, often resulting in speeding or violating hours of service regulations
- Take shortcuts in loading cargo onto trucks, possibly causing a truck rollover
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Helps You
Given the high potential dollar value of truck accident claims, you need an experienced attorney to handle your claim. Truck accidents are not like other motor vehicle crashes since they involve many more legal factors and potential sources of evidence.
An experienced truck accident attorney can do the following for your case:
- Gather the evidence necessary to prove that the truck driver was liable
- Review federal trucking regulations to determine whether the trucking company violated any rules (potentially increasing your financial recovery)
- Seek additional evidence that will be in the trucking company’s possession, such as black box data and the trucker’s records
- Estimate the value of your damages after consulting with experts
- Prepare your claim or lawsuit to file on your behalf
Although many truck accident cases will settle without a trial, it will take some time to reach that point. With so much money at stake, there are likely going to be wide differences between your position and that of the insurance company that your lawyer will have to help you bridge.
Negotiating a truck accident settlement takes both knowledge and toughness that comes from experience. You should not leave anything to chance, and the first base that needs to be covered is hiring a lawyer to handle your case.
Contact an Athens Truck Accident Lawyer Today
A truck accident case requires that you have a fighter on your side, and the Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys is exactly that. We get results because we know how to stand up aggressively for our clients and their legal rights.
You can discuss your case with an attorney when you reach out to us online or call us at 770-626-7895 to schedule your free initial consultation. As always, you pay nothing for our services unless you win your case.
Truck Accident Case FAQs
Can I handle my own truck accident claim?
There is nothing that requires you to hire an attorney, but it is a bad idea to try to represent yourself with all of the built-in advantages that an insurance company has.
Can I get punitive damages in a truck accident case?
A jury may order the defendant to pay punitive damages if they believe that the trucking company’s conduct was extremely egregious.
How long will my truck accident case take?
It is hard to say because much of it depends on how motivated the insurance company is to settle the claim out of court.