Semi Truck Accident Attorney in Georgia

Commercial trucks move throughout Georgia every day. They are essential for transporting the goods consumers rely on. But they are also very dangerous to other motorists.

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Tractor trailer trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when they are fully loaded. They weigh as much as 40,000 pounds even when they are not carrying cargo. That compares with a passenger car, which only weighs about 3,000 pounds. Persons inside those smaller vehicles usually sustain the worst injuries in any crash involving a truck.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, speak to a Georgia truck accident lawyer who can help. Call today or contact Cain Injury Law online. Our Georgia truck accident lawyers will review your case for free.  We can give you the best chance possible of a successful outcome.

Why Truck Accidents Are More Complex

Truck accidents are not like other crashes on the road. Several factors make truck accidents much more complex and confusing than other accidents. Those factors include:

  • Damages – It’s a simple fact: trucks weigh much more than other vehicles, and they are much larger. The damages and injuries in tractor trailer accidents are also much more serious. It may take victims much longer to recover from those injuries. A claim cannot be filed until the accident victim has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). At that point, the victim’s injuries will not get any better, nor will they get any worse. That recovery period can drag a claim out for months and months.
  • Determining liability – It is always difficult to determine liability in a car accident. That becomes even more complicated when a commercial truck is involved. This is in part because there be several liable parties. A truck driver may have caused the crash. The company he works for may have also played a part. The manufacturer of the truck, a cargo company or a truck repair service may also be liable in the accident.
  • Dealing with trucking companies – A representative of the trucking company is likely to visit the crash scene almost immediately after an accident. The representative may be looking to remove evidence that proves who was liable for the accident. Trucking companies will also make it very difficult to obtain the truck driver’s employment records and other documents that could show liability. The trucking company’s stonewalling and foot-dragging makes the aftermath of a crash a trying and difficult time.
  • Federal regulations – Many federal laws and regulations control the trucking industry. For example, truck drivers must comply with a federal hours of service rule. That dictates the amount of time truck drivers can be on the road. Those laws and regulations add complexity to a truck-car crash.
  • Truck data –Many truck drivers now carry a black box within their vehicle that records data. Among the data collected: the speed the truck was traveling at and how many hours it had been in operation before the accident. The black box can provide critical evidence, but accident victims often do not know how to access it.

Simply put, accidents with trucks are much more complicated than those involving two cars. Victims should always work with an attorney who can help them through these challenges.

How a Georgia Truck Accident Attorney Can Make a Difference in Your Case

Working with a Georgia truck accident lawyer can make a crucial difference in your case. Here’s what an attorney can do on your accident claim:

  • Determine liability – With so many potential liable parties after a truck accident, it is almost impossible for accident victims to determine who was at fault. That is especially the case when accident victims are suffering from serious injuries. An attorney will determine who is to blame for the crash. An attorney can hold that party accountable for the crash. An attorney can recover the compensation accident victims need to move on with their lives.
  • Collect evidence – If you were hurt in a crash, simply saying someone else was at fault is not enough. You will need evidence to show another person was negligent and at fault. An attorney can collect this evidence while you recover from your injuries.
  • Understand federal and state law – A state’s personal injury laws can affect an accident claim. Federal laws that regulate the trucking industry can also have an effect. An attorney will know these laws and can explore how they may affect your case.
  • Identify damages – When filing your claim, you must prove any damages so you can secure compensation for them. A lawyer will identify these damages. They may include your medical expenses, your pain and suffering, your emotional distress, and your loss of enjoyment of life. Some of these losses are not easy to calculate. An attorney will identify and evaluate each one. That allows you to claim the full amount of compensation you deserve.

These are just a few of the ways an attorney can help with your claim. A lawyer will work as an advocate and in your best interests at all times.

How Is Fault Determined in a Truck Accident Claim?

A successful outcome in a truck accident case hinges on the evidence that will prove your claim. The types of evidence used in a truck accident case can include:

  • Data recorders – Black boxes can provide important evidence about how the truck was being driven, and what the truck driver was doing, at the time of the crash.
  • In-cab cameras – Many trucks today are equipped with cameras that typically sit behind the driver. These can also show the driver’s actions in the moments before the crash.
  • Logbooks – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires drivers to maintain detailed logbooks. Those books show when truck drivers were on the road, when they rested, and when their trucks were inspected. These logbooks may indicate that the truck driver did not follow federal regulations in the hours before the accident.
  • Eyewitness statements – Eyewitnesses are generally considered to be unbiased third parties. As such, the courts will heavily weigh their testimony about the accident.
  • Expert testimony – Experts can be used to provide opinions or evidence to substantiate your claim. Those experts include accident reconstruction engineers and medical professionals.
  • Medical records – In any accident claim you must prove the extent of your injuries. Medical records that include a diagnosis and a prognosis are used to show those damages.
  • Photos – In any accident, photographs can serve as useful evidence. The position of the vehicles can indicate how the crash happened. Pictures of your injuries can show how severe they are and their long-term impact on your life.

What Compensation Can Be Recovered After a Semi-Truck Accident?

Accident victims often sustain a number of losses after a truck crash. They deserve compensation for those losses. Georgia law recognizes several types of damages that are available in a truck accident claim. These include:

  • Medical care – Medical expenses can total thousands of dollars after a truck accident. It is important to claim current medical expenses as well as any future expenses that will be incurred.
  • Lost income – After a serious truck accident, you may need to take weeks or months off from work. You can include this lost income in your claim, as well as any benefits or bonuses you will lose due to your time away from work.
  • Loss of earning capacity – The injuries after a truck accident can be life-changing and permanent. Accident victims cannot always return to the same line of work that they did before the crash. Nor can they earn the same amount of money they once did. When this is the case, loss of earning capacity is included in the claim.
  • Property damage – After a truck accident, your vehicle may be a total loss and will need to be replaced. Even when that is not the case, the repair costs will be significant. These costs can be included in your claim.
  • Pain and suffering – Recovering from your injuries can be extremely painful. Your pain and suffering can be calculated and included as part of your damages.
  • Emotional distress – Truck accidents are extremely traumatic.  In the aftermath you may feel emotionally distressed. Like pain and suffering, emotional distress can be included in your claim.

In a few cases, accident victims may also be awarded punitive damages when the liable party is shown to be reckless or grossly negligent.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Truck Accident Cases in Georgia?

After a truck accident, you must move quickly to ensure your claim is filed on time. Georgia, like all other states, has a statute of limitations on truck accident cases. This law spells out how much time you have to file your claim. In Georgia, this time limit is two years from the date of the accident.

Before filing your claim, an attorney will need to conduct a full investigation, collect evidence, and build a solid case. These steps take time, and two years can move quickly. Speak to an attorney as soon as possible. If you do not file your claim before the statute of limitations expires, you will lose your right to receive compensation.

Tips for Protecting Your Rights If You Have Been Hurt in an 18-Wheeler Accident

Do not hurt your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. After a truck accident, take these steps to protect your rights and build a solid claim:

  • Call the police. A police report is required under Georgia law for any accident that results in injuries or property damage over $500. A police report will also support the claim you file with the insurance company.
  • Say as little as possible. You will have to speak to the truck driver and anyone else involved in the crash. However, say as little as possible to them. Exchange information but do not assign blame. Do not admit that you were in any way at fault for the accident.
  • Take pictures. Photographs are one of the most valuable types of evidence after a truck accident. Take pictures of the vehicles involved, your injuries, and anything else that is relevant, such as skid marks on the road.
  • Obtain witness statements. Witness statements are crucial to an accident claim. Witnesses can attest to what happened and what they saw during the crash.
  • Do not speak to the insurance company. You may have to call your own insurance company to report the crash, but do not speak to the other party’s insurer.

Remember to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will protect your rights and serve as your advocate.

Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer in Georgia

When you have been injured in a truck accident, do not file a claim on your own. At Cain Injury Law, our Georgia truck accident lawyers know how to handle truck accident claims. We can protect your rights, and give you the best chance of a successful outcome.

Call us today or contact us online to schedule your free case review with one of our attorneys.

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