Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries due to the disparity between their size and the size of passenger vehicles. Just a small mistake could have severe consequences for surrounding drivers and their passengers. Additionally, trucking companies often are well-defended by teams of skilled attorneys making the process of obtaining compensation even more difficult for the injured.
To aid in this process and help your voice be heard, our Atlanta truck accident attorney at Ross Moore Law Firm can aggressively advocate on your behalf. Our firm has won millions in verdicts and settlements and is dedicated to the meticulous investigation and preparation of each and every case.
Truck accident cases are more complicated and challenging to pursue than standard auto accidents. There are several factors that may contribute to these types of accidents, and often times, more than one party may be at fault. There are also numerous laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry, and this is why it is very important to work with an attorney who has in-depth experience with cases like these.
Attorney Ross Moore has a successful track record with even the most complex cases. He routinely goes up against well-funded adversaries, such as trucking companies and their armies of high-priced lawyers. He is not intimidated by their vast resources, and he has the experience, knowledge, skills, and commitment to help ensure that his clients recover the full and fair compensation they deserve.
COMMON CAUSES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS
Many truck drivers cause accidents when they don’t follow the safety regulations and federal laws that govern various aspects of the trucking industry.
Trucking accidents are often caused by negligent practices such as the following:
Failing to drive at a safe speed
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Failing to check blind spots
Conducting sub-par inspections and maintenance
Driving while fatigued after violating hours of service rules
Planning unsafe driving routes through steep inclines, winding roads, etc.
Hiring insufficiently screened truck drivers
Our Atlanta truck accident lawyer can meticulously investigate all the details of your accident and help determine which party (or parties) can be held liable for your damages.
Who can be Held Responsible for a Trucking Accident?
As we touched on earlier, truck accidents are among the most complicated personal injury cases, largely because there are multiple contributing factors, and several different parties that could be liable. Among those who could be held responsible for a commercial trucking accident include:
Driver negligence plays a role in most truck accidents. Some of the most common types of negligence that can cause vehicle accidents include distracted driving, speeding, aggressive/reckless driving, drunk driving, and drowsy driving. Driving while drowsy or fatigued happens frequently in the trucking industry, because drivers are on the road for long periods of time and often drive without enough sleep and during evening and overnight hours.
With a truck accident claim, if it can be proven that the driver violated federal and/or state trucking regulations leading up to the accident, this could constitute fault. For example, some drivers violate Hours of Service regulations and stay on the road for too long. Other violations may include driving while intoxicated or breaking traffic laws.
The Trucking Company
The company that employs the driver could be at least partially responsible for the accident for reasons ranging from failing to properly screen drivers before hiring them to poor training to giving unrealistic deadlines that incentivize drivers to take unnecessary risks in order to deliver their loads on time. Some companies will try to evade responsibility by claiming that the driver is an independent contractor rather than an employee. However, this is not always as cut and dry as it seems. A company simply labeling someone as an ?independent contractor? does not necessarily mean they meet the legal definition of this title. This could potentially be one of the areas where the experience and knowledge of a skilled attorney will be very helpful.
The Cargo/Shipping Company that Loaded the Truck
Some big rig accidents happen because the truck was loaded beyond its weight limits, or it was improperly loaded. This can cause the truck to roll over or tip to its side, especially when there are windy conditions on the roadways. A tractor-trailer may be loaded this way because the shipping company is in a hurry to stay on schedule, or they are trying to squeeze more cargo into one load in order to save money. When an accident is caused by improper loading, the cargo/shipping company could be held liable.
The Party Responsible for Truck Maintenance
Semi-trucks that are in full-service typically log thousands of miles over the road each month. This makes it absolutely essential that the vehicle is adequately maintained and stays in proper working order. Sometimes, however, there is pressure to get the trucks back out on the road, which may cause maintenance personnel to cut corners and not take the steps necessary to ensure that the vehicle is safe.
A Faulty Vehicle or Vehicle Part Provider
Some commercial trucking accidents happen because of a defective or dangerous vehicle or vehicle part that fails in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Examples may include brake line failures, tire blowouts, and computer dashboard malfunctions. When this occurs, it may be possible to bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer, supplier, or distributor of the faulty vehicle/vehicle part.
Damages Recoverable in Georgia Truck Accident Cases
As mentioned previously, trucking accidents can result in some of the most severe and catastrophic injuries. And when someone is injured because of the negligence of others, they deserve to be fully compensated in the form of damages.
Compensatory damages that may be available in a truck accident claim include compensation for:
Loss of Future Earning Capacity
Diminished Quality of Life
Loss of Consortium
Loss of Companionship, Guidance and Support
Funeral and Burial Expenses
In some limited cases in which the actions of the party responsible for your injuries were willful or malicious, punitive damages may also be awarded. Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and help deter them and others from committing similarly egregious actions in the future.
Georgia follows a modified comparative negligence doctrine, meaning that an injured party can still recover damages even if they are partially to blame for the accident, as long as they are less than 50% at fault. However, if you are found to be partially responsible for the accident, your damage award will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault you share. For example, if your total damages are equal to $250,000 and you are found to be 20% at fault, your damages would be reduced by $50,000 down to a total of $200,000.
FREE CASE EVALUATIONS FROM YOUR TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
After an accident with a truck, it is extremely important that you get a lawyer on your side as soon as possible. At Ross Moore II, P.C., our skilled truck accident lawyer in Atlanta can thoroughly investigate your accident and injuries, and build a case that effectively represents the impact of your injuries and fights for a secured future.