Truck Accident Lawyer involve a commercial truck, which can be an 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer, a delivery vehicle, a garbage truck, or other large commercial vehicles. While many car accidents are minor and don’t require the help of a lawyer, truck accidents are more likely to be very devastating to the victims.
If you’ve been in an accident with a commercial truck and suffered damages, you may have large, unexpected debts for medical treatment or may be missing work due to an injury.
Since truck accidents involve parties other than just the driver, such as the company that owns the truck, these cases can be challenging. When a settlement with the insurance alone doesn’t cover all of the damages and/or an accident produces significant damages, a truck accident lawyer can help.
An Atlanta truck accident lawyer helps you fight against potentially large, tough defense teams to prove fault and negligence and get all of the compensation that is deserved from the damage that was done during the accident. A truck accident lawyer also helps by performing in-depth investigations, knowing key regulations, and guiding you in the right direction throughout the legal process.
Determining Liability in a Truck Accident Case
Truck accident cases tend to be more complex than vehicle to vehicle crash cases. You may believe the truck driver is the only party at fault for the accident. But there may be more than one responsible party to hold accountable for your injuries and losses. Potential defendants in a truck accident case may include, but are not limited to:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- The shipping company (that loaded the cargo)
- Insurance companies
- Government entities
If the truck driver is an independent contractor of a larger truck company, an issue may be how much supervision the company executes over their contractors. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates commercial trucks on the U.S. roads.
Perhaps a part on the truck failed during transport causing the accident. That might mean the truck manufacturer or the company that makes the part bears some liability. A truck accident lawyer can identify all of the liable parties in your particular case and hold them responsible in a lawsuit.
Proving Your Truck Accident Case
You know you are not at fault for your accident. But you must prove this in your insurance claim or in court. There are four basic elements of negligence in personal injury cases involving vehicle accidents. A person injured in a truck accident must prove:
- The truck driver owed you a duty of care to drive reasonably and safely.
- The truck driver breached or violated that duty of care.
- That breach of care caused you or your loved one’s injuries.
- You or your loved one suffered damages and losses due to those injuries.
Damages you may receive in a personal injury lawsuit may fall under the category of economic or noneconomic. Economic damages include medical expenses, loss of income, and property damage. Noneconomic damages may include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of activities you can no longer engage in, and loss of consortium.
Commercial truck driver
Despite rigorous training and truck driving regulations, critical driver error results in deadly crashes every day. Whether a driver is disobeying local laws, driving under the influence, or simply acting negligently when changing lanes or making turns, their carelessness can cost lives. If you are injured in a truck accident where the truck driver is at fault, the driver may be held responsible for your pain and suffering.
Agency who hires truck drivers
Many companies will contract with truck driver staffing agencies to transport freight. Those agencies do not always hire qualified drivers or inspect their vehicles, as the law requires. When an agency cuts corners in training its drivers or maintaining its commercial trucks, serious to fatal accidents can occur, and the agency may be held responsible.
Truck or equipment manufacturer
Mechanical failures and defective equipment contribute to a substantial number of truck crashes. It can take a loaded tractor-trailer up to 40 percent more distance to come to a full stop than a regular car. Poorly maintained brake systems and wet or slick roadways make braking even harder. If a truck or equipment manufacturer produces faulty parts that impact a truck’s reliability on the road, they may be held responsible for a resulting accident.
Verifying that a truck is safe to travel on the road typically falls to the trucking company that supplies the commercial vehicle. Checking the engine, inspecting the brake system, and certifying the tires can carry a heavy load keeps trucks safe on the road. If a trucking company fails to supply a truck that was properly inspected and maintained, they may be held liable for injuries received in a collision.
Filing a Lawsuit
Personal and financial recovery following a collision with a truck can take years. In the event of a truck accident, you may lose your car and have to deal with serious, life-threatening injuries.
You need an 18-wheeler accident attorney who can stand up for your right to recover damages. A solid claim against the responsible party may mean the difference in whether you are able to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other critical expenses.