If you or your loved one has suffered injuries in a Georgia truck accident, consider reaching out to an experienced Columbus truck accident lawyer. Truck lawsuits can become complicated given state laws in Georgia and federal laws. Contact us today if you have suffered any injuries due to negligence by other parties.
At Joe Durham Jr., P.C., we understand the intricacies of truck accidents and laws about trucks. We understand how they overlap. Our Columbus truck accident lawyers have a track record of winning truck accident cases in Georgia. You or your loved one may be eligible to recover damages like lost wages, medical expenses, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and funeral costs.
Contact us today to get the justice and compensation you deserve. You can find out how our personal injury lawyers will offer you the best legal options by calling us today at (229) 351-5320. You can also fill out the form to get started. We offer free consultation services to all our clients. Joe Durham Jr., P.C., is ready to fight for your rights. Start your personal injury claim today by contacting us now!
Truck Accident Statistics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that there were 4317 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks in 2016. 179 of these accidents happened in Georgia The number has seen a decline given there were 232 deaths in 2006 and 153 in 2010.
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia reported that there were 1164 fatalities in Georgia. This was in 2014. Still, 117,347 drivers and passengers were injured in 2014 car accidents.
The most fatal accidents involving large trucks happen in rural areas (61%) and interstate highways (27%). An estimated 84% of these accidents occur during weekdays. Compared to the total road fatalities of about 1,500, trucks still make up a large figure of Georgia’s total fatalities. Nearly one in every six fatalities is caused by a large truck.
Many critical factors contribute to these high numbers. The main causes of truck accidents are the vehicle and the driver. Driver errors are mainly linked to internal and external distractions, speeding, sleeping, illness, fatigue, aggressive driving, tailgating, poor driving skills, and misjudgment of gaps. Other factors like road conditions, mechanical defects, and truck defects also contribute to truck accidents in Georgia.
What Should You Do After a Columbus Truck Accident?
Truck accidents happen regularly in Georgia and throughout the US. It is important to stay calm after an accident has occurred. Never admit fault if you are involved in a truck accident in Columbus. Here’s what you should do:
The first thing you should do after being involved in an accident is to call first responders. Grab your phone and call for help immediately. Ask anyone else to call 911 if you are injured.
Safety is paramount after an accident. Don’t just wait for help from first responders when you can help other injured victims. Find out if any other road users require help.
Once you are done securing yourself and others in a safe space, ensure you ask for the details of the accident’s victims. Get the contact details of the truck driver, including their name, license number, insurance provider, and the truck company.
Document the Scene and Speak with Witnesses
Accident scene photos can help prove negligence. Take any pictures of the accident scene as well as videos. You can also include geographic markers and street signs where possible. Remember to talk to witnesses who saw what transpired. Note down what they have to say and get their contact information.
Seek Medical Attention
Always report any injuries when you call 911. Once medical help arrives, make sure you are checked out. Don’t ignore going for a follow-up with your doctor if you don’t feel okay. You may have sustained internal injuries that the onsite medical team may have missed.
Contact an Attorney
Always call your Columbus truck accident attorney before you speak to the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster or lawyer. Avoid dealing with these parties for immediate settlements. Contact Joe Durham Jr., P.C. once you are involved in a truck accident in Georgia for the best legal counsel. We will guide you throughout your truck accident claim to build a strong case.
What are the Laws Regarding Truck Accident Liability?
Trucking companies and truck drivers have to follow both federal and Georgia state laws while on Georgia roads. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the United States Department of Transportation are federal institutions in charge of the trucking industry. The FMCSA issues guidelines for safety requirements like truck weight, truck maintenance, and driver hours.
The state of Georgia also has laws governing the trucking industry. Every truck requires a specialized commercial license to operate trucks. For interstate trucking, drivers are required to have insurance coverage of at least $750,000. Insurance coverage of $5,000,000 is required for trucks ferrying hazardous commodities.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
In Georgia, the process of filing a lawsuit can be complicated. Trucking companies have their own defense attorneys, medical experts, and investigators to get them off the hook. At Joe Durham Jr., P.C, we are ready to fight for your rights if you’ve been involved in a Georgia truck accident. Here’s a brief overlook of what we do:
The trucking company and the insurance company will send a team to gather information as soon as the accident occurs. This ensures they limit their potential payouts. You should contact Joe Durham as soon as you’ve been involved in an accident. We will conduct an investigation of our own.
Investigations help us determine what really happened and which parties are liable. Let us handle the insurance company for you. Don’t discuss your injuries with the defendant’s team. Leave that to us. We are well-versed with Georgia laws giving us the best chance to get your full value compensation.
Filing a Claim
Once we have unearthed all the information regarding your truck accident, we will file your claim. It will detail all injuries, the other party’s negligence, and demand fitting compensation. Our team of Columbus truck accident lawyers is ready to resolve your case through settlement negotiations or litigation.
Insurers always try to negotiate settlements out of court. The defendant’s insurance adjusters may approach your lawyer to reach a financial settlement. This will be done before formally filing your truck accident lawsuit. Formal settlements can also happen once your claim has been filed in Georgia. If these negotiations hit a dead end, we will proceed to litigate in court.
Our truck accident attorneys in Columbus, GA, are prepared to go to court to demand that justice be served. We are ready to argue our case to make sure you get maximum compensation. Furthermore, we will line up our expert witnesses if need be to give you the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
Truck accident claims are typically personal injury claims. You can recover several types of compensation when you file a truck accident claim in Georgia.
Economic damages have a fixed dollar amount, they include, but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses: Including surgery costs, emergency room bills, medical devices, and therapy.
- Lost wages: This is compensation for cash you lost due to your inability to work.
- Lost earnings capacity: A truck accident may leave you with long-lasting injuries. You can recover compensation if the injuries you sustained affect your future ability to earn.
These are non-quantifiable damages that don’t have any specific price tag. They are regarded as intangible losses, including:
- Mental anguish: Truck accident victims in Georgia go through emotional and mental trauma after accidents. They may experience worry, fear, anxiety, and emotional distress. from the impact of the accident.
- Pain and suffering: The pain’s severity, the injuries’ severity, and the pain duration are factored in here. All physical pain you experience should be compensated by at-fault parties.
These damages are awarded to a victim when it is discovered that the defendant’s actions were reckless, malicious, or willful. These damages aim to punish the defendant and deter any reckless behavior from occurring in the future.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?
In Georgia, you have two years from the date of the truck accident to file your claim. Make sure you file your truck accident claim within this period. You risk your case being dismissed if you fail to take legal action within two years.
How is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined?
The question, “Who’s fault was the crash?” always comes up whenever a car accident occurs. Determining who is at fault isn’t always straightforward. Georgia is an at-fault state, implying responsible parties have to pay for their careless actions. Some of the evidence used to determine fault includes:
- Police reports
- Statements including those of witnesses
- Photos of the vehicles
- Weather conditions
- Photos from the scene of the accident
- Manufacturing defects
- Analyzing the driver’s logbook
- If a driver was engaging in negligent actions like talking on the phone, the driver is most probably at fault.
- A driver who has broken a traffic law is at fault.
- An owner who has not maintained their vehicle leading to an accident is at fault.
- Drivers engaging in tailgating are typically at-fault for rear-end accidents.
Still, both drivers can be at-fault under comparative negligence in Georgia. This rule reduces how much one can recover according to their fault. In Georgia, an individual with 50% or more fault for causing an accident isn’t eligible for compensation. You can recover some compensation if your fault is less than 50%. This implies that you can recover, say 75% of the total costs if it is discovered that the other party had a 75% fault in the accident.
Who Can be Held Liable For a Truck Accident in Columbus?
Typically, people think that drivers are always to blame for truck accidents. However, other parties can also be found liable. You may be able to pursue damages from these parties if you’ve been involved in a Columbus truck accident:
Drivers who break traffic laws should be held accountable for their actions. You can sue the driver for negligent behavior like texting while driving or driving while under the influence.
It is the duty of the trucking company to maintain their vehicles. You can file a claim against a company whose poorly maintained truck led to your injuries.
Company Who Loaded the Truck
These companies are responsible for loading trucks. They are required to abide by certain safety rules, including proper weight distribution on trucks. Loading companies can be held responsible if such safety rules are ignored.
Vehicle or Parts Manufacturers
It is the duty of truck manufacturers to make sure they install properly functional parts. Faculty or defective parts may affect the driver’s ability to control or stop a truck in time. The premature wear and tear of some parts may also lead to truck accidents in Columbus.
At Joe Durham Jr., P.C., our truck accident attorneys will dig through all presented evidence and conduct independent evaluations to determine at-fault parties. We won’t rest until they are held accountable for their actions.
Review Your Claim With Our Columbus Truck Accident Lawyers
Accidents are unavoidable, regardless of how much you prepare. Still, any liable parties need to be held accountable. Truck accidents cause severe injuries and death. Don’t let any negligence go unpunished. Start early enough to avoid the two-year time limit from barring your case.
You may have legal recourse if you or your loved one has been injured in a Columbus truck accident. Contact us today to find out more about your legal options. We are ready to offer you counsel to recover your damages. Our team may also push for punitive damages if we learn there was any malicious intent or fraud from the defendant.
Start your truck accident claim by contacting us today. We are available 24/7! We offer free case evaluations to all our clients. Still, we operate on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing until we win. Call us now to speak to one of our Columbus truck accident lawyers.