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What Happens When a Truck Driver Has an Accident?

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A truck driver seated at the wheel of his cab.Unfortunately, when a large commercial truck like a tractor trailer collides with a passenger vehicle, what often happens is a disproportionate amount of damage to the smaller vehicle. Because of their size, weight, and difficulty stopping, large trucks often cause extensive damage to the other vehicle and serious injuries to their occupants. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you may need weeks or months to fully recover, missing time at work while medical bills continue to arrive.

Proving fault and seeking compensation for your damages is essential, but may also be very challenging. The truck driver, their employer, and the insurance company covering the truck all have a vested interest in blaming you for the accident. When you need a knowledgeable Georgia truck accident attorney on your side, contact attorney Ali Awad and the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm. The CEO Lawyer team is experienced in handling truck accidents and will immediately get to work on your case. Your initial consultation is free and you don’t pay anything until we win, so there’s no risk in learning about your options.

A Commercial Truck Hit Me – What Do I Do?

Ideally, you should move your vehicle to a safe place off the road if it’s in driveable condition, then call 911. Let them know about any injuries you have, and if you are unable to move your vehicle. If you can’t move your car, put on your flashers to alert other motorists and reduce the risk of another accident.

In many situations, the vehicle driver is badly injured after a truck collision, so the 911 operator may instruct you to stay inside your car and wait for help. You should follow their instructions. If you’re able to get out of your vehicle, ask for the truck driver’s name and contact info, their employer’s contact info, and their insurance information. Most truckers are required to carry large liability policies, so there is little risk of dealing with an uninsured motorist in this situation.

Take pictures of the accident scene to the best of your ability. If you’re able to get out of the car, try to get all angles of both vehicles and any debris left on the road. If you’re in your car, get the best pictures you can from inside the vehicle. Your Georgia truck accident lawyer will send an investigative team to the scene to seek more evidence later.

After receiving care for your injuries, contact an attorney as soon as you’re able. You can rest assured that the trucking company and their insurance carrier are already working on strategies to either avoid paying your claim or pay as little as possible.

Liability in a Trucking Accident

Like many other states, Georgia has adopted Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation laws which are administered by the Georgia Department of Public Safety. In a Georgia trucking accident, the plaintiff (the injured party) has a right to file a lawsuit naming the truck driver, their employer, and the employer’s insurance company. Although the truck driver may have been responsible for the accident, Georgia considers the driver’s employer responsible for hiring safe and competent drivers.

While all three parties are named in a lawsuit, the most likely outcome of a plaintiff winning their case is that the insurance company will pay the claim. Truck liability insurance policies usually cover up to $750,000 – $1,000,000 in damages, which is sufficient for most claims. However, we sometimes see cases where the client is severely injured, and their damages extend beyond even these policy limits. If this happens, the trucking company or employer may be liable for the additional amount. The truck driver could also be liable, but often individuals don’t have the kind of significant assets necessary to pay a large truck accident claim.

Filing a lawsuit isn’t always necessary. Frequently we’re able to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company, which is usually preferable because it spares the client the time and stress of a trial. But if the insurer or trucking company won’t agree to a reasonable amount, we are prepared to fight for your rights in court.

Liability and Potential Causes of a Trucking Accident

There are many reasons why the truck driver and their employer could be liable for your accident. In each of these common situations, we will work to show the driver or company was negligent in specific ways:

Driving Mistakes

One of the most common causes of trucking accidents is an error on the truck driver’s part. But this may also have deeper root causes, such as lack of sleep, substance use, distracted driving, lack of training or inexperience, speeding, or disobeying other traffic laws. Unfortunately, the driver may have a different idea about how the crash occurred. Police are often pressed for time when investigating accidents and may not have much information to go on – especially if you had to be rushed to the hospital before making a statement. If the truck driver, their employer, and the insurance company try to shift responsibility to you, your Georgia truck accident lawyer can help. We’ll search for additional evidence, from traffic or doorbell cameras to witnesses who might not have been interviewed to the trucker’s own logs, to prove what really happened.

Negligent Hiring, Retention, or Entrustment

Georgia law states that employers should use “ordinary care” in the selection of employees and the decision to terminate workers who are shown to be unqualified or ineffective at their job. In terms of trucking accidents, the employer may be negligent if they hired someone who lacked enough experience in truck driving, or whose background check showed moving violations, DUI arrests, or other behavior that could increase the risk of a truck accident. The trucking company might also be liable if the driver had a history of poor behavior after being hired, but they were not terminated. Lastly, the employer could be negligent if they asked the driver to operate a truck they didn’t have the experience or skill to drive – for example, certain trucks require drivers with HAZMAT certifications.

In these cases, we usually look at the driver’s background and driving record. In the discovery phase of a trial, when both sides seek information from the other, we request internal records that may show a pattern of issues, and we may take testimony from coworkers who were aware of specific problems.

Lack of Maintenance

Whether the driver fails to keep track of truck maintenance and mechanical issues, or the trucking company ignores the driver’s reports that maintenance is necessary, a lack of attention to repairs can lead to an accident. When this happens, we seek out maintenance logs, interview witnesses, and build a timeline of what should have been done when.

Cargo Issues

Shifting or unbalanced cargo is a serious problem on an already top-heavy trailer. These boxy containers are easy to flip, and stacking the cargo with more weight toward the top only increases that risk. Overloaded or unbalanced trailers also strain the truck’s components and could lead to mechanical failures. In most cases, cargo issues are caused by the driver or another worker at the trucking company. However, in a few cases, a third party loads the cargo and may be liable. Our investigative staff tracks down who loaded the trailer and recreates the accident to learn how the cargo distribution affected the accident.

Find Out More From the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm Truck Accident Attorney

The above are only a few examples of common truck crash causes. These collisions may be complex, and many accident victims tell us they aren’t sure what happened. If you have questions or concerns about your truck accident, please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation about your case. Call us at 833-254-2923 or visit us online.

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    Help Negotiating with Insurance Carriers

    To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.

    Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?

    The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.

    Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm

    Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.

    What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?

    During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.

    Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

    If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.