Collisions between passenger vehicles and trucks tend to have devastating consequences. When it comes to accidents involving trucks, fatalities and serious injuries are quite common with those most affected being those in passenger cars due to the sheer difference in size.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, you reserve the right to file a claim and receive compensation for your damages. However, considering how complicated some of these cases can be, it’s best to hire a professional Douglasville truck accident lawyer to help you pursue compensation.
As a Douglasville truck accident lawyer, attorney Gilbert Sperling understands how devastating a truck accident can be. You are facing financial, emotional, and physical stresses and need all the help you can get.
If you are looking for a professional truck accident attorney in Douglasville, contact the Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III. Call 404-418-7816 today to schedule a free case review with a car accident lawyer today.
Georgia Truck Accident Statistics
Truck collisions and road accidents have been on the rise for a while now. As more trucking companies enter the freight-hauling market, the number of trucks and truck drivers on the road has increased considerably over the last few years.
It is estimated that by 2030, road accidents will be among the top five leading causes of death in America.
Here are some truck accident statistics for Georgia.
- In 2019, there were over 195 fatal accidents involving large trucks in Georgia alone.
- Semi trucks were responsible for close to 9% of all fatal road accidents in the state in 2019.
- 78 percent of the people who lost their lives through truck accidents in Georgia were occupants of another vehicle, which is considerably higher than the national average of 67 percent.
- Truck accident fatality rates in Georgia are trending upwards. In 2019, truck accidents were responsible for causing 204 fatalities as opposed to 153 deaths in 2012.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
If you’ve just been involved in an accident with a commercial truck in Douglasville, there are several steps that you should consider taking to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve and need.
One of the first things you need to do immediately after the accident is to call the police, while you are still at the scene, and let them know that you’ve been involved in an accident. Once on site, the authorities will create a police report, which can be crucial in the building of your case when pursuing a truck accident claim.
If you can, check on those involved in the accident and see if they are doing alright. If the paramedics are yet to arrive, administer first aid to those who need it. However, if there is a victim who’s unconscious or badly hurt, do not move them except if they are in a dangerous position, situation, or location.
If you aren’t severely injured, make sure you gather as much evidence as you can while at the scene of the accident. Take photos of the scene, showing road conditions, property damage, skid marks, etc.
As you wait for the police to arrive, take time to exchange your contact info with those involved in the crash. If you can, make sure you get the other driver’s contact information, vehicle registration information, insurance provider, parent company information, witness statements, and other vital information.
Seek Medical Attention
Since personal cars are smaller, they are at a greater risk of being crushed by big commercial trucks. If you were involved in an accident with a truck, chances are you may have suffered serious injuries such as bone fractures, a traumatic brain injury, etc.
It’s vital that you seek medical attention for a checkup and treatment. Medical documentation is also important for filing a claim.
Contact a Douglasville Truck Accident Lawyer
Compared to car accident claims, truck accident claims typically require more time, effort, and research. As a victim, you probably do not have the skills or the time to handle a claim by yourself.
To ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, you will need a professional truck accident attorney to guide you and represent your interests. Call the Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, now for help pursuing a truck accident claim in Douglasville.
What Are the Laws Regarding Truck Accident Liability?
In Georgia, trucking companies and truck drivers are required by law to abide by federal and state laws. According to Georgia law, all truck drivers operating in the state must have a special commercial license and are required to have at least $750,000 in insurance coverage. The minimum coverage for trucks that transport hazardous materials is $5,000,000.
How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help?
The process of filing an injury claim following a truck accident can be complicated. Furthermore, trucking companies may hire defense lawyers, medical experts, and investigators to protect their interests – making the claims process even harder.
If you believe you have a truck accident claim to pursue, a professional Douglasville truck accident lawyer can help with the following.
An experienced lawyer like Attorney Gil has the resources, skills, and knowledge required to conduct a comprehensive investigation to establish what happened, prove fault, and determine liable parties. They’ll also determine the severity of your injuries and calculate how much you should pursue as compensation for damages.
Filing a Claim
A truck accident lawyer will also take on the responsibility of filing your claim once they’ve done their preliminary investigations. Injury claims typically include liable parties, injuries sustained, and a reasonable settlement value.
The responsible party’s insurance adjusters may approach you and try to negotiate a settlement. Do not fall for their wiles as you may end up being offered a raw deal. A skillful truck accident lawyer will handle negotiations and ensure that you receive the best possible settlement for your damages and injuries.
If negotiations with the responsible party’s insurance provider aren’t successful, then the next option is to take the matter to court and have it heard by a judge. In such a case, having an experienced Douglasville personal injury lawyer by your side is essential.
Attorney Gill has the experience to represent your interest in court and is prepared to fight to ensure that you receive a favorable ruling
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
If there’s proof that the truck driver caused the accident, then you reserve the right to file a lawsuit against them and recover compensation for your injuries. There are three types of damages you may be eligible for after a truck accident in Douglasville.
These refer to damages with a calculable value and typically include lost earning capacity, lost income or earnings, property damage, and medical expenses.
These damages are harder to calculate as they cover intangibles or incalculable damages such as loss of companionship/consortium, depression, anxiety, emotional distress, pain, and suffering, etc.
These damages are awarded as a way to punish the responsible party for their reckless behavior and to serve as a warning to others. In Georgia, the court may award punitive damages if the defendant was extremely reckless.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Claim Worth?
Truck accident claims normally are worth much more than car accident claims as the damages and injuries sustained by the victims are typically more severe. The nature and severity of injuries sustained play a vital role in determining the value of a truck accident claim.
In Georgia, some of the more serious accident claims can be worth millions. If you’ve been permanently disabled or injured as a result of being involved in a truck wreck, then chances are you have a high-value claim on your hands.
Get in touch with the Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, to learn more about your claim’s worth.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?
Georgia’s statute of limitations dictates that you have two years from the day the accident happened to file a personal injury claim. If you miss the deadline, you end up forfeiting your rights to pursue compensation in the future. To ensure that you meet this deadline, it’s vital that you start the process as soon as possible.
How Is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined?
Since Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, you can only get financial compensation if you are found to be less than 50% at fault for the collision. This means the at-fault party will try to put blame on you to avoid paying compensation.
Your attorney will need to prove four elements of negligence to hold the defendant accountable.
Duty of Care
It will be necessary to show that the truck driver or the trucking company owed you a duty of care. Truck drivers are expected to follow traffic laws, and drivers and trucking companies should follow FMCSA rules.
Breach of Duty of Care
Your lawyer must demonstrate how the truck driver, the trucking company, or any other liable party failed to uphold the duty of care. For instance, if the truck driver was driving drunk, that amounts to a breach of their duty.
Your attorney must prove that the actions or inactions of the company, truck driver, or any other liable party were the cause of the accident and your injuries. For instance, if the crash was due to fatigue, you will have to demonstrate how fatigue led to the collision.
Your attorney will need to show that you suffered damages, like medical bills and lost wages, due to the accident in question.
Can a Lawyer Prove the Truck Driver Was Negligent?
Your attorney might use the police report to prove that the driver of the truck was negligent when the crash happened. In addition, your attorney may hire professionals, such as a crash reconstruction expert, to provide testimony that can be used in settlement negotiations or to testify on your behalf during a trial.
In addition, a knowledgeable truck accident attorney can submit reliable witness statements alongside videos and pictures from the accident scene as proof to back up your claim and prove that the driver of the truck is at fault.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
Multiple parties can be responsible for a truck accident. The following entities can be held accountable for a truck accident in Georgia.
The Truck Driver
All truck drivers in Georgia are required to abide by the law when driving on state roads. If a truck driver’s inactions or inactions contributed to your injury, they may be held liable.
The Trucking Company
Trucking companies are required to ensure that all their trucks are well-maintained and serviced at all times. Additionally, they are required to ensure that their drivers are qualified and trained on how to operate trucks.
A trucking company that failed to exercise reasonable care in its business practices may be held accountable in a truck accident lawsuit.
The Company That Loaded the Truck
When loading and unloading vehicles, loading companies must adhere to strict safety guidelines and regulations. If procedures such as correct weight distribution are disregarded, such businesses can be held accountable.
The Parts or Vehicle Manufacturer
Truck accidents can also be caused by defective parts such as airbags and brake pads. In this situation, the manufacturer can be held liable.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Here are some of the most common causes of commercial truck accidents:
- Driver Fatigue
- Drug Use
- Distracted Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Inexperienced or Poorly Trained Drivers
- Improperly Secured or Oversized Freight
- Equipment Malfunction
- Lack of Maintenance
- Poor Road Conditions
- Poor Lighting
- Bad Weather
Call an Experienced Douglasville Truck Accident Lawyer Today!
At the Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C., we always take a personalized approach when pursuing justice for truck accident victims. As a personal injury lawyer, Attorney Gil understands what it takes to successfully file and pursue a truck accident claim. He will fight for the full compensation that you deserve.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident and need legal assistance and representation, then get in touch with the Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III, P.C. for help you can rely on. We review client cases for free through our initial consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we won’t get paid until we have won compensation for you.