Over 20 years of winning personal injury claims against insurance companies and big corporations. Get the financial support you need after a serious accident.
Experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer Charles Scholle wants to make sure you fully understand your legal rights. No obligation, no cost. Just answers.
Here’s what to do if you or a loved one were hurt in a truck wreck
If you or someone you love is a victim of a serious tractor-trailer crash, please don’t agree to be recorded, sign documents you don’t completely understand or accept any money from a trucking company representative before you talk to the trucking accident attorneys at Scholle Law.
Because any of the factors above could limit your right to sue the trucking company later, after you have had a chance to see a doctor, rehabilitate and fully understand the injuries and financial costs the accident caused. Speaking with a lawyer first allows you to enter into these conversations with a better understanding of your legal rights, or to enlist an experienced accident lawyer to represent you.
To determine whether the driver or carrier is at fault for your Atlanta truck accident, it’s critical to get expert legal guidance as soon as possible. Contact attorney Charles Scholle. We will evaluate your truck accident case and advise you as to whether we think it’s possible that others can be forced to pay for your medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
“Help! I was in a truck wreck. What should I do now?”
Consult with a local accident lawyer who is able to manage the fact-finding process to determine who is at fault for your injury. This is the first step in getting the help you need.
Seriously hurt in an 18 wheeler collision? We will hold trucking companies responsible for your injuries.
Accidents are a part of the trucking business, which means trucking companies and their insurance companies know exactly how the process works and how to limit their financial obligations. Trucking companies typically have engineers, investigators, lawyers and accident reconstruction experts on the scene within 24 hours. They secure evidence, take measurements, interview witnesses and talk to the police officers — all in an attempt to gain advantage in denying a victim’s claim or in minimizing any money they may have to pay out.
At Scholle Law, our attorneys will investigate and build the strongest case for you to get your maximum injury compensation. For over 20 years, we have fought and won major settlements against insurance companies and big businesses.
Truck Accident Settlements
During your free consultation with Scholle Law, our experienced personal injury attorneys can calculate your damages and give you an estimate of how much your case is worth.
What our experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyers will do for you
Our services include:
- Investigating the accident scene and evidence to determine fault
- Calculating your full damages for economic losses (medical treatment, lost wages, property damage, etc.) and non-economic losses (pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, etc.)
- File all the necessary paperwork to get your benefits sooner
- Negotiate with insurers and the trucking company to ensure you get a full and fair settlement offer
- Represent you in court (if necessary)
At Scholle Law, we have remained dedicated to the recovery and support of Atlanta truck accident victims for the last two decades. Our attorneys have won favourable compensation for injured victims, including those involved in truck collisions, head-on accidents with large trucks, tractor-trailers, and 18 wheelers.
If you were seriously injured in a truck accident near Atlanta, Georgia or in Fulton County, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal truck wreck, don’t hesitate to contact Charles Scholle — a widely respected attorney who has helped many Atlanta residents secure the compensation they need.
Our team has successfully fought large companies for our clients rights for over two decades. We work exclusively with injured people and bereaved families. Our substantial legal experience with the special issues raised by truck accidents causing catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths — legal, medical and personal helps us build a strong case for maximum compensation.
Our law firm understands that seriously hurt trucking accident victims are anxious and eager to see justice done. This is why we take the time to fully explain the case and its legal issues to each client. We keep clients updated on each new development. In this way, we lift the burden of dealing with a catastrophic accident and allow our clients to focus on healing.
There is no fee and no commitment required in your initial consultation. We’ll simply look at the details of your case. Inform you of your legal options so that you can make the best decision for yourself and your family. If you decide to proceed with your claim, we’ll start working immediately. We’ll secure the best possible outcome for you.We serve clients throughout Metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia.
Commercial vehicle accident FAQs: questions and answers
What’s the statute of limitations on truck accidents in Georgia?
Georgia accident victims have 2 years to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim, including car, truck and motorcycle accident claims. This deadline is known as the “statute of limitations,” and is laid out in Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33). The clock starts ticking from the day your crash happens.
There are only a few, rare exceptions to this deadline. If you don’t file your claim before the 2-year deadline expires, then you will most likely lose your chance of ever getting reimbursement for your injuries and damages.
While 2 years might seem far off, don’t make the mistake of waiting too long. Memories fade, witnesses move away, and important evidence can be lost. Contact our Atlanta truck accident lawyers as soon as possible to start working on your claim.
Who can I sue for being hit by a truck in Georgia?
As with all auto accident cases, you may be able to sue to recover damages after a truck accident. The difference with truck or 18-wheeler crashes is that there are more options in who you can sue. Determining which party you should sue will depend on the individual circumstances surrounding your case, such as how the collision happened and who the truck driver works for (or if they are an independent contractor).
A majority of truck accident lawsuits in Atlanta involve the following defendants:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The owner of the truck
- The manufacturer of a truck or truck part
- A third-party maintenance company
In some cases, you may even be able to sue multiple parties for your damages. This is why it’s best to consult an accident lawyer who successfully handles commercial vehicle accident cases.
How much is my truck accident case worth?
To accurately calculate how much your claim is worth, we need to know and investigate ALL the details surrounding your crash. Ultimately, the settlement amount you may be entitled to depends on many factors — including the type and severity of your injuries, damages you suffered (like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.), insurance policy limits and if you have legal representation, to name a few.
What if I’m partly responsible for an accident with a commercial vehicle?
Georgia is an “at-fault” state, which means that all drivers in Georgia are liable for their share of an accident — and the damages and injuries that result. If you are determined to be partially responsible for the truck accident, then your final settlement award may be reduced by your degree of fault.
In addition, Georgia’s modified comparative fault rule means that you must be 50 percent or less responsible for the accident in order to recover any damages. If you are judged to be 75 percent liable for the accident, for example, then you won’t be able to recover any compensation whatsoever.
For this reason, determining fault in a truck accident is extremely important, yet often complex and highly contested. As a victim, you must be able to prove that the truck driver or their employer was responsible for the accident and your injuries.
"Trucking companies and insurers will fight tooth and nail to dispute liability whenever possible. This is why you need an aggressive truck accident lawyer who can fight back and represent your best interests."
Are Georgia truck drivers governed by regulations and laws?
Both state and federal guidelines exist to regulate truck drivers, owners, manufacturers and trucking companies. These regulations restrict how many hours an operator can drive, how much weight a truck can haul, how employees must be screened and trained, how often trucks must receive maintenance, and more.
If we can prove that the truck driver or their employer broke one of these many regulations, then your claim for truck accident damages will be much stronger.
What to do after a truck accident in Atlanta
We all have to share the road with semis, tractor-trailers, 18 wheelers, big rigs and other large trucks. And while truck drivers and trucking companies have a responsibility to do everything they can do prevent a truck accident from happening, Atlanta motorists also have a duty to follow road rules. The actions you take in the moments after a crash are extremely important.
Here are 6 essential steps you should take after an accident to make sure your health, safety and legal rights are protected.
If you’ve been in an auto accident involving a truck, chances are someone has been injured or possibly even killed. If you’re able, the first thing you should do following a truck collision is contact local authorities by dialing 911. If you can’t call yourself, ask a bystander or passenger to do so. Tell the dispatcher where you are and if you’re hurt. Let them know that a large truck was involved in the crash, and if anyone else seems to be injured. If you’re injured, try to remain still and wait for help to arrive. Police, EMTs and firefighters should be on the scene in minutes.
Never leave the scene of the crash! Fleeing the scene of an accident that you’re involved in is illegal in Georgia, and it’s punishable as a hit and run crime. Your biological “fight or flight” response may tempt you to get as far away from the collision as possible, but this is a mistake. Don’t worry about work or those errands you were trying to run. Wait for police to arrive and remain at the scene until they are done questioning you. If your vehicle is blocking traffic or you are in danger where you are, then you may move — but be sure not to go too far.
If it’s possible to collect evidence and exchange information with the truck driver and any other motorists involved in the accident before you leave, then doing so will certainly benefit your case. In a head on collision or catastrophic accident, victims are unable to obtain this information before they are rushed away in an ambulance. There are other ways to get this information, such as the police report. But if possible, it’s best if you can take pictures or video of the accident scene on your phone from multiple angles. Then, be sure to get the name, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, insurance carrier, insurance policy number, and the name of the commercial trucking company from everyone involved. Also be sure to write down the name and contact info of a few eyewitnesses before you leave.
Once the police officer says you can leave the accident scene and you’ve collected all the necessary information, we recommend contacting your car insurance company right away to notify them about the incident. This call will get the gears turning on filing your insurance claim for a truck accident, and it fulfills your end of the bargain from a contractual point of view. If you forget to notify your insurer or wait too long, then your claim will probably be denied. Putting your insurer on notice that you were in an accident is an important step in obtaining compensation for your truck accident damages. During this first call with your insurance company, remember to stick to the facts and avoid admitting fault. It’s the police’s job to determine liability, not yours.
Even if you were miraculously able to walk away from a truck accident, it’s vital that you see a medical professional as soon as possible after the collision to make sure you aren’t injured. Many injuries, including traumatic brain injury and internal organ damage, aren’t externally visible at first. If you don’t receive treatment right away, the injury could get worse. In addition, the shock you might experience after something as traumatic as a truck accident may be concealing certain pain and injuries. Only a doctor will be able to find out if you’re truly healthy and unharmed.
Finally, contact a personal injury lawyer who specializes in commercial vehicle collision cases — whether the crash was partly your fault or not. While certain minor car crashes can be handled between the two individuals’ insurance companies, truck wrecks are significantly more complex in a number of ways. For starters, liability can be difficult to determine and may fall on the truck driver, their employer, or another third-party. In addition, trucking companies often have the financial resources needed to dispute accident claims. Having a truck accident lawyer on your side can help level the playing field.
Common types and causes of truck accidents in Atlanta
Truck accidents happen for many different reasons, but there’s one common underlying factor that contributes to most truck wrecks: negligence. Many Atlanta truck accidents are the result of driver negligence, motor carrier negligence, or problems with the operation of the tractor-trailer or truck that resulted in its inability to properly stop or be controlled. These issues may be caused by the failure of a motor carrier to adequately repair or maintain a truck traveling on Atlanta roads and highways, as required by industry and government regulations.
What is a “large truck”?
A large truck is considered any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds. When fully loaded, a large truck can weigh up to 40 tons (80,000 pounds). In comparison, the average car typically weighs somewhere between 2,000 and 5,000 pounds. Other common names for large trucks include semi-trucks (or “semis”), 18-wheelers, big rigs, and tractor trailers.
Here are a few of the most common types of truck accidents and their causes:
- Jackknifes. When a tractor trailer truck folds in on itself at a 90-degree angle, this is known as “jackknifing.” Jackknife truck accidents are typically caused when a truck driver brakes too sudden and hard, which forces the weight of the cargo trailer to swing forward, slamming into any unsuspecting vehicles in its path.
- Rollovers. SUVs and large semi trucks are most susceptible to rolling over due to their high profile. Nearby vehicles can be crushed or forced to suddenly get out of the way if a truck rolls over without warning. Common causes of truck rollovers are strong wind, sharp turns, steep inclines/declines, tripping on a curb and improperly loaded cargo.
- Tire blowouts. All vehicles can suffer a tire blowout, including semi trucks. When a truck’s tire blows out though, the consequences are often much more serious. A tire blowout can cause a truck driver to lose control of this rig or cause huge chunks of tire pieces to fly into the path of nearby drivers.
- Wide turn accidents. Big rigs and 18-wheelers need a wide berth to turn. Truck drivers typically have to swing left in order to make a tight right-hand turn. This practice, known as a “wide turn,” can trap other vehicles or pedestrians if the driver isn’t paying attention.
- Underride collisions. An “underride” accident occurs when a smaller vehicle gets pinned under the truck’s side or rear as a result of a truck stopping suddenly or the other driver failing to see the truck. Underride collisions are one of the most deadly types of accidents because the smaller vehicle’s windshield, quickly followed by the driver and passengers, can come into direct contact with the truck.
- Lost cargo wrecks. Improperly loaded cargo loads are another common cause of truck accidents in Atlanta. When cargo is lost while the truck is traveling at high speed down an interstate or highway, other drivers may have very little time to react. Evasive maneuvers or hitting into large objects can cause multi-vehicle pileup crashes.
- T-bone crashes. Like cars, trucks can run a red light or stop sign, hitting into the side of another car. The difference is that broadside crashes involving trucks are almost always deadly. If someone beats the odds and survives a truck T-bone collision, they will likely be permanently injured, impaired and disfigured.
- Blind spot collisions. Trucks have larger “no zones” or blind spots than other vehicles. This means a truck driver might not see a smaller car when changing lanes. As a result, the other car can be crushed, sideswiped or forced off the road. Although recent advancements in trucking technology such as cameras have reduced the rates of blind spot collisions, these types of crashes are still common.
- Mechanical failure accidents. There are many components in a truck that all must work together perfectly in order for the big rig to run safely. If any one of these parts fail, the truck driver could lose control or be unable to avoid a collision. For example, truck brake failure is particularly dangerous, and can be caused by a design defect, improper installation, lack of maintenance or overheating.
- Intoxicated or drowsy driving crashes. Driving while impaired, whether by alcohol or drugs, is illegal for all motorists in Georgia. However, due to the size and weight of their vehicles, truck drivers have an even greater responsibility to safely operate their rig. Unfortunately, truckers are also often forced to work long hours and drive overnight, which increases the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel.
- Distracted driving accidents. No driver is immune from distractions, including truck drivers. Truckers can face even more distractions when using their CB radio or eating behind the wheel. Likewise, other motorists can get distracted and collide with a truck. Although Georgia’s recent hands-free cell phone law has helped reduce distracted driving fatalities, this continues to be a problem in Atlanta and throughout the state.
Most common truck wreck injuries
Large trucks are often carrying heavy cargo or hauling massive equipment. This is why drivers of smaller vehicles such as cars and motorcycles that collide with a truck often suffer serious or fatal injuries. It’s not unusual for collisions involving semis, big rigs, tractor trailers and other commercial trucks to result in catastrophic injuries and death.
Some of the most common injuries car or motorcycle drivers suffer when hit by a truck include:
- Back and neck injuries (whiplash)
- Traumatic brain injury (TB) and head trauma
- Organ damage
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries (paralysis)
- Amputation and disfigurement
- Lacerations, cuts and bruises
- Second and third-degree burns
Atlanta truck accident statistics
The city of Atlanta is home to 6 major interstates, which makes it a hub for large trucks, traffic and congestion. These major interstates, highways and thoroughfares that crisscross the metro area — including Buford Highway, the Georgia 400 and Interstates 20, 75, 85 and 285 — have allowed residents and visitors alike to quickly access this business and cultural hub of the Southeast. In recent years, commercial development in downtown Atlanta has really taken off and helped contribute to a great local business climate.
However, a serious downside of all of this growth and development is the truck traffic in the area. Each year, more and more large vehicles are traversing Atlanta roadways. These commercial trucks, semis and tractor-trailers frequently end up colliding with other trucks or smaller vehicles, which not only seriously or fatally injure truck drivers but also pedestrians and other drivers.
Between the years of 2006 and 2010, truck accident fatalities consistently decreased each year, from 232 deaths to 153 deaths. Since then, however, the death rate has gone up and down. Compared to car accidents, collisions involving large trucks are a small portion of total motor vehicle crashes. And yet, one out of every 6 fatal accidents in Georgia involves a truck. This means truck accidents result in a statistically higher fatality rate than other types of crashes.
Often, injuries in a truck accident are very serious and it takes victims a long time to recover physically, emotionally and financially — if they can ever fully recover at all. Family and friends are vital in this recovery process. It’s also vital to consult an experienced local personal injury lawyer who can build and present the best case possible after your Atlanta truck accident so that you can move on with your life.