Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer
One of the most dangerous aspects of Atlanta area highway travel is the potential for truck accidents and the injuries that they cause. An accident that involves a tractor-trailer or large truck is much more likely to result in catastrophic injuries than car crashes that involve passenger vehicles.
Commercial trucks (also called Mack trucks, 18-wheelers, and semis) weigh many times more than what an ordinary passenger car or pickup truck weighs. In a collision, that weight translates to increased force that can literally crush a smaller vehicle. The result is often very serious injuries or even death for the people inside the passenger vehicle, SUV, or pick-up truck.
If you are involved in a truck accident, you have legal rights. At Scholle Law, our experienced attorneys have decades of experience successfully taking on trucking companies and their insurance providers to get our clients the compensation they deserve.
Before you give any kind of recorded or written statement to the insurance company, call us to discuss your case. Your initial consultation is always free, and you never have to pay us even a dime out-of-pocket. Call us at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Georgia truck accident lawyer today.
Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries in Georgia
The dangers involved in trucking crashes include the seriousness of the injuries that can result. This is due to the size and weight of trucks in comparison to smaller vehicles on the road. After a truck accident, it is crucial that victims get medical support.
Common injuries resulting from truck accidents can include:
Internal bleeding in the abdominal region is not an uncommon complaint for accident victims and is usually caused by seatbelts and airbags. It is possible to have internal organ damage, bleeding, or even a collapsed lung and not immediately know it.
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a severe jerk to the head, typically in a motor vehicle accident. In more serious cases, neck herniations can occur requiring surgical treatment.
Head and facial injuries can result when the head jerks backward or forward on impact. In some cases, broken bones in the face can result from airbag and steering wheel injuries.
Spinal cord injuries
The spinal cord is a thick cord of nerve tissue contained and protected by our spines and vertebrae. When it is injured, communications with the brain are lost, sometimes forever, which can cause paralysis and other permanent issues.
Injuries caused by impact or trauma to the head or brain can result in traumatic brain injury (TBI). Some head trauma and brain trauma cases require extensive future medical care that could last the lifetime of the injury victim.
Fires are often a consequence of serious motor vehicle accidents. Burn injuries can require extensive medical care including hospitalization and skin graft surgeries.
Injuries to the back muscles and other soft tissue are common in truck accidents, especially rear-end accidents.
Broken bones from serious truck accidents are not uncommon. These can range from moderate injuries such as broken or fractured ribs to more serious injuries such as broken arms, legs, and injuries of the cervical and lumbar spine.
Scars requiring plastic surgery
Scars from burns, lacerations, or post-accident surgeries are common in serious truck accident cases. Many clients will generally speak to a plastic surgeon for a consultation to discuss the possibility of having revision surgery.
Small children are always at risk of being injured in any accident scenario, including accidents involving large trucks. It is a best practice to make sure that children are always secured in their appropriate seats based on their age, weight, and height.
In cases involving head injuries or other very serious injuries, accident victims can be placed into medically-induced comas, or victims may fall into a coma because of the trauma itself. These types of cases require extensive medical care.
In Georgia, claims for wrongful death can be brought by the appropriate legal representatives of the deceased party. These types of cases are incredibly complex and involve a significant amount of legal expertise.
Common Causes of Georgia Truck Accidents
Trucking companies and drivers must adhere to federal safety regulations intended to prevent trucking accidents. The tires, lights, cargo, and other aspects must be followed for the safety of those sharing the road with trucks.
In addition, truck drivers must follow strict guidelines and logs that keep track of the hours they have driven and rests they have taken.
Unfortunately, these regulations are often ignored, causing serious wrecks. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Bald tire and blowouts: When a truck’s tires are not properly maintained, they can lose traction if they become bald or even explode (blow out), causing the driver to lose control.
- Brake failures and rear-end collisions: Trucks require a lot of space to come to a stop, and if they follow too closely or their brakes fail, it can result in a devastating rear-end collision.
- Driver fatigue: Truck drivers often work long hours. Drowsy driving often has the same effects as drunk driving, like having shorter reaction times and not being able to maintain their lane.
- Falling debris: Most common with dump trucks, any debris that falls from a truck (especially when traveling at high speeds) can damage other vehicles and cause serious wrecks.
- Rollovers: Rollovers occur when a semi truck’s wheels lose contact with the road. This can cause the vehicle to end up on its side, or even upside-down.
- Improper maneuvers: Overcorrecting, changing lanes without signaling, and other improper maneuvers can cause deadly wrecks if the truck hits a passenger vehicle.
- Overloaded, improperly loaded trucks and cargo shifts: If trucks are not loaded properly, their cargo can shift, which can cause the truck to slip on the road or even tip over.
- Swinging turns: In a swinging turn crash, the truck’s trailer swings outward as it turns, crashing into traffic or pedestrians outside the lane. This most often occurs with right turns.
- Underriding: A crash with a tractor-trailer can result in a passenger vehicle pinned under the back or side of the truck, which can crush the car and/or tear off the roof.
Speak to a Georgia Truck Accident Attorney Today
Semi trucks weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, while cars average about 4,000 pounds. Simple physics shows us that accidents between these massive vehicles and passenger cars will likely result in serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries. When this happens, it is crucial for victims to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Trucking companies and insurers will fight tooth and nail to dispute liability whenever possible. They will say the victim was actually at fault, or that they otherwise do not deserve compensation. This is why you need an aggressive truck accident lawyer who can fight back and represent your best interests.
At Scholle Law, our attorneys have successfully negotiated – and litigated – against trucking companies and their insurance providers to maximize our clients’ compensation. Your initial consultation with us is always free, and you never have to pay us even a dime out-of-pocket.
Call us at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Georgia truck accident lawyer today.
What can I do to protect my rights after a truck accident?
Hire an experienced Georgia trucking accident attorney. Trucking accident cases can be very complicated and trucking companies are extremely aggressive in protecting their own interests. An experienced attorney can advocate for you and make sure you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.
What should I do if someone from the trucking insurance company calls before I’ve picked a truck accident lawyer?
If you or someone you love is a victim of a serious tractor-trailer accident, do not talk to the insurance company or the trucking company without first speaking to an experienced trucking attorney. If you do speak to them, please do not agree to be recorded, sign any documents, or accept any money from a trucking company representative before you talk to our Georgia trucking accident attorneys.
If you do talk to the insurance company, tell them only the basic facts and information they need. This includes where and when the accident happened, your contact and policy information, the truck driver's information (including their license and USDOT truck number), and any trucking company information you have from either decals on the truck or as told to you by the driver themselves.
Not following these instructions could limit your right to sue the trucking company later. Having a lawyer on your side protects your rights and adds value to your injury case.
What should I tell the police on the scene of a truck accident?
Tell the police exactly what happened. Make sure that the officer is 100 percent clear on how the accident occurred and exactly what the truck was doing when the accident took place. If it seems like the officer does not fully understand or misunderstands, explain it again. Never, ever admit fault to the police.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a truck wreck?
Georgia accident victims have two 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 do not file your claim before the two-year deadline expires, then you will most likely lose your chance of ever getting reimbursement for your injuries and damages.
While two 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 Georgia truck accident lawyers as soon as possible to start working on your claim.