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 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.
The Process of Filing a Claim with Your Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer
Accidents involving commercial vehicles, especially tractor-trailers, can be particularly devastating. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles often result in significant damage, leaving Atlanta truck accident victims grappling with severe injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Georgia, understanding the process of filing a claim is crucial. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate this challenging journey.
1. Initial Consultation with Your Truck Accident Lawyer
The aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming. Amidst the shock and pain, it’s essential to consult with a reputable law firm like Scholle Law. This initial consultation serves multiple purposes:
- Assessment of the Case: The truck accident attorneys will evaluate the merits of your truck accident case, considering factors like liability, evidence, and potential damages.
- Understanding Rights: Many truck accident victims are unaware of their rights. The lawyer will educate you on what you’re entitled to, from medical expenses to compensation for lost wages and property damage.
- Outline of the Process: A clear roadmap of the legal journey ahead will be provided, ensuring you know what to expect at every stage.
2. Gathering Evidence
Evidence is pivotal in truck accident claims. A thorough investigation is conducted to collect:
- Accident Reports: These official documents provide a detailed account of the accident, often highlighting crucial information.
- Witness Statements: Eyewitnesses can offer invaluable insights into how the accident occurred.
- Photographs and Videos: Visual evidence from the scene, including damages and road conditions, can be compelling.
- Truck Driver Information: Details about the truck driver, their driving history, and any potential violations can be critical.
3. Medical Treatment and Documentation
Prioritizing health is paramount. Truck accident victims should:
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Even if injuries seem minor, some symptoms might manifest later. A thorough medical check-up is essential.
- Document Everything: From doctor’s notes to medical bills, every piece of documentation can play a role in determining compensation.
4. Negotiating with the Truck Driver’s Insurance Company
Insurance companies are notorious for undervaluing claims, especially when commercial vehicles are involved. An experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer will:
- Handle Communications: It’s advisable not to speak directly to insurance adjusters. Let your lawyer handle all communications to protect your interests.
- Evaluate Settlement Offers: Insurance companies might offer quick settlements, but these are often far below what victims deserve.
5. Determining Liability
Liability in truck accidents can be complex. Factors considered include:
- Driver’s Actions: Was the truck driver distracted, under the influence, or violating traffic rules?
- Vehicle Maintenance: Were there issues with the commercial vehicle’s maintenance that contributed to the accident?
- Manufacturer Defects: Sometimes, defects in the commercial vehicle or its parts can lead to accidents.
6. Filing a Lawsuit
If negotiations stall, the next step is legal action:
- Drafting Legal Documents: Your truck accident lawyers will prepare and submit the necessary documents to initiate the lawsuit.
- Discovery Phase: Both sides will exchange information, gather evidence, and interview witnesses.
7. Settlement Negotiation
Even after filing a lawsuit, settlement negotiations can continue:
- Mediation: A neutral third party might facilitate discussions to reach an agreement.
- Evaluating Offers: Your lawyer will assess any new settlement offers, ensuring they align with your best interests.
If no settlement is reached, the case goes to trial:
- Presentation of Evidence: Your lawyer will present all gathered evidence, from accident reports to witness testimonies.
- Verdict: After both sides have presented their case, the jury will deliver a verdict.
Upon a favorable verdict or settlement, compensation is awarded:
- Types of Damages: Victims can receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
- Distribution: Once legal fees are deducted, the remaining amount is disbursed to the victim.
10. Potential for Additional Claims
In certain circumstances, additional claims might arise:
- Wrongful Death Claims: If the truck accident results in a fatality, the deceased’s family can file a wrongful death claim.
- Defective Parts: If a defective part contributed to the accident, there might be grounds for a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Truck accidents are complex events that require meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of personal injury law. With the support of dedicated Atlanta truck accident lawyers, like those at Scholle Law, victims can navigate the legal maze and secure the justice and compensation they deserve. Whether dealing with insurance companies, medical bills, or the intricacies of the legal system, having a trusted partner like Scholle Law is invaluable.
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.
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.
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.
Researching online reviews, seeking recommendations from friends or family, and consulting with local bar associations can help identify top truck accident attorneys. Ensure the attorney has a track record in handling truck accident cases in Georgia, like the team at Scholle Law.
Depending on the severity of injuries and damages, victims can file a personal injury claim. In tragic cases resulting in death, a wrongful death claim may be appropriate.
Experienced attorneys understand the complexities of trucking regulations, can effectively negotiate with insurance companies, and have the expertise to maximize compensation for victims.
A typical team includes the lead attorney, paralegals, investigators, and medical experts. They collectively gather evidence, build a strong case, and represent the victim's best interests.
They provide legal advice, gather evidence, handle communications with insurance companies, negotiate settlements, and represent the victim in court if necessary.
By gathering evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, and expert testimonies. Demonstrating violations of trucking regulations or driver negligence can also establish liability.
Defendants can include the truck driver, the trucking company, truck manufacturers, or maintenance providers, depending on the cause of the accident.
Can traffic laws provide additional protection to those involved in rig accidents on highways or roads?
Yes, traffic laws set standards for safe driving. Violations of these laws, especially by commercial vehicles, can be used to establish negligence in a truck accident case.
Precedent-setting court decisions can influence the outcomes of future cases, either benefiting or challenging the claims of truck accident victims.
Are there any additional legal resources available to victims of major truck accidents beyond their own lawyer's advice and support?
Yes, victims can seek support from local non-profit organizations, victim support groups, and state legal aid services. Additionally, resources like the Georgia Department of Transportation provide valuable information on road safety and accident statistics.