Atlanta Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer

A tractor trailer accident can have devastating and life-altering effects on its victims. Beyond the physical injuries, the financial and emotional distress experienced by those involved and their families can be overwhelming. If you’ve recently been injured in a tractor trailer accident, don’t navigate this situation alone. Let Butler Kahn tractor trailer accident lawyers assist you with evaluating your legal options. Call us at (678) 940-1444 or reach out online. We’re here to help you secure the justice and compensation you deserve.

Below, Butler Kahn explores important information related to tractor trailer accidents. We also delve into why hiring a Georgia tractor trailer accident lawyer is essential if you’ve been injured.

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Types Of Tractor Trailer Accidents

A tractor trailer, also known as a semi-truck or 18-wheeler, is significantly larger and heavier than other trucks. It typically consists of a tractor unit and one or more trailers. Due to its size, a tractor trailer has larger blind spots, requires more time and distance to stop, and is more complex to maneuver, especially in emergency situations. These characteristics contribute to the unique risks and legal considerations in accidents involving tractor trailers. Common kinds of tractor trailer crashes include:

  • Jackknife Accidents: This happens when the trailer part of the truck folds at a sharp angle, resembling a folding knife. This often occurs when the truck brakes suddenly, causing the trailer to skid and swing out to the side. Jackknife accidents are dangerous as they can lead to multi-vehicle pileups.
  • Rollover Accidents: Rollover accidents occur when the truck tips over onto its side or roof. These are often the result of taking turns too quickly, overloading, or due to slippery road conditions. Rollovers can be particularly hazardous, not only to the truck driver but also to nearby vehicles.
  • Rear-End Collisions: Due to their massive size and weight, trucks require a longer stopping distance. If a truck driver fails to stop in time, it can lead to a rear-end collision, which can be especially destructive if the truck is traveling at high speed.
  • Underride Accidents: An underride accident happens when a smaller vehicle goes under the side or rear of a tractor trailer. These accidents can be particularly severe due to the likelihood of the top part of the smaller vehicle being crushed.
  • Blind Spot Accidents: Big trucks have large blind spots where vehicles of smaller size can be virtually invisible to truck drivers. Accidents can occur when a truck moves into a different lane or turns without noticing a vehicle in its blind spot.
  • Lost Load Accidents: These occur when the cargo being carried by the truck is not secured properly and falls onto the road. This can lead to dangerous obstacles on the road, causing accidents.

Causes Of Tractor Trailer Accidents

Several factors can contribute to these accidents, including:

  • Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers often work long hours and might drive while tired, leading to reduced reaction times and impaired judgment.
  • Speeding And Reckless Driving: Due to tight schedules, truck drivers may speed or drive recklessly to meet deadlines, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Inadequate Training: Sometimes, truck drivers are not adequately trained to handle the complexities of driving a large vehicle, leading to errors on the road.
  • Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Failing to maintain the truck properly, such as not checking brakes or tires, can lead to mechanical failures and accidents.
  • Distracted Driving: Like any other driver, truck drivers can be distracted by phones, eating, or other activities, leading to accidents.
  • Adverse Weather Conditions: Bad weather, like rain, snow, or fog, can significantly increase the risk of accidents, especially for large vehicles like tractor trailers.
  • Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a dangerous and illegal practice that can impair a driver’s ability to operate a truck safely.

Common Locations For Tractor Trailer Accidents In Atlanta

In Atlanta, certain areas are more prone to tractor trailer accidents due to various factors like heavy traffic, complex interchanges, and frequent construction activities. Knowledge of these areas is important for personal injury attorneys in Atlanta who focus in handling tractor trailer accident claims.

  • Interstate Highways: Atlanta’s interstate highways, especially I-75, I-85, and I-20, are hotspots for tractor trailer accidents. These major arteries experience high volumes of commercial truck traffic and are often congested, increasing the likelihood of accidents. The I-285 perimeter surrounding Atlanta is particularly notorious for truck accidents due to its heavy traffic and frequent lane changes.
  • Downtown Connector: The Downtown Connector, where I-75 and I-85 merge in the heart of Atlanta, sees a substantial amount of tractor trailer traffic. The high volume of vehicles, combined with the complexity of the interchange, creates a challenging driving environment that can lead to accidents.
  • Spaghetti Junction: Officially named the Tom Moreland Interchange, this complex interchange connects I-85 with I-285. Its intricate design, with multiple levels and numerous ramps, can be confusing and overwhelming, especially for truck drivers not familiar with the area, leading to a higher risk of collisions.
  • Construction Zones: Atlanta is a city that is continuously growing and evolving, which means there are often construction zones on its roads and highways. These areas can be particularly hazardous for tractor trailers, as they may involve sudden lane shifts, reduced speed limits, and unexpected stopping.
  • Rural Roads Near Atlanta: While not in Atlanta proper, the rural roads surrounding the city also see a fair number of tractor trailer accidents. These roads are often less well-maintained and have fewer safety features than major highways, increasing the risk of accidents, especially in poor weather conditions or during nighttime.
  • Busy Intersections: Some of Atlanta’s busy intersections, like those in the Buckhead and Midtown areas, can be risky for tractor trailers. The mix of heavy pedestrian traffic, cyclists, and vehicles of varying sizes can create complex driving situations, leading to potential accidents.

Who Could Be Liable For A Tractor Trailer Accident

In the event of a tractor-trailer accident, identifying who is liable, or legally responsible, is an important step. Liability in such accidents can be complex, as several parties might be involved, including:

  • Truck Driver: The driver of the tractor trailer is often the first to be considered for liability. If the accident was caused by the driver’s actions, such as speeding, driving under the influence, or distracted driving, they can be held responsible.
  • Trucking Company: The company that owns the truck or employs the driver can also be liable, especially if the accident was caused by issues like inadequate driver training, overworking the driver, or failing to maintain the vehicle properly.
  • Maintenance Companies: Sometimes, a separate company is responsible for maintaining the truck. If poor maintenance is a factor in the accident, this company could be liable.
  • Cargo Loaders: If the accident were caused by improperly loaded or secured cargo, the party responsible for loading the truck could be held liable.
  • Manufacturers: If a defect in the truck or its parts, such as brakes or tires, contributed to the accident, the manufacturer of the vehicle or the defective part might be responsible.
  • Other Drivers: In some cases, the actions of other drivers on the road can contribute to a tractor trailer accident, making them partially liable.
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Filing A Lawsuit Or Insurance Claim Based On A Tractor Trailer Accident

Many tractor trailer accident victims opt to file a claim with the insurance company of the liable party. This process involves negotiating with the insurance company to reach a settlement for damages. If the settlement offered is insufficient, the victim may choose to file a lawsuit. This is one of the many reasons why victims should not accept the terms of a settlement until an attorney has reviewed any specific offer.

If a fair settlement cannot be reached through insurance claims, the next step is to file a personal injury lawsuit. This involves taking legal action against the liable party or parties. The process includes gathering evidence, presenting the case in court, and potentially reaching a settlement or going to trial.

Damages In Tractor Trailer Accidents

Damages refer to the compensation that the victim of a tractor trailer accident may be entitled to receive. These can include:

  • Medical Expenses: Compensation for all medical-related costs, including hospital bills, medication, physical therapy, and any future medical care related to the accident.
  • Lost Wages And Earning Capacity: If the victim misses work or cannot return to work because of their injuries, they can claim lost wages. If their ability to earn in the future is affected, they may also claim for lost earning capacity.
  • Pain And Suffering: This includes compensation for physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident.
  • Property Damage: Compensation for repair or replacement of any property damaged in an accident, such as a car.
  • Punitive Damages: In limited instances, where the liable party acted in an intentional or egregious manner, punitive damages can be awarded to punish the wrongdoer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Do Immediately After A Tractor Trailer Accident?

Ensure your safety and seek medical attention, even if injuries are not immediately apparent, as they could become symptomatic over time. Contact the police to file a report and gather contact information from all parties involved, including witnesses. Document the scene with photos if possible.

The time limit, known as the statute of limitations, is two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit, although it is a good idea to seek legal representation right away so that a personal injury lawyer can begin building your case. 

You can recover damages for lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, medical expenses, other related losses, and (in rare instances) punitive damages if the defendant’s actions were willful.

Fault is determined by examining evidence such as police reports, witness statements, truck driver logs, and accident reconstruction. Liability may be shared among multiple parties.

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Atlanta Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer

Hiring a tractor trailer accident lawyer can significantly improve your chances of receiving fair compensation in a lawsuit or insurance claim. Tractor trailer accident claims can be complex, involving multiple parties and extensive negotiations with insurance companies. An attorney can handle these thorny issues while you focus on your recovery. If you are a victim of a recent tractor trailer accident, consider letting the experienced team at Butler Kahn lead you through your legal options. To consult with a knowledgeable tractor trailer accident lawyer, call us at (678) 940-1444 or reach out online. We’re here to help you secure the justice and compensation you deserve.

Atlanta Attorney sits with team to discuss personal injury case

Meet Jeb Butler

/ PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY

It’s pretty simple: a lawyer should be good at what he does, care about his clients, and live up to his word. That is how we have built this firm.

I’ve been handling exclusively personal injury and wrongful death cases for over ten years. Before that, I worked as a prosecutor, public defender, federal law clerk, and (briefly) as a civil defense lawyer. In law school I argued on the National Moot Court team, published on the Law Review, and graduated magna cum laude. Doing well in law school opened lots of doors for me but it was not until I started my own law firm handling serious injury cases that I opened the right one.

What I learned before law school has mattered the most. I learned to work hard, for a long time, at jobs that were not glamorous. I shoveled sod, mucked stalls, fed horses and cows, cut grass, and ran a weed-eater. I learned to weld and drive a tractor. I learned about pride in a job well done.

That is what drives me now. I want to win my client’s case, look them at the eye at the end when we deliver the check, and know that my firm has lived up to its word of delivering top-tier legal work and top-tier client service.

Meet Matt Kahn

/ PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY

Meet Matt Kahn

PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY

If you’re on our page looking for a personal injury lawyer, you and your family have likely suffered a serious loss. This page probably isn’t the first law firm website you’ve visited. Let me tell you what we can do for you.
The three most important things you should look for in a lawyer are experience, work ethic, and communication.

  • Experience – I’ve dedicated my career to fighting for people and families who’ve suffered unimaginable losses by focusing solely on personal injury and wrongful death cases. It’s all we do at Butler Kahn.
  • Work Ethic – I fight for my clients around the clock. My day doesn’t end at 5:00 p.m. When I take on a case, that case becomes a significant part of my life. Why shouldn’t it? It’s certainly a significant part of yours.
  • Communication – Each of my clients have my cell phone number. If you want to talk to you lawyer, you should be able to on your time.

You need real lawyers who handle serious cases. That is what Butler Kahn does.