A mixture of heavy trucks and small passenger vehicles travel the busy streets and roads in and around Lawrenceville every day. When these mismatched vehicles collide, the results are often devastating – particularly for the occupants of a car hit by a truck.
Large commercial trucks like 18-wheelers are often up to 80 feet long and can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. An average car, on the other hand, is about 15 feet long and weighs only 3,500 pounds. It’s no wonder that collisions between these two types of vehicles are often catastrophic, with drivers and occupants of passenger cars bearing the brunt of the damage.
In a single recent year, there were 151,000 people injured and nearly 5,000 people killed in U.S. accidents involving large trucks. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 80 percent of the people killed in large truck crashes were occupants of passenger vehicles or non-occupants like pedestrians or cyclists. In Georgia, large trucks made up almost 10 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes.
The devastation a truck accident leaves behind can be overwhelming. Insurance forms, accident reports, and soaring medical bills add more stress to an already difficult situation. Here’s some good news: a Lawrenceville truck accident lawyer from Butler Kahn can help by taking on the legal burden and fighting for compensation to set things right.
Contact us if you’re ready to discuss your situation and your legal options. Talking to us is free and without obligations.
Several common factors in tractor-trailer accidents create complications that are less common in crashes that involve only passenger cars.
Tractor-trailer drivers are often on the road for up to 11 hours per day, sometimes daily for days or weeks at a time. Truckers near the end of a long haul may feel fatigued or worn down, and their semi-trucks or trailers can sustain wear and tear over time, too.
Often, truck drivers will even drive beyond the hours of service time limits permitted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, due to pressure to make deliveries on time. The grind of many miles over long hours can make 18-wheeler operators less alert over time, increasing the chances of a catastrophic collision.
Since trucking accidents involve such massive vehicles, the resulting injuries from these collisions tend to be correspondingly substantial. Occupants of an average passenger vehicle that gets struck by a tractor-trailer are far more likely to sustain serious or fatal injuries than the driver in a big rig.
Whether your truck crash injury case is resolved in a settlement with insurance providers or ends up in court, an experienced truck accident lawyer can take the burden off your shoulders in many ways. An attorney who focuses on accident and injury law can deal with insurance negotiations and legal red tape while you focus on your mental, physical, and emotional recovery.
Truck drivers’ employers, their insurance providers, and any other party potentially at fault for the accident will do everything they can to redirect blame and attempt to minimize your settlement. Additionally, evidence exists in a truck wreck case that you might not think to look for in a standard automobile accident.
Unlike most car accidents, the responsibility for a tractor-trailer accident often goes beyond the truck driver and any other motorists involved. Commercial truck drivers on the road aren’t just driving, they’re working.
In general, the trucking company that employed the driver may be held liable for the driver’s negligence. That’s typically true even if the company labeled the driver an “independent contractor” instead of an “employee,” because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require that trucking companies take responsibility for their own drivers (in section 390.5). In addition, any parties that may have affected a truck driver’s ability to do their job safely can share in the blame for a resulting accident.
Like all accident claims, the compensation you may be entitled to receive following a large truck accident depends on several factors. The severity of the injuries the accident caused and any negligence on your part could greatly affect the value of your claim.
Compensatory damages are intended to compensate the injured party for their losses, both economic and non-economic. Economic damages include things like medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for their conduct and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior. Punitive damages are not awarded in every case, and they are usually only awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious.
The amount of damages that an injured party can recover will vary depending on the specific facts of their case. However, in general, the more serious the injuries, the higher the amount of damage that can be recovered.
If you have been injured in an accident, you should contact an experienced truck accident attorney to discuss your legal options. A truck accident injury attorney can help you understand your rights and how to recover the damages that you deserve.
A statute of limitations is a legal time limit for filing certain types of lawsuits. If you are unable to reach a settlement for your claim, any resulting legal action you bring needs to be filed before the statute of limitations expires.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years. This means that you have a two-year deadline from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in court. Failure to file a case before the deadline means you will almost certainly give up your right to pursue compensation. Only very narrow exceptions can extend the deadline.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer or other large truck, you’re probably facing significant losses. You’ll likely also have to deal with several parties who will attempt to shift the blame for the wreck so they can avoid paying their fair share. It is vital that you take steps to protect your rights and interests
The attorneys at Butler Kahn are ready to listen to your concerns, analyze your situation, and lay out your best legal options. Talking with us is free and easy. Whenever you’re ready to get started, contact us by phone or online. Let’s see how we can help. Lawrenceville personal injury attorney.
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Butler Kahn secured a $150 million jury verdict against Chrysler for the family of a 4-year-old boy who was killed in a devastating crash in Georgia. Our firm held the giant automaker accountable for Remington Walden’s death and for failing to warn the public about dangers associated with its Jeep Grand Cherokee. Learn More