Accidents involving large commercial vehicles like 18-wheelers kill over 4,000 people and injure thousands more each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The majority of the people that these wrecks kill or injure are occupants of other vehicles or other people on the road like cyclists or pedestrians.
When a large truck causes a serious accident in Roswell, the driver, their employer, and other responsible parties must be held responsible. Butler Kahn is here to help.
You only get one shot at justice after a truck accident. Make it count.
At Butler Kahn, our Roswell truck accident attorneys are dedicated to helping victims seek the maximum compensation they deserve after devastating wrecks. We do the hard work that some other lawyers skip. By focusing on quality over quantity, our attorneys can devote the time and resources necessary to secure justice for seriously injured people.
Talk to us for free whenever you are ready to find out more about your legal options and how we can help you.
Do You Have a Truck Accident Claim?
If a truck accident left you with serious injuries or killed a close relative – and it was someone else’s fault – then you might have the legal right to compensation. An experienced Roswell truck accident attorney at Butler Kahn can review your case for free and discuss whether you might have a valid claim.
Some of the things your lawyer will look at are whether another party was liable for your accident and if they can prove that the responsible party was negligent in some way.
Why Truck Accident Cases Are More Complicated
Accidents involving large trucks like 18-wheelers and semis often cause much more serious injuries and property damage than other types of traffic accidents because trucks are so much heavier and bigger than other vehicles on the road. Nevertheless, it’s often more challenging for truck accident victims to get full compensation for their injuries.
One of the primary reasons that victims face difficulties with their claims is that liability in truck collisions is so much more complicated than with other types of wrecks. Many different parties besides the truck driver could hold some responsibility for the harm caused by the wreck, and each party might try to pass the blame to avoid paying victims. Further, the trucking company (which has the insurance policy) often tries to avoid responsibility for its driver’s negligence by claiming that the driver was an “independent contractor” or an “owner-operator.” (A good truck accident lawyer can defeat that defense using the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, in particular sections 390.5 and 376.12.)
Additionally, the wide range of regulations on the trucking industry add to the complexity of these types of crashes. Truck drivers and trucking companies must follow many federal regulations, in addition to the state and local laws that all drivers must obey. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations apply in Georgia trucking accidents because Georgia’s Department of Public Safety has expressly adopted those regulations.
Whether you hire a lawyer is entirely your decision. However, proving that these parties violated these rules is often difficult for victims who try to handle claims on their own. However, a truck accident attorney can use their deep knowledge of trucking laws to help you fight for the justice and maximum compensation you deserve.
Benefits of Hiring a Roswell Truck Accident Lawyer
A skilled Roswell truck accident lawyer can handle all the details of your claim, so you don’t have to hassle with this frustrating process while you’re already trying to deal with your injuries from the accident.
While some factors are often similar across accidents, each case is unique. An experienced attorney will listen to your personal story and build a legal strategy tailored to the specifics of your particular circumstances. If needed, they can also connect you to the resources you need to recover from the wreck, such as doctors or rehabilitation specialists. In addition, they’ll help you understand your legal options, answer any questions you have about your case, and support you throughout the entire process.
They can also handle all aspects needed to help you get the full compensation you deserve for your accident. When you hire a knowledgeable truck crash attorney, they’ll launch a full investigation into your case. They’ll gather and analyze the evidence to prove your claim, including pieces of evidence that might be more difficult to access, such as the trucker’s driving logs and information from the truck’s “black box.” Your lawyer may also consult with specialists, such as traffic reconstruction experts, who can testify to support your claim.
After building a strong case, your lawyer can negotiate from a position of strength with the other party’s insurance company and legal representatives to seek the maximum compensation you deserve. If they won’t agree to a fair settlement, then your attorney can handle everything needed to file a lawsuit and fight for your rights in court.
Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident Case?
Multiple parties might be liable in a truck accident case. First, the trucker or other drivers on the road might hold some responsibility if they caused the wreck by doing something negligent, such as speeding, driving drunk, driving while distracted, or driving drowsy.
Additionally, the truck driver’s employer might be liable due to Georgia’s “respondeat superior” and “vicarious liability” rules, which say that employers can be held responsible for actions taken by their employees who are on duty and acting within their job description. Even if the trucking company has labeled the driver as an “independent contractor” or “owner-operator,” the company can still be held liable under the principle of statutory employment.
Depending on what caused the crash, the company that loaded the truck’s cargo, those responsible for the vehicle’s upkeep, or the company that manufactured the truck might be liable as well. In other cases, a government entity might hold liability if a dangerous road condition contributed to the wreck.
How Is Fault Determined for a Truck Wreck?
Evidence of fault for a truck accident could include, for example:
- Data from the truck’s electronic control module or “ECM”
- GPS data archived by the trucking company
- Photographs of property damage and injuries
- Eyewitness accounts
- Pictures and videos from the accident scene, including photos of things like skid marks, debris from the wreck, warning signs, damage to guard rails, and weather conditions
- The trucker’s driving logs and data from the truck’s computer, showing how many hours they drove and how long they rested
- Delivery records and reports on who loaded the cargo
- Maintenance reports on the vehicle
What Compensation Can be Recovered After a Truck Wreck?
Some types of compensation typically available to victims of serious truck wrecks help cover things like:
- Lost wages
- Outstanding medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Disability accommodations
- Mental anguish
- Future medical costs
- Diminished capacity to work or earn a comparable income in the future
- Specialized medical devices and equipment
- Property damage
Sometimes truck accidents are so severe that they leave victims with fatal injuries. In these tragic circumstances, the victims’ surviving family members may have a right to file a wrongful death claim. While nothing can ever fully make up for the death of a loved one, this type of claim can help survivors cover some of the costly damages the accident has caused, such as loss of earnings, intangible losses, funeral expenses, and the loss of the deceased’s income.
Statute of Limitations on Truck Accident Lawsuits
In Georgia, victims of truck accidents or their surviving loved ones typically have just two years to file a claim in court. After this deadline passes, victims usually lose their right to sue for compensation.
However, Georgia’s statute of limitations rules have some narrow exceptions that might give more time to file a claim in rare cases. A skilled Roswell truck accident attorney can help you understand which rules and exceptions might apply to your particular case.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Rights After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident in Roswell, there are a few steps you can take to protect your health and your legal rights, such as:
- See a doctor. Truck crashes often leave victims with serious injuries, but not every injury is obvious right away. If you’ve been hurt, it’s critical to get medical attention as soon as possible after an accident, so the physician can fully evaluate you and help you get the medical treatment you need before your injuries get worse or cause further damage.
The main reason to see a doctor is to help you get better. But in addition, this report from your doctor will serve as an essential piece of evidence if you file a claim. It can help demonstrate the severity of your injuries and help prove that the truck crash caused your injuries.
- Watch your words. Don’t speak with the other party’s insurance adjuster or legal representatives without first consulting your own attorney. When fault is clear, insurance companies often try to talk victims who are in shock into accepting settlement offers that are much lower that they deserve. This often works for insurance companies if the injured person has not talked with a good lawyer, because he or she may not know what kind of compensation a Georgia truck accident victim is supposed to receive. If you work with a skilled truck accident attorney, they can speak with insurance on your behalf, so you don’t have to risk mistakenly saying something that you’ll regret.
- Contact a truck accident attorney. It’s overwhelming for victims of large truck crashes to deal with all the complicated parts of an accident claim while they’re already struggling to handle their injuries and losses. When you work with a truck accident lawyer, they can help reduce this stress by taking care of all these details for you, so you can focus on getting better and putting your life back together.
Talk to a Roswell 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer Now
You’ve only got one shot at justice after a truck crash in Roswell. Make it count. The lawyers at Butler Kahn won’t let the trucking company and insurer bully you into accepting less than you deserve. We limit the number of cases we accept so we can fully devote our attention to relentlessly seeking justice for our clients.
Contact us when you’re ready to discuss your situation. Talking to us is free and comes with no strings attached.