Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer
We see them on roads and highways across the country, those large tractor trailers hauling goods near and far and lined up at weigh stations. Sometimes what they are carrying is obvious from the signage and logos on the outside but often all we see is a box on wheels. The trucking industry has been vital for transporting large quantities of goods by semi-trailers and large trucks over land. Goods are commonly transported from manufacturing plants to retail distribution centers. Trucking is responsible for most of the overland freight movement in the United States, with a market worth $791.7 billion in 2019. Unfortunately, as the number of large trucks on America’s roadways increases, so too does the number of truck accidents that occur each year. That’s where an Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer comes in.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 5,000 people were killed and an estimated 159,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks in 2019. Many large trucks are commercial trucks, including delivery trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, and tanker trucks.
Because of the sheer size of commercial trucks compared to average consumer vehicles as well as a number of other factors, truck accidents can be catastrophic, causing some of the most severe injuries and fatalities. Without an experienced, dedicated, and reputable Atlanta truck accident lawyer by your side, it may be very difficult to get the justice and fair compensation that you deserve.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be facing mounting medical bills, loss of income, and a decreased quality of life. For this reason, we encourage you to contact our truck accident lawyers at Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC for top-notch legal representation as you seek compensation for the damages you have incurred.
Not only do we have years of experience handling truck accident claims, but we also work on a contingency fee basis—which means we don’t charge you any legal fees or case expenses unless we win your injury claim.
We are ready and more than happy to help you determine the appropriate legal step to take, gather the necessary evidence, and build a strong case that will ensure you secure fair compensation for your losses.
Suing Negligent Truck Drivers
Truck drivers assume the duty of protecting other motorists and pedestrians they encounter on the road by following traffic laws and trucking regulations. Other drivers, their passengers, and even pedestrians are owed a duty under these rules.
Any actions or inactions by the truck driver that breach this duty and cause accidents and subsequent injuries and/or fatalities could be considered negligence that can justify suing the driver.
Plaintiffs in truck accident cases can prove negligence in a number of ways, the simplest of which is to obtain a police report that cites the truck driver for breaking a rule of the road.
If a truck driver breaks the traffic law and this violation results in an accident, the law assumes that the truck driver was negligent. This concept of negligence per se can make some claims against negligent truck drivers relatively easy.
If the trucker is not cited for breaking a traffic law, you may need to investigate how long the truck driver was on the road on the day of the accident and in the days leading up to the accident. Your Atlanta truck accident lawyer may also need to speak with witnesses about the positioning of the vehicles and actions taken by the trucker that led to the accident.
Most of these things violate state and federal trucking regulations that drivers must follow to keep other motorists and pedestrians safe. They could also violate safe-driving principles that any reasonable truck driver should follow, even if they don’t explicitly violate any laws.
Our truck accident attorney can take the lead in investigating your truck accident to prove that a trucker’s poor driving caused the accident in question.
Suing the Trucking Company
A truck driver who causes an accident is almost always a defendant in the resulting truck accident lawsuit, but that trucker’s employer may also be a defendant in the case.
If the company took actions or failed to take actions that put you at risk of injury, the company could share liability. As the driver’s employer, the company might also be held responsible instead of the individual truck driver, depending on the circumstances of the crash and the employment contract.
Trucking Company Liability
There are strict federal regulations that determine how the trucking industry must conduct business alongside the regulations that dictate what individual truckers must do. Among other requirements, drivers cannot exceed a certain number of hours per week on the road, vehicles cannot exceed specified maximum weight limits, and cargo must be properly secured.
Most of these rules work to regulate trucking companies and stop them from engaging in practices that might injure other drivers.
Failing to follow any of these regulations puts others at a greater risk of injury. If an investigation reveals that this kind of violation led to the accident, both the truck driver and their company could be held responsible for the injuries that result.
Other violations on the part of the trucking company could also allow you to hold them liable, such as negligent hiring or retention of a driver that they should have known was dangerous or mistakes in vehicle upkeep that caused the crash.
Trucking companies (as employers) can also be held liable when their drivers cause crashes simply because they’re the driver’s employer. In the same way that a grocery store might be held liable for a spill that a specific employee didn’t clean up, a trucking company can be sued for the mistakes their drivers make behind the wheel.
To sue for “vicarious liability” under a legal principle called “respondeat superior,” you must show that the driver was working within the scope of their duties when the accident occurred.
Since truck drivers are hired to drive trucks, any mistakes they make behind the wheel of the truck are likely to be within the scope of their employment. If the trucker deviated from the assigned route or was driving the truck in their off-duty time, that could provide grounds for a lawsuit of a truck accident case, but those issues are rare. You need to consult an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer to find out if this applies to your case.
An issue that is common in trucking cases, however, is that you cannot sue a trucking company for a contractor’s mistakes. Many truck drivers are owner-operators or independent contractors that work for trucking and transportation companies, but they are not employees.
If the driver is not an employee, you cannot hold the trucking company liable as their employer. Instead, the mistakes end with the truck driver, but they will likely have liability insurance to cover negligence that occurs during their business operations on top of any auto insurance they carry.
Other At-Fault Parties
Our truck accident attorney at Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC can help identify all potential defendants to maximize your compensation. In cases involving multi-vehicle crashes or pileups, you may actually be able to sue other drivers alongside the truck driver as well.
Damages to Claim in a Truck Accident Case
Many truck accident cases leave drivers and passengers with serious injuries while most truck drivers often walk away from the crash with minor or moderate injuries. Since the victim was hit by a truck that likely weighs around 20-times what their car weighs, they are likely to face serious, permanent, or even disabling injuries. These victims are often entitled to claim substantial financial compensation and damages after a crash.
First, you could be entitled to compensation to cover their medical bills. These damages could pay for many different things, such as medical transportation to the hospital after the crash, emergency procedures to stabilize you, and ongoing physical therapy and rehabilitation after a severe injury.
If the injury resulted in enhanced care needs, such as home nursing care, crutches, or a wheelchair, those costs should also be covered in your claim/lawsuit.
Lost Wages and Earning Capacity
Secondly, you can claim compensation for other economic damages you face because of the truck accident, such as lost wages. If it will take you a while to recover from your injuries and you’ll be unable to work in the meantime, your claim should cover lost wages.
Additionally, if you cannot return to work or have to take a different job because of the disabilities your injuries caused, you may be entitled to claim the difference between your old wages and your new wages as damages to your earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering, Emotional Distress, etc.
Lastly, one of the most important types of damages you can claim in your case is pain and suffering. These damages are not available in most insurance claims. They pay you directly for things like physical pain, mental suffering, emotional distress, and other intangible, non-economic damages.
Talk to an Atlanta truck accident lawyer about how to calculate these damages and determine what compensation you’re entitled to.
Determining how much your damages are worth can be difficult. In many cases, the bills themselves tell only part of the story; other financial statements and economic reports might be necessary to determine how much the damages actually cost you as compared to how much you were billed.
Damages from lost wages could also need to be projected into the future, which could require calculations and testimony from expert witnesses to determine how much those damages will cost you going forward.
In any case, never accept the valuation that the defendant gives you. Large trucking companies work to keep settlements low to protect their bottom line. Work with an experienced truck accident attorney who will look after your best interests and can tell you what your case might actually be worth, both at settlement and if your case proceeds to a jury trial.
Talk To Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one is involved in a truck accident, you’ll need an attorney to protect your rights and fight for you to get the compensation that you deserve. Of course, your priority should be to receive proper medical care for your injuries.
Your next step should be to consult an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer. The fault is a complex issue in truck accident litigation. Unlike most car accident claims, collisions involving commercial trucks may be the fault of more than one party.
To recover the maximum amount of compensation for injuries and losses sustained in a truck accident, you must identify all of the liable parties. A comprehensive investigation is necessary to determine who is at fault and how their negligence led to the accident.
Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer
Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC is a well-established, trusted, and reputable law firm with vast experience handling truck accident litigation in Atlanta. You can count on us to fight aggressively and tirelessly for your rights and justice, and most importantly, fair compensation for your damages.
Our attorneys will help you file a claim to seek compensation, negotiate a fair settlement, or file a lawsuit and represent you in court if necessary. You can trust us to fight for you and look after your best interests.
Please feel free to call us today at (470) 268-5802 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a FREE, no-obligation case review/consultation.