Whether they occur on Hardscrabble Road, between King Road and Highway 92, on the Roswell Relief Route or on South Main Street, truck accidents are a part of life in Roswell, GA. Unfortunately, they often result in serious injuries and even death, many victims finding themselves forced to contact a truck accident lawyer near Roswell.
This is the safest approach for anyone trying to obtain compensation for any losses they incurred. On the one hand, the victim needs time and peace of mind to recover, and a truck wreck lawyer can provide it. On the other hand, the sooner they file the compensation claim, the sooner they can obtain the money they need. Besides, compensation claims are subject to strict deadlines.
A truck accident lawyer can make ends meet by taking over the claim filing process and allowing their client to focus on their recovery and anything else going on in their life at the time. In order for that to happen, it is very important for the accident victim to contact a personal injury lawyer near Roswell as soon as possible.
Why Contact a Roswell Truck Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible?
According to Georgia statutes of limitations, a truck accident victim has two years to take civil action for their injuries (GA Code § 9-3-33), and four years to take civil action for property damage (Code § 9-3-32), no matter if they hire a truck wreck lawyer or do everything themselves.
However, depending on the circumstances in which the accident took place, gathering the evidence and preparing and filing the compensation claim can take time as well. Waiting too long is never a good strategy.
At The Weinstein Firm, our truck accident lawyers advise our clients to initiate the compensation claim process as soon as possible. To enable them to do so, we often meet them at their homes or even in the hospital. We also provide free case evaluations.
During these evaluations, we analyze the available evidence for the accident and the circumstances our clients describe to determine whether our client has the right to seek compensation and, if they do, against whom they should file their claim.
Who Can Be Held Liable For a Truck Accident In Georgia?
Depending on how the accident occurred and what evidence they have available, a truck accident attorney will have to decide against whom to file the compensation claim in order to secure the highest compensation for their client, as soon as possible.
Their decision will depend on whether the fault for the accident belonged to the truck driver, their employer, or a third party. At The Weinstein Firm, our personal injury lawyers have concluded that, when possible, seeking compensation from insurance companies is preferable to filing civil lawsuits.
However, we do whatever it takes to defend our clients’ interests. Thus, depending on the case details, we may seek compensation from any of the following parties:
1. The Truck Driver (The Insurer)
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck drivers cause more than half of truck accidents. While this statistic is a great starting point for any truck accident lawyer trying to prove a truck driver’s liability, solid evidence is still a must. Depending on their case specifics, the truck accident attorney may have to prove that:
- The driver ran out of their traffic lane, got off the road or into the adjacent lane – This happens in 32% of all truck accidents and should be easy to prove with the help of witnesses, photos from the accident scene, road traces, and more.
- The driver lost control of the truck due to the high speed, mechanical failures, road holes, bad weather, cargo shifts, and other unfortunate occurrences. This happens in 29% of all truck accidents, and truck accident lawyers try to prove it by interrogating witnesses, requesting technical expertise, or investigating the scene of the accident.
- The driver rear-ended the vehicle in front of them. It happens in 22% of all truck accidents, as some truck drivers are aggressive, drive at high speeds, fail to keep a safe distance from the cars in front of them, fall asleep behind the wheel, or divert their attention from the road to their smartphone.
As an experienced truck accident lawyer already knows, fatigue is the main cause of truck drivers’ mistakes in traffic. Truck drivers have to cover long routes, sometimes in record time, and sleeping in improper conditions. They rarely get the rest they need, so fatigue steps in causes drivers to:
- Fall asleep at the wheel
- Suffer a heart attack or a seizure
- Lose focus
- Make inappropriate decisions
- Respond inappropriately to traffic stimuli
Otherwise put, fatigue causes drivers to lose control of their vehicles, overlook malfunctions, make bad decisions in traffic, and have exaggerated responses. An experienced truck accident lawyer knows that the easiest way to prove driver fatigue is by checking the driver’s work diary.
Georgia and FMCSA regulations allow up to 11 hours of driving within a 14 hours daily timeframe, every day of the week. They only impose minimum rest periods every couple of hours. However, many drivers skip the rest breaks, either on their own will or forced by their employer, to reach their destination faster.
If a truck wreck lawyer succeeds to prove that the truck driver who hit their client did not comply with the above regulations, and/or showed signs of fatigue, their mission is half-accomplished. But truck drivers are not always at fault for the accidents they are involved in, or at least the fault is not exclusively theirs.
2. The Trucking Company (Their Insurer)
Sometimes, trucking companies pressure their drivers into complying with hectic schedules and reaching their destination in record time. The driver has no choice but to comply, by speeding or sacrificing rest time or lose their job.
Unfortunately, these aspects are difficult to prove even for the best car accident lawyer. It will take witnesses and difficult to obtain documents, like correspondence between the trucking company and their client.
They may also need expert testimonies from traffic specialists, to show that the time the trucking company allowed the driver to reach their next delivery point was insufficient and could not have been met at the legal speed and while complying with the minimum rest periods.
Other situations when a truck accident attorney may be able to hold the trucking company responsible for the accident their driver was involved in include inexperienced and improperly trained drivers, and trucks’ lack of compliance with regulations regarding length, width, weight, technical inspections, maintenance service, and minimum safety equipment.
To prove the liability of the trucking company, an experienced truck wreck lawyer will check:
- The truck’s records for scheduled and performed inspections, repairs and maintenance
- The qualifications and experience of the truck driver
- The truck’s lights and reflectors
- The truck’s markings
- The emergency equipment available in the truck
- The way the cargo is tied and secured, and the available systems
- The truck’s tires and covers
- The weight of the cargo
If they find enough evidence to justify a compensation claim against the trucking company, the truck accident attorney will not hesitate to file the claim. If the evidence is insufficient, they may recommend a different approach, to avoid wasting their client’s time and resources.
3. A Third Party (Their Insurer)
It is no secret for a truck accident lawyer that not all truck drivers cause accidents, and not all trucking companies force their drivers to disobey rules and regulations or entrust their trucks to inexperienced and irresponsible drivers. Sometimes, the service providers of the trucking company fail to live up to their responsibilities or make costly mistakes.
As experienced truck accident lawyers know, sometimes, cargo owners overload trucks or fail to secure the cargo appropriately, without the truck driver or their employer realizing it. Other times, truck repair and maintenance companies invoice their clients for work they never perform, and the trucks break down in the middle of the road despite the owner and driver’s best efforts.
Trucks may also be involved in chain accidents another driver caused, perhaps by speeding, driving while intoxicated, losing control of their vehicle, or switching lanes without signaling their intention.
At The Weinstein Firm, every truck accident lawyer will carefully analyze all case details, conduct further investigations themselves, if necessary, and identify the party at fault and the best course of action for their client before preparing and filing any compensation claims.
It is important to note that under Georgia laws, it is possible to obtain compensation for accident-related losses even when someone shares liability for the accident. We will explain how this works in the following lines.
How Is Liability After a Truck Accident Determined?
In Georgia, liability is evaluated at 100% and the sum of the liability share of all the parties involved in an accident. Even passengers may be considered liable for the accidents they were involved in, for not wearing their seatbelts.
This does not mean they cannot receive any type of compensation. It only means that their truck wreck lawyer will need to show that their fault percentage was lower than that of the other parties involved.
How does shared liability influence compensation in Georgia? For example, in a truck accident involving damages of $100,000 for which the truck driver was 70% at fault, and the other driver was 30% at fault, the truck driver will cover $70,000, and the other driver will cover $30,000.
How much money the parties should actually pay or receive will depend on the value of the damages and injuries each party sustained. Most of the time, it also depends on how experienced the truck accident lawyers of the parties involved are, and what evidence they manage to collect and include in their claim.
How Can A Lawyer Help My Truck Accident Claim?
There are numerous benefits the collaboration with an experienced and dedicated truck accident attorney can bring to an accident victim. The sooner the collaboration begins, the more numerous the benefits are.
For example, having a truck wreck lawyer at the scene of the accident can help the parties involved gather valuable information and evidence they may otherwise overlook. When in pain, confused, worried, or angry, it is difficult to focus on one thing. It helps to benefit from an objective perspective and receive advice and guidance.
Many accident victims make costly mistakes at the accident scene, but a truck accident attorney will advise their client to avoid them. Apologizing or assuming fault for the accident is always a bad idea, and so is getting into arguments or fights. The best approach is to gather information and evidence and record any discussions or statements.
Also, signing any statements or agreements so soon after an accident is a bad idea. Should any insurance agent suggest something like that, it is better to have a truck accident lawyer analyze the document and provide adequate advice.
Assuming the worst has passed and the accident victim is recovering from the accident now would be a good time to prepare the accident claim. However, identifying the party at fault, their insurer, and putting together enough evidence to prove their liability is not easy.
This is a job for an experienced truck wreck lawyer, and so is putting together medical reports, bills, income statements, and other expense proofs to justify the compensation claim. Since no one will take the time to study those in detail, clearly summarizing them in the notice of claim is just as important.
Again, a truck accident attorney can take over the hassles and do a better job. They will also file the compensation claim, analyze the defendant’s response and eventual settlement offer, and advise their client on how to proceed. If the settlement offer is accepted, the parties can shake hands and move on with their lives.
If the compensation offer is too low and the claimant agrees, the truck accident lawyer will appeal it and even take the case to court. The Weinstein Firm, we stop at nothing when it comes to helping our clients and defending their interests, and you too can benefit from our services.
Get the Help of a Truck Accident Lawyer Near Roswell Now!
If you were injured in a truck accident, you do not have to invest all your time and energy into a tiresome compensation claim process. One of our Georgia accident lawyers can take over most of the hassles, advise you, and be there for you every step of the way.
All you have to do is schedule a preliminary consultation. It is free, and it will allow you to figure out where you stand and what your options are. Call our personal injury firm near Roswell and schedule a consultation with your future truck accident lawyer! You deserve the best assistance, and we are the ones who can provide it.