Anybody who is involved in a dump truck accident is bound to have suffered life-threatening injuries. There’s a good chance you’ll have a claim against one or more defendants. Things can get complicated right from the start. A Kennesaw truck accident lawyer can help you navigate the confusing legal process and help get you the compensation you deserve.
In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the common causes of these accidents. We’ll also explain what your options are when it comes to pursuing damages. Finally, we’ll describe the different types of damages you can demand in your initial complaint.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Dump Truck Accidents?
Dump trucks tend to be slow-moving vehicles. Typically, they give other motorists a wide berth. However, accidents happen.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the most common reasons for dump truck accidents include:
- Insufficient driver training and inexperience
- Poor vehicle design
- Dump truck tipping
- Backing up
- Driving with a raised bed
- Driver fatigue
- Inclement weather and road conditions
- Poor signaling
- Drunk driving
Many large truck accidents, including those involving a dump truck, are avoidable. However, your Kennesaw truck accident attorney still has to prove fault.
Who Can You Sue for Your Truck Accident Injuries?
One of the reasons we suggest you retain an attorney to help with your case is that many of them involve multiple defendants.
Obviously, you’ll have a claim against the person driving the dump truck. However, you may also need to pursue one or more of the following:
- The trucking company
- The mechanic who services the vehicle
- The dump truck manufacturer
- Another driver who may have contributed to the crash
Your truck accident attorney in Kennesaw will name all possible defendants. It’s better to include them in your complaint since there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to add them later.
Your Lawyer Can Sue the Dump Truck Driver
There’s no question that your lawyer will pursue the dump truck driver. Even if there are other responsible parties, the crash directly involved the driver.
Keep in mind that, while the driver will be named in your lawsuit, their employer’s insurance carrier is likely the entity who would have to pay your damages.
You May Have a Claim Against the Driver’s Employer
In Georgia, an employer can be held responsible for the acts of their employees. According to Georgia Statute §51-2-2, an employer can be held accountable for the acts of their employees as long as the following conditions are met:
- The driver did, in fact, work for the company
- The driver was on the clock at the time of the accident
- They were using the company vehicle for business purposes
- They were acting within the scope of your employment
As long as your attorney can demonstrate that these conditions are satisfied, you should be able to collect damages. The trucking company may claim that the driver was not on the clock at the time of the crash. Or they’ll argue that they didn’t have permission to use the company vehicle.
The good news is that the company will have to submit sufficient evidence to back up either of these claims.
The Mechanic Who Services the Truck May Be Liable
If you can prove that the crash was caused by a mechanical failure, you may be able to pursue the mechanic who serviced the dump truck.
Your lawyer will have to show that the mechanic was negligent. They will also have to prove that the mechanic’s negligence contributed to your dump truck accident.
What About the Manufacturer of the Dump Truck?
You may have a claim against the manufacturer of the truck. This may be harder to prove. If the truck has never been involved in an accident before, the manufacturer will argue that your crash had nothing to do with the design or manufacture of the vehicle.
Your attorney could submit proof that there have been other accidents involving this particular model of truck. If they can do this, there is a possibility that the manufacturer will have to pay damages.
Can the Government Be Held Liable?
Some garbage trucks are overseen by the government instead of by private companies. If the garbage truck driver was a government employee, you may be able to file a claim under the Georgia Torts Claim Act.
There are special rules for claims against the government. For example, you must submit a written notice within one year or you could lose your right to file a claim. It’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side.
Your Attorney Will Fight to Get You Damages
If you can prove liability, you’ll be able to collect damages. Of course, your Kennesaw accident lawyer will have to prove that you were hurt.
In most dump truck cases, victims are entitled to some or all of the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bill
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Some clients do ask if they can demand punitive damages. It is rare that a civil judge would grant punitive damages in this sort of case. You’d have to demonstrate that the driver acted egregiously or recklessly to have a shot at these damages.
Talk to an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Georgia
If you were injured in a dump truck accident, you probably suffered tremendous injuries. You won’t be in any position to deal with the insurance company. And if you need to file suit, things can become complicated rather quickly. That’s why it’s a good idea to talk to a Kennesaw truck accident lawyer sooner rather than later.