Experienced Tifton Truck Accident Attorney
The trucking industry is an important lifeline for our country’s economy. However, these large trucks do present heightened dangers to other drivers on the road. In the event of an accident, the size and weight of these vehicles can do catastrophic damage, resulting in severe injuries and even death. Truck accidents are complex cases. If you’ve been injured, you need an experienced Tifton truck accident attorney who will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you need to rebuild your life.
How Truck Accidents are Different from Car Accidents
Because of their increased size and weight, truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries. Trucks, such as tractor trailers, require longer stopping distances, are less maneuverable than passenger vehicles, and have larger blind spots. As such, litigating these claims are more complex than accidents involving passenger vehicles for several reasons:
- Because of their size and weight, truck accidents often involve multiple vehicles.
- Truck accidents often have unique causes that aren’t present in car accident cases.
- Truck accident cases often involve corporate entities.
- The cargo that trucks haul can also present unique hazards.
For these reasons, you need a personal injury attorney who has experience in handling truck accident cases if you’ve been injured in a truck accident. A Tifton truck accident lawyer can help you understand your options and navigate the claim process so that you can get the compensation you need.
Causes and Types of Collisions with Trucks
From distracted driving to defective brakes, all types of issues can lead to serious and fatal truck accidents. These accidents can also involve all kinds of trucks, and they can happen in locations ranging from neighborhood streets to major highways. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident in Tifton, you should seek help regardless of the circumstances involved, and we strongly encourage you to contact us right away for a free consultation.
Just like any other motor vehicle accident, the majority of truck accidents are due to negligence on the part of the driver. Many truck accidents are the result of the following actions:
- Unsafe lane changes
- Failure to yield
- Running stop signs and stop lights
- Distracted driving
- Driving while intoxicated
In addition to ordinary negligence, there are factors that are more common in truck accidents than other motor vehicle cases:
- Driving while fatigued. Drivers are under intense pressure to make deliveries on time and spend long hours behind the wheel. This means that they may be driving while drowsy, which can lead to delayed reaction times and poor judgment.
- Lack of training or experience. Driving a semi-truck or tractor-trailer requires a specific set of skills and considerable experience. Accidents can occur when an inexperienced or poorly trained driver gets behind the wheel of a large truck.
- Mechanical failures. Tractor-trailers spend far longer on the road than your average passenger vehicle and therefore require a much higher standard of maintenance. Brake failures, worn-out tires, and other mechanical failures can lead to catastrophic accidents.
You need to be able to identify the cause of the accident in order to determine who should be held liable. Unfortunately, this is rarely easy. An experienced Tifton truck accident attorney can review your case and determine whether you have a claim for compensation.
We handle cases involving all types of truck accidents in Tifton. This includes (but is not limited to) cases involving:
18-wheelers (also called tractor-trailers and big rigs) present various risks for motorists in Georgia. Limited visibility, limited maneuverability and extreme weight (up to 80,000 pounds legally) are just some of the factors that make 18-wheeler accidents so common.
Cement Truck Accidents
Cement trucks can also be extremely heavy, which means that they can be challenging to maneuver and stop in emergency scenarios. Careless driving, inattentive driving and reckless driving are common factors in cement truck accidents as well.
Delivery Truck Accidents
As more people are shopping online, more delivery trucks are hitting the road every day. While delivery trucks can vary in size and weight, they all present similar risks when they are not correctly loaded (and properly maintained) or when their drivers are not being careful behind the wheel.
Dump Truck Accidents
Dump trucks present the same accident risks as other types of trucks, but they also present some unique risks. For example, if debris flies out of a dump truck bed onto the highway or into the windshield of another vehicle, this can lead to a serious accident even if the truck itself is not directly involved.
Garbage Truck Accidents
The same is true for garbage trucks. Additionally, since garbage trucks spend a significant amount of time driving around neighborhood and city streets, relatively low-speed accidents are also common. Running stop signs, pulling out suddenly, and other careless and dangerous mistakes are frequently to blame for garbage truck accidents.
Log Carrier Accidents
Accidents involving log carriers can result from a variety of different causes. Exceeding the truck’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), failing to properly secure the truck’s load, defects and maintenance issues, and driver negligence can all lead to serious and fatal collisions.
Moving Truck Accidents
Whether driven by professionals or renters, moving trucks are often hazards on the roadway. Similar to the other types of truck accidents discussed above, moving truck accidents can result from both driver error and issues with the truck itself.
Tanker Truck Accidents
Tanker truck accidents can be extremely dangerous, especially when they result in fuel or other hazardous liquids being spilled onto the roadway. However, even when an accident does not involve a spill, the consequences can still be devastating for victims and their families.
Tow Truck and Flatbed Truck Accidents
Tow trucks and flatbeds carrying vehicles, construction materials and other items are a daily presence on Tifton’s roads. Unfortunately, these trucks can also be dangerous, especially when their drivers lack the experience, skill or focus required to operate them safely.
Wide Load Truck Accidents
Trucks carrying wide loads can also be major hazards to other motorists. When a truck’s load exceeds the width of the truck’s lane, even minor mistakes can have severe consequences. Additionally, while truck drivers who are hauling wide loads expect other drivers to stay out of their way, this isn’t always possible.
Jackknifes, Rollovers and Runaway Trucks
Rear-end collisions, side-swipes and multi-vehicle pile-ups are all common with accidents involving large commercial trucks. But, large trucks present some unique accident risks as well:
- Jackknife Accidents – When a tractor-trailer jackknifes, this can put numerous other drivers (and passengers) in harm’s way. While truck drivers should be able to prevent jackknifes in most cases, these accidents are still common.
- Rollover Accidents – Due to their size, weight and limited maneuverability, tractor-trailers and other large trucks are uniquely prone to rolling over. Like jackknife accidents, rollover accidents present significant risks for everyone in the truck’s vicinity.
- Runaway Truck Accidents – Runaway trucks are extremely dangerous for obvious reasons. A variety of issues can lead to truck drivers losing control—and almost all of these issues will entitle accident victims or their families to just compensation.
Who Is At Fault? A Tifton Truck Accident Attorney Explains
Even if your accident was caused by the truck driver’s negligence, the trucking company may still be liable for your claim. This is the legal concept of vicarious liability – the employer can be held liable for the actions of the employee because the employee acts at the direction of the employer and to their benefit. This is beneficial to the victim, as the trucking company is more likely to have the resources available to pay the victim’s claim.
However, many trucking companies hire their drivers as independent contractors. This means that the trucking company is intentionally trying to avoid being held liable for the negligence of their drivers. They may also avoid liability if the driver caused the accident while not actually working for the trucking company or engaged in illegal behavior.
The question of whether or not the trucking company may be held liable for your injuries is a complex legal issue. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced Tifton truck accident attorney if you have been injured in a truck accident and need compensation to pay your bills.
How We Hold Trucking Companies Liable
Trucking companies have a legal obligation to operate their business in a manner that does not expose other motorists to unnecessary danger. Unfortunately, many unscrupulous trucking companies will encourage their drivers to engage in unsafe driving or neglect maintaining their trucks. Here are some additional ways that trucking companies can breach their duty to conduct their business safely:
- Hiring drivers with known substance abuse problems and questionable driving records
- Hiring drivers who lack sufficient training and experience
- Failing to provide adequate training or supervision
- Failing to comply with state or federal trucking regulations
You may also need to consider who loaded the cargo – an unbalanced or unsecured load can significantly affect a truck’s handling and ability to avoid accidents. The people who loaded the truck may be employees of the trucking company or work for some other entity. An experienced Tifton truck accident lawyer can unravel the layers of potential liability and hold the responsible parties accountable.
Common Injuries Suffered in Tractor Trailer and Other Truck Accidents
Many victims suffer severe injuries that can require months of recovery and even result in permanent disabilities. Here are some of the common injuries suffered by truck accident victims:
- Broken bones
- Severed limbs
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Burn injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Internal organ damage
In addition to physical injuries, many truck accident victims report psychological trauma such as severe anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
These injuries can result in considerable medical expenses. Even if you have health insurance, your out-of-pocket expenses such as copays and deductibles can be significant. A dedicated Tifton truck accident attorney can help you get the compensation you need to pay your medical bills.
Our Tifton Truck Accident Attorney Answers Some Common Truck Accident FAQs
What is a Black Box, and how can it assist in my truck accident case?
Many people have heard about the black box devices that are typically located in airplanes. Generally, they provide important information in the event an accident happens. Large trucks and tractor-trailers also have black box devices known as electronic control modules (ECMs) and event data recorders (EDRs). The information contained in such devices can help injured victims prove causation in a truck accident case.
Black box devices store data that is extracted following an accident. For example, crucial information on black box devices can shed light on how fast a truck was going at the time of the accident and whether the truck suddenly accelerated or decelerated. It can also help determine whether the truck driver slammed on the brakes shortly before the accident and whether the trucker was wearing a seatbelt, among other important information.
What is the statute of limitations for truck accident lawsuits in Georgia?
Under Georgia law, a person who suffers injuries in a truck accident must file a lawsuit no later than two years after the date of the accident, which would also be the date of injury. If the injured person suffered fatal injuries, the legal representative of the deceased victim must file a wrongful death lawsuit no later than two years after the victim’s date of death.
How is fault determined following a truck accident in Georgia?
All states have unique laws when it comes to assessing fault in a personal injury lawsuit, which is most applicable to motor vehicle accidents. For example, in Georgia, which is a “modified comparative fault” state, an injured person can only recover compensation when he or she is less than 50 percent at fault.
If recovery is not barred, compensation will be based on the percentage of fault assessed to each party. For example, if a truck driver is found to be 70 percent at fault, the injured victim will receive 70 percent of the total recovery.
Should I handle my own insurance claim after suffering injuries from a crash with a truck?
While you certainly can file a claim with your insurance company following a truck accident, doing so can compromise your legal rights, limiting the amount of recovery you receive. Insurance companies are supposed to help cover the costs of property damage and physical injuries resulting from an accident. However, they also must make money.
As such, insurance companies want to keep settlement payment amounts low. By enlisting the help of a Tifton truck accident attorney, you are in a much better position to fight for an amount of compensation that appropriately correlates with the level of harm resulting from serious injuries.
How do I know who to select for my Tifton truck accident attorney?
While any licensed lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of a truck accident victim, the lawyer should be one who regularly practices personal injury law involving serious motor vehicle accidents. For example, you would not want a business litigation attorney to handle your catastrophic truck accident case. Instead, you need and deserve a superior Tifton truck accident attorney with proven results.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact a Tifton Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accidents are some of the most complex motor vehicle accident cases we handle. We understand the challenges of these cases and how to overcome them. More importantly, we understand how important it is that you get the compensation you need to pay your bills and take care of your family. Call or contact us online to speak with a Tifton truck accident attorney about your case and how we can help.