The heavy commercial vehicles speeding along I-75 and other local roads cause havoc when they get into wrecks. Tractor-trailer accidents cause a disproportionate number of highway deaths and result in severe injuries to survivors.
Trucking companies are liable for the losses they cause through negligence. Speak with a seasoned personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a collision with an 18-wheeler to learn whether you have a viable claim against the trucking company or other parties. If so, a Dalton truck accident lawyer could ensure you receive a fair settlement that fully compensates you for your injuries.
Truck drivers must have extensive training to obtain a commercial driving license. Despite their training, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) cites various forms of truck driver error as a significant factor in most truck accidents.
Trucks driving too fast for conditions frequently contributed to accidents in the FMCSA study. Many crashes happened because the truck driver did not analyze the traffic flow correctly or followed another vehicle too closely. The study also cited driver fatigue and lack of familiarity with a road as frequent contributors to truck crashes.
Trucks are common carriers, and under federal law, they owe the utmost duty of care to protect the safety of others on the road. When a truck driver makes an error, their employer is liable to the people who suffer harm. If the driver is an independent contractor, the employer might not be liable, but the driver still is.
A proactive truck accident lawyer in Dalton can investigate the circumstances that led to the crash to determine the ultimate cause and which parties are liable.
Trucking companies have teams of investigators, crash reconstruction experts, insurance adjusters, and lawyers who respond to collisions involving their drivers. They often visit the scene of an accident before the wreck is removed from the site.
These individuals are seeking information to discover what happened and improve safety, but they are also looking for evidence of someone else’s fault. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 51-12-33 allows a responsible party to discount damages if an injured person was also partially responsible.
A trucking company’s insurer might approach an injured person soon after a wreck and offer them a small sum to settle their claim. The company might assert that the injured person was partially or mostly at fault for the crash. A knowledgeable Dalton attorney could ensure that a truck accident victim does not bear an unfair portion of the responsibility and that any settlement appropriately compensates their damages.
Someone who suffered injuries in a truck accident could seek damages from the negligent parties. Compensatory damages reimburse the injured person’s expenses and losses related to the accident and injury. They include:
Seeking punitive damages could be possible in rare cases. Courts only allow injured people to sue for punitive damages if they can prove that a party acted willfully, maliciously, or with conscious indifference to the consequences. If the evidence is clear that a driver or their employer was recklessly indifferent to others’ safety, a court might award punitive damages in a truck accident case.
When you are hurt in a collision involving a tractor-trailer, contact a Dalton truck accident lawyer immediately. The trucking industry is too powerful for an injured person to negotiate a reasonable settlement without a skilled attorney.
The sooner you engage a legal representative, the better. Call today.