Large commercial trucks spend hours and hours on the road. They can often be found on the streets of Calhoun and on the outskirts of town. While these large vehicles are great for hauling large items over long distances, they can also be very dangerous. They have huge blind spots, are difficult to control, and have a hard time stopping effectively. When they are involved in a crash with a passenger vehicle or pedestrian, the accident can be fatal. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Calhoun, you need help from an experienced truck accident lawyer.
You need a trusted advisor and advocate to navigate the difficult legal aspects of a truck accident. These cases are challenging because they involve unique laws and can include several parties. The team at John Foy & Associates has the experience necessary to deal with these often-complicated cases. We never work for insurance companies or trucking companies–we want to help truck accident victims when they need it most. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How Are Trucking Accidents Different from Car Accidents?
The average car accident involves just two parties and their insurance companies. One or both of the drivers may be at fault, and damages have resulted. Trucking accidents, on the other hand, are often much more complicated. Below are a few reasons that truck accidents differ from car accidents in Georgia.
Different Laws and Regulations
Trucks are often subject to more than just the laws of Georgia, which is normal for the average passenger car. They must also follow federal regulations, which addresses things like:
- Hours the driver is permitted to be on the road
- Training and registration requirements
- Loading protocols
- Licensing procedures
- How certain loads are handled and transported
- Speeding regulations
- Bookkeeping and tracking requirements
If a Calhoun truck driver ignores these specific rules, they might be legally responsible for your resulting injuries and damages. But, attorneys who don’t do many trucking cases may not be familiar with these unique laws and overlook valuable opportunities to get you the money damages you deserve in this type of situation.
Several Parties Involved
In most car accident cases, there are just two parties–both drivers of each vehicle in the crash (and you often deal with just their insurance company). But, a truck accident may bring the following parties into court:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- The trucking company’s insurance carrier
- The driver’s insurance carrier
- Anyone who owned the cargo
- The insurance company for the company/individual who was responsible for the cargo
- Anyone who did maintenance on the truck
- Anyone who loaded the semi
- The manufacturer or the truck or various parts
Truck accident cases often involve several of these listed parties, which can complicate the case quickly.
The Severity of the Crash
Commercial trucks are very large. They are difficult to control and hard to stop effectively. Because they are so much bigger than the average passenger vehicle, they can also cause a lot more damage. Many truck accidents that affect others will also occur at higher speeds, making the crash even more severe. Resulting injuries may end up being severe and can change you for the rest of your life.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Like car accidents, truck crashes can be caused by any number of factors. But, the most common factor by far is driver error. This error could include things like:
- Driving while impaired/drunk
- Driving fatigued
- Poor judgment
- Distracted driving
- Improper response to emergency situations
Other potential causes include problems with the truck, such as:
- Improper loading (including overloading or weight shifting problems)
- Poor maintenance
- Bad tires
- Vehicle system failure
- Mechanical failure
Additionally, outside factors can play a role as well. Although a truck driver must still try to react appropriately to these factors, some things are out of the driver’s control. These might include:
- Dangerous road conditions and poor road maintenance
- Hazardous weather (rain, high winds, fog, etc.)
- Actions of third-party drivers
In some situations, driver inexperience can be a root cause of a crash. They might not respond well to emergency situations or they violate one of the many regulations that apply to commercial truck drivers simply for lack of knowledge. In cases like that, the driver and the party that was responsible for training them would likely both be involved in any lawsuit that you assert.
How Long Do I Have to Start a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Every type of legal claim in Georgia has a time limit attached to it. That means that you have to get your case on file by a certain time or you will not be able to continue it. In truck accident cases, you have two years from the date of the crash to start your lawsuit. Although two years may seem like a long time, it will go by quickly as you work toward recovering from your accident.
Keep in mind that this deadline applies to how long you have to start a lawsuit, not when you should contact a lawyer. Give your attorney plenty of time to investigate the claim and negotiate with the insurance company before you have to file. It’s a good idea to talk with an attorney as soon as you can after the accident. This makes the investigation easier and even increases your chances of getting the full recovery for your losses and damages.
What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Money damages in any legal case are designed to put you back in a position as if the crash never happened. That means that most categories of damage are directly tied to specific losses that you have experienced. Some of the most common types of money damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings/earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
Your spouse and your children may also have related claims that are based on how your injuries have affected their lives as well.
Talk to a Calhoun Truck Accident Lawyer for Free
John Foy & Associates can help you after a truck accident. We know the ins and outs of these types of cases, and that knowledge will be a great asset for your situation. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form and get your FREE consultation today.