Freight trucks are responsible for traveling across the state and sometimes the country, transporting valuable, hazardous, and commercial materials. Unfortunately, their massive size makes them one of the most dangerous motor vehicles on the roads. If you suffered critical injuries after being hit by a freight truck, you might have the right to financial compensation for your suffering.
However, you do not have to go through the claims process alone. With help from an experienced Columbus freight truck accident lawyer at John Foy & Associates, you can demand justice. A Columbus truck accident lawyer from our firm will guide you through the legal process. Contact us for a free consultation today and learn more about how to recover the compensation you deserve and how much your case could be worth.
Types of Freight Truck Accidents in Columbus
Your freight truck accident lawyer in Columbus, GA, at John Foy & Associates, will need to examine the type of collision you were involved in. This is partly because we must determine who is responsible for causing your injuries.
However, our Columbus personal injury lawyers conducts investigation which will also uncover valuable evidence that we can use to prove the defendant’s liability and the value of your claim. With that in mind, here are some of the more common ways freight truck accidents occur:
- Blind spots
- Wide turns
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Lost freight
- Unsecured cargo
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Common Causes of Columbus Freight Truck Accidents
The cause of your collision will help your freight truck accident attorney in Columbus, GA, evaluate liability. In commercial truck wrecks of this nature, multiple parties often share the blame.
Reckless Freight Truck Driving
When the freight truck driver fails to operate a vehicle safely, they can cause life-threatening or devastating injuries. Freight truck drivers may:
- Drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Operate the freight truck while fatigued
- Fail to adhere to traffic laws
- Drive over the speed limit
- Fall victim to cognitive, manual, or visual distractions
Commercial truck drivers are held to a higher standard than other types of motorists due to the size and inherent dangers of commercial trucks. If a freight truck driver causes your injuries, not only because they can be held accountable in your civil claim, but they may face criminal charges and professional disciplinary action.
Irresponsible Freight Companies
Freight companies often violate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules and regulations to further their financial goals. Some of the ways these companies break the law include the following:
- Failing to do their due diligence in hiring freight truck drivers
- Forcing freight truck drivers to violate FMCSA work-hour regulations
- Failing to complete necessary safety inspections
- Having cargo loaders overload commercial trucks with freight
- Failing to make essential repairs to freight trucks
Dangerous Road Conditions
Another common way freight truck accidents occur is due to hazardous conditions on the roads. When you are driving on a side road or a major highway in Columbus, you expect the streets themselves to be safe.
Street signs should be in place, traffic lights should be in working condition, potholes should be filled, and road construction zones should be carefully secured. When these conditions are not met, the government agencies, municipalities, and contractors responsible for ensuring road integrity can be sued for damages.
Legal Options After a Freight Truck Accident in Columbus
Your freight truck accident attorney will review the specific circumstances of your case to determine how you can recover maximum compensation for your damages. Generally, there are two primary ways of getting your damages covered. These include filing a claim with the insurance company and bringing your case to court:
File an Insurance Claim
Georgia follows fault-based insurance laws. You will file a claim with the freight truck company’s insurance provider when you are involved in a freight truck accident.
However, certain situations may make it possible for you to file a claim with the freight truck driver’s personal auto insurance policy or your own auto insurer. You can get the clarity you need and support in negotiating with the insurance company by having your Columbus freight truck accident attorney handle the claims process on your behalf.
Pursue a Civil Freight Truck Accident Lawsuit
Filing a civil lawsuit after a freight truck accident is one of the top ways to ensure you recover maximum compensation for your damages. Since you will likely be limited by the types and amounts of coverage the policyholder purchased, you may find your insurance settlement does not sufficiently cover your losses. Fortunately, when you file a claim in civil court, you will not need to face the same restrictions.
The Value of Your Freight Truck Accident Damages
Another responsibility your freight truck accident lawyer will have is calculating the value of your claim. After everything you have been through, you have the right to be repaid for every way you have suffered due to your freight truck accident and subsequent injuries. Damages can be categorized as compensatory or punitive.
Compensatory damages are the losses you are entitled to recover. This can include a combination of economic or non-economic damages. Economic losses are monetary, while non-economic damages account for how your life has been affected by your damages.
Examples of both types of compensatory damages include:
- Vehicle repair costs
- Loss of companionship and love
- Loss of protection and support
- Diminished earning capacity
- Reduced quality of life
- Skin scarring and disfigurement
- Personal property damage
- Lost wages and employee benefits
- Medical expenses and equipment costs
- Physical pain and suffering
- Reputational damages
- Loss of household services
- Emotional distress
Punitive damages are not awarded in every freight truck accident claim. They will only be issued when the judge presiding over your case determines the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent or abhorrent.
For example, let’s say the trucking company employed a truck driver with multiple DUI convictions on their record. If that trucker went on to cause your freight truck accident through drunk driving, punitive damages might apply.
Contact a Freight Truck Accident Lawyer in Columbus for Help Today
After suffering devastating injuries in a collision with a freight truck, your recovery will be difficult enough without having to deal with psychological distress and financial losses. Make the at-fault party compensate you for their negligent actions.
Meet with a respected Columbus freight truck accident lawyer at John Foy & Associates to explore your legal options for financial relief. You can reach us through our quick contact form or by phone to schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation today.