Accidents with semi trucks can be some of the most serious collisions on the road. When an 18-wheeler hits a car or pickup truck, the smaller vehicle can suffer extreme damage—and so can the people inside. In Dalton, many of the most complicated and severe accidents we see involve large trucks. If you or someone you love has been the victim of this kind of accident, you should speak to a lawyer immediately.
John Foy & Associates can help you. For over 20 years we have dedicated our practice to helping accident victims, and our Dalton truck accident lawyers have a long history of successful cases. We always side with the accident victim, never a large trucking company or the insurer. The months after any truck accident can be filled with physical pain, financial uncertainty, and worries about your future. Don’t face them alone. John Foy & Associates will give you a free, in-depth consultation to help you determine your legal rights. Contact us at 706-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How are truck accidents different from other car accidents?
Under state law, all vehicle accidents are treated the same: the driver who is at fault for the accident is liable for the cost of all injuries and damage. But truck accidents are different because of the sheer amount of damage that they typically involve. Semi trucks are simply larger and heavier than any other vehicle on the road, making them extremely dangerous. A fully loaded tractor trailer can easily weigh 80,000 pounds (40 tons)—the equivalent of 23 normal cars. When this much momentum is involved in an accident, other vehicles pay the price. Many truck accident victims will end up facing lifelong complications and disabilities. In some case, they lose their lives.
There are other factors that make truck accidents different. These include:
- Large trucks cannot stop as quickly as other vehicles, making it harder to minimize the effects of a collision.
- Truck drivers may not be able to see what is around or behind them.
- Many drivers are given aggressive delivery schedules, making speed and fatigue a factor in countless accidents
- Semi trucks may carry hazardous or flammable substances
What are the most common causes of truck accidents in Dalton?
There are as many causes as there are individual accidents. However, there are some factors we see involved in accident after accident. These include:
- Driver fatigue. One third of all truck accidents involve driver fatigue.
- Poor vehicle maintenance. When given roadside inspections, roughly 1 in 3 semi trucks fail to meet standards.
- Drivers not following safety rules. In surveys, more than half of truck drivers admit that they have falsified their road logs to stay behind the wheel longer than the law allows.
Of course, most truck drivers are professionals who do their best to drive safely. Many go their entire careers without any accidents or problems. But trucking companies give their drivers grueling road schedules, and push them to deliver their cargo as quickly as possible. Many drivers feel pressure to drive faster, stay on the road longer and use caffeine pills or other substances to stay awake. The result is that fatigue, distraction and unsafe driving play a role in many truck accidents.
What should I do after a truck accident in Dalton?
The most important thing in any accident is to get emergency medical attention for anyone who needs it. If you are able to, however, we also recommend you take basic steps to protect yourself and your rights. Remember, truckers have policies with large insurance companies that want to do everything possible to keep their costs down. They will look for an excuse to deny your claim, blame the accident on you, or pay you less than you need for your medical bills.
A few steps you can take after the accident include:
- Talk to witnesses. If there are any bystanders at the accident scene, talk to them. Ask them what they saw. If they witnessed the accident, ask for their name and contact information.
- Take pictures. The more pictures you have of the accident scene the better. These can help reconstruct what happened later.
- Take a video. Video record your conversation with the truck driver. If the driver is fatigued or has been driving under the influence, the video may capture clear signs of it. This will go a long way toward proving your case.
- Always call the police. Georgia law requires calling the police for any car accident where someone was injured. Wait for police to arrive and allow them to document what happened.
After the accident you should speak to a lawyer before you accept anything from the insurance company.
How much money can I recover in a Dalton truck accident case?
The City of Dalton follows Georgia state law, which allows victims of an accident to recover all of their costs plus substantial money to offset their damages. Common damages awarded in a truck accident case include:
- Medical bills
- Medication costs
- Physical therapy or other rehabilitation if needed
- Lost wages
- Car repairs
The local courts can also award large sums of money in consideration of physical pain & suffering, disabilities, inability to work, or other serious losses. This money cannot undo the accident, and it doesn’t always guarantee a full return to health. But it can help your family remain financially stable in the aftermath of an accident. In many cases a single truck accident claim can be worth more than $100,000.
How do I know if I have a valid truck accident claim?
It’s impossible to know how strong your claim is unless you get a professional opinion from a lawyer. At John Foy & Associates, our goal is to make it easy to get the legal advice you need. That’s why we offer free consultations, and it’s also why we charge nothing unless we win you money. We want it to be risk-free and easy for you to file a claim if you choose to do so.
No matter what you do after your accident, don’t sell yourself short. We often see accident victims who blame themselves for the accident or think there’s nothing they can do. In many cases they actually have claims that would be worth tens of thousands of dollars or more. Talk to a lawyer as soon after the accident as possible.
Talk to a Dalton Truck Accident Lawyer for Free
At John Foy & Associates, our only goal is to help accident victims. Let us give you a free consultation and show you what we can do for you. Call us at 706-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.