Truckers in Atlanta (and all throughout the country) log thousands of miles each week while on-the-job. Although this certainly delivers goods quickly, it greatly increases the risk of trucking accidents. If you were the victim of a trucking accident, you may have options to bring an insurance claim or sue.
According to statistics on large trucks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 4,136 deaths from large truck accidents in 2018. The largest percentage of those deaths (67%) were car occupants and other passenger vehicle occupants. If you were injured due to the negligence of a truck driver, you likely have a case to seek compensation.
What Are the Regulations for Truck Drivers in Atlanta?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) governs the rules for truck drivers in Georgia and the rest of the United States. The FMCSA provides certain hours of service regulations for property-carrying truck drivers, such as:
- Cannot drive more than 11 consecutive hours and must have 10 consecutive off-duty hours
- Cannot drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- Can only drive if there have been eight hours or less since the last sleeper berth or off-duty period of at least 30 minutes
- Cannot drive after working 60/70 hours in ⅞ consecutive days
Why Do Trucking Accidents Happen in Atlanta?
Although there are strict guidelines about when and how often truckers can drive, those regulations are not always followed. Some trucking companies set rigid deadlines that encourage drivers to push through tiredness, shorten rest periods, log false rest hours, and not keep up with routine inspections. This can lead to causes of truck accidents like:
- Driver fatigue
- Driving while distracted
- Overloaded cargo
- Aggressive driving
- Not properly maintaining trucks
- Improperly-inspected trucks
- Use of alcohol or drugs
Some trucking accidents can be caused by defective truck parts. Defects could be caused by truck manufacturer negligence.
How Can I Sue if I Was the Victim of a Trucking Accident?
In Georgia, who you can sue comes down to negligence. You will need to determine whose carelessness leads to your accident. That could be:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- A mechanic or maintenance crew
- A third-party driver involved in the accident
- A government entity (if the accident was caused by problems with local roads or obstacles)
In Georgia, everyone is required to act in a way that does not injure others. If the person or party fails in that duty and someone is injured, the injured party can seek recovery for their resulting damages (Georgia Code § 51-1-6). If you can identify who was at-fault for the truck accident, you may be able to bring legal action against them.
The good news is that you likely won’t need to take the truck driver, trucking company, or other negligent parties to court to get the compensation you deserve. You can typically file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company for compensation. In your claim, you’ll need to show how the party was negligent and how that negligence has led to your damages.
Insurance companies do not like to pay out much on personal injury claims, which is why we highly recommend working with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Atlanta. Your lawyer can communicate and negotiate with the insurance company to seek fair compensation. This is usually successful—but if it isn’t, you can file a lawsuit for the damages you deserve.
What Damages Can I Sue for After a Trucking Accident?
You can list any losses you experience as a result of the at-fault party’s negligence and the accident. That includes:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medications
- All past, current, and future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering damages
Your lawyer will consider all costs of your accident and include those in your personal injury claim. The goal is to get you full compensation so you are not left covering any costs of this accident you did not cause.
Talk to an Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer for Free Today
It’s best to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer in Atlanta as soon as possible after your accident occurs. You will want to take action immediately to seek the money you deserve. A lawyer can help you investigate the accident, determine who was negligent, gather information for your claim, and fight for the full compensation you need.
At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping trucking accident victims win the money they deserve for 20 plus years. We know what it takes to win cases. To schedule a FREE, no-risk consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate attorneys today, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online now.