If you were involved in a truck accident caused by another party, there are many legal options you can explore to pursue compensation. However, you might wonder who you can sue for collision-related damages. While you may not need to take legal action, you can technically sue any party whose negligence contributed to the incident.
It’s best to consult with an Atlanta truck accident lawyer from John Foy & Associates to discuss your legal case and how you should proceed. An experienced attorney from our team can determine who was responsible for the crash and who can be sued in your truck accident case.
Parties You Can Sue After a Truck Accident
If you’re working with an attorney on your truck accident case, there are several parties you may be able to sue. A lawyer can investigate your collision and determine who should be held liable for the medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain, and emotional distress you’ve been forced to deal with.
If it’s in your best interest to file a personal injury lawsuit for compensation, your attorney may then take legal action against one of the following parties:
The Truck Driver
Although the trucking company is usually responsible for the actions of its employees, you may be able to sue the truck driver directly if their error caused the accident. For example, the driver may be liable if the crash was caused by intoxicated, reckless, or distracted driving.
Drivers must follow all of Georgia’s commercial motor vehicle traffic codes and safety rules. Although commercial truck drivers’ work schedules and training should be closely regulated to prevent accidents, many truck drivers become overworked and exhausted trying to meet strict deadlines. This can quickly become dangerous to other drivers and result in a crash.
The Trucking Company
Trucking companies that employ drivers must follow specific federal regulations and safety measures. This may include regulating how long drivers can work and how much weight their vehicles can haul between destinations. They must also train their drivers to be safe on the roads.
If your attorney finds that the trucking company violated state or federal laws, you may be eligible to sue them as part of your truck accident case.
It’s important to know that trucking companies must carry insurance policies with higher limits than other drivers. This can mean more coverage for serious damages, but it also means the company’s insurance carrier will work hard to avoid paying too much on your truck accident case. Fortunately, a skilled lawyer can combat dishonest insurance tactics and fight for damages.
The Truck Manufacturer or Parts Maker
If the accident was caused by a defect in the vehicle’s parts, you may be able to sue the company that makes the truck or manufactures its parts. Your lawyer will probably need to investigate the truck’s history to determine whether or not one of these companies contributed to the collision.
A Repair Shop or Mechanic That Worked on the Truck
If the incident was caused by improper or a lack of repairs, the person or company that performed those repairs may be responsible for the accident. Repair shops and mechanics are supposed to do quality work. Should they fail to deliver on this standard, the attorney handling your truck accident case may sue them.
A Goods Shipper
Sometimes, serious injuries or even death can result from hazardous materials from commercial vehicles. Therefore, goods shippers must let truck drivers and their employers know about the dangers of certain goods. If they do not do this and a cargo spill results in injuries, they can be sued for the damages.
A Government Entity
Truck accidents sometimes don’t involve anyone related to the trucking company. For example, if the accident was caused by poorly maintained roads, broken or missing signs, or anything related to road conditions, the government body responsible for maintaining those roads may be at fault.
While you can sue a government entity in Georgia for a truck accident, Ga. Code § 50-21-26 requires you to provide written notice of your intent to pursue legal action within 12 months of the accident date. These rules may vary for city governments.
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When Would I Need to Sue for a Truck Accident?
Although it’s in your legal rights to sue an at-fault party in a trucking accident case, you might not need to. Instead, your lawyer can file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company. If your attorney negotiates a fair settlement with the insurance company, you won’t have to worry about filing a civil suit.
The time to sue a responsible party in a truck accident is when insurance negotiations break down. If an insurance company refuses to give you enough to cover your costs, your attorney may need to consider filing a lawsuit to recover fair compensation for your losses.
In some rare cases, the at-fault party may be uninsured. In this instance, your lawyer would likely try to find another liable party with an insurance policy. However, a lawsuit may be your only option if no other at-fault parties exist.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
To determine who you should sue for your collision-related losses, your attorney must determine what caused the incident. Discovering the cause of the crash will allow your lawyer to determine whose negligent actions led to your injuries and losses.
Common causes of semi-truck and tractor-trailer collisions include, but aren’t limited to, the following:
- Driver tiredness or fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Manufacturer defects
- Faulty brakes
- Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo
- Poor truck maintenance or inspection
- Aggressive driving or speeding
- Unsafe or poor hiring practices
Truck Accident Compensation You Could Receive if You Sue the at-Fault Party
If your truck accident lawyer advises you to sue or file an insurance claim, you could receive a variety of helpful damages. Depending on the accident-related expenses and intangible losses you’ve been burdened with, a winning case could yield any of the following damages:
- Hospital and doctor bills
- Prescription medication expenses
- Ambulance fees
- Costs of tests, surgeries, and physical therapy
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Auto repair expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, if appropriate
How Long You Have To Sue for a Truck Accident in Georgia
It’s important to understand that you will have limited time to sue the party that caused your truck accident. Under Ga. Code § 9-3-33, accident victims typically have two years from the incident date to sue. However, there are situations where you may have even less time, such as taking legal action against a government entity.
Failure to act within the state’s statute of limitations could stop you from getting the financial remedies you need to move past the collision and your injuries. Fortunately, as long as you reach out to a skilled lawyer soon, they can take the appropriate actions within the state-imposed timeframe.
Talk to a Trusted Truck Accident Lawyer in Georgia for Free
Determining who you can sue in your truck accident case can be difficult, especially if you don’t have legal knowledge and are recovering from painful injuries. To discuss your case and legal options with a trusted and experienced truck accident lawyer, reach out to the team at John Foy & Associates.
We have been helping injured truck accident victims win the compensation they deserve for over 20 years, and we’re ready to help you, too. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an attorney committed to your recovery.