No driver wants to be in an accident–and certainly not in an accident involving a tractor-trailer that weighs dozens of tons more than your car. The results can be catastrophic.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a tractor-trailer accident, you know how severe they are. A car can be fixed or replaced — but the physical and emotional wounds that follow a serious tractor-trailer accident can’t be healed so fast. Some people may never recover from their injuries. If you’re dealing with the burden of these injuries, you need to speak with a truck accident attorney.
At Childers, Schlueter & Smith, we handle truck wreck lawsuits across Georgia. An Atlanta truck accident lawyer could help you understand your legal options and seek compensation. Our dedicated personal injury lawyers are experienced with these cases, and we can use that experience to help you get what you need to recover and move past this terrible ordeal.
Truck Wreck Statistics
Tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial vehicles can pose a major threat to passengers traveling in smaller vehicles. While the typical, fully-loaded commercial truck can weigh 80,000- 150,000 pounds or more, the average passenger automobile weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. Because of the disparity in size and weight, and the basic laws of physics, collisions between passenger automobiles and large trucks are likely to result in serious damage, injury, and fatalities. Moreover, the size and weight of commercial trucks make them a hazard when they brake and turn corners, due to longer stopping distances and impaired maneuverability.
- In 2006, commercial trucks accounted for about 3.5% of vehicles on the road in the United States, but they were involved in approximately 6% of motor vehicle accidents, and nearly 12% of vehicle accident fatalities.
- In 2006, one out of six fatalities in Georgia occurred in a crash involving a large truck.
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision with a large tractor-trailer, consider speaking with a truck wreck lawyer in Atlanta.
Causes of Commercial Trucking Accidents
While tight federal regulations govern the activities of drivers, their trucks, and their cargo, these laws have often been breached in cases of accidents and ignored by many drivers in our experience. Common causes of commercial truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue due to too many hours on the road
- Excessive speed
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Inadequately or improperly secured loads
- Failure to maintain proper driving logs
- Transport of hazardous materials without required permits and licensure
- Forced dispatches by companies on their drivers
If any of these negligent acts led to your semi-truck wreck, a lawyer could help you file a legal claim against the responsible party.
Your Legal Rights After an 18-Wheeler Accident in Atlanta
These potential acts of negligence- either on the part of the driver or any number of other parties- should be investigated in all collisions involving a large truck. Whether you have been injured in an accident with a commercial truck or are a truck driver yourself, know that you have legal rights to be fully compensated for any acts of negligence. Accidents involving commercial vehicles can be especially complicated, since multiple parties may be at fault. Trucking companies, employees, contractors, and insurance companies may be obligated to compensate for your injuries but will immediately investigate the scene, vehicles, and witnesses in order to diminish your potential case and claim. A skilled attorney could assess your truck accident to determine the full value of your claim.
What Compensation is Available in a Semi-Truck Collision Lawsuit?
There is nothing that can take back what has happened. An attorney cannot fix physical pain. But we are committed to seeking the best possible future for our clients.
By filing a lawsuit, you may be able to be reimbursed for your medical expenses and be able to face the future without the financial stress brought by this ordeal.
Trucking companies are required to carry substantial insurance policies. Depending on the weigh of the truck and its cargo, the insurance policy may have a minimum limit of as much as $5 million.
Compensation we may be able to seek can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Harms and losses due to disruption of your personal and professional life
- Past and future lost wages if you are unable to work
- Medical expenses
- Pain and Suffering
Each case is different, and so is the compensation that may be available. One thing that we can pledge, however, is that, if we represent you, we will seek the maximum compensation possible under the law, and we won’t stop until we’ve pursued every possible legal avenue to get you compensated.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
- Always call the police and emergency medical services, if needed.
- If possible, gather the other driver’s information yourself, including contact information, vehicle identification numbers, company name, license plate number and insurance information.
- Do not admit fault.
- Do not sign any papers without understanding what you are signing. We recommend you speak with an Atlanta truck accident lawyer before signing anything.
- Use caution when speaking to insurance companies. They may sound like they are trying to help, but in reality, they are looking to spend as little money as possible to boost their bottom line. They aren’t working for you.
- If you have a camera, you should take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, skid marks, and any other evidence of the accident visible at the scene.
- Seek medical treatment or see your doctor if you’ve been injured. Remember that some injuries do not become apparent until hours or even days have passed.
- Do not discuss the case with anyone except your doctor or your attorney.
Statute of Limitations in Truck Accident Cases
A statute of limitations is the time period during which a lawsuit can be brought. If the time period ends without filing your case, you may forfeit your right to seek justice and compensation.
Georgia has a statute of limitations of two years with truck accidents. This is why you should contact an attorney sooner rather than later in your semi-truck wreck case.
Do I Need a Truck Accident Attorney?
Recovering from serious injuries after an accident with a tractor-trailer is a painful and often drawn-out experience. It’s a time of stress and uncertainty. You likely have an accumulating stack of medical bills. You may be dealing with insurance companies who care only about their bottom line, not about your health.
You shouldn’t have to deal with this. You have enough to worry about. That’s why hiring a truck accident attorney may be your best option. At Childers, Schlueter & Smith, we do the following for you if we handle your truck accident lawsuit:
- Gather necessary paperwork
- Speak with insurance companies on your behalf
- Make the process as easy as possible for you
- Build the strongest case for compensation
Contact Our Atlanta Truck Accident Attorneys Today
Our law firm is committed to promoting traffic safety in Georgia. We support organizations working to protect drivers, and as Atlanta truck accident lawyers, we consider ourselves advocates for traffic safety. When Childers, Schlueter & Smith attorneys represent your case, we will work to identify potential defendants and investigate all possible causes of fault to ensure maximum reward for your hardship and injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you should contact our attorneys to see if we can help you get what you need to get your life on track. Consultations are free and without obligation, so call us today.