Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney
Semi-trucks with a full load can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Truck drivers are often overworked with tight schedules, unreasonable hours each day and long stretches of time away from home. Put them on the interstate at 65 miles-per-hour and the unfortunate result is often a serious trucking accident. Due to the sheer size of an 18-wheeler truck, accidents involving trucks often result in death or serious personal injuries.
While the cause of every trucking accident is unique to the facts of the case, driver fatigue from failure to follow federal guidelines regulating the number of hours a trucker is allowed to be on the road contributes to many trucking accidents. When the driver is an employee of the trucking company, the motor carrier is liable for the driver’s actions under Georgia’s laws of agency, so long as the driver was acting within the scope of employment. When a trucking accident is caused by driver fatigue, it is critical to obtain the driver logs and other relevant documents. These documents often prove that the driver and trucking company have not complied with the law. The laws are in place to protect other drivers and the truckers themselves from inattentive drivers and unsafe trucks. The pressure to make more money often leads to truck drivers exceeding the permissible number of hours they can drive in a day and safety violations to the trucks themselves.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Commission requires that a trucking company that leases a truck and driver (“owner/operator” lease) to have exclusive possession, control and use of the leased vehicle. This provides another theory of liability in Georgia trucking accident cases. Courts have held trucking companies liable for accidents caused by a leased driver’s negligence. Another common theory in Georgia trucking accident cases is Negligent Hiring, Entrustment or Retention. Negligent hiring asserts that the trucking company is liable for the accident because it should not have hired the driver since it should have known that the driver was not qualified based on the application of employment. Negligent entrustment is similar in nature, but alleges that the trucking company was negligent inentrusting the truck to the driver due to the driver’s inexperience or lack of ability to safely operate such a vehicle. Negligent retention asserts that the trucking company is negligent (and hence liable to the victim of the accident) because the company learns during the driver’s course of employment that the driver is unfit or unqualified to operate the truck, yet fails to terminate the driver and take him off the road.
As experienced Atlanta trucking accident lawyers we start working for you as soon as we are retained to represent you. The first course of action is to send correspondence to the trucking company demanding that no records (such as daily logs and maintenance schedules) be destroyed. We then fully investigate every trucking accident case. This includes hiring experts such as Accident Reconstructionists and trucking industry veterans who work with us to prove how the accident happened and who was at fault. Among other things that our experienced trucking accident lawyers do are: investigate all potential defendants; uncover all insurance that can pay for your damages and proactively manage your lawsuit to ensure that you receive the help you need to fully recover for the injuries caused by the accident.
Many people that are injured in trucking accidents suffer serious injuries such as brain injuries (often referred to as traumatic brain injury or “TBI”), closed head injuries, amputation and loss of limbs, serious back injuries, third-degree burns, other catastrophic injuries, and even wrongful death.
Serious injuries usually result in large amounts of damages in the form of medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, disfigurement, future medical bills, and a diminished quality of life. Under Georgia law, the spouse of an injured person is entitled to be fully compensated for their “loss of consortium” which is the loss that occurs when a spouse is injured and the other spouse loses their companionship, services, and marital relations.
If you or a family member has been injured in a trucking accident, you are entitled to be fully compensated for your injuries. We are experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyers who work hard to get you all that you are entitled to under the law.