Truck accidents tend to cause horrific damages, given the sheer size and weight of a semi. Victims are often killed or catastrophically injured when they are hit by a truck, and survivors are forced to deal with emotional, physical and financial realities the accident caused. An Atlanta truck accident attorney can help victims obtain recompense.
Unfortunately, truck accidents are on the rise. There were 104,000 people injured in truck accidents in 2012, which is an 18 percent increase from the year prior, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And in most instances (74 percent of the time), it’s not the truck driver that’s injured; it’s the occupants of the other vehicles involved.
If you were injured in a truck accident in Georgia or your loved one was killed in one, we encourage you to contact our firm, the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C., to discuss your legal options for pursuing restitution for your damages.
Who was at fault for your accident?
Truck accident claims and lawsuits hinge on the concept of negligence; the party who was negligent or mostly at fault for the crash will be responsible for paying damages. So when we review your case, the first thing we have to determine is who was responsible for the crash. In many cases we’ve handled, we’ve found that it’s the truck driver who was primarily at fault. Below are a few examples of ways truck drivers or truck companies often act negligently.
- Driving while sleepy or under the influence of drugs
- Speeding or driving aggressively
- Not performing routine maintenance checks on trucks
- Driving while distracted, such as texting or eating
- Improperly loading cargo or overloading the truck
- Hiring drivers who are not fully competent
- Fudging logbooks and overstepping the federal rules for maximum driving hours
The Importance of Taking Quick Legal Action after the Crash
After a truck accident, it’s extremely important to move forward quickly with the case initially for a couple of important reasons. First, there is important evidence that must be preserved. Truck companies are required by law to keep certain records on file for only so long. Some of these records, such as the trucker’s logbooks and employment file, maintenance records, and mileage info can be pivotal to your case. If you don’t have a lawyer take the necessary steps to preserve the evidence quickly, the company may destroy or “lose” the documents, and you may be unable to substantiate your case.
The second reason you need to take legal action as soon as practicable is because there is a legal time limit, or statute of limitations, on when you are allowed to file a claim. If you overstep the time limit, you will be barred from pursuing restitution from the truck company.
Also, you might be entitled to compensation from more than one source. For example, if a faulty part on the truck or a negligent loading company contributed to the accident, more than one defendant may be liable for your damages. Your lawyer can assess accident reports and other collected evidence and determine which parties might be liable – and then act quickly to hold them accountable.
Talk to an Accomplished Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney
If you are injured in a tractor-trailer accident, you are immediately at a disadvantage. Most trucking companies and their insurers and independent adjusters are highly skilled in truck accident investigation and claims practice. Frequently, they will send "go" teams, including lawyers, to the scene of serious truck wrecks within hours of the event. You need staunch representation of your own. In fact, having a lawyer on your side is paramount to the success of your case.
We can help. Contact us today at 404-474-0804 to schedule a free consultation and let Attorney Jason Schultz and his team provide you the counsel you need during this difficult time.