Covington Truck Accident Attorney
When you share the roadway with large commercial trucks, there is always a chance you will be involved in a truck accident. Truck accidents are not like car accidents. Although they can have similar causes and result in the same types of injury, tractor trailers are substantially larger and more powerful than passenger vehicles. This generally means motorists and passengers involved in collisions with them are more likely to suffer severe injuries and death.
Additionally, federal and state regulations for commercial trucks mean additional considerations are at play in personal injury claims following truck accidents.
If you are injured in a truck accident, seek medical attention for yourself as soon as possible. Once your injury is diagnosed and you have received appropriate medical care, contact an experienced Covington truck accident lawyer to discuss your rights and options for pursuing compensation for your damages.
What Causes Truck Accidents in Covington, GA?
Truck accidents can have many of the same causes as car accidents. These include acts of driver negligence, like:
They can also result from the same kinds of vehicle malfunction that cause car accidents, like:
- Tire blowouts;
- Stalling; and
- Brake failure.
Because a tractor trailer is so much larger than a passenger vehicle, malfunctions are more severe and cause greater fallout.
There are also accident causes that are specific to commercial trucks. These occur when trucks are overloaded, when their cargo is not secured properly, and when the driver loses control of the vehicle due to difficult roadway conditions or his or her own error. A few examples of these include:
- Jackknifing. When a driver has to brake suddenly, the trailer’s inertia can cause it to slide sideways, forming an acute angle with the tractor. When this happens, the driver loses control of the trailer and it can hit a vehicle or a stationary object; and
- Rollovers. Rollovers are another type of accident that can occur when a driver loses control of his or her truck, often because the truck is overloaded. Sometimes, jackknifing leads to a rollover. A rollover is an accident where the truck rolls onto its side.
Ways you can be Injured in a Covington Truck Accident
In a truck accident, you are more likely to suffer a severe injury like a traumatic brain injury than you are in a car accident. These severe injuries can lead to long-term and permanent complications, like paralysis and permanent disability.
A few examples of injuries you can sustain in a truck accident include:
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Broken bones;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Cuts; and
- Head injuries.
Are Rental Trucks Covered By Auto Insurance?
Rental trucks can be some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road in Georgia. Though these trucks are often both large and fully loaded, they are also frequently driven by ‘do-it-yourself’ operators who may have relatively little experience behind the wheel of a large vehicle.
Rental truck operator inexperience has been cited as a major risk factor in traffic collisions. As a driver, it is a good idea to be wary of rental trucks and to keep your distance, especially if something seems ‘off’. Of course, even the safest of drivers may still end up in an accident. Following a crash with a rental truck, you need to know how to protect your rights.
Under Georgia law (Ga. Code Ann. Sec. 40-9-102), all rental trucks should be covered by insurance. Any person who rents a vehicle from a rental truck company has a duty to obtain insurance coverage — either by doing so directly through that company or by providing supplemental insurance of their own, perhaps from their standard auto insurance or homeowners’ insurance policy.
In addition, Georgia mandates that rental truck companies must make arrangements to allow all customers to purchase ‘spot’ insurance. If you or your family member was injured in a crash with a rental truck, please contact an experienced Covington, GA truck accident attorney for immediate assistance.
What Should I Do Following a Commercial Truck Accident?
If you were involved in a Covington truck accident, you should take immediate measures to protect your health and your rights. First and foremost, truck accident victims should be sure to seek professional medical attention. Even in a non-emergency situation, all truck accident injuries require a comprehensive evaluation from a licensed physician. Many common injuries take days to fully manifest. You may be far more severely injured than you initially recognize.
Beyond medical needs, it is also crucial that you gather as much information as possible from the scene of the accident. Please be sure to get the truck driver’s name, the name of their employer, their insurance company and the policy number, and the vehicle identification for the truck. Take as many photographs as possible at the scene of the collision. If there are any third-party witnesses who saw the wreck, be sure to get their contact information as well.
Finally, the most important thing to do after a truck accident is to consult with an experienced Covington truck accident attorney. Never agree to give a statement to the trucking company’s insurance provider without first discussing your case with a lawyer. Do not sign documents and do not initiate settlement negotiations. After a major truck accident in Covington, GA, get yourself medical help and then get yourself a lawyer.
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Seeking Compensation for your Truck Accident Damages
Through a personal injury claim, a victim can seek compensation for the following damages:
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages; and
- Pain and suffering damages.
In order to recover compensation for these damages, the victim must demonstrate that the accident was directly caused by another party’s negligence. He or she can do this by providing evidence that shows the full picture of the accident and subsequent injury, such as:
- A copy of the official accident report;
- Photographs of the accident;
- Copies of his or her medical bills and the cost of future treatment;
- Testimonies from witnesses to the accident; and
- Any documentation that shows the extent of his or her pain and suffering, like documentation of the chronic pain the victim will suffer for the rest of his or her life.
In your personal injury claim, you must determine whose negligence caused your accident. In a truck accident, one or more of the following parties may be deemed negligent and thus, liable for your damages:
- The driver. When an accident results from aggressive or impaired driving, the driver is the negligent party;
- The truck driver’s employer. Employers have the responsibility to ensure that their workers are safe. If the driver’s employer required him or her to drive excessively long hours, leading to fatigue, or required him or her to carry a heavier load than the truck could handle, the employer may be liable for your damages;
- The truck’s manufacturer. When an accident is the result of a vehicle malfunction, the vehicle’s manufacturer may be liable for any resulting damages; and
- The loading or maintenance company, if they are different from the driver’s employer. If the maintenance company failed to properly maintain the truck or the loading company did not load it appropriately, this party could be liable for the victim’s damages.
Additionally, the victim could be deemed partially or wholly at fault for his or her accident. If the victim is determined to hold 50 percent or more of the fault for the accident, he or she cannot recover compensation. If the victim is deemed to hold less than half the fault, the amount of compensation he or she can recover is reduced according to the percentage he or she holds.
Differences Between a Truck Accident and a Car Accident
Tractor trailers are different from cars, plain and simple. Their drivers sit much higher off the roadway, which means their vantage point is different from a motorist’s. Tractor trailers have much larger blind spots, which means a greater opportunity for their drivers to collide with other vehicles when turning or changing lanes.
Large trucks also handle much differently than passenger vehicles. They require a greater length of road to come to a complete stop after braking and make much wider turns than smaller vehicles. They also handle much differently and on inclines, can require special care to shifting and braking.
Work with an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Covington, GA
After a truck accident, you can seek compensation for the damages you are facing because of your injury. If you choose to do so, work with an experienced Covington truck accident attorney who can be your advocate and provide strong representation for your case throughout the process. To get started with a member of our team, contact MG Law today to set up your free initial consultation in our office. Looking for a truck accident lawyer near me? Call MG Law.