Large commercial trucks go by many different names—tractor-trailers, big rigs, 18 wheelers, and semi trucks being only some of the most common.
These trucks can be seen on Georgia’s roads hauling goods to and from the state. Large commercial trucks are the primary reason Georgia residents can buy goods made in California and Maine, and why Northern states enjoy fresh fruit during the winter.
Unfortunately, these large trucks are also some of the most dangerous vehicles on our roads. Given their size and speed, they can cause horrific injuries when they slam into another vehicle. If you have been injured, you need a Newton County truck accident attorney to represent your interests.
Truck Accident Injuries
Weighing over 40,000 pounds, commercial trucks can smash into a smaller motor vehicle and lead to life-altering injuries, such as:
- Amputations. Limbs can be crushed or completely torn off during an accident.
- Nerve damage. Nerve damage can leave victims in chronic pain for the rest of their lives. When nerves die, a person will lose sensation in the affected body part.
- Burns. If the commercial truck is carrying flammable or corrosive material, then a motorist or bystander could become severely burned if the liquid ignites or spills out. Bad burns leave permanent scars on the body, which can cause severe emotional distress.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Any hard blow to the head can dramatically change brain chemistry and how the brain works. After a TBI, many people have difficulty speaking, walking, sleeping, thinking, and remembering as they once did. A serious TBI might also cause bleeding or blood clots in the brain, which will require surgery.
- Spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord connects the brain to distant parts of the body, sending signals back and forth. Any injury to the spinal cord can impair a person’s ability to move or feel sensations. Though some people can partially recover from a spinal cord injury, others are permanently impaired.
Other motorists will suffer milder, though still serious injuries like broken bones, cuts, abrasions, and dislocated joints. But others will die. According to statistics, over 4,000 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2016.
To receive compensation for a truck accident injury, you need to show that the driver or trucking company is at fault for the crash. Another word for fault is “negligence,” and it can take many forms. For example, truck drivers can be negligent by:
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Not braking in time
- Driving dangerously, such as passing illegally
- Stopping too fast and without warning
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Driving while fatigued
- Improperly loading cargo so that the truck becomes unbalanced
In other situations, the trucking company is to blame for the accident. For example, the trucking company might have:
- Hired drivers without the necessary licenses or endorsements
- Provided inadequate training to drivers
- Failed to check whether the driver had taken a physical
- Failed to perform a background check on a driver
- Pressured drivers to exceed the federal hours of service requirements
If a trucking company has been negligent, then a victim can sue it for compensation.
Why Might I Need to File a Claim After a Truck Accident
If you or your loved one suffered a significant injury in a semi-truck accident, it is very likely that you will need to file a legal claim to get full and fair financial compensation. Commercial trucking companies are usually defended in the legal claims process by large, aggressive insurance carriers. Insurers are not your side. They will do whatever they can to protect their financial interests — that means finding ways to reduce your settlement offer or to deny you financial compensation altogether.
Under O.C.G.A. § 40-2-140, a person injured by a tractor trailer or other qualifying commercial truck can sue the insurance company directly. “Any person having a cause of action, whether arising in tort or contract, under this Code section may join in the same cause of action the motor carrier and its insurance carrier.” This is beneficial to most crash victims but adds a layer of complication.
Before you move forward in the claims process, you should discuss your case with an experienced Georgia truck accident lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to offer you actionable, reliable legal guidance.
Please remember that you should not wait to file a truck accident injury claim in Newton County. Plaintiffs must comply with the all relevant statutory filing requirements (Ga. Code Ann. Sec. 9-3-33). In Georgia, this means that that you have two years to bring a case. Otherwise, your claim will be thrown out of court as a matter of law. There is no advantage to waiting until the deadline to file a claim. The sooner you speak to an experienced Newton County truck accident lawyer, the sooner you can get access to the full and fair compensation that you deserve.
Truck Accident Settlements
A settlement should provide full compensation for the losses a motorist suffers because of a truck accident. Many of our clients have received money to help cover the costs of:
- Medical treatment, such as surgery, doctor’s visits, rehabilitation, mental health counseling, prescription drugs, and assistive devices like canes or crutches
- Lost wages, if our client could not return to work while they recovered
- Future medical care, if our client required ongoing medical treatment
- Future lost wages, if the injuries prevent our clients from returning to their job
- Property damage, to fix their damaged vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Each case is different, and we can’t promise that you will receive a certain amount of money. Every case turns on its own facts, so it is pivotal that you meet with an experienced Newton County truck accident attorney to review your case.
Get Help from a Truck Accident Attorney in Newton County
After a truck accident, you should not delay getting the help you need. Immediate medical intervention is critical to your ability to recover. But legal help is just as important. At MG Law, we represent clients who have suffered serious losses because of a trucking company’s negligence, and we know how to bring these cases the correct way.
Contact us today. You can call 678-210-6690 or send us an online message. One of our Newton County truck accident lawyers will be happy to meet with you to discuss your case. You pay nothing until we win.