Throughout Georgia, moving trucks play an important role in transporting our valuables and possessions. Yet moving truck accidents are a very serious matter. Because of the substantial size difference between a moving truck and an ordinary car, moving truck accidents can easily cause permanent injuries and death. In addition, moving trucks are often rented out to people or moving companies, making it difficult to determine who is at fault.
If you or a loved one have suffered because of a moving truck accident, you might be entitled to receive compensation for your damages. However, you first need to understand who is liable in a moving truck accident. Today, we’ll discuss this and several other related issues. Once you have had a chance to learn some basic information about these topics, contact an experienced Georgia moving truck accident lawyer to get advice tailored to your specific situation.
Determining Liability for a Moving Truck Accident
Assessing who is at fault in a moving truck accident is not always a straightforward task. Because moving trucks are often rented out, the following parties could be at fault:
- The moving truck driver;
- The rental moving company; and
- The manufacturer of the moving truck.
Let’s explore how each one of these parties might be liable.
The Moving Truck Driver
In many cases, the driver is responsible for a moving truck accident due to negligence or recklessness. Like all other drivers, moving truck drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers. If they breached that duty, and if that breach caused your accident, then you could have a strong case against them. Negligent driving behavior can include the following:
- Driving while using a phone,
- Speeding or changing lanes erratically,
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
- Driving when fatigued, and
- Driving in an aggressive or hostile manner.
A moving truck driver’s standard of care can vary based on whether they are simply an ordinary person or someone who works as a moving truck driver. In the latter case, the driver’s standard of care will be higher because of their training and experience driving moving trucks. When the standard of care is higher, it will likely be easier for you to establish a strong case against the driver.
And if the driver is responsible for the accident, it is possible that their personal auto insurance policy covers moving truck accidents. If the driver purchased insurance on the truck from its owner, that policy could also provide coverage.
The Moving Truck Rental Company
There are also circumstances where the company that owns the moving truck is responsible. As the truck’s owner, the rental company is obligated to regularly maintain it in a safe condition. The rental company could be responsible if the accident was caused by worn or poorly maintained truck parts—like bald tires or worn brake pads. Federal law provides default liability protection to rental moving truck companies when their trucks are involved in an accident. However, the law does not protect rental truck companies if their negligence causes an accident. Either way, you should consult a lawyer before filing a claim against the moving truck rental company.
The Moving Truck Manufacturers
Generally, several different companies contribute to the construction of a moving truck. Any one of these companies could be liable if their product was defective and caused an accident. However, establishing manufacturer liability is complicated. For one, you generally need to prove that the faulty product was defective at the time of sale. You may also need to provide evidence confirming that another party—like the truck driver or the rental truck company—did not take action that contributed to the product’s failure. Hiring a legal professional is the best way to maximize your chances of success.
Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accident injuries cause a wide range of injuries. The most common ones include the following:
- Whiplash and other neck injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Back injuries;
- Internal injuries;
- Closed head injuries;
- First-degree, second-degree, or even third-degree burns;
- Simple and compound fractures;
- Road rash, bruises, and lacerations; and
- Loss of organs or limbs.
Truck accidents can also lead to mental health issues, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Most injuries are obvious at the time of the accident. But others take weeks, months, or even years to manifest themselves. For that reason, you should always see a doctor after a moving truck accident, even if you feel completely normal.
Filing a Claim for a Moving Truck Accident
Before you file a claim, you should take several steps. First, you should collect and maintain all evidence relating to the accident. Helpful evidence includes things like the following:
- Photo and video records of the accident,
- Medical bills and prescription records,
- Eyewitness contact information,
- Pay stubs,
- Communications with the moving truck rental company or the moving truck driver, and
- Any related police reports.
Once you have collected this evidence, your next step should be to consult an experienced moving truck accident attorney. A qualified attorney can help you collect important evidence, determine all potentially liable parties, determine a reasonable settlement amount, write a demand letter, negotiate effectively with adverse parties, and represent you if you decide to take your case to trial.
We Can Help You Obtain the Compensation You Deserve
In a perfect world, no one would ever have to endure the trauma of a moving truck accident. Yet it happens all the time. And when it does, it can turn your life upside down. Fortunately, the law gives you the right to get fair compensation for your losses, including property damage and mental suffering.
At MG Law, our attorneys are recognized and experienced advocates who know what it’s like to recover from a catastrophic truck injury. We care about you and want to ensure you get a fair settlement or jury award. We have obtained many positive results for our clients, so don’t hesitate to set up your initial appointment. Call us today or contact us online to get started.