Greater Atlanta Truck Accident Attorneys
Due to their sheer size and the amount of force behind them, trucks can easily generate an immense amount of damage when they’re involved in accidents, often resulting in tragedies. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a trucking accident, then you need an Atlanta truck accident attorney who will aggressively pursue the full compensation you are entitled to under the law. Our personal injury lawyers at Hilley & Frieder, P.C., have been serving the greater Atlanta community for more than 35 years.
Experience Matters When Choosing A Big Rig Accident Attorney
Unlike common car accidents, crashes involving commercial and professional truck drivers are more complex. Truck drivers have an added responsibility to the general public to make sure that they are fit to drive, including limiting the number of hours they are on the road and ensuring that their equipment is roadworthy.
Our personal injury lawyers will listen to your story, review the accident report, and work hard to try to make sure that you are reimbursed by any negligent parties who caused your accident.
Our lawyers advocate for those who have been injured in truck accidents throughout Atlanta. Our practice is entirely focused on handling personal injury, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and long-term disability claims. Our team has extensive experience evaluating, investigating and pursuing a wide range of claims, including all types of accidents involving automobiles, motorcycles, pedestrians and trucks.
Common Causes Of Truck Accidents
Truck drivers have an added amount of responsibility on the road. As professional drivers, they have a duty to make certain that they are following the appropriate rules and do not compromise the safety of others by driving too long or becoming fatigued. Unfortunately, many drivers do not adhere to the rules, causing accidents that could have otherwise been prevented.
There are many potential causes for semi-truck and commercial vehicle accidents. Common causes of truck wrecks can include:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Substance abuse
- Failure to properly maintain a vehicle
- Overloaded trucks
- Skipped safety checks
- Federal regulations for truckers
Our truck accident lawyers will carefully examine the accident report and review all evidence to determine the cause of liability. They can even call upon experts to provide authoritative testimony about the cause of the accident. Our team will work tirelessly on your behalf and seek to obtain just compensation for your injuries.
Federal Rules And Regulations For Truck Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) establishes and enforces regulations for truck drivers and their employers. You can hold a driver and/or their employer liable for your accident if you find that they are in violation of FMCSA rules.
These regulations include the following:
- The FMCSA does not allow truck drivers to drive more hours than regulations deem safe, depending on the driver’s schedule and the cargo they are carrying. Driving more hours than allowed can lead to drowsy driving and other serious hazards.
- Truck drivers must also maintain a strict log of the hours they drive. You can use this driving log as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim.
- The FMCSA requires all trucking companies to routinely perform frequent inspections on their fleet of vehicles. If the inspection discovers any damage or malfunctions, then the company must repair the vehicle before sending it onto the road.
- All trucking companies must ensure that their drivers have the proper commercial driver’s license (CDL), be at least 21 years of age and speak proficient English.
Compliance with FMCSA regulations is important for trucking companies, truck operators and motor vehicle drivers alike. One of our attorneys’ first steps will involve requesting documentation from the at-fault driver’s employer to determine whether any violations took place.
How Are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?
Federal laws and FMCSA regulations are two ways in which truck accidents differ from car accidents in the eyes of civil law. Your case may involve broken federal motor carrier safety laws, for which the trucking company or another entity may be liable for the wreck. There are also other ways your case may be unique from a typical car accident case. For instance, truck accidents offer unique sources of evidence, including:
- The truck’s black box
- An event data recorder
- Daily driver logs
- Truck inspection reports
- In-cab camera footage
- Truck driver medical and crash records
- Driving record
- Regulatory compliance history
- Cellphone records
A lawyer can help you gather this evidence in the aftermath of your truck accident. The injuries involved in truck accidents are also often more catastrophic than those that occur in traditional car crashes. This makes it even more important for victims and survivors to seek assistance from attorneys to obtain fair awards from insurance companies; otherwise, they may accept settlement offers from insurance companies that undervalue serious losses.
Finally, a truck accident may involve the law of vicarious liability. Vicarious liability stems from a legal doctrine that means “let the master speak.” It is a law that holds most employers, including truck companies, legally responsible for the actions of their on-duty employees. Therefore, if a negligent truck driver caused your crash, you will most likely be going up against the entire company.
Hire an attorney for assistance with all the unique aspects of your truck accident claim, including negotiating with a trucking company’s insurance provider in pursuit of fair compensation.
How Can An Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer Help You?
Our truck accident attorneys in Atlanta can give you all the information you need to know about the insurance process for a truck accident claim. They can complete many important tasks on your behalf while you focus on healing, such as:
- Connecting you to top doctors
- Investigating your crash
- Gathering and preserving key evidence
- Proving liability and your damages
- Taking over conversations with insurance companies
- Negotiating for a fair settlement amount
- Hiring experts to testify for you
- Going to trial on your behalf
Our attorneys have experience going up against major trucking corporations and their insurance carriers and negotiating for maximum financial relief. They also have the power to represent you at trial if the insurance company involved in your case refuses to offer a fair or reasonable settlement. At Hilley & Frieder, our lawyers tailor their legal services according to what each unique client needs.
What To Do After A Truck Accident In Atlanta
Truck accidents can be very dangerous, and you may experience extreme shock after the collision. However, these moments are some of the most important for your future case. Immediately after the accident, take the following steps to seek help and preserve your claim.
- Call 911 to bring emergency medical services and law enforcement to the accident scene. Speak to the officer about the accident and collect their badge number to find the accident report at a later date.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not feel hurt. You may have internal injuries, or shock may be masking your pain. Save all records you receive from your visits.
- Do not admit anything about your injuries or the cause of the accident. You may not know all the facts at this point in your case, and making a premature statement can harm your chances of collecting compensation.
If you can move around the accident scene without further injury or danger, take the following steps:
- Take pictures of the accident site and your injuries, including all vehicles, the area around the collision, and traffic signs and signals.
- Exchange information with the at-fault driver and any other drivers involved in the accident, including your contact details, insurance information and licenses.
- If there are any witnesses in the area, collect their contact information as well. These witnesses may be able to provide valuable testimony for your case.
The sooner you hire a personal injury attorney, the sooner you will begin protecting your interests and right to recover damages for your accident injuries. Do not speak to any insurance adjusters or trucking company representatives until you speak to your Atlanta truck accident lawyer.
What Damages Are Available In A Truck Accident Claim?
Under Georgia law, negligent trucking companies and truck drivers are responsible for paying for your economic and noneconomic damages after an accident they are liable for. Common damages in truck accident claims include the following:
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
- Disability accommodations to your home or vehicle
- Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression
- Damage to your property, including vehicle repairs
- Past and future medical expenses for your injuries
- Disability and disfigurement
- Loss of quality of life
Economic damages involve your tangible, financial losses, while noneconomic damages involve your emotional and physical pain and suffering. Our experienced car accident attorneys can help assess the facts of your case and evaluate your injuries to help determine what types of compensation you may be entitled to receive.
Liability For Trucking Accidents In Georgia
In an accident involving commercial or professional drivers, liability rests with the trucking company as well as the driver. These cases require the help of a law firm capable of finding out what happened and whether any regulations were violated by the driver or company.
Ultimately, the trucking company is responsible for allowing the driver to hit the road in their truck. From the moment the accident happens, you can be sure that they will be doing everything they can to find ways to avoid paying for their negligence.
How Do You Recover Compensation For Damages In A Truck Accident Case?
Financial compensation will not solve all your problems after a serious truck accident in Atlanta. It can, however, successfully hold the careless party accountable and help your family pay for expensive medical bills and other debts. It can allow you to move forward after a difficult and traumatic time in your life.
You can recover compensation for your damages in a truck accident case by filing an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s provider. The at-fault party will be responsible under Georgia’s fault-based insurance law. File your claim with help from one of our personal injury lawyers. If the insurance company refuses to treat your claim fairly, then your attorney can help you file a personal injury lawsuit in Fulton County instead.