Decatur Truck Accident Lawyer
You are driving along, passing a semi-truck while traveling the speed limit, when the big rig swerves into your lane out of nowhere. You hear crumpling metal and breaking glass; then you are forced into a ditch. It hurts everywhere.
Paramedics rush you to the hospital, where you spend days recuperating. You start to feel better, but the medical bills start piling up. On top of that, you need a new car.
By law, you bear no responsibility for your damages. However, the accident was the trucker's fault, and he and his company owe you total compensation.
But they loathe admitting the truth. So instead, they rely on Georgia's comparative negligence laws to claim you bear at least partial responsibility and then reduce your compensation below its true value.
So, what do you do? You hire Brooks Injury law, a professional Truck Accident Lawyer Decatur because Brooks Injury Law never lets them get away with that.
Why Choose Brooks Injury Law For Your Truck Accident Claim In Decatur, GA?
Brooks Injury Law specializes in personal injury and truck accidents. Our top-notch litigators investigate the details of your situation and construct airtight cases. When a trucking company causes an accident, they leave clear markers. We find these in accident reports, witness statements, dash cam videos, and the interrogatories and depositions we conduct with the trucker.
Once we have built our airtight case, the defense knows it is only a matter of time before they must pay the full amount you are due and become more motivated to settle. But if they try to drag out the matter, we will go to trial, and they will pay more in the end.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Truck Accident Claim?
You need a lawyer for a truck accident claim. After a serious truck accident, insurance company lawyers, on call 24/7, race to the scene to find and preserve evidence favorable to them. At the same time, you are in the hospital, possibly fighting for your life.
They have a head start.
But Brooks Injury Law Decatur truck accident lawyers know their tactics and how to fight back. Firstly, our litigation team interviews you to fully understand your side of the case - you are the first and most important witness.
Then we conduct a thorough investigation into the accident's cause. You need your own attorneys to conduct an inquiry as soon as possible to counteract the other side's "investigation."
Based on our findings, we filed suit against the responsible parties, including the trucking company, its insurer, and the driver. In addition, depending on the circumstances, the truck manufacturer, the freight loader, the freight forwarder, and others may bear responsibility.
The lawsuit process begins with discovery. During this phase, your Brooks Injury Law truck accident lawyer Decatur subpoenas documents and other evidence, such as the truck dash cam, maintenance records, driver's history, and the truck's black box. Our litigation team also interviews witnesses, coordinates with accident investigators, and conducts interrogatories and depositions.
At any time during the discovery process, opportunities for settlement take place. Brooks Injury Law plans and executes its discovery actions around strengthening our negotiating position to compel the compensation you deserve. If the defendants refuse to come to their senses, we take them to trial.
We hold trucking companies responsible for paying for any injuries, deaths, or damage an accident may cause that involves one of their trucks. It's important to remember that not every good car accident lawyer is a good truck accident lawyer. Trucking accidents, and how you handle them legally, are very different than car accidents. It is critical to involve an attorney immediately after a trucking accident, or critical evidence can disappear and be lost forever.
Even the most well-trained and safety-conscious truck driver is at risk of engaging in driving behaviors that could lead to a crash on today's crowded highways. You will often find trucking companies are negligent in:
- Lack of Driver Training
- Truck Maintenance and Upkeep
- Failure to Inspect
Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries
When fully loaded, big rigs weigh up to 18,000 pounds. Put up against a 3,000-pound car, the truck "wins," and the people in the smaller vehicle pay the price. Some common truck injuries include the following:
Quadriplegia is paralysis from at least the shoulders down due to a spinal cord injury.
Paraplegia is paralysis of the lower body due to spinal cord injury.
Brain injuries vary from correctable to permanent cognitive impairment.
Facial injuries can leave severe scarring that can be helped with plastic surgery.
The eyes are resilient, but the force of a truck accident often results in severe injuries and lifelong disability.
The type of broken bones many experiences after a truck accident are much more severe than the type you get from a fall. Many surgeries may be required, and permanent disability may result.
Every truck accident victim is happy to be alive, but some must contend with the nightmare scenario of lost limbs. Prosthetics, though expensive, make a world of difference to people with this condition.
The natural casing that protects organs is not meant for the force of a truck accident. Nevertheless, life-threatening and permanent organ damage may result.
The accident impact can diminish all aspects of a victim’s life.
Severe injuries to the arms, hands, or wrists can leave victims unable to participate in activities requiring dexterity.
Leg injuries can result in long-lasting loss of mobility. Foot and ankle injuries often become the most stubborn to heal.
What State and Federal Regulations Govern Truck Drivers?
The Department of Transportation regulates truck drivers in three main areas: qualifications, health, and hours of service (HOS).
Federal regulations require that all commercial truck drivers obtain a commercial driver's license from their state.
Truck drivers must meet these health criteria::
A solid 20/40 vision or lenses to match
Good hearing ability
Pass a physical exam
Truck drivers must abide by these hours of service regulations:
Can drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty, with a 14-hour workday limit.
Must take a 30-minute break after driving for a total of eight hours straight without stopping for more than a 30-minute break.
No more than 70 hours of work every week, on average.
Must take 34 consecutive hours off each week
Some states have increased qualifications and health requirements and lower HOS, but no state may have lower qualifications or higher HOS.
Common Causes of Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accident injuries have many causes unique to large vehicle accidents. Firstly, the severity of collisions is much more significant in part because trucks need a longer distance to brake. As a result, a trucker may be unable to mitigate the impacts of an accident as a sedan driver can.
In addition, trucks have large blind spots, known as the "No Zone," where the driver cannot see any vehicles within that area. Those large blind spots lead to truckers causing an accident by changing lanes when a vehicle is in the blind spot.
Another reason is Driver Fatigue. We all know what it's like to face pressure at work. Your boss needs production and has set challenging goals. Meeting those goals is essential to career advancement and making money. In the case of truckers, the company wants freight delivered by the deadline it imposes, and those who fail to risk losing their jobs.
This legally puts truckers on the road for the maximum allowable time-and, all too often, for longer.
The maximum hours of service set by The Department of Transportation are set at the following:
- Can drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty, with a 14-hour workday limit.
- Must take a 30-minute break after driving for a total of eight hours straight without stopping for more than a 30-minute break.
- No more than 70 hours of work every week, on average.
- Must take 34 hours uninterrupted rest per week
That probably sounds like a lot, and it is. Up to 11-hour shifts with no required break until 8 hours; 14-hour workday limits; 70-hour weeks.
How alert would you be at your job while working these types of hours?
And the problem isn't that truckers are tired most of the time. The problem is that, when fatigued, they are prone to make that one fatal error, that one misjudgment, that causes other motorists serious injury or death.
On top of this, many truckers voluntarily violate hours of service laws or are pressured to do so by employers. The fault for the resulting accidents often resides with both the driver and the trucking company.
Other common causes of truck accidents and injuries include the following:
The “No Zone” is well-known in the trucking industry. As part of their training, commercial truck drivers learn to monitor these blind spots and negotiate lane changes by signaling well in advance. Unfortunately, despite the obvious imperative for vigilance and caution, time and again, truck accidents result from lane change violations.
According to IIHS, defective equipment doubles the chances of a truck accident, with faulty brakes and steering the most common. Trucking companies and truckers have mandates for regular inspections. These sometimes lapse. However, regardless of inspection mandates, they bear responsibility if defective equipment causes the collision.
Distracted driving often causes truckers to make mistakes and cause accidents. Texting and driving ranks as one of the most egregious offenses in this category, often engaged in out of boredom. Additionally, any person is bound to lose internal focus after many hours on the road, leading to a trucker who is distracted and tired.
Yes, truckers must submit to regular drug and alcohol testing. But this firm’s experience has shown that testing falls far short of eliminating this danger. While most truckers are sober and careful, a few find ways to take drugs or alcohol while on the road.
Anyone who drives the Interstates regularly has come across aggressive truckers. Though they are mandated to remain in the slower lane, pass carefully, and abide by a lower speed limit, some drivers are either trying to make more money or under such pressure that they become aggressive drivers–tailgating, passing unsafely, speeding.
Georgia Tractor Trailer Stats
National Truck Accident Facts & Stats
Driver negligence can include speeding, overloading the trailer, breaking traffic laws, poor training, lack of experience, texting while driving, drunk driving, etc.
The manufacturer is determined negligent whenever the tractor trailer itself has faulty parts causing the truck to be defective and result in a wreck. Tire blowouts, brake failure, and steering troubles are all common examples of product liability.
Many drivers aren't comfortable driving near large trucks and drive differently (and riskier) than they would near an ordinary vehicle, resulting in a higher number of tractor trailer related accidents (cutting trucks off, slamming on breaks, etc.).
Construction zones, potholes, various debris, and other hazards that are seen every day on our Georgia roads can contribute to unexpected tractor trailer accidents.
What To Do After A Truck Accident In Decatur, GA?
1. Move Move To Safety
If you can move, make sure you are in a safe location and take care. If the vehicle is drivable, move to a secure location if you feel in danger.
2. Call Cal 911
If you can, after ensuring you and your vehicle are located safely, contact 9-1-1.
3. Gather Gather Information
Take pictures or videos of the scene with your smartphone. Exchange information with the truck driver and get the contact information of any witnesses.
4. Avoid Avoid Discussion
Avoid discussing the truck accident on social media or with friends, and never agree to a written or recorded statement for the insurance company. Instead, seek the help of a Decatur truck accident lawyer to protect your right to compensation. The PIL can investigate the accident and collect evidence that could otherwise disappear quickly.
How does the Investigation Process Work?
The investigative process begins when you walk into the Brooks Law Firm office. We first want to hear your story and understand your case; you are the best person to provide the overview we need.
Once we have the fact pattern, we go to work. Our truck accident attorneys in Decatur subpoena key documents, interview witnesses and preserve valuable evidence. We analyze accident reports and have our traffic accident investigators conduct an independent inquiry.
During the discovery phase of a lawsuit, we develop expert witnesses to reconstruct the accident; further, we gather additional evidence through interrogatories-written questions for the other side's witnesses-and depositions-face-to-face questioning of the other side's witnesses.
Once discovery is complete, we are prepared to litigate through summary judgment, trial, and appeals.
- Semi-Truck Accidents
How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
Truck accident cases vary widely because the impact on the lives of the victims varies widely.
Damages can be broken into three categories: special, general, and punitive.
Special damages include economic losses and are fairly easy to establish. They include:
General damages consist of intangibles, such as:
FAQs About Truck Accident In Decatur, GA
What Should I Do Immediately Following a Truck Accident?
First, prioritize your safety. Next, move to a safe location if possible. Contact the authorities and, if able, document the scene on your smartphone. However, if you have suffered serious injuries, you'll need to put all your energy into surviving. Once you are feeling better, Brooks Injury Law will take care of the rest.
What Should I Do if an Insurance Company Calls Me?
If it's your own insurer, you should respond and provide a brief summary of what happened-such as when a truck hit you. There is no need for details-your litigation team will handle that later.
It's always inadvisable to talk to the opposing insurer. Refer all calls from them to your attorney.
Who is Liable for a Truck Accident?
As with any auto accident, a fault could be with the trucker, the driver of a car, or both. Contact Brooks Injury Law's truck accident attorney's Decatur, GA, for an evaluation of your situation.
What If the Accident Was Partly My Fault?
You can still collect damages if the accident was partly your fault, provided your liability is less than the other party's. In many cases, one driver clearly is to blame, but the opposing side tries to shift part of the liability onto the injured party. Brooks Injury Law allows none of that.
Is There a Time Limit to File My Case?
Yes. With few exceptions, you must file your claim within two years of the accident.
What Compensation Are Truck Accident Victims Entitled To?
Georgia law entitles truck accident victims to compensation for special damages and general damages. Special damages consist of the economic impacts, such as medical bills and lost wages. General damages are the intangibles, such as pain and suffering. Punitive damages are possible in cases of extreme poor conduct on the part of the trucker, trucking company, or other liable parties.
How Much Does a Decatur, GA Truck Accident Attorney Cost?
You pay nothing out of pocket. You will never receive a bill from Brooks Injury Law. Instead, your fees are paid on a contingency basis, so you owe nothing if you cannot collect. The contingency fee agreement covers all costs, including expert witnesses and other expenses.
Contact a Top-Rated Decatur Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you deserve full compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Brooks Law Decatur truck accident lawyers are here to help.