A large truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. If you are in an accident with one, the results can be devastating. You could be facing extensive medical bills, ongoing pain and suffering, and short- or long-term disabilities. Act quickly to protect yourself and your family from crippling financial burdens that an accident can cause. Contact a Duluth Trucking Accident Attorney from Brauns Law, PC. for more information.
Duluth Truck Accident FAQ
When truck drivers drive negligently, they can cause serious, life-changing accidents. Importantly for victims, parties other than drivers may share in the responsibility for a truck accident, including the trucking company, repair shops, and truck and truck part manufacturers.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in an accident that was caused by a negligent truck driver or some other party, you need experienced legal counsel on your side representing you and pursuing the compensation that you deserve. The experienced Duluth truck accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you pursue the compensation that you need to be made whole from your injuries. We can pursue a settlement on your behalf and, if it becomes necessary, file a lawsuit and litigate your case through the Georgia courts.
How do serious truck accidents typically occur?
There are many common causes of serious truck accidents that take place on roadways in and around Duluth, including those that occur on nearby Interstate 85. In many cases, these accidents stem from an error or omission on the truck driver’s part. However, truck driver negligence is not the only cause of these accidents. These accidents sometimes occur because of defective equipment, including the equipment that secures a load to a trailer. These accidents may also happen when a truck is not maintained correctly, which may be the fault of the truck driver, trucking company, or truck repair facility.
Some of the most common causes of Duluth truck accidents include:
- Negligence on the part of a truck driver – Large trucks and tractor-trailers can be challenging to operate and maneuver, especially in inclement weather. Nevertheless, the operators of these vehicles owe all other drivers on the road a duty of reasonable care. Specifically, these drivers must operate their vehicles in a careful, safe, and prudent manner at all times. Truck drivers must also comply with all federal and state motor carrier regulations pertaining to truck and trailer maintenance, securing loads, and warning lights. They must also take weather conditions like rain, wind, snow, and ice into account when they are operating their vehicles on roadways in and around Duluth. Finally, drivers must always refrain from distracted driving (for example, texting or making phone calls while driving) and driving while intoxicated. When a truck driver’s negligence leads to a collision with another motor vehicle, you will usually name the trucker as a defendant in any lawsuit that you file in the court system.
- Negligence on the part of the trucking company – Very often, an employment relationship (as opposed to an independent contractor relationship) exists between a trucking company and a truck driver. In these cases, a trucking company can be deemed vicariously liable for its driver’s negligence, assuming that the accident occurred while the driver was working on the job and within the scope of their employment. Trucking companies are also responsible for adequately training their drivers and ensuring that they have competent, safe, and experienced drivers on their staff at all times. When a problematic truck driver, such as an individual who has incurred one or more previous driving infractions, causes a truck accident that results in a severe injury, the accident victim may have a valid legal claim against the trucking company for negligent hiring, retention, or supervision over the problem driver.
- Negligent loading procedures – Truck accidents can also occur when a truck’s trailer is not loaded properly. Specifically, cargo must be secured onto the trailer correctly, so that it does not fall off and impact another motor vehicle while the trailer is in motion. When trailer cargo disengages unexpectedly, it can strike another motor vehicle or fall off the trailer entirely, forcing another vehicle to collide with it. When that happens, the driver and any occupants of the other vehicle may sustain significant injuries. Moreover, when trailers are not loaded in accordance with state and federal motor carrier regulations, the vehicle can be more challenging to control. They may become top-heavy, causing it to veer across a solid roadway line and into another vehicle’s path.
- Deficient roadway maintenance – Poorly maintained roads that contain potholes and other road defects may cause a trailer’s load to become loose and fall into the roadway, even if the truck driver correctly secured it in advance. When a road defect causes or contributes to a Duluth truck accident, the injured accident victim may name the person or entity responsible for maintaining the roadway in any lawsuit ultimately filed. Entities responsible for road maintenance can include a construction company or a governmental entity. Before filing a lawsuit against some governmental entities, however, the entity may first need to be put on notice.
- Negligent or improper truck maintenance – Truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for making sure that their vehicles are in proper working order and that they are maintained properly at all times. In addition, facilities overseeing the upkeep and maintenance of tractors and trailers must ensure that they perform the repair work according to the prevailing industry standards.
- Defective truck equipment – Drivers of large trucks are responsible for ensuring that chains and other pieces of mechanical equipment used to secure cargo are in good working condition. Moreover, manufacturers of truck and trailer equipment, including steering mechanisms, braking mechanisms, and tires, are responsible for ensuring that their equipment is correctly tested before entering the market. When the victim of a truck accident can prove through expert testimony that deficient or defective truck equipment caused an accident, then the injured accident victim may name the truck equipment manufacturer as a defendant in any lawsuit filed with the court.
If you or someone you care about sustained injuries in one of these types of truck accidents, get skilled legal counsel on your side as quickly as possible. The Duluth truck accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you with pursuing the monetary damages that you need to recover in your accident case.
How long do I have to file a legal complaint arising from my Duluth truck accident?
Victims of Duluth truck accidents do not have an unlimited period of time in which to file a lawsuit for monetary compensation arising from their injuries. Because truck accidents are governed by the statute of limitations for personal injury actions in Georgia, accident victims have two years from the date of the accident that injured them to file a lawsuit for monetary compensation and damages. If the statute of limitations’ two-year window of time expires with no lawsuit filed, the truck accident victim can no longer file a claim for damages, absent exceptional and extremely rare circumstances.
The primary purpose of this relatively short two-year statute of limitations in Georgia Duluth truck accident cases is to ensure that memories remain fresh and that witnesses to the accident remain available to testify at a deposition or trial.
Importantly, even though victims have two years to file a claim, it is in your best interest to start your case as soon as possible. If you wait, you risk the loss or destruction of evidence important to the success of your claim.
The experienced Duluth truck accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you with bringing your personal injury claim or filing your lawsuit against the responsible truck driver, trucking company, or another defendant, all in the appropriate manner and within the proper time period. Once your lawyer files a claim, he or she can continue to negotiate on your behalf and, if necessary, litigate your Duluth truck accident case all the way to a conclusion.
What are some common injuries sustained by victims of Duluth truck accidents?
When a truck or tractor-trailer collides with a much smaller passenger vehicle at highway speed, the result can be devastating and sometimes deadly. Victims of truck accidents may sustain soft tissue injuries, fractures, internal organ damage, spinal cord injuries, traumatic head and brain injuries, and paralysis injuries, among others.
These injuries victims may have to endure many weeks, months, or even years of painful medical treatment and physical therapy. As a result of their injuries, they may lose work for a period of time. Even after they complete their medical treatment, their injuries may prevent them from working in the same job or with the same employer. Fortunately, all of these damages are legally compensable.
For a truck accident victim to recover monetary compensation for the injuries they sustained in an accident, the accident victim must first meet all of the legal elements of proof. Specifically, the injured accident victim must demonstrate that the truck driver or some other person or entity negligently caused or contributed to the accident by behaving unreasonably under the circumstances.
In addition, the accident victim must demonstrate that they sustained an injury and that the injury resulted from the accident. Although the truck accident does not need to be the sole cause of injury, it must be a cause of the injury. In some cases, accident victims may recover monetary compensation for a pre-existing medical condition or injury that is exacerbated by a truck accident.
If the accident victim can meet their legal burden of proof, the accident victim may be eligible to recover damages for injuries resulting from the accident. The types and amounts of damages that may be available depend primarily upon the severity of the injury or injuries that the accident victims sustain.
For example, the accident victim may obtain monetary compensation for all medical treatment bills, medical procedures, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, the accident victim may recover compensation for all of the mental distress, inconvenience, as well as pain and suffering they experienced as a result of the injuries. The accident victim may also recover compensation for a permanent disability, loss of use of a body part, and loss of enjoyment of life.
An experienced Duluth truck accident attorney at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you recover the monetary compensation you need for the injuries you received from your Duluth truck accident.
How can a Duluth truck accident attorney help me after my accident?
There are many ways that a Duluth truck accident lawyer may assist you after an accident has left you injured. First of all, your lawyer will gather all of your related medical documentation, including records and bills, from your healthcare providers. Your lawyer can also obtain a copy of any police report that is available, as well as photographs of your injuries and any property damage to your vehicle.
After obtaining all of this documentation, your lawyer can then assist you with pursuing a settlement from the at-fault truck driver or trucking company’s insurer. In some cases, a favorable settlement offer will be forthcoming right away, while at other times, you may have to file a lawsuit against all potentially responsible parties. However, just because you file a lawsuit does not mean that your case will go to court. However, if your case does need to go to court, your lawyer can assist you throughout the litigation process and will represent you at all court proceedings.
The experienced Duluth truck accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will advocate for your right to recover monetary compensation for the injuries that you sustained in your Duluth truck accident.
Do I need a lawyer to settle my claim?
If the trucking company’s insurer has indicated that it is going to settle your case out of court, you may wonder whether you really need a lawyer to represent you. It’s vital to keep in mind that the insurance company is decidedly not on your side and will gladly settle your case for much less than it is really worth. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to contact a Duluth truck accident attorney as soon as you can after an accident, regardless of whether it looks like your case will end up in court. David Brauns from Brauns Law, PC is a Duluth truck accident attorney who can help.