In 2020, nine percent of vehicles involved in fatal crashes were semi-trucks. Although the percentage of accidents involving large trucks seems relatively small, the consequences can be catastrophic.
Getting into an accident with an 18-wheeler rarely ends well. The sheer size, immense weight and reduced maneuverability and braking performance of semi-trucks puts drivers of smaller vehicles and pedestrians at a disadvantage in crashes.
If you or your loved one survived an accident with a semi-truck, consider yourself lucky. Many people involved in truck accidents succumb to their injuries. Surviving the accident doesn’t mean you haven’t suffered life-altering losses. If you’re left with devastating injuries and are facing mounting money problems from medical bills, lost wages and ongoing medical treatment, consider reaching out to a truck accident personal injury lawyer. A skilled and compassionate attorney can help you file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company and negotiate the compensation you’re owed.
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
Like with other types of motor vehicle crashes, semi-truck accidents typically happen when one or more drivers engage in negligent behavior. Although truck drivers are less likely to be injured than drivers in passenger cars, either party can be liable for the accident. Some of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving: Truck drivers are often tempted to text, talk on the phone, eat and succumb to other distractions while operating their vehicles on long trips.
- Fatigue: Busy schedules and delays may result in truck drivers working long hours without a break.
- Reckless driving: Speeding, reckless passing and road rage are just a few examples of dangerous and reckless driving.
- Driving while intoxicated: Driving under influence may have tragic consequences and result not only in civil lawsuits but also criminal charges against the intoxicated driver.
Some non-driver causes of semi-truck accidents include road damage, severe weather, poor servicing or maintenance of the truck or improper cargo loading. The latter can negatively affect maneuverability and driver control and potential cause a truck to lose cargo, which may pose a significant threat to nearby drivers.
What Should You Do if You’ve Been in a Semi-Truck Accident?
As a passenger vehicle driver injured in a semi-truck accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation even if you’re partially at fault for the crash. Under Georgia’s comparative negligence law, as long as you’re less than 50 percent at fault for your injuries, you may be awarded compensation (reduced by the percentage of fault you shared).
Keep in mind, proving fault in a semi-truck accident can be tricky as there are several parties that could potentially be at fault. In “regular” accidents involving passenger vehicles, typically one or both drivers share fault for the crash. Truck accidents can be a lot more complicated. Fault may be attributed to several different parties, including the:
- Driver of the truck
- Trucking company
- Individuals or company that loaded the cargo
- Truck manufacturer
- Local government or state agency responsible for safe road conditions
A personal injury lawyer experienced in handling truck accident cases will investigate the accident and determine which party or parties are at fault.
Knowing who contributed to the accident and your subsequent injuries allows you to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company.
What Damages Can I Recover from a Semi-Truck Accident?
There are several types of damages you are potentially eligible to recover after a semi-truck accident. Many of these damages are considered economic, meaning they are monetary losses you suffered because of your injuries. Examples of economic losses include:
- Medical bills
- Ongoing medical expenses
- Lost wages and earning potential
- Transportation costs to doctor appointments and physical therapy
You may also claim non-economic damages, which is compensation for subjective mental and physical suffering you endured in the aftermath of your accident. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring or disfigurement
A Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You Build a Compelling Personal Injury Case
Frequently, parties liable for semi-truck accidents refuse to cooperate with the injured driver. Other times, injured drivers may be tricked or intimidated into accepting an unfair settlement. Having a compassionate yet aggressive personal injury lawyer in your corner can help you get the compensation you deserve.
The car accident attorneys at the Dressie Law Firm in Atlanta are here to help you with your case. We’re dedicated to determining fault, gathering evidence and fighting for the fair compensation our clients deserve.
Call our Atlanta law office at (678) 619-2977 to schedule your free consultation.