You do not need a background in science to realize that semis are capable of serious destruction in a Georgia truck accident since the size of the vehicle alone is an indication of the risks. However, statistics confirm this assumption. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that there are around 5,620 collisions involving 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and other commercial motor vehicles in the state annually. These truck crashes cause around 230 fatalities, which is 14 percent of the total traffic deaths every year. Plus, almost 3,000 people suffer injuries in these incidents.
Another important figure is that 77 percent of fatalities and injuries in truck collisions are occupants of the other vehicle. This means you may have legal remedies for pursuing the at-fault driver and other potential parties, so you may qualify for monetary damages. As you probably expect, there are numerous laws that impact your claim. The details can be complicated, but you can trust an Atlanta truck accident lawyer to manage the process. Some basics are also useful.
One fundamental issue in a truck crash is fault, i.e., who is liable for causing the collision? These accidents are based upon the theory of negligence, so you must prove that the truck operator failed to drive safely and caused the incident through a breach of the duty of care. Speeding, running red lights, and failure to yield are examples of negligence.
However, an associated concept that applies in Georgia is comparative negligence. According to the statute, compensation will be reduced if the victim is also negligent. You could miss out on monetary damages if you were speeding, distracted driving, or otherwise careless behind the wheel.
These rules may be important to your claim because a violation could constitute a breach of the duty of care required to prove negligence. For instance:
- Truck drivers are required to comply with regulations on Hours of Service (HOS), which limit the time they can drive in a shift or day.
- State DUI laws apply differently to holders of commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs). A truck operator could be arrested for having a blood alcohol concentration of .04 percent; the legal limit for other drivers is .08 percent.
- Truckers and trucking companies must comply with weight limits related to the type of truck and its load, since being overweight increases the potential for collisions.
Timing and Deadlines
Under Georgia’s statute of limitations, you have two years after the date of the truck crash to file a lawsuit in court. You cannot recover compensation if you let the deadline expire. Another important factor in timing is getting medical care. Though not a deadline, it is critical to seek treatment right away to support your rights.
An Atlanta Truck Accidents Attorney Will Tackle the Details
You can count on the Wetherington Law Firm, P.C. to handle the specifics of your claim, so please call 404-888-4444 or visit our website to speak to a member of our team. We can set up a complimentary case evaluation with an experienced Georgia commercial truck crash lawyer.