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Macon Truck Accident Attorneys
Matt Wetherington with Wetherington Law Firm,P.C. is the hardest working attorney I have ever worked with. He went above and beyond our expectations. Calls and emails are returned promptly and by Mr. Wetherington himself.
5 Stars is nowhere near enough to rate how awesome Matt and his colleagues were. They took my case even when I didn’t think there was anything we could do. I was in a bad situation at the time and Matt, Robert, and Sarah were there for me every step of the way.
I’m so grateful to Ben Levy and everything he did for me. He was truly dedicated to helping my case. Throughout the process, Ben was very thoughtful, responsive, organized, and made sure I was fully informed along the way.
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Trusted Macon Truck Accident Attorneys, Macon, Georgia
Truck accidents in Macon can be particularly catastrophic due to the size and weight of commercial trucks. These accidents often lead to severe injuries or fatalities, given the significant impact forces involved.
Common causes include driver fatigue, overloading, mechanical failures, and negligent driving. In Georgia, victims of truck accidents can seek compensation under O.C.G.A. § 51-1-6, which states that those injured due to another’s negligence are entitled to damages. This law ensures that if a truck driver or company’s negligence led to your injury, they could be held accountable.
Determining liability in truck accidents can be complex. Under Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rule (O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33), you can still recover damages if you are less than 50% at fault, although the compensation is reduced by your share of fault.
In truck accidents, multiple parties could be liable, including the truck driver, trucking company, cargo loaders, or vehicle manufacturers. Additionally, commercial trucks often have larger insurance policies, as mandated by federal and state regulations, which can affect the compensation process.
Compensation in truck accident cases may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more, as per O.C.G.A. § 51-12-4. However, it’s important to act promptly due to the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Georgia (O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33), which sets a two-year deadline from the accident date.
If you’ve been involved in a crash, contact Wetherington Law Firm today. Our Macon truck accident attorney is eager to learn your story and discuss how we can help obtain compensation.
Types of Semi-Truck Accidents
While many accidents occur Some of the most common semi-truck accidents in Macon include:
- Overrides: A truck can collide with the vehicle in front of it, sometimes even riding up onto the car. Those sitting in the back can suffer serious, often fatal, injuries.
- Rear-end Collisions: Trucks colliding with the backend of a vehicle can cause horrific damage to both the vehicle and those inside of it.
- Underrides: Trailers sit high enough off the ground that a smaller car can slide underneath. The guard on the back of the trailer might fail, and there are no guards to prevent an underride on the side.
- Rollovers: A semi can roll onto its side when cargo shifts in the trailer, or the truck takes a turn going uphill or downhill.
- Jackknifes: The trailer can swing out at an angle and slam into traffic in adjoining lanes.
- Tire Blowouts: Truck tires are under tremendous stress, and a truck is difficult to operate when tires explode.
Because these trucks are so large, any collision can seriously injure pedestrians and other motorists.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Macon
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration performed a study to uncover what causes truck accidents. This causation study identified associated risk factors for critical events like leaving a lane or losing control of a truck. Some of the most common associated risk factors were:
- Brake problems: 29%
- Driving too fast for conditions: 23%
- Lack of familiarity with the road: 22%
- Road defects or problems: 20%
- Over-the-counter drug use: 17%
- Driver fatigue: 13%
Sometimes multiple things go wrong at once, causing a collision. This is true if a driver is fatigued from driving too long but also takes over-the-counter drugs which makes him even sleepier.
We also need to consider a victim’s own contributory negligence. Some motorists pass in a blind spot or drive too closely to the truck. Georgia law states that you can sue only if your negligence is less than the negligence of all defendants combined. In practice, this means you need to be less than 50% at fault for your crash.
Truck Accident Victims Often Sustain Serious Injuries
Truck accidents are often more catastrophic than smaller automobile accidents due to their weight, speed, cargo, and overall size of the vehicle. Even “minor” fender-benders with a truck can result in whiplash, lacerations, bruising, and more. Accidents on freeways or other main roads can result in more serious, long-lasting injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Vision impairment
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord damage
- Nerve damage
- Wrongful death
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
Many of these injuries may not be known until the days following the incident. It’s crucial to seek medical attention directly following an accident to ensure any injuries do not go untreated.
What Should You Do Following a Trucking Accident?
Any collision with a semi-truck is terrifying. If you suffer serious injuries, all you can do is hope someone calls an ambulance to take you to the hospital. However, if you can move around at all, we recommend the following steps to improve your odds of receiving a settlement.
- Photograph the accident scene. Use your phone to take a picture of where the vehicles ended up and any debris field. The truck might be resting on your car. If not, photograph where they collided and zoom in to show dents and scrapes.
- Obtain information from the driver, such as license, employer contact information, and insurance information. Also, take a picture of the truck’s license plate.
- Identify witnesses to the crash. They could include other motorists who stop to render assistance. Ask each witness for their name and contact information.
- Go to the hospital soon after finishing up at the accident scene. You should have a doctor look at you to diagnose injuries. The sooner you start a treatment plan, the better.
While seeking medical attention is crucial to your health and well-being, it also helps ensure all costs incurred because of the accident are documented properly. Having this documentation is key in helping our trucking accident lawyers in Macon maximize your compensation.
Oftentimes, insurance companies will offer minimal settlements to victims to close the claims as quickly as possible. Working with our firm can help maximize your settlement offer by compiling a detailed list of all our economic and non-economic damages incurred.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?
Anyone liable for the crash is legally obligated to pay compensation to victims. For this reason, our Macon truck accident lawyers get to work right away trying to identify who is to blame.
Truck accidents are complex events. Any number of businesses or individuals could share blame for the collision. Some of the more common liable parties include:
- Truck Driver: The trucker could have been negligent, reckless, or intoxicated while driving.
- Trucking Company: The trucking company could be liable because they did not maintain their fleet of trucks or they did not perform necessary background checks on drivers. A trucking company is often automatically liable when its employee injures someone.
- Loading Companies: An unsecured or unbalanced load in the trailer can cause a rollover, jackknife, or other collision. We can sue loading companies when their negligence contributes to a wreck.
- Mechanics: A mechanic could have done poor work on a truck or failed to identify a problem when inspecting it.
- Tire Manufacturer: If a blown tire had a defect, the manufacturer could be responsible for the collision.
- Truck Manufacturer: The manufacturer might be liable for putting a dangerous product on the marketplace. We can sue the manufacturer or the manufacturer for a defective part.
- Government: A road defect might have contributed to a crash. We can sue the entity responsible for the road.
As experienced Macon truck accident lawyers, we excel at sifting through the evidence to identify liability. For example, we can review any photographs or police reports describing the accident. We will also listen to you describe what happened.
Truck Accidents & Wrongful Death Claims
Unfortunately, many people die in truck accidents. In Georgia, 234 people died in a collision involving a large truck in 2020. This number was much higher than in preceding years, which is somewhat surprising. For the sake of comparison, only 192 people died in collisions involving big trucks in 2018.
If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you might have a wrongful death claim. This is a particular type of lawsuit that compensates family members for the death of a family member. In Georgia, the personal representative files the suit, but certain family members will receive any compensation.
What should I do immediately after a truck accident?
If you’re involved in a truck accident, acting quickly and carefully is crucial. Here’s what to do:
- Check for Injuries: First, check if you or anyone else is injured. Call 911 for medical assistance if there are any injuries.
- Move to Safety: If possible, move to a safe area to avoid further harm, but don’t leave the accident scene.
- Call the Police: It’s essential to report the accident to the police. They will document the scene and create an official report, which is crucial for any claims.
- Exchange Information: Get the truck driver’s details, including their name, contact information, trucking company details, and insurance information. If there are other vehicles involved, get their information too.
- Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including all vehicles involved, any skid marks, road conditions, and your injuries.
- Look for Witnesses: If there are any witnesses, get their contact information. Their accounts can be valuable later.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine, get a medical check-up. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
- Notify Your Insurance: Inform your insurance company about the accident, but be cautious about discussing fault or details.
- Avoid Quick Settlement Offers: Be wary of quick settlement offers from insurance companies or trucking companies.
- Consult a Truck Accident Lawyer: Before making any statements or agreements, talk to a lawyer who specializes in truck accidents, especially for complex cases involving large trucks.
Should I negotiate with the trucking company’s insurance myself?
It’s usually not a good idea to negotiate with the trucking company’s insurance on your own. Here’s why:
- Complex Negotiations: Dealing with trucking companies and their insurers can be tricky. They have a lot of experience and might use tactics to pay you less.
- Understanding Your Claim’s Worth: It can be hard to know how much your claim is really worth. You might not consider future medical costs or lost wages.
- Legal Nuances: Truck accident claims involve legal details that can be complicated. Without legal knowledge, you might miss important aspects of your claim.
- Pressure to Settle Quickly: Insurance companies often try to settle fast and for less. Without a lawyer, you might feel pressured to accept a low offer.
Call Our Macon Truck Accident Lawyers Today
The days and weeks following a truck accident are disorientating. Let us help. If you call the Wetherington Law Firm, we can meet to discuss your case. Based on what we hear, we’ll analyze your odds of bringing a successful claim for compensation. Contact Matt Wetherington today to get started.