Accidents involving large trucks, 18-wheelers, semis, tractor-trailers, and other commercial vehicles are among the deadliest types of traffic crashes, and statistics reveal that the risk is high in Georgia. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that there were 6,202 trucking wrecks in the state in 2021, an increase of almost 15 percent compared to 2020. More than 220 people are killed in truck accidents annually, while almost 3,000 victims suffer injuries. You could suffer devastating losses if you were hurt or lost a loved one in a trucking collision, but keep in mind that Georgia personal injury laws protect your rights.
However, the legal process in a truck crash claim is challenging compared to other motor vehicle accidents. One factor is that you may need to pursue multiple potential parties to get fair compensation, which can be complicated even though it benefits your position. An Atlanta trucking accident attorney can explain the details, as the concepts are closely tied to liability issues.
Liability for Truck Collisions
The concept of negligence applies to most traffic accidents, so you must prove that the accident was the direct result of the at-fault motorist’s breach of the duty to drive safely. The most obvious party to pursue will be the truck operator, who may breach the legal duty of care by speeding, driving while impaired, running red lights, or making improper lane changes. However, there are additional concepts of liability that may apply to your case:
- The theory of vicarious liability holds an employer responsible for the negligent acts of an employee who was working within the scope of employment.
- With truck accidents, there is the concept of “logo” liability. This principle could lead to liability for commercial carriers that use independent contractors as part of operations since vicarious liability only applies to negligent employees.
- When a truck collision is the result of defective parts, you might have rights under strict liability concepts. You do not need to prove fault in these cases, but you must still show that the accident happened because of the defect.
Potential Parties in a Georgia Truck Crash Claim
Based on these descriptions of liability, you can see that you may have grounds to pursue multiple entities after a truck accident. Considering the massive losses you could sustain in a truck crash, it is worthwhile to explore all possible options to ensure sufficient compensation for your losses. In addition to the driver, you might seek damages from:
- The truck driver’s employer;
- A company that handled loading, unloading, and securing of cargo;
- The commercial carrier whose logo appears on the trailer; and,
- The manufacturer of defective tires, brakes, steering components, and other systems.
Our Atlanta Trucking Accident Lawyer Will Guide You Through the Process
You can see that it is important to pursue all potential parties after a truck collision, but it is also clear that these claims are extremely complex. For assistance with the process, please call Wetherington Law Firm, P.C. You can schedule a complimentary case evaluation with a Georgia trucking wreck attorney by calling 470-798-4197 or contacting us online.