Truck Accident Attorney in Macon-Bibb County, Georgia
A trucking accident can be one of the most devastating events in a person’s life. Unlike accidents involving passenger vehicles, collisions with 18-wheelers are known to cause more property damage, personal injuries, and fatalities.
Because of the unique nature of a semi-truck accident, you owe it to yourself to work with a personal injury attorney who has extensive experience handling cases like this and who will do everything they can to get you the compensation you deserve. If you live in Macon-Bibb County, Georgia, or the surrounding areas of Milledgeville Houston County, Warner Robins, Monticello, or Forsyth, contact the Law Office of George Haskell for reliable help after an accident.
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Laws Affecting Truck Accidents
Both state and federal regulations govern how and when semi-trucks can operate on our roads and highways and these laws are in place to minimize the number of accidents truck drivers are involved in. These laws will also factor into your personal injury or wrongful death claim when trying to determine liability in a truck accident.
Federal laws: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) along with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) sets regulations that are enforced nationwide. These cover issues like trucking equipment, weight, and emissions, but most notably they set federal standards on how often drivers can work. For instance, all drivers are required to record their hours in a logbook. Additionally, most truck drivers can’t work shifts longer than 14 hours and, within that time, they can’t be driving for more than 11 straight hours. After this, they must take 10 hours off before they can begin a new shift.
State laws: Most state laws mirror those laid out by the federal government, but Georgia also sets its own rules regarding safety and equipment checks, licensing for truck drivers, and setting work hours for short haul truck drivers.
Determining who is at fault in a commercial truck accident is often much more complicated than a passenger vehicle crash. This is primarily because most truck drivers are employees and are subject to different rules since they’re performing their job duties. The following provides an overview of different parties involved who could be liable for the accident:
Truck driver: In many cases the driver themselves will hold liability for the accident if it was their negligence or carelessness that caused the crash.
Truck company: Since most truck drivers are employees, it’s sometimes the case that the truck company is at fault, for example if they forced someone to work overtime or sent out a driver who wasn’t properly trained.
Truck or parts manufacturer: If the accident occurred due to a faulty or defective component of the truck itself, liability may lie with the company that manufactured the truck or the defective part.
Person who loaded the cargo: When the load inside a semi-truck is imbalanced, it can cause the truck to tip over when making a turn. When this happens, it may be the fault of the person who loaded the truck.
Maintenance personnel: Lastly, if the truck was inspected prior to being driven and the maintenance personnel failed to notice or failed to address an issue that later caused the crash, they can be held responsible.
Factors in Determining Liability
When reviewing your case to determine liability, your attorney will review several factors that may have contributed to the crash. In some cases, it may be that there’s more than one party responsible for the accident which is possible under the state’s comparative negligence law.
Truck Driver: Some common reasons the truck driver may be liable include being overly fatigued, having inadequate training, or simply not paying attention to their surroundings.
Vehicle Driver: There are also times when it’s the driver of the passenger vehicle who’s responsible for the crash if they didn’t signal correctly for a lane change or didn’t allow enough space when changing lanes in front of the truck.
Road Conditions: There will also be cases when neither driver is held responsible because it was either the road or weather conditions that caused the accident.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
When filing a personal injury claim, you should always work with a reputable truck accident attorney like George Haskell to ensure you present a strong case that maximizes your chances of receiving fair compensation. If you’re filing for yourself, you can ask for damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, future lost wages, pain and suffering, and any future treatment or care you’ll need due to your injuries.
If you're filing for a loved one who was incapacitated or lost their life, you can sue for similar damages including funeral and burial cost and loss of consortium. For both personal injury and wrongful death claims, you have two years from the date of the incident to file.
Truck Accidents Attorney in Macon-Bibb County, Georgia
If you or someone you love was injured or lost their life in a trucking accident, you’re likely able to file a lawsuit to sue for damages. Call our trusted attorney at the Law Office of George Haskell in Macon-Bibb County, Georgia, to learn how we can help you recover the maximum settlement you deserve.