Georgia Truck Collision Law Firm
Tractor trailer and other truck accidents can be devastating. As heavy vehicles, trucks that roll over or spin out of control can cause multiple injuries and deaths on the road. Both federal and state laws have been developed with the understanding that the aftermath of a tractor-trailer accident can be particularly horrifying, and that motorists need special protections against negligence on the part of tractor-trailer drivers and the companies they work for. Not only are the legal consequences for careless conduct particularly severe in this context, but truck accident laws are more complex than the standards that apply to most car accidents. If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a tractor-trailer or truck accident in Atlanta or surrounding areas, you need an experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney who understand the complexities of this area of law and can persuasively share your story with a jury.
Federal and State Tractor Trailer Laws
One reason that tractor trailer and other truck accidents can be more challenging than ordinary car accident cases is the number of parties potentially involved. There may be multiple victims as well as multiple responsible parties. Each of these parties may have some responsibility for the resulting accident, in which case they can be held jointly and severally liable for the injuries—this means that each one is responsible for the full amount of damages and can seek contribution from the others.
For example, a plaintiff may sue the truck driver, but the driver’s employer may also be partly responsible for what happened. If a truck driver is negligent on the job and causes an injury within the course and scope of his employment, the employer may be sued under a theory of “vicarious liability.”
Trucking companies are required to properly train and supervise their employees, making sure driver logs are accurate and that drivers are not fatigued. Federal law restricts the number of hours a commercial truck driver may drive. However, not all employers ensure that their drivers follow the law. If an employer hires a driver it knows has a history of negligent driving or fails to make sure its employees follow federal regulations for trucking, it may potentially be held liable under a theory of negligent hiring or supervision.
Wrongful Death Claims After a Fatal Truck Collision
Wrongful death in Georgia is a statutory claim that can be brought when someone’s negligent, intentional, or criminal acts cause a death. The statute has a strict order of priority that claimants must follow to bring this type of lawsuit. Under the statute, if the person who dies leaves a spouse, only the spouse can bring a wrongful death claim. If the deceased had children with the spouse, the spouse must share damages with the children. If the deceased had no spouse nor any children, his or her parents are next in line to be able to bring a claim. Proof of abandonment or estrangement or failure to pay child support on behalf of the decedent can reduce a parent’s right to recover for wrongful death under O.C.G.A. § 19-7-1.
Retain a Knowledgeable Trucking Collision Attorney
If you are hurt or a loved one is killed because of a truck driver’s negligence in Georgia, you may be able to recover damages for past, present and future medical expenses; out-of-pocket costs like at-home nursing care; disfigurement; pain and suffering and more. Georgia requires truckers to carry insurance policies with $750,000 in coverage for personal injury victims. Because these accidents are so severe and the associated medical bills are so expensive, a personal injury victim may also need to explore other avenues of recovery, such as a trucking company’s assets. Michael Braun, an experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney, can make sure every possible source of recovery is considered when building a case for trial. We serve clients who have been injured in Atlanta and a number of other nearby areas. Contact us at (770) 421-6888 or via our online form.