Accidents involving commercial trucks and passenger vehicles are common. These accidents occur for the same reasons as other crashes, including careless driving, intoxication, or distraction. The repercussions of accidents involving large trucks can be devastating, however.
A commercial truck could weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. In other words, these large vehicles could outweigh the passenger car they collide with by a multiple of 20. This enormous size disparity means the force of the impact on the occupants of a passenger car can be enormous.
If you survived a truck accident, you could benefit from speaking with a seasoned personal injury attorney. You are entitled to pursue damages if the truck driver was responsible, and an Athens truck accident lawyer could help you hold them accountable through a civil lawsuit.
Many drivers walk away from a collision with a commercial truck with the knowledge that they were not at fault. Determining who was responsible, however, is not always immediately clear. Frequently, there are multiple factors that go into causing a truck crash. Each of these factors could lead to the addition of another defendant to a truck accident lawsuit. An Athens attorney could advise someone injured in a truck accident on the potential defendants in their case.
The most frequent defendant in a truck crash is the operator of the commercial vehicle. Truck drivers are often negligent for the same reason as motorists in other vehicles. They might cause a wreck by speeding, failing to yield the right of way, or even due to fatigue. If the plaintiff in a truck accident lawsuit can show that the operator of a commercial vehicle was negligent, they could pursue compensation against them.
The trucking company could be responsible for a crash under several theories of liability. First and foremost, a company might be liable if the truck operator was working within the scope of their employment during a crash. For truck drivers, this could mean accidents that occur while hauling a load.
Trucking companies could also face liability if their negligence leads to an accident. Examples could include negligently hiring dangerous operators or failing to maintain the truck in proper working order.
Some truck accidents occur due to mechanical issues. If a mechanical defect leads to a crash, the plaintiff could pursue the manufacturer of the truck or one of its parts for compensation.
There is a limited amount of time to file a truck accident lawsuit. Under Georgia Code Section 9-3-33, plaintiffs generally must file suit within two years of the accident. If they fail to do so, the court has the right to dismiss the case forever. While two years may seem like plenty of time, valuable evidence can disappear quickly after a crash. This could be avoided by working closely with an experienced attorney in Athens who could identify the applicable deadline and work to preserve evidence.
The resources available to trucking companies after a crash could seem intimidating at first. The trucking companies routinely have extensive resources to rely on, including the help of a powerful insurance company.
You are entitled to seek help as well. By hiring an Athens truck accident lawyer, you could pursue a truck accident claim and face the trucking company head-on. Schedule an initial consultation right away to learn more about your options.