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    • Scott Pryor
      Scott Pryor

      Attorney at Law - Scott is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and is listed in the top 1% of trial attorneys in the nation by the Litigator Awards. He is also a member of Super Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association—Champion Level and sits on the Communications Committee of GTLA, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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      James MacLelland

      COO - James has 25 years of experience building productive teams, scalable processes, and profitable businesses.  Immediately prior to joining The Scott Pryor Law Group, as COO of a national law firm, James built and operated one of the largest legal intake teams in the country. Guiding a team of 70 individuals running 24/7 and 365 days a year they successfully marketed, retained, and onboarded over 200 new clients to the firm daily, achieving a pace and capacity of over 50,000 new clients annually. 

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    • Philip Lorenz
      Philip Lorenz

      Attorney at Law - Philip W. (“Phil”) Lorenz is a seasoned trial attorney, Phil has tried, mediated, or facilitated settlement of tens of millions of dollars in claims and lawsuits over the course of his career.

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      Paul Dietrick

      Attorney at Law

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      Angie Hemmings

      Client Experience Manager - Angie joined The Scott Pryor Law Group and quickly made her mark on the Firm. Her previous employment on staff at a local church prepared Angie for her current role in client relations and marketing. Meeting prospective clients, checking in regularly with current clients, and staying in touch with former clients are what Angie is passionate about. She wants you to know that you and your family are important to her.

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      Rhonda Anzaldua

      Marketing Manager - Rhonda brings over 20 years of customer service and hospitality experience to the marketing and intake team. She is passionate about providing our clients with an outstanding experience from the very first day, and prides herself in her ability to be straightforward and honest but also able to empathize and offer comfort in the difficult conversations.

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      Steve Ware

      Legal Support Manager

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Is the Driver or the Trucking Company Liable in a Tractor-Trailer Accident in Gwinnett County?

When Is the Trucking Company Responsible for an Accident?

When you get into an accident, especially one as scary as a tractor-trailer truck accident, it is easy to place the blame entirely on the truck driver. After all, they were behind the wheel. But the truth of the matter is that the fault most often falls to the trucking company the driver was working with, either as an employee or as a freelancer.

Many truck drivers don’t own their own trucks, so the trucking company provides a truck for them. Since the trucking company is the owner of the vehicle, it is their responsibility to ensure that it is in road-safe condition. Mechanical problems can easily lead to accidents, but companies like to cut costs to keep their profits high. Their attempt to save a few dollars on repairs could leave them liable for your damages.

Note, however, that this isn’t the only way that a trucking company can be liable for a tractor-trailer accident. In fact, a trucking company could be held liable even when working with a freelancer that owns their own vehicle. One example of this would be when a trucking company forces a driver to stick to an unrealistic delivery schedule.

Other ways a trucking company could be liable beyond cutting corners and placing unrealistic expectations on their drivers include fudging inspections, failing to train drivers, hiring drivers without the proper experience, and more. Thanks to the law of respondent superior, trucking company employees may be held responsible for actions their employees took.

When Is a Trucker Responsible for an Accident?

A truck driver can be held liable for an accident in cases where the accident was caused by negligence, recklessness, or carelessness. You may recognize these as being at the core of any personal injury lawsuit. Truck accidents fall under personal injury law, so this shouldn’t be surprising.

If a trucker is self-employed and lacks a connection to any specific agency, then they will be the liable party for the accident. In most cases where a trucking company is involved, they will be liable to some degree. But there are cases where you would want to hold the trucker liable rather than the company.

One example would be in situations where the driver is solely responsible for their actions. Say a driver intentionally chooses to crash in a fit of blind road rage. Despite working for a trucking company, their actions are their own, and the responsibility for the crash falls squarely on the trucker’s shoulders.

A trucker may also be held liable for mechanical issues in situations where they own their own truck. Since the company doesn’t own the truck, it can’t be held responsible for its repair. However, the trucking company may still be held liable if it was discovered that they failed to perform any kind of safety check or inspection of the truck.

While a trucker may be solely responsible for a tractor-trailer accident, liability is most often shared by the trucker and the trucking company. In some circumstances, it may be best to only hold one of these parties accountable. But, quite often, the best course of action is to hold both the truck driver and the trucking company accountable.

Can Both a Driver and a Trucking Company Be Liable?

Quite a few of these cases are best resolved by holding both parties accountable.

For example, a trucker may be liable for an accident that was caused by their choice to drive over the posted limit. However, that choice might have been influenced by the trucking company setting an unreasonable schedule. If given more time to make the delivery, the driver wouldn’t have been speeding.

In this example, both parties are at fault. The trucking company set an unreasonable schedule that required the driver to speed or give up sleep in order to meet. Yet the trucking company can’t be given the full responsibility. The truck driver made the choice to speed in order to make that schedule. Their decision was influenced by the fear of losing their job, but they still ultimately made the choice that resulted in a tractor-trailer accident.

The best way to decide who to hold accountable is to speak to an experienced truck accident attorney. They will be able to investigate the circumstances of the accident to discover where the fault resides. But it could just be that a third party is responsible.

Can Other Parties Be Liable in a Tractor-Trailer Accident?

While most trucking accidents are the fault of a truck driver or a trucking company, there may be other liable parties, such as the following:

Another Driver: It may be possible that you or another motorist are actually the ones at fault. This would be an accident that involves a truck wherein the truck driver held no responsibility.
Truck’s Owner: If the accident was caused by a mechanical issue, the owner of the truck could be liable. This is usually the truck driver or the trucking company, but it could also be a third party.
Cargo Loader: In an accident caused by cargo falling from the truck, the liable party may be the individual that improperly loaded the truck.
The Manufacturer: Most mechanical issues are the fault of the truck owner, but in rare circumstances, the manufacturer of the vehicle may be responsible.

Of course, these are just the most common. But accidents can be weird and complicated, so there is always a chance that your tractor-trailer accident may involve even more parties. For one quick example, picture an accident that was due to conditions caused by a negligent road crew. It’s always important to let the circumstances of your accident drive the case.

How Do I Decide Who to Hold Accountable for My Tractor-Trailer Accident in Gwinnett County?

The best way to decide which parties to seek compensation from is to speak to an experienced tractor-trailer accident attorney. This way, you can let the unique details of your accident drive the investigation, and you can make your decision based on legal advice you can trust.

6185 Crooked Creek Rd NW
Ste. H
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092
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