A crash involving a semi-truck or an 18-wheeler can change your life. These accidents tend to be very serious and have lasting effects on victims. And, sadly, fatalities are much more likely in these types of crashes. If you or a loved has been involved this type of accident, you need to speak with a semi-truck or 18-wheeler accident lawyer in Alpharetta and discuss your legal options.
Our lawyers know trucking laws inside and out, and we have decades of experience winning personal injury lawsuits for truck accident victims. Let us put that experience to work for you. We will connect you with some of the top semi-truck accident lawyers in the state. Give us a call at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
What are some common causes of semi-truck and 18-wheeler accidents?
Semi-trucks and 18-wheelers are huge. They are heavy, awkward, and dangerous. They take longer to stop, and they are harder to maneuver and turn, especially when they are fully loaded. While most accidents in Georgia are caused by driver error, there are several other common reasons that semi-truck accidents occur as well, including:
- Improperly secured loads
- Poor or inadequate training
- Defective brakes or other parts of the truck
- Poor maintenance
- Road conditions or defects
- Fatigued drivers
- Drug or alcohol use
- Failure to follow the rules of the road
Other drivers can also cause 18-wheeler accidents. It’s important to give these large vehicles plenty of room when you see them on the street.
How do I prove fault in a semi-truck crash?
Proving fault in an 18-wheeler accident is mostly the same as a regular car accident, but there are a few exceptions. Specifically, several laws and regulations apply to these large trucks that simply don’t affect passenger vehicle drivers. The following is just a brief list of examples that affect fault that don’t apply to passenger vehicles.
- The driver is limited to driving a specific number of hours each day
- The semi-truck is loaded too heavy (in violation of loading laws)
- The load hauled is either too high or too wide for the road
- The truck was not supposed to be on the street at the time of day that the accident occurred
- The driver has not had as many breaks before the crash as they should have
- The truck was on a road that didn’t allow large vehicles like 18-wheelers
- The semi didn’t have the maintenance that it is required to have
- The 18-wheeler was traveling too fast for that particular location or type of load
As you can see, there are a lot of ways that a careless driver or trucking company can cause a problem. And between Georgia and the federal government, there are laws that cover all of these issues—and many others. Violating any of these regulations could lead to legal liability, if the violation contributed to the accident.
Here’s an example: imagine you were T-boned by a truck that was carrying far too large of a load for that area. If the cargo had no relation to why you got hurt, it likely wouldn’t matter that the truck was overloaded. But, if the semi couldn’t slow down and missed a stop sign because of its heavy load, that would likely mean they are legally responsible. An overloaded semi won’t “override” the fact that you ran through a stop sign, for example.
Who will be involved in a trucking accident lawsuit in Alpharetta?
You may be able to sue several parties if you are involved in a Georgia semi-truck or 18-wheeler accident. Who is the right party to name will depend on the unique facts of your situation and the particular truck involved.
For example, if you are hit by an independent contractor driver who owns his own truck, you may only be dealing with the driver and his insurance company. If the driver is an employee of a trucking company, you may involve the driver, the trucking company, and the company’s insurance carrier. The individual truck driver may also have their own insurance that could come into play. Other parties that might be involved include:
- The individuals or company who does the maintenance or their insurance company
- The company whose load the truck driver is hauling
- The individuals or company who loaded the truck or their insurance company
- The truck or parts manufacturer
Other drivers may also cause a semi-truck driver to lose control of their vehicle and hit you. That could mean that other third parties may be involved as well. The underlying reason for the accident will play a big role in who is involved in your 18-wheeler accident case.
How can a lawyer help with my semi-truck accident claim?
Having a good lawyer really makes a difference—and a lawyer who has experience with 18-wheeler accident cases can completely change your case. An experienced semi-truck accident attorney knows the unique laws and regulations that truck drivers must follow. Some attorneys who only do car accident cases may not be familiar with the unique requirements for truck drivers, or how to make use of them in your claim.
A lawyer who has experience with these cases will also know how to get information from the truck. Most semi-trucks are required to have devices that track things like how many miles they have driven within a certain amount of time and how fast they are going at specific periods. This type of information can be beneficial to an 18-wheeler accident case.
Of course, your lawyer can also talk directly to the insurance company, so they don’t try to get you to settle for less than what your case is really worth. They can also gather evidence and talk to witnesses for you too.
Talk to an Alpharetta Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer for Free
Our lawyers have been helping victims of truck accidents for over 20 years. We know the toll this kind of accident takes on you and your family, and we’re here for you. Contact us for your free consultation to discuss your case. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to schedule your free consultation today.