Semi-trucks and 18-wheelers are enormous vehicles that, when they are involved in an accident, can cause catastrophic injuries and damage. Injuries from truck accidents in Duluth can leave victims with a lifetime of treatment, disability, or they can even result in death. If you have been injured in a truck accident—or lost a loved one—a Duluth semi-truth and 18-wheeler accident lawyer can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Our truck accident attorneys have been getting truck accident victims the money they need to recover for more than 20 years. We have developed a strong reputation as one of the most trusted personal injury groups in the state of Georgia. We can help you with your injury case and avoid leaving money on the table.
To schedule a FREE consultation and get matched with the best lawyer for your needs, contact us today by calling (404) 948-4815 or contacting us online.
What to Know About Semi-Trucks and 18-Wheelers
Semi-trucks are huge trucks used for carrying cargo and materials, especially building and agriculture materials, to and fro across states. Around 68% of all U.S. goods are delivered by semi-trucks.
The “semi-truck” is the actual truck containing the engine. When the semi-truck has its trailer connected, it’s known as an “18-wheeler” or “tractor-trailer.” Semi-trucks often travel without their trailers, as well.
When a semi-truck is a full 18-wheeler, it can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds spread out over 18 wheels. This is why these vehicles can be so dangerous and even deadly on the road. If a truck driver is negligent on the road or something goes wrong with the truck, other drivers can face serious injuries.
How Fault Is Determined in a Semi-Truck and 18-Wheeler Accident
In any injury accident like a truck accident, liability is determined by fault or “negligence.” In Georgia and all other states, people have a legal duty to act in a reasonable way that avoids putting others in harm’s way. If someone breaches that duty, it is known as negligence and that person is said to be “at fault” for the injury incident.
Someone can be determined as negligent if they were doing the following and it led to a truck accident:
- Driving while distracted or fatigued
- Breaking a traffic law
- Driving under the influence
- Making a mistake on the road
Anyone can make a mistake while driving, but semi-truck and 18-wheeler drivers are especially prone to making mistakes that lead to accidents. Truck drivers are routinely held to strict, unrealistic standards on the job.
Although they are supposed to be allowed to pull over and take breaks to eat and sleep, supervisors pressure drivers to stick to crazy schedules. Drivers will often forgo rest to stay on deadline, putting them out on the road (operating an enormous vehicle) while underslept, underfed, and fatigued.
Plus, some drivers falsify records to allow themselves more time on the road than they are allowed by law. Trucks also have huge blind spots that can make it hard to see passing vehicles, easily leading to an accident if the driver isn’t paying enough attention.
Seeking Compensation for Damages
When someone is injured by the negligence of another, they have a legal right to seek compensation for their losses, also known as “damages.” So, if you are hurt in a truck accident, you probably have a right to seek compensation for your damages.
You do this by filing a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. To do this, it’s important to understand the full spectrum of the damages you face.
Damages You Can Recover After a Truck Accident in Duluth
There are two main types of damages you can recover from a truck accident.
Economic damages, also known as special damages, in a personal injury claim are those that can be easily calculated and that can’t be changed based on how the insurance company, a judge, or a jury evaluates them.
Economic damages may include:
- Medical costs, including bills, doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription medications, and ongoing treatment like physical therapy
- Lost wages from missed work time
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damages
- Other out-of-pocket costs
“Lost earning capacity” refers to money you would have otherwise earned if the accident and your injuries hadn’t happened. Besides the lost wages you definitely would have made based on past payments at your job, lost earning capacity is about how the accident has impacted your earning ability going forward.
If you and your lawyer can demonstrate that your injuries will require future medical care, you may also be able to recover for those expenses. Being awarded these damages usually requires expert testimony from the doctor treating you.
Non-economic damages are also known as general damages or pain and suffering damages. They are losses you experience that can’t be given a clear monetary amount, such as:
- Loss of enjoyment of things you used to do
- Emotional anguish
- Fear or embarrassment
When an accident is very serious, these non-economic damages may make up the bulk of your losses. To recover these damages, you must have a physical injury that leads to your emotional suffering. For example, you might be able to recover for humiliation or embarrassment after a truck accident leaves you with disfigurement or severe scarring.
These damages are extremely important after a serious accident because they cover more than just your bills. Sure, you need (and deserve) compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other tangible expenses—but severe injuries can completely change your life going forward. Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for this as much as possible.
Wrongful Death Damages
Unfortunately, the severity of many truck accidents can lead to loss of life. If you lose a loved one in a semi-truck or 18-wheeler accident, you may be able to recover damages on their behalf. This is known as a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death damages in a truck accident case typically fall into two categories:
- Damages the deceased experienced from the accident up until their time of death, such as medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and funeral and burial expenses
- Damages the deceased’s family has experienced because of their death, such as money the loved one would have earned up until they retired and—in some states—loss of consortium for spouses.
Talk to a Duluth Semi-Truck and 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer for Free
Semi-truck and 18-wheeler accidents in Duluth can impact a victim’s life for months, years, or for the rest of their life. Our truck accident lawyers understand just how painful the recovery process can be—and we know the last thing you want to worry about it the legal side of things. That’s why we’re here to help.
We can take a look at your case and discuss your best options during a FREE consultation. Contact us today and we’ll match you with the best truck accident lawyer for your needs—for FREE. Call (404) 948-4815 or contact us online to get started.