With all of the commercial truck traffic in and around Mableton, particularly on the Veteran’s Memorial Highway, your chances of getting in an accident with a big rig are increasing. In fact, according to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, in 2016, someone died nearly every other day in an accident with a large truck, such as a semi-truck or 18 wheeler. Non-fatal accidents were even more frequent.
And, as you would expect, the vast majority of those injuries and fatalities did not involve anyone in the truck. In a full speed collision with an 18-wheeler, most vehicles don’t stand a chance. A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, and the brake system on these trucks makes it next to impossible for them to stop quickly. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says it takes a fully loaded 18-wheeler the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop.
If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident with a big rig and it wasn’t your fault, you’re probably angry and worried about all of your medical bills. Speaking an experienced Mableton semi-truck & 18-wheeler accident lawyer can help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company (ies). Our Mable accident law firm goes up against insurance companies all the time. We know all of their tricks, and will work to get you the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes for 18-Wheeler Accidents
18-wheeler and semi-truck accidents are often caused by issues with the nature of these big trucks, as well as issues with the truck drivers. Common causes of these accidents include:
- Failure to stop in time
- Large blind spots prevented the driver from seeing the other vehicle
- Tire blowouts
- Improperly secured loads
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Driving while using drugs or alcohol
While most big rig drivers are conscientious about driving safely and not jeopardizing their CDL license, there are some drivers who will use substances to stay awake, or will hit the road with alcohol in their system.
Who Will Pay for Damages?
First, it depends on who was at fault in the accident. If the truck driver is found to be at fault, the trucking company’s insurance will cover your injuries and property damage. In some cases, the truck driver is an owner operator carrying his or her own insurance. In that case, their personal insurance will come into play.
If you were involved in a multi-vehicle crash or chain reaction, it can be hard to determine who caused the accident. Debris in the roadway can also be a factor in accidents with a semi-truck or 18-wheeler. If there is a third party involved in your accident, your skilled truck accident lawyer will be able to sort through all of the accident reports and insurance policies with you to file the appropriate claims with the right companies.
What Damages Can I Recover?
If you were less than 51% at fault in the accident, you are entitled to recover what are called compensatory damages. These include:
Medical costs include things you paid for out of pocket, and can include:
- Ambulance fees
- Emergency room and hospital bills
- Doctor’s bills
- Cost of medications
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Future medical costs if the accident resulted in a disability
Property damage includes reimbursement for:
- Replacing your vehicle if it was totaled (common in an accident with a big truck)
- Repairs to your vehicle if it can be repaired
- Replacement costs for property inside your vehicle that was damaged in the accident
If the truck driver was charged and convicted of DUI, under Georgia law, you can also sue for punitive damages on top of your compensatory damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish drivers who choose to put others in danger by driving drunk or under the influence of drugs. There is no dollar limit on punitive damages, but your lawyer needs to be skilled in punitive damages cases.
What If Someone Died in the Accident?
If someone died in the accident, we would like to extend our condolences, An accident is traumatic enough, but the loss of life is tragic. While we realize that no amount of money can compensate you for the loss of your loved one, we know from experience that a sudden death can create financial hardship for the survivors. A wrongful death settlement is designed to cover all of your monetary losses, as well as cover the loss of the deceased future wages. We are experienced in filing and winning wrongful death cases for our clients.
Talk to a Mableton Semi-Truck & 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer for Free
If you suffered serious injuries in an accident with a big rig, don’t face the insurance companies alone. Consulting with a Mableton semi-truck & 18-wheeler accident lawyer may help smooth the way to a generous settlement. Our lawyers have helped hundreds of accident victims over the years, and we’d like to put our experience to work for you. A FREE, no obligation case evaluation will help you understand what to do next in your case.