Truck Accident Lawyer Alpharetta, GA
If you were recently injured in a truck accident, you may want to discuss your case with a truck accident lawyer Alpharetta, GA residents trust. You may be entitled to compensation. A lawyer can help you pursue a timely claim and stand up for your rights.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in a Truck Accident Claim
If you sustained injuries in a truck accident caused by a truck driver, you have the right to seek compensation. Here are some common mistakes to avoid in a truck accident claim.
- Delaying medical treatment. Commercial trucks are huge vehicles, so they are more likely to cause severe injuries, such as burns, head injuries and amputations, in accidents. As such, it’s critical to seek emergency medical care promptly. A doctor needs to evaluate your injuries and advise on the proper treatment. If you delay medical care, you could be putting your health at serious risk. You could also give the insurance company a reason to deny your claim.
- Not considering all liable parties. One of the ways truck accidents differ from car accidents is that there may be more than one liable party. In addition to the truck driver, the trucking company, truck manufacturer and even the owner of the cargo. It’s important to consider all liable parties to maximize your compensation.
- Accepting an early settlement. After a truck accident, the truck driver’s insurance company may try to contact you and offer you an early settlement. While this may sound tempting, your Alpharetta truck accident lawyer would advise against it. Insurance companies are notorious for offering low settlements. The first offer might not be enough to cover your medical expenses and other losses. Allow your lawyer time to work out a more favorable settlement.
- Neglecting to collect evidence. In order to prove negligence in a truck accident case, you have to show sufficient evidence. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be. Therefore, try to obtain as much evidence as you can, such as photos of the accident scene, witness statements, medical records and detailed notes about the accident.
- Not following your doctor’s advice. After you see a doctor regarding your truck accident injuries, you will be given a treatment plan. Whether your treatment is physical therapy or bed rest, it’s important to follow it closely. If you neglect to follow your treatment plan or stop it prematurely, you’re putting your health at serious risk. Failing to follow your doctor’s advice can also result in a claim denial. If you don’t agree with your doctor’s treatment advice, you can always seek a second opinion.
- Failing to hire a lawyer. Truck accident cases are even more complex than traditional car accident cases. That’s why it’s essential to have an experienced truck accident lawyer on your side. He or she will hold all the appropriate parties accountable and increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement.
Schedule a consultation with an Alpharetta truck accident lawyer from Hernan Law Firm.
Fatigued Driving and Truck Accidents
An Alpharetta, GA truck accident lawyer knows that the injuries truck accident victims sustain can be catastrophic. Many times, the injuries are so severe, they are fatal. For those victims who do survive, they are often left with permanent and life-altering disabilities. The reason why truck accidents are disastrous is due to the massive weight and size of these vehicles, compared to passenger vehicles. The following is a brief overview of some of the more common causes of crashes. If you or a loved one has been injured, contact Hernan Law Firm for legal assistance.
One of the most common causes of truck accidents is truck driver fatigue. This continues to be a serious problem, despite the hours of service regulations put in place by the federal government.
Many truck companies set unreasonable delivery for their truck drivers to deliver cargo. There are regulations that govern how many hours per day and how many days in a row a truck driver can be behind the wheel. Because of the pressure many of these drivers face, they often stay on the road longer than allowed or fail to take the required number of breaks, leading to tragic and deadly crashes.
Lack of Sleep and Sleep Apnea
An Alpharetta truck accident lawyer knows that there have been multiple studies conducted that found that many long-distance truck drivers suffer from undiagnosed sleep apnea and this contributes to the annual number of truck accidents. A truck driver with untreated sleep apnea increases their risk of being in a crash by 500 percent.
People who have sleep apnea are unable to get a good night’s sleep because they are repeatedly awakened as they struggle to breathe through closed airways. These sleep interruptions leave the person feeling constantly exhausted. Treatment can include nasal strips, pressurized masks, or a specialized machine. If a person has a severe case of apnea, they may need surgery to correct their condition.
Drowsy driving is similar to drunk driving, leaving the driver with slower reflexes and cognizant abilities. Add to that the danger of a huge tractor-trailer barreling down the highway with no one controlling it because the driver is asleep.
Unfortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has left it up to individual transportation and trucking companies to determine if their drivers have the condition. There is no federal regulation overseeing this dangerous problem, leaving many undiagnosed and untreated truck drivers on the road, and every one these drivers share the roads with at risk of being killed.
An Alpharetta, GA truck accident lawyer knows that one of the most dangerous types of truck accidents that occur are jackknife accidents. A jackknife accident is when the trailer of the truck moves perpendicular to the cab, folding in half, making the shape that looks like a jackknife. The massive size and weight of tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks can end up doing catastrophic damages to any other vehicles – or people – nearby.
Jackknife Accidents Causes
Jackknife accidents – like many other types of commercial truck accident – is often caused by the negligence or recklessness of the person driving the truck. Some of the most common actions by the driver that cause these crashes include:
- Speeding – When a passenger vehicle travels at high speed, the driver can lose control and cause horrific crashes. However, it does not take a high rate of speed for a truck driver to lose control of their vehicle. A huge tractor-trailer going just a few miles over the speed limit around a curve or turning can cause a truck to jackknife.
- Making too quick a stop – Due to the size and types of brakes in these vehicles (air brakes), it takes longer for a truck to come to a stop. If a truck driver attempts to make a quick stop or changes directions of the vehicle too quickly, the cab of the truck may stop, but the trailer will keep moving at the same speed the truck at been traveling at.
- Truck driver error – In order to operate a commercial truck, the driver must be properly trained and specially licensed An inexprienced driver can easily make a mistake that could result in losing control of the truck. Even experienced drivers can lose control if they are engaged in distracted driving behaviors. Improper turning or trying to overcorrect are also common causes.
- Mechanical Failure – Both the trucking company and the truck driver have a responsibility to make sure the vehicle is in good working order. Mechanical issues can cause the truck to jackknife.
Jackknife Accident Liability
In a car accident with two cars, there is typically only one at-fault party. But in commercial truck acciddents, there is usually more than one liable party. As a Alpharetta truck accident lawyer can explain, there are several reasons for this:
- Negligent hiring – Truck companies have a duty to hire drivers who are qualified and make sure those drivers maintain safe driving records.
- Respondeat superior – This is a legal doctrine that says that employers are liable for the acts committed by their employees when those acts are job-related. If the truck driver is at fault for the crash, this doctrine also places the liablity on the trucking company.
- Defective Truck Parts – In some cases, the crash was caused by a defective truck part. In these cases, the vehicle or part manufacturer could be held liable for any losses suffered by victims.
Jackknife Accident Claims
If you have been injured in a jackknife accident, an Alpharetta truck accident lawyer can help you pursue legal action against all the parties who are liable for your losses. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent disability, and more. If you are a family that lost a loved in a truck accident, our law firm can also help you puruse a wrongful death lawsuit against those liable.
Contact Our Firm Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, do not delay in contacting Hernan Law Firm to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Alpharetta truck accident lawyer. We will evaluate your case and determine what type of legal recourse you may have against the trucking company and any other parties who may be liable. Call our office today.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident, it would be in your best interest to contact an Alpharetta, GA truck accident lawyer clients can trust.
Should truck drivers be held to a higher standard?
Operating a vehicle is dangerous, and should be treated as such. Driving a truck is much more difficult due to the weight, and size of the vehicle. Turns are harder to navigate, and blind spots are often more present when driving a truck as opposed to a smaller car. For these reasons driving a truck should require more training and accountability for the driver than cars. If the driver does not feel up to the task of carefully operating the machine, they should refrain from getting on the road. If a driver is not completely focused, they could endanger their life, as well as other lives they encounter on the road.
What should the victims of a truck accident do following the event of a crash?
Directly following a collision with a truck, the crash victims should call 9-1-1. Emergency vehicles such as ambulances, police cars, and fire trucks will rush to the scene of the accident. Police officers will take statements, trying to find out how the accident happened. If drivers or passengers are stuck in their vehicles, firefighters will work hard to rescue them. Paramedics will evaluate all parties involved to ensure their safety, and check for any injuries. Even if the victims appear physically unharmed, they should still adhere to a thorough medical examination.
Why do truck accidents occur?
Truck accidents may occur for a number of different reasons. The main source of distraction for drivers is cell phone use. Smartphones allow their users to check their email, update their social media, video chat, text, and surf the internet all while driving. Even a moment of distraction can cause the driver to lose focus on the road, and cause an accident. Trucks cannot brake as fast as smaller vehicles and may crash into another car, sidewalk, road sign, or pedestrian. Drivers need to stay alert and rid themselves of tempting distractions while driving trucks.
How can truck accident lawyers help their clients?
Truck accident lawyers assist their clients in many ways, through many different situations. As soon as a client reaches out regarding their involvement with a truck accident, attorneys work hard to best represent their needs and formulate a legal plan of action. From filing paperwork to mediating, settling outside of court with insurance companies, and preparing for trial in court, truck accident lawyers stay busy to ensure their client is taken care of. If clients are unsure of the legal process, they can rest assured that their attorney will be with them every step of the way.
How are truck accidents different than car accidents?
Truck accidents can be devastating for everyone involved. Whether you were the driver or an innocent bystander, the injuries that occur may be severe, or even deadly. Due to its weight and size, a collision with a truck tends to be more catastrophic than a collision involving two smaller vehicles such as cars or smaller SUVs. The team at Hernan Law Firm is experienced in truck accidents, representing both drivers, and victims. If you or a loved one have been injured, harmed, or experienced trauma due to a truck accident, work with an attorney to pursue justice and compensation.