Smyrna’s proximity to Atlanta means that a number of commercial trucks often pass through the area. Commercial vehicles use local roads in addition to major highways. A total gross weight limit of 80,000 pounds is placed on all motor vehicles under Georgia Code § 32-6-26, but certain exceptions exist for some commercial vehicles. The sheer size of most commercial trucks usually means that any accidents they are involved in could result in serious injuries or death.
The immediate aftermath of a truck accident is extremely stressful and confusing for victims. You should get legal help as soon as possible after a truck crash in Smyrna.
Did you sustain severe injuries or was your loved one killed in a commercial truck accident in Smyrna? The Champion Firm, P.C. can review your case and answer all of your legal questions. Call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Smyrna Truck Accident Lawyers: Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Tractor-trailer and other large truck crashes are often incredibly complicated and may require extensive independent investigations. Many different pieces of evidence may need to be examined and analyzed to determine the true cause of an accident.
The Champion Firm, P.C., can prove when a truck accident is the fault of such common causes as:
- Failure to obey a traffic sign or control device
- Improper driver training
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a prescription or over-the-counter drug
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Reckless driving
- Defective parts
- Failure to maintain vehicle
- Driver fatigue
- Inadequate lighting
- Unsecured cargo
- Overloaded trailer
- Inclement weather, such as heavy rain or ice
- Dangerous roadways
- Illegal parking
Trucking companies may act very quickly to cover up or even destroy evidence in these types of cases, such as adjusting driver log books after the fact. Contact an attorney right away to preserve this evidence.
Smyrna Truck Accident Lawyer: Common Injuries from Truck Accidents
The size of tractor-trailers and other heavy trucks means that the force of the impact in accidents is often more severe than standard car crashes. The injuries victims of truck accidents sustain tend to be much more serious.
The Champion Firm, P.C., has represented people with a wide variety of catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Internal organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Burn injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Neck injuries
- Muscle strains
In the worst cases, victims die from the injuries they sustain. Family members may be able to file wrongful death actions in such cases.
Smyrna Truck Accident Lawyers Get Damages For Truck Accident Victims
In most large truck crash cases, an insurance company ultimately agrees to a settlement rather than allowing a case to proceed to trial.
A jury can award a victim compensatory damages, which are usually a combination of economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are intended to cover financial harm, while noneconomic damages are awards for psychological harm.
Common economic damages include medical expenses, lost income and property damage. Noneconomic damages include awards for pain and suffering or disfigurement.
Some commercial truck accidents could also result in punitive damages being awarded. Punitive damages are generally available only in cases in which a court wants to specifically punish a defendant for misconduct and discourage others from behaving similarly, such as drunk or drugged driving.
Under Georgia Code § 51-12-5.1, punitive damages can only be awarded when a victim proves that the defendant’s actions displayed a willful disregard for the safety of others.
What Makes Truck Accidents Different?
Commercial vehicles operate under different rules from passenger vehicles. State and federal laws place important restrictions on how these vehicles may be operated, such as requiring drivers to log how long they drive and how long they rest. If drivers or trucking companies are found to have violated any of these numerous restrictions, it may be easier to hold them liable for injuries suffered in a crash.
Another important difference in commercial truck cases is the much higher insurance limits that apply. Most commercial carriers are required to carry these higher-limit policies because of the amount of damage their vehicles can do. This means that you may be able to recover a greater sum of money in a truck accident claim than a regular car accident claim.
However, the higher limits do not necessarily mean that an insurance company is more willing to fully compensate a victim for their injuries. In fact, the higher stakes often mean a tougher defense. Most insurers will still seek to pay as little as possible to resolve these claims.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
Truck drivers are often assumed to be the ones directly responsible for most commercial truck crashes, but such drivers rarely have the personal insurance limits or wealth to justify civil actions against them. In many cases, other parties besides the driver can also be held liable.
Some of the most common potential defendants in a commercial truck accident case include:
- Truck driver’s employer
- Tractor unit owner
- Semi-trailer owner
- Shipping/loading company
- Maintenance company
- Truck part manufacturer
- Freight owner
- Governmental entities
These liable parties can frequently overlap. One party could pass the blame on to a defective product maker that could then claim the owner was to blame for not properly maintaining the part.
The Champion Firm, P.C., will cut through these types of issues to make sure negligent parties are held fully accountable.
Smyrna Truck Accident Lawyer: How The Champion Firm Can Help
If you were seriously injured or your loved one was killed in a commercial truck accident in Smyrna, it is in your best interest to contact the Smyrna truck accident lawyers of The Champion Firm, P.C., as quickly as you can.
Our firm has a record of success that includes a $1.375 million settlement for a man who required spinal surgery to correct a herniated disc after he was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer. Call us or contact us online to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case in a free consultation.