Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer
We’re Here to Help You Recover the Compensation You Deserve
After a truck accident, one of our Atlanta truck accident attorneys can help you get the compensation that you deserve under Georgia or federal personal injury law. When you are facing hefty medical debt, pain, and the stress of a pending lawsuit, you should turn to the expertise you can find at Henningsen Injury Attorneys, P.C. Our Atlanta truck accident law firm represents individuals seeking fair compensation for their financial losses as well as their pain and suffering.
Do I Need to Hire an Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney?
Trucking and insurance companies hire some of the fiercest lawyers who will fight tooth and nail to save themselves money in truck accident claims and to protect their brand. When an individual represents themselves in their Atlanta truck accident case, the insurance company is sure to take advantage of their ignorance of injury law. They will diminish the severity of your truck accident injuries, try to deny your claim for medical compensation, and may even try to get you to accept partial or full responsibility for the truck accident.
Because the evidence in a trucking accident determines how much a victim can recover after their accident, your Atlanta truck accident attorney will have to be just as intrepid and aggressive to beat the law firm representing the defendant.
The stronger the evidence, then the stronger the case. Henningsen Injury Attorneys builds each suit by collecting evidence and documentation such as:
- Driver logs
- Maintenance records
- Accident histories
- The truck drivers work history and driving record
- The truck driver’s phone records
- Eyewitness testimony
- Evidence was taken at the scene of the accident, such as pictures
- The severity of the injuries
An Atlanta truck accident lawyer who has been in practice for many years has cultivated relationships with professional experts who can provide litigation support. Professional experts include engineers, accident reconstructionists, medical providers, and actuaries who can provide more background on the facts of your case. For example, a medical professional can explain your serious injuries and how they were caused in your Georgia truck accident. An actuary may be called to testify regarding your lost wages if the insurance company tries to deny how much you can receive in compensation for lost wages. These are valuable resources in a Georgia truck accident case. Our law firm has established strong relationships with some of the most reputable experts in Atlanta, so call Henningsen Injury Attorneys now to speak to an attorney about your case.
Were you or a loved one injured in a trucking accident? Our team at Henningsen Injury Attorneys P.C. can help! Call (404) 800-6356 to discuss your case during a free consultation.
Who Is Responsible For My Truck Accident?
Determining liability after a truck accident will require a thorough investigation by an experienced attorney. At the end of that investigation, they will be able to determine who is liable for your injuries and must pay your compensation. Potentially liable parties include:
- The trucking company: Trucking companies are notorious for urging drivers to spend more time on the road getting to their destinations faster. Sometimes they are negligent in conducting thorough background checks before putting a dangerous driver in one of their semi-trucks.
- The truck driver: the truck driver is responsible for obeying all traffic laws and taking breaks. Drivers are legally obligated to abstain from using drugs or drinking alcohol while operating a motor vehicle.
- The truck manufacturer: If an investigation leads to discovering a defective part or design caused the truck accident, then the manufacturing company will be held liable for your damages.
- The packing/freight company: Carriers must be packed in accordance with federal laws to prevent weight shifts. The regulations are even more strict when carriers are transporting hazardous materials.
- A government entity: If your truck accident lawyer can prove that the road where your accident occurred was poorly maintained or designed, then a city, county, or state agency may be held liable for your injuries.
Of course, the best way to determine who is responsible for your accident is to hire a truck accident lawyer. Call Henningsen Injury Attorneys today to schedule your free consultation with a truck accident lawyer who can advise how to proceed in your case.
What Types of Damages Can an Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me to Recover?
The types of damages you can recover in your Atlanta truck accident include compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages, as the name suggests, are the financial losses related to your truck accident, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future lost earnings
- Property damage
- Other miscellaneous costs, such as medical devices, child care, etc.
Non-economic damages recognize the physical pain, discomfort, disfiguration, and permanent damage done to the body, as well as the anguish, frustration, and humiliation the accident has caused. Non-economic damages can also include the loss of companionship if the truck accident resulted in wrongful death.
In some cases, the accident victims may be awarded punitive damages. These are monetary damages separate from a personal injury claim or criminal hearing that are intended to deter the defendant from acting in the same woefully negligent way again in the future. It also sends an important message to trucking companies that their negligence will be punished. In the state of Georgia, punitive damages are capped at $250,000.00, but there are exceptions.
Am I Still Able to Recover Compensation If I am at Fault?
According to Georgia law, the amount that accident victims can receive in compensation can be reduced by the amount of fault they share for causing the crash. Suppose a driver was found violating traffic laws when they were hit by a commercial truck. In that case, the Georgia comparative negligence laws would kick in. They would require that the damages the accident victim receive be reduced by a percentage that the judge or jury deems that they are responsible for.
What Are Some of the Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Although each case needs to be evaluated individually, there are some common reasons why devastating accidents happen. The National Safety Council reported that there was a 2% increase in fatal truck accidents between 2018 and 2019 and a 43% increase in truck accidents since 2010. Large truck accidents account for 10% of all vehicles involved in fatal accidents in the U.S. Below are some of the most common causes of truck accidents that we see in cases at Henningsen Injury Attorneys.
A truck accident is much more likely when a driver is tired. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, truck drivers must get an adequate amount of sleep each night. A study they conducted showed that truck accidents are most likely to occur within the first hour of their journey, suggesting that the cognitive impairment caused by fatigue is enough to lead to a deadly crash.
Speeding is one of the leading causes of serious injuries and deaths on Georgia highways. Because of a truck’s size and the mass of the cargo, it takes more time and distance for a truck to slow down than a passenger vehicle. Truck drivers must obey the speed limit since they are less likely to respond to changes in traffic, which could result in a catastrophic truck accident.
Lack of Experience
New CDL drivers may be able to get a job easily due to a shortage of truck drivers. Larger truck companies may be willing to hire truck drivers with no professional experience outside of their licensing training. Unfortunately, when a driver lacks experience, they do not know how to control a vehicle in unforeseen circumstances such as inclement weather and traffic jams.
Commercial truck drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers to use reasonable care when operating their tractor-trailers. All road users have a duty of care to each other. Still, truck drivers have a special responsibility for safety given the size and mass of commercial trucks compared to passenger vehicles. All drivers owe each other their sobriety and full attention when using the road.
Just like anybody else, truck drivers can get bored and lonely when spending dozens of hours on highways every week with no other companions. Some truck drivers listen to audiobooks and podcasts to pass the time. Or they might make phone calls and use messenger apps on their phones to chat. It’s not illegal to listen to the radio, but being distracted while behind the wheel is illegal.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the activities that pose the most safety threats include:
- Using a cell phone
- Talking with other passengers
- Adjusting controls in the vehicle, such as radio dials
These actions take the driver’s eyes off of the road and may take their hands off of the wheel, which means that their mind is no longer focused on driving. According to information collected by the Insurance Information Institute, distracted driving was a factor in 9% of fatal wrecks in 2019.
How are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?
Truck accidents and car accidents can differ in many ways:
- Causation: The size difference between trucks and cars can mean that the causes that lead to accidents are different. A truck’s weight may be off-balance, or there might not be enough space for a truck to stop in heavy traffic. Cars are much lighter, so they are less likely to topple over.
- Case complexity: Because truck accidents can be much more serious due to the sheer size and weight differential between trucks and passenger vehicles, they can often lead to greater damages and multiple parties being involved in the case, from the trucking company to the insurance company to the truck driver. A truck accident attorney can guide you through this process.
- The insurance company: When a passenger vehicle is involved in an accident, their personal auto insurance policy covers the accident. But a trucking company takes out a significantly larger policy than the average driver. Insurance companies are very aggressive and are known for bullying victims who file a claim for compensation from one of their policyholders.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
After your semi-truck accident, every step you take will be scrutinized, so it’s important to take the right steps. First, assess yourself and any other passengers in your vehicle to see if anyone is seriously injured. If you can, you should check on others involved to see if there are any serious injuries. Then call 911 so law enforcement can arrive and file a police report.
If you are offered medical attention, then you should accept it. Only a licensed, trained healthcare worker can tend to your injuries properly and determine if there are any latent injuries that could cause complications later.
If you are blocking traffic or are in a dangerous part of the road, then you should move your car out of the way and into the shoulder.
Keep your interactions on the side of the road brief, but then call Henningsen Injury Attorneys so we can do the talking for you and advise you on what to say and do. When the police talk to you, you should not offer any statements as to what you think caused the accident, nor should you offer any apologies. In the state of Georgia, there are comparative negligence laws, meaning that each party can share a portion of fault for a truck accident.
You do not know what other factors contributed to your accident, but the attorneys at Henningsen Injury Attorneys can conduct an investigation to get to the bottom of what happened. The insurance companies never hesitate to twist the words of a semi-truck accident victim to serve their purposes in saving themselves money in compensatory and possibly punitive damages. Henningsen Injury Attorneys will speak to them for you, advise you of your rights, and be your guide throughout the legal process.
In accordance with state law, if you are involved in a Georgia truck accident, then you and the other drivers involved must exchange the following information:
- Email address
- Phone number
- Driver’s license number
- License plate numbers
- Insurance company and policy
- Additionally, the driver must provide you with the name of their employer and their DOT number.
Taking pictures to corroborate your claim is tremendously helpful. If your phone was not damaged in the crash, then you can use it to take pictures and capture videos of the scene of the accident, your injuries, and the vehicles involved. Many commercial trucks have numbering or lettering on the side of them which can be used to identify the driver.
The Most Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries
According to the National Institute of Traffic and Highway Safety, almost three-quarters of all truck accident injuries and deaths are suffered by people in passenger cars that were hit by a truck. If the victim survives the truck accident, they are often left with catastrophic injuries that may take years to recover fully.
The most common truck accident injuries are:
- Back and neck injuries (from minor pain to severe injuries, such as dislocated discs in the spine)
- Head injuries
- Broken Bones
- Internal injuries
- Seat belt injuries
- Rib and torso injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
Truck accidents are ten times more likely to cause severe injuries or kill someone than passenger car crashes. Truck accident injuries may also include internal bleeding, including organs like the bladder, liver, kidney, or pancreas. In some serious truck accidents, limbs and extremities may be amputated in the collision, and the victim may never be the same after being involved in trucking accidents. Due to severe burns, a victim’s arm, leg, hand, or foot may get amputated.
By hiring a Georgia truck accident attorney, they will gather as much evidence as possible on your behalf to ensure that you will get the compensation you fully deserve.
Truck Accidents Statistics in Atlanta, GA
Despite the pandemic, Atlanta truck accident statistics have shown a major increase in the number of crash fatalities. Georgia’s Department of Transportation (GDOT) shows that more than 1,200 people have died on Georgia highways. In 2019, there were 404,043 crushes. Of the crash count, nearly 14 percent involved a large truck, while 34 percent of fatalities involved a truck or other large vehicle.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, motor vehicle crashes continue to be a major cause of injuries and death.
To keep you and everyone on the road safe, check out the following driving tips:
- Try to eliminate any distractions while driving, mute your cell phone and refrain from eating and drinking
- Keep a proper distance from the motor vehicles in front of you
- Call a ride if you had too much to drink
- Resist the temptation to speed no matter how empty the roads are
- Obey all traffic rules and laws
- Ensure you are well-rested when heading to long ride distances
- Never drive in a truck’s blind spot. If you cannot see the driver, then they cannot see you
- Never cut off a large truck
- Do not tailgate large trucks
Unfortunately, the consequences of a collision between a truck and a passenger vehicle are often catastrophic. Our Atlanta truck accident lawyers understand all the nuances specific to truck accident litigation and will try to obtain the best possible outcome for your case. While truck accident cases are different from motor vehicle accident cases, we will strongly fight for your rights and fair compensation.
Truck Driver Regulations in Georgia
The Atlanta area hosts a considerable number of truck accidents because of highly traveled highways, including Interstate 75, Interstate 85, Interstate 20, Interstate 16, and the 1-285 Beltway. The most dangerous intersection in Atlanta, Georgia, includes the Memorial Drive and N Hairston Road (Stone Mountain), North Druid Hills Road and Briarcliff Road, Butner Road and Camp Creek Parkway, State Bridge Road and Medlock Bridge Road (Johns Creek), Jimmy Carter Boulevard at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard (Norcross).
It is common knowledge that commercial truck drivers have more rules and regulations they need to obey than drivers of passenger cars. If the truck driver fails to follow these rules, they may be at fault for the truck accident.
The most common rules that apply to commercial truck drivers in Georgia are:
Licensing: A truck driver must have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Under Georgia law, drivers must be at least 18 years of age and 21 years of age if they cross state lines.
Testing and Inspection: Truck drivers are typically drug tested before employment and tested whenever needed if there is any suspicion of drug use. Trucks must be regularly inspected and obey the state’s minimum safety requirements, including having working brakes, lights, and equipment.
Vehicle Weight and Signage: A truck driver’s load cannot exceed the weight limit. Additionally, if the truck driver is carrying hazardous material, they must display proper signage.
Drive Time Limits: If the truck driver is carrying property, they are not allowed to drive more than 14 hours, after which they need to take a mandatory consecutive 10-hour break. During these 14 hours, the driver can have up to 11 hours of actual driving time. A truck driver cannot drive more than 8 hours without having a 30-minute break and cannot drive more than 60 hours in one week.
Rules of the Road: Truck drivers must follow the road rules applicable to all drivers, including speed limits, turn signals, and stopping at red lights.
Insurance: It is mandatory that all truck drivers be insured. Under federal law, they must carry at least $750,000 in insurance if they cross state lines and coverage for injury and property damage up to an amount of $5,000,000 if hazardous materials are being transported by the commercial vehicle.
Our legal team understands that Atlanta truck accidents may lead to long-term complications and that you could face expensive medical bills, mental and financial stress, and lost work time. By seeking the help of our Atlanta truck accident lawyers, we will talk with you and conduct an in-depth investigation to gather as much information as possible to build a strong case on your behalf. Schedule your free consultation as soon as possible, as it costs you nothing to discuss your case with our team of Atlanta truck accident attorneys.
Why Choose Henningsen Injury Attorneys Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyers
Our law firm has handled hundreds of accident cases involving tractor-trailers and has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for the pain and suffering, and other losses Georgia truck accident victims have faced. We provide individualized attention to each client and their families who seek us out to help them during one of the most trying times of their lives. We work with every person from a place of compassion and with a desire to help them move forward in their lives.
Attorney Todd Henningsen is an accomplished attorney with a high client satisfaction rating. He is a member of:
- The Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
- The Southern Trial Lawyers Association
- The Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
He has also been admitted to the State Bar of Georgia and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.