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Statesboro Truck Accident Lawyer

Statesboro Truck Accident Lawyer

Statesboro Truck Accident Attorney

Drivers of commercial vehicles have a high duty of care for others on the road while being required to work long hours. Despite federal regulations to limit the number of hours truck drivers work and drive each day, many drivers receive unreasonable schedules. Fatigued drivers, badly maintained trucks, unreasonable deadlines, and bad road conditions are several factors that increase the likelihood of commercial truck accidents. These accidents can be devastating, causing severe property damage, creating debris on the road, and resulting in severe injuries and deaths of those involved in the accident.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a truck accident, there are ways to cover these damages. Though it is important to file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver, which may be the trucking company, these claims frequently do not cover the extent of damages caused. In order to receive compensation for medical bills, rehabilitative costs, and extreme property damage, you may need to file a personal injury truck accident claim. A Statesboro attorney can help you determine if you could benefit from a claim, and the level of compensation you deserve.

The Merritt & Merritt Law Firm: Semi-Truck Accident Attorneys in Statesboro

At the Merritt & Merritt Law Firm, we have served our communities for almost 50 years, providing legal aid to clients in Statesboro and many nearby areas. Our firm focuses on those injured in car and motor vehicle accidents and is well-equipped to help those injured in a trucking accident. We understand how difficult your situation is. You may be dealing with extreme medical costs, life-altering injuries or disabilities, physical pain, significant lost income during recovery, and even the loss of a loved one.

During all this, it may not be easy to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim. When you work with Merritt & Merritt, we handle this for you. We know how much you are dealing with and want to take care of the legal deadlines, requirements, and negotiations so that you can rest and recover. We provide personalized care to working individuals who might be unable to file a claim themselves to remain financially stable. By working with our experienced attorneys, you file a claim that is more likely to succeed and may increase the compensation you would have otherwise earned.

For an Immediate Consultation call us at 912-764-3434

What Are Common Types of Truck Accidents in Statesboro?

Semi-trucks and other commercial trucks can cause severe damage no matter the type of accident, but certain types of accidents have unique complications and damages. Common types of truck accidents include:

  • Rollover accidents. A rollover accident can cause serious damage to other cars on the road and may crush smaller cars. The trailer of the truck may have been badly loaded, or road conditions and truck malfunction may have caused the accident. Rollover accidents tend to create significant roadway debris, increasing the chances of more accidents.
  • Rear-end collisions. Truck and car drivers can be reckless or distracted, resulting in rear-end accidents. These accidents can also result in a motor vehicle or component malfunctioning, causing the driver to lose control.
  • Sideswipes. Trailer truck and 18-wheeler sideswipes are much more dangerous than other motor vehicles. They are much more likely to cause serious harm to other cars on the road. Sideswipe accidents are also more common due to the large blind spots present in many commercial vehicles.
  • Truck underride accidents. Commercial vehicles typically must be equipped with rearguards or other safeguards to prevent underride accidents. Unfortunately, these guards are not always effective, or regulation isn’t followed. In an underride accident, the front end or top of a smaller car gets caught between the truck’s trailer and the roadway, often crushing the car, ripping off the top of the vehicle, or dragging the car along. It can cause severe injuries and fatalities.
  • Loose cargo accidents. Commercial vehicles like garbage trucks, log trucks, and flatbeds carrying other cargo can be very dangerous if the cargo isn’t properly secured. Logs, garbage, hay bales, scrap metal, furniture, and other cargo can cause serious damage and bad accidents if the trailer is not safely loaded.
  • Jackknifing. When a trailer truck jackknifes, it means that the trailer swings until it is to the side or in front of the truck cab. This can result in many cars on the road piling up in an accident. The trailer may have been improperly loaded, or the truck’s design may have been faulty. Jackknifing can also be caused by sharp turns or quick stops.
  • Head-on collisions. Head-on collisions between commercial trucks and passenger cars are exceptionally devastating for those in a car. Frequently, head-on accidents result in fatalities for those in a car. Head-on collisions are a less common occurrence.
  • T-bone collisions. T-bone collisions tend to happen at intersections. Depending on the unique case, the speed at which vehicles were going, and whether a passenger vehicle gets caught under a commercial truck, these accidents can be very serious.

It’s beneficial to work with an attorney who has had experience and success in cases similar to your accident. The attorney will be better equipped for your case and will know the requirements and possible issues that may arise for your claim.

Why Are Truck Accident Claims More Complicated Than Other Motor Vehicle Accident Claims?

Truck accident claims are usually more complicated because the accident itself is typically more severe. Trucks are incredibly heavy, and it takes longer for truck drivers to slow or stop their vehicles. Truck drivers also have less visibility of others on the road. Vehicle crashes involving commercial trucks are more likely to cause severe injuries, permanent disability and disfigurement, and death. It also causes significant property damage.

While some vehicle accidents may be covered by insurance claims, truck accidents result in significant damage that often requires personal injury claims. These claims require high compensation to cover the injured parties’ damages. It can be hard to obtain a fair amount of compensation from insurance providers who downplay an injury or blame the injured victim in the accident to pay less.

Truck accident claims are more likely to have multiple parties at fault. This further complicates the claim. The driver, the trucking company, the driver’s employer, the truck manufacturers, another driver, a third party on the road, or multiple of these parties may be found at fault for the truck accident. This involves more individuals and their insurance providers and lengthens negotiations.

What Are the Main Causes of Truck Accidents in Statesboro?

Which party or parties can be held liable in a personal injury claim depends on the cause of the accident. If the cause of the accident was one party’s negligence, they can be held liable for the damages from the accident. Many things can result in a truck accident, including:

  • Law and regulation violations. There are federal laws meant to prevent drivers from being overworked. There are also commercial rules for truck maintenance requirements. If a trucking company, truck driver employer, or driver violates these regulations or encourages violations, they can be held responsible for accidents.
  • Driver fatigue. Any driver on the road who drives fatigued is putting themselves and others in danger. Driving while fatigued increases the time it takes to react to changes on the road and limits a driver’s ability to make decisions. A driver or the creator of their schedule may be liable.
  • Bad hiring practices. Trucking companies and employers must investigate and vet their employees. Failure to do so can result in an accident, and the company can be held legally liable.
  • Distracted and reckless driving. Texting, calling, eating, or otherwise taking attention off the road can cause accidents. Excessive speeding also makes accidents more likely.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI). In most states, commercially licensed drivers may be arrested for a DUI at a much lower blood alcohol content (BAC) than other drivers. In Georgia, the BAC for commercially licensed drivers is 0.04%, while it is 0.08% for other drivers. Both commercial and passenger drivers can be found at fault for a crash if they are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition to civil personal injury claims, this will likely result in a criminal case. A commercial driver operating their truck under the influence could lose their license.
  • Manufacturer defect. If components of a truck are badly designed or manufactured, this can cause accidents. The designer or manufacturer could be held liable, but this may require significant proof.
  • Improper truck maintenance. There are guidelines for proper truck maintenance and inspection. A truck that is cleared when it shouldn’t be may cause accidents from worn-out brakes, mechanical failures, and tire blowouts. The team that cleared the truck may be held liable for their negligence.
  • Bad road or low visibility. Weather conditions or road conditions can cause accidents. Uneven or badly maintained roads, rain or fog, or other unsafe conditions may cause accidents. Drivers who are going too quickly or driving too recklessly for the conditions may be liable. A governmental or private entity responsible for road upkeep may also be responsible.
  • Badly loaded cargo. If a truck’s trailer isn’t properly loaded, it can cause an accident. This may include overloading the trailer, unevenly balanced cargo, or failing to secure the cargo.
  • Failure to train. Trucking companies and employers must provide and ensure proper driver training, skills, and experience. This includes ensuring drivers are aware of the regulations that govern their industry and work time. Failure to train employees is the responsibility of the company.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident?

Depending on the unique situation of the accident, liable parties may include:

  • The trucking company
  • The driver’s employer
  • The shipper of the cargo
  • The truck’s mechanic
  • The owner of the trailer or cab
  • The truck driver
  • Another driver
  • A third party on the road
  • A governmental entity
  • The truck company’s designers, manufacturer, or seller
  • The inspector or maintenance crew for the vehicle

Every truck accident has unique factors. Multiple parties may be partially at fault for the accident.

Common Injuries in a Truck Accident

When you file a personal injury claim for a truck accident, one of the many damages the claim could cover is medical costs. The injuries from truck accidents can be significant and frequently result in death. Common injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Fractured and broken bones
  • Internal organ damage
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Burns
  • Road rash
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Wrongful death

The damages an injured individual should receive in a claim depend on the severity of the injury, the amount of recovery and long-term care that is required, the expected future complications, and whether they will be able to return to work again.

How Long After a Truck Accident Can You Sue in Georgia?

Civil claims have a statute of limitations, which is a legal time limit in which an individual can file their claim. In Georgia, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim like a truck accident is two years from the date of injury or death. If you file outside of this time limit, your claim is dismissed, and you do not receive compensation for your losses.

There are some exceptions, such as an individual not being aware that they were injured during the accident for some time. The 2-year limit begins when they discover the injury, but there are still limitations. It’s also rare that the discovery rule applies to truck accident claims, as injuries are usually severe and apparent.

Although a 2-year time limit may seem like sufficient time, it is essential to file your claim and work with an attorney as soon as possible. If you wait to file, you may lose essential evidence to prove your claim. It also gives your attorney time to build you a strong case. The closer to the statute of limitations, the harder it will be to find an attorney who will take the case.

Compassionate and Dedicated Legal Care in Statesboro

At the Merritt & Merritt Law Firm, our first goal is to help our clients cover all the losses and damages from their personal injury. We work to investigate your accident, gather important evidence, calculate the damages you are owed, and negotiate to get you the compensation you need to recover. Contact our team today to see what legal options you have.