Just the impact of a tractor-trailer colliding with a small car is enough to cause severe injuries and fatalities. If that truck also rolls over, the results could be catastrophic — and the driver of the passenger car often fares the worst.
If you were the victim of a rollover accident and sustained injuries, you should contact Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. for help pursuing legal action. You are probably suffering physically, emotionally, and financially. You know you want to hold the truck driver accountable, but don’t know how to do it. That’s where our legal team comes in.
At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., we understand the devastation caused by rollover truck accidents. You should not have to pay for the harm someone else caused. Typically, in situations like this, the truck driver or trucking company is liable for the victim’s expenses and losses. We have the experience and resources to pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve.
To discuss your case with one of our Alpharetta truck accident lawyers, call us today at (770) 205-8827.
Common Causes of Rollover Truck Accidents
Large commercial trucks have a high center of gravity. That means it’s easy to overturn the entire vehicle. Whether the driver takes a turn too quickly or hits a curb at excessive speeds, the tires can lift off the ground and launch the truck onto its side.
When rollover crashes occur, it is typically due to truck-driver error or inattention. Operating a tractor-trailer requires focus and skill. When you are maneuvering an 80,000-pound vehicle through traffic, you need to ensure you don’t put anyone in danger. A severe collision could result from the driver looking down at their cell phone or running a red light.
Some of the most common causes of rollover accidents include:
- Taking a turn quickly
- Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo
- Distracted driving
- Making abrupt maneuvers
- Driving recklessly in adverse weather
- Slamming on the brakes
- Hazardous roads
- Fatigued driving
Most of the time, vehicles rollover because of a phenomenon called “tripping.” Tripping is responsible for around 95 percent of all rollover accidents. It happens when the vehicle collides with an object that lifts its tires off the ground, forcing it onto its side. Objects that can “trip” a tractor-trailer include:
- Road debris
- Soft shoulder
- Large rock
- Speed bump
You deserve to seek justice and pursue compensation from the truck driver or their employer, no matter what caused the crash. The fact is: Someone made a mistake that led to your injuries, and they should be the one to pay. You should not suffer the consequences of someone else’s careless actions. Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. will work diligently to prove what caused your accident and who was at fault.
Injuries Most Likely to Result from a Rollover Truck Accident
Passenger vehicles are much smaller than tractor-trailers. When the two collide, the occupants in the smaller car typically suffer severe injuries. Rollover accidents are one of the most deadly types of truck accidents that occur in this country.
Of all deaths in accidents involving at least one large truck, 97 percent are occupants of the passenger vehicle. Additionally, between 2009 and 2017, there was a 52 percent increase in truck accident fatalities.
The size and weight of commercial trucks mean that accident victims can sustain a range of injuries. There could be an injury from the initial collision and subsequent injuries from the truck rolling over. If the truck lands on top of a small car, the occupants could become trapped and suffer crushing injuries. There are various scenarios that could result from a rollover accident, and most of them involve physical and emotional trauma.
The most common injuries associated with rollover truck accidents include:
- Lacerations and wounds
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Psychological injuries
Unfortunately, severe injuries to the head, neck, or back could lead to permanent damage. If you don’t make a full recovery, you could end up with a physical impairment or disability. Some people require lifelong assistance to walk, bathe, and perform routine tasks.
Others need to attend doctor’s appointments regularly to manage their pain or prevent symptoms from progressing. It can be an overwhelming and frustrating experience. Our legal team at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. is ready to help you move forward with your life.
How to Hold the Truck Driver Liable for Your Injuries
After a rollover truck accident, you probably have injuries that require medical treatment. Since you incurred various expenses, the at-fault party should be the one to pay. Georgia follows a fault system when determining financial responsibility after a motor vehicle crash. Whoever caused the crash becomes liable for the victim’s injuries, property damage, and associated costs.
The at-fault party’s auto insurance company is the first option for satisfying the injured party’s losses. Commercial truck drivers must carry specific liability coverage based on their tractor-trailer’s weight and the type of cargo they are transporting.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the insurance amounts are as follows:
- $300,000 for non-hazardous cargo on trucks weighing less than 10,001 pounds
- $750,000 for non-hazardous cargo on trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds
- $1 million for trucks containing oil and certain types of hazardous freight
- $5 million for trucks containing other hazardous substances
When you file a liability claim, the goal is to win an insurance settlement that covers your past and future damages. Damages are the total losses suffered from an accident. Fortunately, victims of rollover truck accidents have significant liability coverage to pursue. The damages you may be able to pursue an insurance claim are:
- Medical bills – Past and future costs associated with the treatment of the injury
- Property damage – Value of repairing or replacing the car or other personal property damaged in the crash
- Lost income and benefits – Pay and benefits lost due to the injury
- Lost earning capacity – Inability to return to work due to the severe nature of the injury
- Out-of-pocket expenses – Additional costs incurred because of the accident, such as prescription medications or assistive medical devices
- Pain and suffering – The physical and emotional pain experienced after the crash
- Emotional distress – Emotional and mental trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety
- Loss of consortium – Negative impact on the relationship with a spouse or another dependent family member
Another legal option is to file a lawsuit against the truck driver. Georgia places a two-year statute of limitations on truck accident cases. That means there are two years from the crash date for you to sue. It is a strict deadline you must follow. If the timeframe passes, you could lose your right to seek legal action against the at-fault party.
The different damages listed above are available when you file a lawsuit. Additionally, you can try to win punitive damages, also referred to as exemplary or vindictive damages. Instead of compensating someone for their losses, it punishes the at-fault party for their actions. A jury will only award you punitive damages if you can provide clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s wantonness, willful misconduct, fraud, oppression, malice, or indifference towards consequences.
How to Handle a Loved One’s Death from a Rollover Truck Accident
If you lose someone in a rollover truck accident, you might be entitled to compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit. Georgia defines wrongful death as an individual’s death caused by another person’s or entity’s reckless, intentional, negligent, or criminal acts. You have a two-year statute of limitations to file your lawsuit against the truck driver or trucking company.
State law only allows certain people to pursue a wrongful death case. First in line is the surviving spouse. If there are minor children involved, the spouse must represent their interests in seeking monetary damages. However, no matter how many children there are, the spouse cannot receive less than one-third of the total compensation amount.
If there is no surviving spouse or children, the following parties are entitled to file a lawsuit:
- Surviving parent or parents
- The personal representative of the deceased’s estate
There are two types of damages available in this type of case. One establishes the value of the deceased’s life. The other compensates you for the financial losses associated with the fatal rollover truck accident. They include the following:
- Medical expenses related to the fatal injury
- Loss of companionship, care, and other intangible benefits provided by the deceased
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost wages and benefits, including what the deceased would have earned if they survived
- Pain and suffering endured by the deceased
Contact Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. for a Free Consultation
Our Alpharetta rollover truck accident lawyers have more than 30 years of experience helping injured victims and their families recover. We know the importance of protecting your rights after a vehicle crash. We will not allow anyone to take advantage of you during the legal process. When you hire us, we will fight hard for justice and aggressively pursue the maximum compensation available.
Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. is happy to meet with you for a free consultation to discuss the details of the crash and determine your legal options. Call us at (770) 205-8827 if you were the victim of a rollover truck accident in Alpharetta.