Are you suffering from the consequences of a truck driver’s decision to drive under the influence? Did you get hurt in an accident due to their reckless behavior? If so, contact the Carrollton truck accident attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. to learn how we can help you with your case.
We’ve been assisting clients like you since we started our practice in 2001. Our team of attorneys has over 30 years of experience providing guidance and support to truck accident victims throughout Carrollton and Georgia. We believe in seeking justice and holding people liable for their actions. Driving under the influence is dangerous and puts other drivers and passengers at risk of serious harm.
When you get hurt due to someone’s poor decisions, you’re entitled to pursue financial compensation in an insurance claim or lawsuit. You can depend on us to fight vigorously for your rights and seek the positive outcome you deserve. Call Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. at 770-205-0933 today for more information.
How Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. Can Help
When you’re trying to recover after a car accident, you probably don’t want the responsibility of dealing with an insurance claim. Insurance companies are intimidating and often try to take advantage of claimants, especially if a law firm does not represent them. They might try to scare you into dropping your case or accepting a settlement that’s lower than you deserve. At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C.., we know the tactics they use and will ensure your rights stay protected.
When you hire us, the first thing we’ll do is launch a complete investigation into the crash. We’ll review all the available information and determine who was at fault. If the truck driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, we’ll work to collect evidence to prove it. Crucial evidence we’ll obtain may include:
- Traffic crash report
- Video surveillance footage
- Accident scene photos
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Truck’s “black box”
- Truck driver’s chemical test results and prior driving history
- Trucking company’s employee records, hiring practices, and drug/alcohol screening procedures
Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. has over 30 years of experience handling accident cases like yours. Commercial vehicles can cause devastating damage when they collide with smaller cars. Impaired truck drivers might exhibit other careless behaviors that increase the severity of the crash, such as speeding or tailgating. We have the resources, knowledge, and skills to maximize any case’s value and ensure our clients receive the monetary award they deserve.
Common Injuries Associated With Truck Accidents
It’s no mystery why commercial trucks cause more severe injuries and fatalities than other types of vehicles. They’re heavy and large. When an 80,000-pound vehicle crashes into a 3,000-pound compact car, it leads to traumatic damage. The person in the smaller car almost always ends up suffering more harm.
The most common injuries that occur after a truck driver under the influence causes an accident include:
- Crush injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Loss of limb
- Internal organ damage
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
When you’re in a car crash, any injuries you sustain could lead to physical or mental disability. If something doesn’t heal properly or it’s too severe to treat, you could end up with an impairment that affects your daily life. You might not be able to return to your job or complete routine tasks. You could end up requiring at-home assistance and ongoing medical care.
Sometimes, one poor decision made by another driver could impact the rest of your life. Driving under the influence is a criminal offense in Georgia. Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. will make sure they pay for the harm they caused and compensate you for your physical and emotional pain. You shouldn’t pay out of pocket for any resulting costs or losses while you’re treating your injuries and trying to recover.
Pursuing the Maximum Settlement From An Insurance Claim
If you were the victim of an accident caused by an impaired trucker, you probably incurred damages. Damages are the losses associated with an accident. They include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are actual expenses, while non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as pain and suffering.
Under the fault system, the person who causes a car crash automatically becomes financially liable for the injured party’s damages. The auto insurance company is the one that would have to pay if the victim decides to file an insurance claim. Liability insurance provides compensation for damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment or disability
- Out of pocket expenses
- Cost of vehicle repair or replacement
- Rental car
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
Standard liability limits are $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $25,000 for property damage in Georgia. However, commercial vehicles are a great deal larger than passenger cars and can cause severe damage when involved in an accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires truck drivers to carry much higher liability coverage.
- $300,000 for vehicles under 10,001 pounds
- $750,000 for vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds
- $1 million for vehicles carrying oil and hazardous materials
- $5 million for vehicles with a tank weighing over 3,500 pounds and transporting hazardous materials
Depending on the extent of your injuries and expenses, you might be able to recover the full liability limits listed on the truck driver’s policy. The insurance company will review your case and consider various factors to determine a fair settlement amount. Since non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are difficult to calculate, they might review the factors below:
- Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the truck driver
- The severity of your injury
- Impact of the accident on your quality of life
- Availability of evidence proving fault
- Length of the recovery period
- Statements made by witnesses
- Total medical expenses
- Permanent mental or physical disability resulting from the crash
- Effect of the injury on job performance
- The information listed on the traffic crash report
- The outcome of any criminal case against the truck driver for driving under the influence
- Limits available on the liability insurance policy
Why Modified Comparative Negligence Could Effect Your Case
After an accident occurs, you might be in shock and not fully realize what you’re saying or doing. In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you should say as little as necessary. If an officer arrives at the scene and questions you, be factual and brief with your answers. Provide them your name, contact information, and auto insurance details, but don’t admit to any level of fault. You may not know all of the circumstances that led to your crash. If it’s decided that you share any blame for the crash, you could end up with a lower settlement due to the state’s modified comparative negligence rule.
Under this rule, an accident victim’s damages get reduced by the same percentage of responsibility they share for an accident. To clarify, let’s say you incurred $100,000 in damages. If you were free from any fault, you would be entitled to $100,000 in compensation. However, if it’s discovered that you’re 20% at fault, you could only pursue up to an $80,000 settlement.
Pursuing Damages in a Civil Lawsuit
An impaired truck driver may face DUI charges within the criminal justice system. If you choose to file a lawsuit, you will do so within the civil court system, where you can pursue the compensation you’re owed for your losses.
You can sue someone for the harm they caused you under the theory of negligence. Driving under the influence is a form of negligence. Negligence is the legal standard of care one party must follow to avoid causing harm to another.
There are five elements of negligence you must prove existed at the time of the crash to use the theory of negligence:
- Duty: The impaired truck driver owed you a reasonable duty of care to prevent harm;
- Breach of duty: The truck driver breached their duty;
- Cause in fact: If it weren’t for their decision to drive under the influence, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt;
- Proximate cause: Their behavior was the direct cause of your injury; and
- Damages: You incurred damages.
Besides seeking compensation for economic and non-economic damages, you might be able to claim punitive damages. It’s a rare form of compensation, and a jury will only award it to an accident victim if there’s clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault party acted with wantonness, malice, fraud, willful misconduct, oppression, or indifference towards consequences.
You must follow the statute of limitations for an injury lawsuit. It’s a strict deadline for filing a lawsuit, and if it passes, you’ll lose your right to pursue financial compensation from the at-fault driver. The statute of limitations in Georgia is two years. That means you only have two years from the truck accident date to file a civil lawsuit for damages.
Speak to A Dedicated Lawyer in Carrollton
At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., we provide legal representation to accident victims in Carrollton and throughout the state of Georgia. We have decades of experience helping our clients with their insurance claims and recovering the maximum compensation available. When the insurance company doesn’t want to cooperate, we can effectively litigate your case and fight against the opposing parties in court. We’ll work hard to seek justice so you can move forward with your life.
Our team knows how to get the job done. When you hire us, we’ll create a plan to navigate the complicated legal process and reach a favorable outcome. You won’t have to worry about going through this alone. We’ll handle each step and be there when you need us the most.
If a truck driver driving under the influence caused your accident, call Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. immediately at 770-205-0933. We’ll schedule your free consultation and advise you on the legal options for pursuing compensation.