Carrollton Truck Driver Fatigue Lawyers
If a fatigued truck driver caused your accident, chances are you’re suffering from serious injuries. You may be facing seemingly endless medical bills, and you may be unable to work while you take time to recover. You shouldn’t have to face this situation alone. Contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C.
When you hire us, we’ll protect your rights and ensure the insurance companies treat you fairly. We know how to successfully navigate complex truck accident cases and recover the financial compensation you deserve from the truck driver or trucking company. We have the resources to obtain crucial evidence that proves fault, and we’ll always be prepared to go to trial, if needed.
Our Carrollton truck driver fatigue lawyers understand the suffering you endured. We’ll fight assertively to reach your legal goals and help you recover from this traumatic experience. To schedule a free consultation, call Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. at (855) 465-4407.
Types of Truck Accidents
When a truck driver is tired, their driving abilities may be just as impaired as someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They will have reduced reaction time, poor decision-making skills, and are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel.
Commercial vehicles are complicated to drive. A driver needs to be mindful of the front cab, trailer, cargo, and various moving parts. As a result, there are many different types of accidents that could occur when a truck driver is fatigued, such as:
- Blindspot accident: Fatigued truck drivers are less likely to follow basic safety procedures, such as checking their blind spots before merging. If they don’t look for cars traveling alongside them, they could end up sideswiping them.
- Rollover accident: A rollover accident occurs when the driver loses control of their vehicle or drives into an object that lifts multiple tires off the ground. When someone is tired, they can’t safely and effectively operate a large commercial truck.
- Jackknife accident: Jackknifing involves the front and back of the vehicle folding towards each other at an angle. To avoid a collision, a fatigued trucker might have to brake suddenly or maneuver quickly because they weren’t paying attention, which could result in a jackknife.
- T-bone accident: T-bone accidents are one of the most severe. Typically, it’s the result of a driver that blows through a red light or stop sign, crashing into the side of someone else’s car.
- Lost load accident: Truck drivers who don’t get enough sleep between shifts are less likely to follow procedures. They might cut corners to get the job done, such as improperly loading cargo onto the truck. That can cause items to shift during transport and fall onto the road.
- Head-on collision: When someone collides head-on with a commercial vehicle, it causes devastating damage. When a tired truck driver falls asleep at the wheel, they could end up drifting across the centerline into oncoming traffic.
Even though the trucking industry is necessary to ensure goods end up in consumers’ hands, it comes with an increased risk of accidents. The occupants of small cars have a greater chance of suffering fatal injuries when they collide with a commercial vehicle. The difference in weight and size results in a more substantial impact and physical harm.
The Steps You Should Take After a Truck Accident
If a fatigued truck driver collided with your vehicle and you suffered injuries, you should follow the steps below.
Step 1: Call 911. An officer will arrive to perform an investigation and write a crash report. You can request a copy of it when it becomes available. It will include crucial details, such as who they determined was at fault.
Step 2: Get the truck driver’s name, contact information, and insurance details.
Step 3: If anyone witnessed what happened, speak to them, and write down their names and phone numbers.
Step 4: Take pictures of the scene. Crash site evidence can get destroyed during clean up. Taking photos of debris, vehicle damage, and other relevant details could help your case.
Step 5: Go to the doctor for a medical evaluation of your injuries. If they refer you for follow up treatment, listen to their orders. Continue seeing all your medical providers until they release you from care.
Step 6: Hire a Carrollton truck driver fatigue lawyer.
Your Compensation Will Depend on Multiple Factors
Proving fault is a critical step after a truck accident. If you’re able to show the truck driver was tired and that’s what led to the crash, you can file a claim with their liability insurance company. Georgia is a fault state when it comes to auto insurance. That means the liable party is automatically financially responsible for the resulting injuries and losses.
All drivers must carry liability auto insurance with minimum limits for bodily injury coverage. Since truck accidents usually cause more extensive damage, the liability limits are much higher than a standard policy for someone who drives a compact car. Truckers have between $750,000 and $5 million in insurance, depending on their vehicle’s size and the type of cargo they’re transporting.
These limits allow an injured party to be compensated for their damages. Damages are the losses associated with an accident. They include the following:
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Emotional distress
- Medical bills
- Out of pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of quality of life
Things like medical bills are easy to calculate; however, pain and suffering are intangible. To determine a fair number, an insurance company will look at the contributing factors below. Typically, a more severe injury leads to a higher settlement.
- The extent of the injury
- Lost wages from inability to return to work
- Availability of accident scene evidence
- Impact of the injuries on daily routine
- Length of medically necessary treatment
- Mental or emotional suffering
- Impairment or disability caused by the injury
- Proof that truck driver fatigue caused the crash
- Amount of liability insurance available
- Total medical costs
Filing a Lawsuit After a Fatigued Truck Driver Accident
In most situations, the natural progression of a legal case goes from an insurance claim to a lawsuit. Accident victims will attempt to recover a settlement by filing a liability claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, if the claim gets denied or there’s a low settlement offer, they’ll move forward with a lawsuit.
If you want to file a lawsuit, you’ll need a legal theory as the basis of your case. Negligence is the typical choice in truck accident cases. The legal theory of negligence requires proof that someone failed to act or not act with reasonable care to prevent injury to another. To hold the truck driver or trucking company liable for your damages, you’ll need to show the following elements:
- Duty: The at-fault party owed you a duty of reasonable care;
- Breach of duty: They breached their duty;
- Causation: Your injury was the direct result of the at-fault party’s actions; and
- Damages: You sustained injuries and damages.
There’s a deadline known as a statute of limitations you must follow if you want to sue someone for compensation. The statute of limitations in Georgia is two years. That means you must file your lawsuit within two years of the accident date. If you miss the deadline, you’ll lose your right to pursue financial compensation in the civil court system.
Wrongful Death Cases in Georgia
If your loved one died because a fatigued truck driver crashed into them, you could pursue a wrongful death case. In Georgia, laws define wrongful death as a death that someone else’s reckless, negligent, criminal, or intentional acts caused. You must prove the elements of negligence to win your case and recover financial compensation for your loved one’s losses.
Only surviving family members can file this type of lawsuit. First in line is the spouse. If there are minor children shared with the deceased victim, the surviving spouse must represent their interests during the case. They’re also entitled to at least one-third of the total financial award, despite the number of children.
If there isn’t a surviving spouse or child, a surviving parent or parents can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If there are no surviving family members, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is entitled to pursue damages.
There are two types of damages available: one places value on the victim’s life, and the other on the financial losses associated with the fatal accident. Damages may include the following:
- Medical expenses for the fatal injury
- Loss of companionship, care, and other services provided to loved ones
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost wages and benefits, including future earnings if the accident didn’t result in death
- Pain and suffering endured before death
There’s also a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits in Georgia. However, two specific situations could pause the clock:
- The first is if there’s a criminal case against the at-fault party for similar circumstances as the wrongful death lawsuit. The clock would start again once the criminal case gets resolved.
- If the deceased’s estate isn’t probated, the deadline could extend up to five years.
At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., our Carrollton truck accident lawyers have the experience and resources to win our clients’ cases. We work hard to recover the maximum compensation and seek justice against liable parties. When you get hurt in a car crash that could have been avoided, it’s an overwhelming feeling. We’ll assist you in holding the truck driver accountable for their careless actions. Fatigued driving is dangerous, and they should have known the suffering they could cause.
Call us at (855) 465-4407 if you sustained injuries in an accident due to a fatigued truck driver. We’ll schedule your free consultation and advise you on the legal options available for seeking a financial award.