Truck drivers are on the road for long stretches of time, and while there are federal guidelines in place to limit truck drivers’ hours and reduce driver fatigue, it’s easy for truck drivers to drive past their limits in order to make tight deadlines. It only takes one mistake by one drowsy truck driver to change someone’s life in an instant.
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident caused by a fatigued truck driver, contact Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. today. Our well-respected and seasoned truck accident team will help you pursue an injury claim or lawsuit in order to secure the full compensation you’re owed. We’ll uphold your rights and seek the justice you deserve.
When you hire us, we’ll dedicate our time, attention, and resources to holding the truck driver responsible for the harm they caused. Commercial vehicles can cause devastating damage that results in significant expenses. You shouldn’t be the one to pay for any of it. We’ll make sure the at-fault parties are held accountable for their actions.
Call (770) 205-2231 to speak with an experienced and compassionate Fayetteville truck driver fatigue lawyer about your case. We offer free consultations to review your legal rights and options.
Commercial Trucks Come in Many Shapes and Sizes
Commercial vehicles are all much larger than a standard compact car. However, they all serve different purposes. Some contain a closed trailer to transport hazardous chemicals. Others have an open compartment to dump materials at construction sites.
The one thing they all have in common is the extensive damage they can cause when they collide with other vehicles. The most common trucks you’ll see on roadways include:
- Delivery vans
- Garbage trucks
- Big rigs
- Emergency vehicles
- Refrigerator trucks
- Dump trucks
- Heavy hauler
The Role of Negligence in a Truck Accident Case
Under the legal theory of negligence, a party becomes liable if they fail to behave in a way a reasonable person would under similar circumstances to reduce the risk of injury to someone else. In other words, the truck driver failed to prevent you from harm by choosing to drive while feeling fatigued.
To prove negligence, there are five elements you must show existed at the time of the crash:
- Duty: The truck driver owed you a duty of care;
- Breach of duty: They breached their duty;
- Cause in fact: If it wasn’t for their actions, you wouldn’t have suffered harm;
- Proximate cause: It was their actions, and nothing else, that caused your injury; and
- Damages: You sustained injuries and resulting damages.
Using the Fault System to Hold the Truck Driver Liable
Fatigue is a clear form of negligence, and you can use that legal theory to prove that the truck driver was to blame for the crash. Under the state’s fault system, an injured party can pursue financial compensation from the at-fault party. Typically, an insurance settlement is sufficient in satisfying a person’s damages. Damages are all the losses associated with an accident.
Since it’s a legal requirement to carry auto insurance, the truck driver likely has liability coverage to compensate you for your damages. Most drivers have insurance with $25,000 liability limits. However, commercial trucks have the potential to cause more damage and significant expenses than passenger vehicles. So, truck drivers carry insurance coverage between $750,000 and $5 million.
When you file an insurance claim, you can pursue the following damages up to the policy limit:
- Medical costs
- Out of pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Emotional or mental anguish
- Disability or disfigurement
- Lost quality of life
- Car repair or replacement
When the insurance adjuster is deciding how much your settlement should be, they might review the following factors:
- Type of injury and how severe it is
- If the injury led to a physical or mental impairment or disability
- Length of time spent recovering
- Total lost wages due to inability to maintain employment
- Impact on family and friends
- Cost of medical treatment
- Disruptions to daily life
- Emotional effects of the accident
- Future care necessary because of permanent damage
Our Fayetteville Truck Driver Fatigue Lawyers Are Ready to Fight for You
When you file an insurance claim, it’s crucial to remember that insurance companies don’t care about claimants. They want to save money in any way possible. They’ll look for reasons to deny your claim or provide a much lower settlement than you deserve. If you don’t seek legal representation, they could try to take advantage of you and violate your rights.
If you’re unfamiliar with the legal process, you won’t know the maximum compensation you’re entitled to and how to build a strong case. When you hire Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., we’ll handle every step ourselves. We’ll begin by launching a complete investigation into the truck accident and look for evidence that proves negligence.
Some of the relevant evidence we’ll collect includes:
- Available liability insurance policies
- Lost wage reports indicating your inability to work
- Photos from the accident scene
- Police reports
- Truck driver’s qualifications, employment history, and driving logs
- Your medical records and bills
- Video surveillance
- Vehicle repair estimates
- Eyewitness statements
Your Fayetteville truck driver fatigue lawyer will file the claim on your behalf and obtain the necessary evidence that proves your injuries and damages. We’ll aggressively negotiate for a settlement we believe is fair. If the insurance company won’t settle for an appropriate number, we can move forward with a lawsuit. We’re not afraid to fight in court for the justice you deserve.
What You Do After a Truck Accident Could Affect Your Case
When you get hurt in a car crash, you probably experience initial shock. Adrenaline kicks in, and you might not realize you sustained injuries. That could cause you to make irrational decisions about how to handle the aftermath of the accident. You might leave the scene without calling law enforcement. Maybe the full extent of the harm you suffered doesn’t kick in until days or weeks later. If you wait too long before seeking medical treatment, that could give the insurance company a good reason to reduce their settlement offer.
If a fatigued truck driver caused your injuries, review the list of do’s and don’ts below to protect your rights to financial compensation and ensure you don’t do or say something that diminishes the value of your case.
- Call 911 to report the crash and wait for an officer to arrive at the scene.
- Write down the names and phone numbers of individuals who saw what happened.
- Hire a Fayetteville truck driver fatigue lawyer to help you with your case.
- Seek immediate medical treatment of your injuries.
- File a claim with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance carrier.
- Bring your car in for damage evaluation.
- Attend doctor appointments until you recover or reach maximum medical improvement, which means further medical care won’t improve your condition.
- Take pictures of the crash scene and your visible injuries.
- Keep track of the total wages you couldn’t earn because of medical appointments.
- Don’t leave the crash site until law enforcement completes an investigation.
- Don’t settle the claim without including an estimate of future costs due to a physical impairment or permanent disability.
- Don’t communicate with the insurance companies. Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. will speak with them on your behalf.
- Don’t throw away potential evidence, such as broken headlight cover, damaged personal items, or bloody clothing.
- Don’t sign any forms before your Fayetteville truck driver fatigue lawyer reviews them. You could unknowingly sign away your rights to the maximum available settlement.
- Don’t admit any degree of fault. Under the modified comparative fault rule, you could end up with reduced compensation.
What Is Modified Comparative Fault?
The modified comparative fault rule decreases your damages proportionate to your percentage of fault. Georgia also follows the 50% rule. That means, as long as you’re less than 50% to blame, you can still pursue compensation for your damages.
For example, let’s say the truck driver was at fault for the crash because they were fatigued. If you incurred $100,000 in damages, you could pursue that amount in compensation under normal circumstances. However, if an insurance company discovers the truck driver was 80% to blame but you share 20% fault for speeding, the most compensation you could recover would be $80,000.
This rule also prohibits you from recovering any compensation amount if you’re more than 49% at fault.
Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. Legal Fees and Costs
We know you’re facing an overwhelming financial burden since the truck accident. You might have physical limitations that prevent you from returning to work. You also have to pay for your medical treatment while you’re recovering from your injuries. That can cause a great deal of stress for anyone.
We don’t want to add more responsibilities to your plate. That’s why our Fayetteville truck driver fatigue lawyers take cases on contingency. That means there are no upfront fees or costs to receive legal representation. We don’t collect legal fees unless we recover financial compensation for our clients. If we don’t win your case, you won’t have to pay us.
Choose Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C.
With decades of experience, we know how to fight for the justice and compensation our clients deserve. We’ll handle every step of your insurance claim or lawsuit so you can focus on your recovery. You won’t have to face the burden of taking on a legal case alone. We’ll remain by your side the entire time to provide support and guidance.
If your injuries and damages were caused by a fatigued truck driver, call (770) 205-2231 today to meet with one of our Fayetteville truck accident lawyers for a free consultation.