Injured in a Truck Accident in Gainesville, GA?
Our attorneys can fight for the compensation you deserve
Commercial truck accidents can be devastating. In an instant, a commercial truck driver can crash into another vehicle, causing severe damage and serious or sometimes even fatal injuries.
Knowing what to do next can be overwhelming. Even knowing what your rights are might not be clear. That’s why it’s critical that you have an experienced legal team on your side.
In Gainesville, Georgia, injury victims and their families trust the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C. to fight for their rights every step of the way. Our Gainesville truck accident lawyers have years of experience dealing with collisions caused by commercial truck drivers. As a result, we know how to investigate accidents involving tractor-trailers, delivery trucks, 18-wheelers, semis, and other commercial vehicles.
We know what’s at stake. We realize that your injury-related expenses can quickly add up to thousands or millions of dollars. Insurance providers and trucking companies know this, too. That’s why they often do everything they can to deny these claims.
We believe you shouldn’t have to pay for a truck driver’s reckless behavior. We believe you deserve to be compensated. As your attorney, we will work tirelessly to obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Common types of truck accidents
Truck accidents in Gainesville can cover a wide range. Whether it’s busy highways like I-985 or rural roads like Athens Highway, all it takes is one small mistake by a truck driver to cause a major collision. Some of the most common – and most serious – types of crashes they cause include:
- Jackknife accidents – These types of crashes involve tractor-trailers. In particular, the trailer part of the truck folds in onto the cab of the truck, forming a V shape in between. If other vehicles get trapped in that tight space, catastrophic injuries and fatalities can occur.
- Rollovers – Due to the large size and weight of many commercial trucks, rollovers often occur involving semi-trucks and other large vehicles. When trucks roll over onto their side, they often cause extensive damage, especially when they take place at high speed on highways like the Gainesville Connector.
- Underride crashes – In certain circumstances, smaller vehicles can become trapped underneath the trailer part of a tractor-trailer or another part of a semi-truck. When this happens, this is known as an underride accident.
Whatever type of collision you’re dealing with, if a truck driver caused your crash, it’s critical that you take strong legal action right away to protect your rights. Otherwise, you could end up having to pay for your injury-related expenses out of your own pocket.
Why do truck accidents happen?
There are many reasons why crashes caused by truck drivers happen, including:
- Falling asleep at the wheel – Many truck drivers work long hours every day. As a result, many drivers end up falling asleep at the wheel. When they do, tired drivers end up causing catastrophic collisions.
- Distracted driving – Truck drivers have to pay attention to many different things behind the wheel – from looking up directions to talking with dispatchers. Add in texting while driving (which is against the law for commercial truck drivers) and serious crashes often occur.
- Speeding – Because commercial trucks are significantly larger than other vehicles on the road, drivers often need more time to stop or slow down to avoid a crash. If a driver is going too fast, they don’t have time to avoid a collision.
- Inexperience – Commercial drivers must undergo extensive training to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Even then, there’s no substitute for years of experience driving a commercial truck.
- Mechanical defects – Truck drivers and trucking companies need to properly maintain their trucks. When they fail to do so, accidents can happen due to tire blowouts, brake failures, and other mechanical problems caused by poorly maintained trucks.
Determining why collisions caused by commercial truck drivers happen can be complicated. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced lawyer investigating your crash. Otherwise, you might not have the evidence you need to build the strongest possible legal case.
What laws apply to commercial collisions?
While all accidents might seem the same, many different laws exist that only apply to crashes involving commercial truck drivers. This includes many state and federal laws designed to protect the rights of all motorists.
Many of the federal laws that apply to commercial truck drivers were created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. These federal standards have strict rules that apply to commercial truck drivers and trucking companies. In particular, FMCSA rules:
- Limit the number of hours commercial truck drivers can operate a vehicle without taking a break. These regulations are known as Hours of Service (HOS) rules.
- Require truck drivers and trucking companies to equip their commercial vehicles with electronic devices that record how many hours drivers have been on the road, the speed they’re traveling, and other critical data.
- Mandate that commercial trucks must be inspected on a regular basis. If any mechanical problems are discovered, they must be fixed right away. Otherwise, truck drivers and trucking companies can face serious penalties.
- Cover hiring and training practices for trucking companies. Specifically, they must carefully review the driver’s driving history before hiring them, as well as conduct mandatory background checks.
In addition, commercial truck drivers cannot text while driving anywhere in the country, regardless of what state laws apply. Drivers must also obtain a commercial driving license (CDL) and be at least 21 years old in order to engage in interstate commerce.
Who can I sue after my crash?
Depending on the circumstances of your crash, you may be able to file a lawsuit against more than one person or business if a commercial truck driver caused your collision and they were somehow at fault. This includes:
- The truck driver
- The truck driver’s trucking company
- The company that owns the truck’s trailer
- The company that owns the truck’s cab
- The company that loaded the truck (especially if it was loaded improperly)
- The company that manufactured the contents inside the truck (especially if they were not packaged properly)
There can often be several at-fault parties when it comes to collisions caused by commercial truck drivers. That’s why it’s critical that you have an experienced attorney on your side, investigating your crash and building the strongest possible legal case.
How can a lawyer help me?
The stakes can be very high when it comes to accidents caused by commercial truck drivers. Trucking companies, insurance companies, and their attorneys know this. That’s why they often do everything they can to deny claims and pay injury victims as little possible.
That’s not right. That’s why we believe it’s important for you to have an attorney on your side if you’re dealing with a serious injury caused by a commercial truck driver. When you have a lawyer working for you, you can take a tough stance after your accident. Your lawyer can:
- Conduct an independent investigation into your crash
- Consult with accident reconstruction experts if necessary
- Demand access to accident data from the truck driver or trucking company
- Deal directly with the trucking company and insurance companies on your behalf
- Negotiate a settlement offer that covers all your expenses
- File a lawsuit on your behalf if necessary
- Represent you in court if your case goes to trial
A Gainesville, GA truck accident attorney can also help you calculate your truck accident settlement for your injury claim. A settlement is a one-time payment designed to pay for all your accident expenses, past, present and future.
Every claim has unique factors, so there is no single average settlement. Your truck accident lawyer should consider all details to come up with a financial estimate that covers all your truck accident expenses, now and in the future.
Contact an experienced Gainesville truck accident lawyer today
The clock is ticking. Not only do you have a limited amount of time to take legal action in Georgia (two years from the date of your collision), but the trucking companies only have to keep certain data for a limited amount of time. Afterwards, they can (and often do) destroy vital information collected at the time of the crash. To file a strong truck accident lawsuit, you need to take action, and you need the right legal representation.
Put your trust in a Gainesville, GA truck accident lawyer who puts your needs first. Contact our law firm and schedule your free case evaluation today. We want to hear more about your case and explain exactly how we can help you.