In any auto accident where one vehicle is much larger than the other, injuries can be very severe for the drivers and passengers in the smaller car. In truck crashes, the truck often weighs up to 80,000 pounds, with typical sedans paling in comparison at around 4,000 pounds.
If you were injured in a truck crash, our attorneys can fight for you to help you recover lost wages, medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, pain and suffering damages, and more. Never trust that the insurance companies or the trucking company have your best interests in mind.
Contact our Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357 for a free evaluation of your potential case.
How Trucking Companies Share Fault for Truck Crashes in Redan, GA
Under Georgia law, you usually sue a person or entity that causes an accident directly. However, many types of injury cases have more complex fact patterns, where multiple entities or parties that are not directly involved with the crash could still face liability. Truck accidents are one of those situations, with truck drivers facing direct blame for accidents and the trucking companies they work for often footing the bill or facing partial liability for their indirect effects on the crash.
Our truck accident lawyers can use a legal concept known as “vicarious liability” to hold the driver’s employer responsible for the crash in place of the driver in many cases. One might imagine that a truck driver is an everyday person who might not have the funds to personally cover the crash they caused you. With insurance, they might be able to cover the whole of your damages, but in any case, their employer is in a better place to pay for the injuries and can usually be sued instead.
For this to work, the crash usually has to have occurred within the scope of the driver’s job duties while they were working as an employee. However, there are a few individual elements to consider, such as whether the driver is employed as an actual employee compared to working as an independent contractor. If the crash occurred while the driver was actually driving their truck, that is likely part of their job duties, but if they were way off course or on a personal errand, the company might deny liability.
Truck Maintenance, Upkeep, and Safety
As the owner of the truck fleet, the trucking company has certain responsibilities to uphold regarding vehicle safety. If they let their drivers on the road in dangerous trucks, they could foreseeably injure both their driver and others on the road.
Problems adhering to maintenance schedules and keeping the truck in working order according to state and federal regulations is vital, and violations of these rules could make the trucking company at fault for the crash. This could result in at least partial responsibility.
Trucks also have other safety requirements like weight limits that could be considered the trucking company’s fault as well. However, we will have to take into consideration who actually loaded the truck, as it might have been the driver or some other party.
It would be the driver’s own negligence to get behind the wheel drunk or high or after a day without sleep, but it is also the trucking company’s responsibility as to who they put in their trucks in the first place. Trucking companies have strict requirements when hiring drivers, and hiring any drivers who fail to meet regulatory requirements or state law could be “negligent hiring.” Additionally, they have to do their due diligence when it comes to background checks and license checks, so mistakes or lax policies in that area also count as negligent hiring in many cases.
If an employer finds out about issues with one of their drivers – such as a history of causing and hiding accidents or driving under the influence – then they have to suspend or fire that driver (whichever is appropriate). Continuing to leave the driver on staff after known safety issues is itself “negligent retention,” which you also might be able to sue for.
Other Regulatory Violations
Truckers and the companies they work for have other regulatory requirements for hours of service, health and safety, loading and equipment, and other areas of safety. If the trucking company violated these rules or pushed their drivers to violate the rules, then they should be held partly or wholly liable for the crash.
Vicarious and Direct Liability
If the trucking company is held responsible in place of the driver, then they would pay the driver’s share of damages. However, trucking companies might also be directly on the hook for one of the other issues discussed above. This could ultimately mean getting all of your damages paid by the trucking company, some as vicarious liability damages for the trucker’s mistakes and the rest for their direct responsibility.
Injuries from Trucking Accidents in Redan, GA
Victims of truck accidents could face substantial injuries that could affect them in many ways. The physical harm of an injury cannot be overstated, nor can the mental and emotional effects of a serious injury. In cases involving serious harm like lost limbs, paralysis, other spinal injuries, head and brain injuries, etc., victims often face very high damages going forward. This can include the cost of medical care as well as home nursing care, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Even in smaller crashes at lower speeds, victims can still face broken bones, cuts and scrapes, crush injuries, and more. These, too, require compensation.
Call Our Lawyers for Truck Accident Victims in Redan, GA Today
If you or a loved one was hit by a truck driver, call Howe Law’s truck accident attorneys at (844) 876-4357.