There were 415,000 reported truck injuries in 2020. Of those accidents, over 105,000 resulted in injuries or death. There are many causes of truck accidents, which we’ll discuss below, but many of them are not the victim’s fault. Sometimes, a truck accident liability can be difficult to pinpoint, and that’s where a lawyer can be beneficial.
After a truck accident, many victims are unsure of the next steps and struggle with handling insurance companies while they try to heal from their injuries. Broughton Law wants to help people like you. We are well-versed in trucking accidents, determining liability, and fighting for our client’s rights. Call us at 404-842-7700 to request a free consultation.
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Atlanta, GA:
Truck accidents can be devastating for all involved parties. While there are dozens of reasons for truck accidents, we see five more frequently than others. Read more about these common causes of truck accidents below:
Truck drivers are often overworked, stressed, and tired. This is a horrible combination when driving. Driver fatigue can cause them to fall asleep at the wheel or have a delayed response time. Oftentimes, truck drivers do not get enough sleep as they are scheduled for deliveries back-to-back. This puts them at risk for reckless driving.
Several situations are considered reckless or negligent driving. These include the following:
- Disobeying traffic laws
- Improper truck maintenance
- Driving under the influence
- Using a phone or device while driving
There is a considerable difference between reckless and careless driving. If the driver of a truck that caused an accident was reckless, negligent, or careless, they are likely liable for the injuries of involved parties.
Trucking companies are obligated to inspect their fleet and keep it maintained. Failure to do so puts the truck at risk for malfunction, which results in a lot of accidents. Following an accident, the truck must be inspected to determine if this contributed to the incident. This could mean the company is liable for the damages.
Weather or Road Conditions
Bad weather creates dangerous driving conditions for all drivers. Whether it is rain, sleet, snow, or ice, the danger is significantly increased if the truck driver is speeding or reckless. While no drivers can control the weather, they can control how vehicles operate.
Some road conditions can have the same negative impact on driving. Roads with many potholes or other hazards leave driving conditions less than desirable and put all drivers at risk.
Improper Cargo Hauling
Some truck drivers ignore cargo handling and hauling guidelines. This means they do not secure or distribute loads properly. This can lead to many accidents because drivers can quickly lose control in these situations.
Common Truck Accident Injuries in Atlanta, GA
Injuries from a truck accident can range from mild to fatal. Some injuries result in life-long side effects. There are many types of injuries, but the most common include the following:
One of the most common problems victims face after a truck accident is brain injuries. The impact of a large truck on a motor vehicle can cause passengers to hit their heads on various parts of the vehicle. Some top brain injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Subdural hematomas
- Penetration injuries
These injuries come with several different symptoms. Some of the symptoms are also signs of other injuries; this is why it’s critical someone seeks medical care following a truck accident. Symptoms of a brain injury include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Confusion or disorientation
- Severe headaches
- Vision or hearing issues
- Memory issues
- Mood swings
- Trouble with balance
Back or Spine Injuries
Back and spinal injuries can cause life-long, permanent damage or pain. These types of injuries vary, but we’ve outlined the most common ones below:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Compression fractures
- Herniated discs
- Soft tissue damage
Back and spine injuries can cause intense pain and loss of mobility for many victims.
When the body is jerked around during the impact of the truck on the vehicle, it can cause soft tissue damage in the neck. This is commonly known as whiplash. It is a severe injury that may require ongoing care. Symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck or shoulder pain
- Limited range of motion
Being hit by a truck causes blunt-force trauma. This, in turn, causes fractures throughout the body. People often break the following:
Internal injuries are especially dangerous because they often do not have external signs. Internal bleeding or damaged organs lead to severe damage overall. Common organs that have internal damage include:
The symptoms for these types of injuries often do not show up until the injury is severe. It’s critical to get checked out after a truck accident.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Accident in Atlanta, GA?
Did you know that the driver isn’t automatically liable for an accident? In fact, it is often difficult to determine the liable party in a trucking accident. Read more about who may be responsible below:
The most obvious, but not always accurate, person is the driver. They could be responsible for the accident if they were negligent or careless. They take on accountability for what happens when they get behind the wheel.
The Trucking Company
The trucking company is responsible for hiring safe drivers and maintaining working fleets. There are government agencies that have regulations these companies must follow. These regulations include drug and alcohol testing and service hour restrictions. However, many trucking companies do not follow regulations or maintenance schedules.
Sometimes, trucking companies outsource the truck-loading process to an external organization. The external organization is responsible for correctly loading and distributing cargo in these situations. If the company fails to follow guidelines or loads the cargo in a dangerous way, it may be liable for the accident.
Vehicle or Part Manufacturers
Defective parts can lead to truck accidents. These parts often include transmissions, brakes, or tires. When one of these vital truck parts goes out, the accidents can be disastrous. If it’s proven the parts were defective, the manufacturer may be liable for the accident.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Atlanta, GA:
You are likely wondering what to do if you’ve been in a truck accident. It’s critical you stay on the scene and follow these steps:
Report the Accident
If you can, move your vehicle to the side of the road and wait for the police to arrive. The police must file an accident report, which serves as evidence for the insurance company and if the case is taken to court. When talking to the police officer, be sure to ask how to obtain a copy for your records.
While on the scene, you must also collect important information about the driver who hit you. When possible, get the following information:
- Trucking company name
- Driver’s name
- Trucking company's phone number
- Any numbers listed on the truck
- License plate number
- The driver’s contact information
- Insurance information
If there were witnesses to the accident, you should also get their information. This can be beneficial when negotiating with insurance companies.
Seek Medical Treatment
After you have filed a report, you should seek medical care. Many injuries are invisible and may not show symptoms until later (such as internal damage or whiplash). Seeking medical care is also important to create a strong case.
Adrenaline plays a large role following an accident. Many people believe they do not have injuries due to this. But you should always get evaluated by a doctor after a truck accident. Once you have spoken to a doctor and have a treatment plan, it’s critical you follow it. Not only does this strengthen your claim, it’s also what is best for your health.
Consider Speaking to Truck Accident Lawyers
Negotiating with insurance companies is often a frustrating and tiring experience. No one wants to deal with this while healing from an accident. After receiving a medical treatment plan, you may want to consider speaking to an attorney specializing in truck accidents.
They have many benefits for clients, including:
- Claim evaluation
- Case preparation and management
- Legal expertise
- A new perspective
- Collect evidence and statements
- Legal support
An attorney helps clients from the beginning of the claim to the final settlement. You don’t have to go through this process alone!
Schedule a Free Consult With Broughton Law in Atlanta, GA!
Now you understand the most common causes of truck accidents and the related injuries. Truck accidents can cause anything from mild to long-term medical conditions for victims. If you’re facing this type of situation, you must seek legal advice as soon as possible because these types of cases have specific deadlines.
If you’ve been in a trucking accident due to someone’s negligence or carelessness, we want to help you. Contact Broughton Law today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your accident and legal options.