Accidents involving commercial trucks and passenger vehicles are among the most devastating collisions on Georgia roads. They often result in severe, potentially life-threatening injuries to passenger vehicle occupants. Accident victims face lengthy recoveries and ongoing physical complications as well as financial and emotional challenges in the aftermath. Unfortunately, pursuing the compensation they deserve can be complex because truck accidents may involve several liable parties.

This is why those hurt in collisions with large trucks should secure aggressive legal representation as soon as possible. If you were hurt in a truck accident, a Georgia truck accident attorney from Bayuk Pratt can identify all liable parties and guide you through the claims process. With over 50 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys have what it takes to win complex injury claims.

We use our insider knowledge to give accident victims an advantage when pursuing accountability from liable parties and insurers. Our law firm has a distinct edge in that Frank Bayuk and Bradley Pratt, our founding partners, previously served as senior partners for some of the country’s most prestigious insurance defense law firms. They know how insurers defend against severe injury claims, such as those from truck accidents. This keen insight gives our clients a critical advantage when pursuing maximum injury compensation.

If a truck driver’s carelessness caused an accident and you’re dealing with injuries and expenses as a result, get the legal help you need right away. Contact Bayuk Pratt today for a free initial case evaluation. Learn how our firm can help you recover the compensation necessary to hold the responsible parties accountable and help you move forward with your life.

Why You Should Hire a Georgia Truck Accident Attorney

Taking on large trucking companies and insurers can seem daunting. However, hiring a Georgia truck accident attorney from Bayuk Pratt can help you stand up for your rights and demand justice for the harm you’ve suffered. When you turn to us after getting hurt in a truck crash, our team will handle all the details of pursuing your legal claims so you can focus on healing. We’ll fight to secure the financial recovery you deserve by:

  • Investigating the accident to secure all available evidence
  • Reviewing records and evidence to determine which parties bear liability for the crash and your injuries
  • Documenting the harm you’ve suffered and your ongoing and future expenses and losses
  • Filing your claims and dealing with the trucking and insurance companies on your behalf
  • Aggressively pursuing the financial compensation you need, whether through a negotiated settlement or by taking your case to trial to hold a liable truck driver or trucking company accountable

What Are the Truck Accident Liability Laws in Georgia?

In Georgia, the law may hold a truck driver, motor carrier, or another company liable for a truck accident when those parties’ negligence, recklessness, or legal fault causes the crash. Drivers and companies may also bear liability for a truck accident due to a driver’s or company’s violation of state or federal trucking regulations. Truckers and motor carriers may bear liability for a truck accident that occurs when they:

  • Violate traffic laws, such as speed limits or right-of-way rules
  • Exceed hours-of-service limitations and drive while tired
  • Disregard traffic control devices or cautionary signs for curves, hills, or other hazards
  • Engage in aggressive or reckless behaviors such as tailgating or swerving through traffic
  • Drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Use a cell phone while driving or engage in other distracting behavior behind the wheel
  • Fail to inspect or maintain the truck or securing equipment
  • Use inadequate securing equipment to prevent cargo from shifting or falling off the truck
  • Overload the truck beyond its hauling capacity
  • Fail to balance the load weight, including evenly distributing weight and putting heavier items on the bottom

Who Could Be Liable for Truck Accidents in Georgia?

Depending on the causes of a truck accident, various parties may bear liability for the injuries and losses you’ve sustained. Examples of parties who may bear liability for a truck crash in Georgia include:

  • The Truck Driver – A truck driver may be liable for a truck crash if they cause the accident by violating traffic laws. Truck drivers can also cause a crash through careless or reckless behaviors, such as distracted driving or driving beyond hours-of-service limits. They can also cause a crash by disregarding their legal obligations to inspect their vehicles and cargo.
  • The Trucking Company or Motor Carrier – A trucking company may bear vicarious liability for a truck crash caused by a driver in their employ. Even if the trucking company uses independent contractors to drive its trucks, it may bear direct responsibility for an accident by negligently hiring, training, or supervising drivers. Companies may also bear liability for crashes after instructing drivers to engage in dangerous driving behaviors like speeding or disregarding hours-of-service limits. Motor carriers may also bear responsibility for a truck crash caused by a mechanical failure in one of its trucks that results from inadequate inspections and maintenance.
  • The Truck Owner – In some cases, another party other than the truck driver or trucking company may own a truck that causes an accident due to a mechanical failure resulting from inadequate maintenance. When an accident like that occurs, the truck’s owner may bear liability for accident victims’ injuries and losses.
  • The Cargo or Shipping Company – When a truck accident occurs due to an unsafe cargo load, the cargo or shipping company responsible for loading the truck or trailer may bear liability for the crash.
  • Third-Party Mechanics – A truck owner may rely on a third-party auto shop to service the truck. The shop and its mechanics may bear liability for a truck accident if they perform negligent maintenance or repair work on the truck and the truck crashes due to a mechanical issue.
  • A Truck or Auto Part Manufacturer – Truck and auto part manufacturers may bear liability for a truck accident caused by a design or manufacturing defect in the truck or one of its parts, such as tires, brakes, or transmissions.

Evidence That Could Support Your Truck Accident Liability Claim

Various kinds of evidence can help show which parties bear liability for a Georgia truck accident. At Bayuk Pratt, our legal team will thoroughly investigate your truck accident claim by reviewing:

  • Police accident reports
  • Arrest or traffic citation records
  • Accident scene photos and videos
  • Traffic and surveillance camera footage
  • Dashcam or in-cab camera footage
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • The truck driver’s hours-of-service records
  • The truck’s event data recorder (“black box”) logs
  • The truck’s cargo manifest
  • The trucking company’s radio dispatch logs
  • The truck driver’s cell phone records
  • The truck driver’s post-accident alcohol and drug test results
  • The truck’s inspection, maintenance, and repair records
  • Post-accident inspections of the truck
  • Accident reconstruction expert reports and testimony

Types of Compensation Available for Truck Accidents in Georgia

In a truck accident claim, you may recover compensation for financial and personal losses you incur due to injuries and property damage. Your financial recovery can include money for your:

  • Medical treatment and rehabilitation expenses
  • Costs of long-term disability care or replacement services, such as housekeeping or childcare
  • Vehicle repair expenses or reimbursement for your car if totaled by the collision
  • Lost income from missed work or reduced earnings in a part-time or light-duty position
  • Lost future earning potential and employment benefits after becoming permanently disabled
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced quality of life due to physical disabilities or visible, permanent scarring or disfigurement

How the Georgia Comparative Negligence Laws Could Affect Your Case

In some cases, an injured truck accident victim may share responsibility for causing a crash with a commercial truck. For example, a driver might cut off an excessively speeding truck that rear-ends the driver’s vehicle. However, that injured person may still have the right to pursue financial compensation from an at-fault truck driver or trucking company.

Georgia follows a modified version of the comparative negligence rule for accident cases. Under Georgia’s comparative negligence laws, you can pursue a compensation claim after a truck accident you partly caused if your share of fault for the accident does not exceed 49 percent.

However, sharing fault for the truck accident may affect your financial recovery in a truck accident lawsuit. The comparative negligence rule requires a court to reduce your financial award in a lawsuit in proportion to the percentage of fault you bear for the truck accident. Because comparative negligence laws can affect your financial recovery, you need an experienced legal advocate from Bayuk Pratt who will fight to secure maximum compensation on your behalf.

Time Limits for a Georgia Truck Crash Claim

The statute of limitations on injury claims in Georgia typically requires you to file a lawsuit within two years of a truck crash. If you file your truck accident lawsuit after the limitations period expires, you may lose all rights to pursue financial recovery from a liable truck driver, trucking company, or other parties.

Because you have limited time to pursue a truck crash claim, contact a truck accident attorney from Bayuk Pratt as soon as possible after a collision with an 18-wheeler to ensure you file your claims on time.