While any vehicle has the potential to be dangerous out on the road, commercial trucks often pose even greater safety risks for both their drivers and other motorists. Unfortunately, the number of truck accidents each year is rising. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, approximately 475,000 crashes involving large trucks occurred in 2016, 3,864 of which were fatal crashes.
Accidents involving trucks can be some of the most serious on the roads, resulting in significant losses to both people and property. If you are involved in a crash with a truck, you may need professional help from a personal injury attorney to recover fully. A seasoned Marietta truck accident lawyer could help you hold the driver accountable for their actions and pursue compensation for all your associated damages.
Primary Factors in Marietta Truck Accidents
Crashes involving trucks can occur for a variety of reasons. However, there are several particularly common ones that Marietta truck accident attorneys see when litigating personal injury cases:
- Weight – an overweight truck can cause loss of control or a rollover
- Illegal maneuvers – actions such as illegal passing or turning from the wrong lane can increase the risk of an accident
- Speeding – driving too fast for the conditions, such as on wet roadways or around curves, constitutes unsafe driving
- Distraction – just like motorists in passenger vehicles, truckers often fail to pay full attention to the road because of activities like texting, talking, and eating
- Following too closely – since a truck typically cannot stop as quickly as smaller vehicles because of its weight, failing to maintain a proper space between vehicles can be particularly dangerous
- Mistakes while turning – when a trucker does not properly determine the amount of space needed to turn safely, they risk striking another vehicle
- Driving under the influence – even though truckers are prohibited from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the behavior sometimes persists, and impairment dramatically increases the chances of a crash
In addition to driver behavior, other factors can also contribute to a crash, including mechanical issues such as brake failure. A Marietta truck accident lawyer could review all the evidence and facts involved in your crash to determine the party or parties at fault, so you could effectively seek compensation
Establishing Negligence in Truck Accident Cases
When an accident involving a large truck is caused by the trucker’s negligence, a plaintiff filing a lawsuit for damages must establish that the trucker:
- Owed a duty of care to the plaintiff to operate their truck in a reasonable manner;
- Breached their duty by driving unsafely in the circumstances;
- Caused the plaintiff’s injuries as a result of their breach; and
- Caused the plaintiff to suffer actual damages.
Sometimes, more than one party is at fault for a truck accident. Under Georgia Code §51-12-33, if a plaintiff is also determined to be partially to blame for the crash that caused their injuries, they could still recover damages as long as they were less than 50 percent responsible. The amount they could be awarded, however, would be reduced proportionately by the percentage of their fault.
Contact a Marietta Truck Accident Attorney
Accidents involving a commercial truck can result in significant and long-lasting damages to both you and your property. If you are injured by a negligent trucker, you should not be the one to pay for your injuries and losses.
An experienced Marietta truck accident lawyer could help you hold the appropriate party responsible so you can focus on the road to recovery. Call today to schedule an initial consultation.