Commercial truck accidents often leave victims with catastrophic injuries. Unfortunately, many do not survive their injuries. According to federal government statistics, there are more than 350,000 tractor-trailer crashes every year, resulting in the deaths of approximately 4,000 people and leaving almost 100,000 injured.
Truck accident injury claims can be complex and often require the legal experience of an aggressive Savannah truck accident lawyer to get the compensation the victim and their family deserves. Unlike other types of vehicle accidents, truck accident claims often involve more than one at-fault party, which means dealing with more than one insurance company or responsible party.
Possible defendants in a truck accident lawsuit can include the truck driver, the trucking company, the freight company, a truck part manufacturing company, or the insurance company.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in an accident involving a commercial truck, a Savannah personal injury lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your case and determine who the responsible party or parties may be.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
There are many reasons why a truck crashes can happen, but usually it the result of the negligence of at least one party. There are several common instances of negligence that cause the accidents and warrant the attention of a Savannah truck accident attorney.
Too many truck drivers are under pressure from their companies to meet almost impossible pickup and delivery schedules. This pressure can cause drivers to ignore critical rules they should be adhering to. One of the most common rules broken – and causes of truck accidents – is speeding.
This poses a danger to everyone on the road. The massive weight and size of a tractor-trailer means it takes longer than a regular vehicle to slow down or come to a complete stop. A speeding truck may be unable to stop in time if they suddenly come to a traffic slowdown or stop.
These impossible schedules also cause drivers to ignore federal and state regulations regarding how many hours per day they should drive, as well as taking required breaks after being on the road for so many hours. This failure to get the rest they need results in too many exhausted truck drivers on the road, in charge of navigating enormous vehicles. Fatigued driving is also leading to sharp spikes in the use and abuse of prescription and non-prescription drugs. Drowsy and fatigued driving has become one of the most common causes of truck accidents.
The number of miles a truck travels leads to much wear and tear to the mechanical components of the vehicle. It is up to the trucking companies to regularly and consistently inspect each of their vehicles, as well as repair any issues as soon as they discover them. Unfortunately, this is not always done and often leads to catastrophic injury and death for truck drivers and innocent commuters on the road. The most common types of mechanical failure are steering, brake, and transmission failures.
Filing Suit Against the Insurance Company in a Truck Accident Case
A unique aspect of trucking cases in Savannah and Georgia is that the injured person and their Savannah truck accident lawyer can also name the insurance company as a defendant in the lawsuit.
The long-standing principle in Georgia is that revealing the existence of insurance is prejudicial to Defendants and, therefore, is inadmissible in personal injury and wrongful death actions. However, this is not so in cases involving motor carriers or trucking companies. Georgia’s Direct Action Statute allows Plaintiffs to name the insurance company as a party defendant in the case and have the insurance company listed on all pleadings including the verdict form and judgment.
Not only does The Direct Action Statute permit joinder of the insurance company, but it permits admission of the insurance policy itself. Ga. Cas. & Surety Co. v. Jernigan, 166 Ga. App. 872, 874 (1983), see also Ashley v. Goss Bros. Trucking, 269 Ga. 449, 450 (1998) (policy admissible though policy limits properly excluded). The Direct Action Statute “establishes an independent cause of action against the carrier’s insurer on behalf of a member of the public injured by the carrier’s negligence.” Glenn McClendon Trucking Co. v. Williams, 183 Ga. App. 508–509 (1987).
Let a Savannah Truck Accident Attorney Help
Commercial truck accidents can be devastating. Because of the difference in relative size, these crashes can cause catastrophic injuries and may even be fatal. However, victims and their families may be able to recover compensation.
Victims of truck accidents or their family should contact a seasoned Savannah truck accident attorney to find out what legal options they may have for the injuries suffered in the crash. A dedicated attorney can work diligently to help you receive the damages you deserve for the losses you sustained. Call for a free consultation.