Stopping a fully loaded tractor-trailer traveling at highway speeds depends on a balance between the weight of the truck, the effectiveness of the brakes, and other factors. If just one element in this equation is off, it could add up to a catastrophic collision. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, more than 150 Georgia residents die each year in large truck accidents. A person injured or the family of a person killed in a truck crash due to an inadequate braking ability has a right to hold negligent defendants accountable. Atlanta truck accident attorney Terrence R. Bethune can help you seek compensation for your injuries if you were harmed by a careless commercial driver. We will investigate the details of your specific situation and work to devise a strategy tailored to your needs.
Victims Of Truck Crashes Can Assert Their Rights
A Georgia resident who is injured in a highway collision can seek damages by pursuing an injury lawsuit under a theory of negligence. There are four necessary elements in a successful negligence claim. The victim starts by proving that the defendant was required to meet a certain standard of care. In most cases involving commercial drivers, this simply means using the level of care that an ordinary truck driver would use in a similar situation to avoid creating an unreasonable risk of harm to others on the road.
Next, the victim has to show that the defendant failed to meet this standard of care. This may occur if a truck driver was distracted when driving and didn’t notice stopped traffic in front of the truck. A trucking company also may breach its duty by overloading its trucks or failing to perform routine maintenance that would compromise a truck’s braking ability.
Perhaps the most complicated part of a negligence claim is showing that the defendant’s breach caused the victim’s injuries. Sometimes a defendant, or the defendant’s insurer, will argue that the victim was responsible for his or her own harm by acting carelessly. Even if this is true, however, a negligent victim still can recover a reduced amount of compensation. The award will be calibrated in proportion to the defendant’s percentage of fault for causing the accident.
If a victim can prove each of these elements, he or she may be entitled to compensation for any financial, emotional, and physical injuries that resulted from the defendant’s negligence. These can include lost wages, hospital bills, and property damage to a vehicle, in addition to more subjective types of damages like pain and suffering.
To maximize the chances of recovering money to cover your injuries, consult an experienced lawyer as soon as you can. The cause of many truck accidents, including those affected by inadequate braking ability, may be difficult or impossible to determine at the time it occurs. An attorney can investigate your accident and help determine its cause. Many trucking companies have a policy of deleting driver logs, resetting GPS devices, and erasing cargo records after a truck is involved in an accident. This important evidence has a better chance of being recovered if a knowledgeable attorney requests it soon after the collision.
Consult a Truck Crash Attorney to Fiel a Negligence Claim
If you were injured in a truck accident and have reason to believe that the truck’s braking ability was compromised, contact Georgia tractor trailer wreck lawyer Terrence R. Bethune. Our clients can expect us to diligently investigate the cause of an accident, determine who may be liable, and tirelessly pursue compensation for them through settlement or trial. The truck company will have a lawyer on its side, so you should too. Call 800-INJURED or email us to schedule a free consultation.