Unlike a typical motor vehicle collision in which two passenger vehicles are involved, truck wrecks may involve a multitude of issues in addition to the basic question of who was at fault. State and federal laws pertaining to the trucking industry often complicate matters, as may issues such as the determination of which insurance company is responsible when a tractor and trailer are owned by different parties. Big rig crashes may leave victims dealing with serious injuries and substantial costs. Athens truck accident lawyer John Hollis Baker at Baker & Slider understands how much is at stake in these cases. As an experienced personal injury attorney, he can help you seek maximum compensation for what you have been through.Aggressive Litigation of Truck Accident Cases in Georgia
In a motor vehicle accident case, the central question is usually whether the defendant was negligent. To be “negligent” in the legal sense simply means that someone failed to act in the manner that a reasonably prudent person would have acted. Liability may result from a careless action or from a failure to take action when a reasonable person would have done something to prevent an injury to others. There are four basic elements in a negligence action: duty, breach, causation, and damages. The plaintiff must establish each of these elements by a preponderance of the evidence.
Ideally, the path to pursuing damages following a Georgia truck accident begins as soon as possible after the collision. The trucking company and their insurance provider usually have representatives on the scene within a matter of hours or even sooner. These professionals have no commitment to the rights of an accident victim, so they are able to focus on their goal of paying the least amount of damages possible. Consequently, it is not unusual for a victim to be offered a “lowball” settlement before they have even recovered from the accident. Although a plaintiff who is able to prove negligence against a trucker or trucking outfit may be able to receive compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages and lost future earning potential, pain and suffering, and property damage, an insurance company’s initial settlement offer typically addresses only a fraction of these losses at best.
In many truck accident cases, both the truck driver and the trucking company for which the driver works may be held liable for the plaintiff’s damages. One or both of them may even be liable for punitive damages, if particularly egregious conduct led to the accident. The doctrine of vicarious liability holds an employer accountable for the careless acts of an employee, such as distracted driving or a failure to obey the rules of the road, as long as the employee was furthering the employer’s business at the time. Additionally, the trucking company or sometimes a third party may be found negligent in its own right if it failed to properly maintain the truck or trailer, encouraged its drivers to violate hours of service rules, or carelessly loaded the trailer so that the load shifted, among other forms of careless behavior.Consult a Truck Accident Lawyer in the Athens Area
With over a decade of successful civil litigation behind us with millions of dollars recovered for Georgia clients, we understand that a serious truck accident may cause not only devastating physical harm but also great financial hardship to a victim’s family. Athens truck accident attorney John Hollis Baker strives to make the legal process flow as smoothly as possible for injured people. Contact Baker & Slider by calling (706) 208-1514 or using our online form to arrange a free consultation. We serve people who need a truck or car accident lawyer in Athens, Jefferson, Watkinsville, Danielsville, and other communities throughout Clarke, Jackson, Madison, Oconee, and surrounding counties.