The size and weight of semi-trucks make them harder to maneuver than regular passenger vehicles, which is why truckers need special training to operate them. Unfortunately, even with ample training and years of road experience, truckers still cause accidents on the road, injuring pedestrians and other motorists. However, if you or your loved ones were injured in a truck accident, you can seek compensation.
First, you must understand the laws affecting truck accident settlements and how you could work with a Duluth personal injury lawyer from Kaine Law to recover from your losses.
How Liability Works in Duluth Truck Accidents
Trucking companies and drivers must follow federal and state motor carrier regulations to maintain road safety. These include rules on service hours, maintenance, cargo securement, and drug and alcohol prohibitions. In a typical trucking accident, the Duluth truck owner would take responsibility for the truck driver’s mistakes—unless the driver willfully caused the accident, was off-duty, or was grossly negligent.
Our Duluth truck accident lawyer can investigate the incident and gather evidence to determine liability. Besides the trucking company and driver, other parties could also be involved. For example, a drunk driver could have caused the trucker to crash into your car. A construction firm could also be liable for neglecting to put up enough warning signs for their roadwork.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accident lawyer serving Duluth, call 404-214-2001
Trucks in Duluth Must Be Insured
Like other truckers throughout Georgia, Duluth truck owners must have liability insurance for all their trucks as mandated in O.C.G.A. Section 515-16-11. The coverage will help cover the expenses accrued by truck accident victims, such as medical expenses and auto repairs. In addition, liability coverage will also shoulder your funeral and burial expenses if a loved one dies in the crash.
If the truck owner’s liability coverage does not come into play for the driver, you must file the claim with the driver’s personal auto liability insurance provider instead.
Besides compiling evidence against the liable side, our Duluth truck accident lawyer can help gather the documents of your expenses. This helps estimate the compensatory amount you could receive in your claim. Please keep in mind that the insurer will likely not take your side. They may downplay their client’s liability to reduce the amount they must pay you. However, a Kaine Law truck accident lawyer can help you negotiate further with them.
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When Should You Consider Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Filing a liability claim might not work for you, depending on the circumstances after the truck accident. For example, the driver’s auto liability coverage might not completely cover your expenses. Another instance would be if the truck driver willfully injured you—insurance providers might not accept claims for intentional torts.
In such cases, our Duluth truck accident lawyer could advise you on filing a lawsuit instead. The civil court will decide the amount you can recover after evaluating both sides of the case. While it may take several proceedings for the case to get a verdict, the attorney can still guide you throughout the whole duration of the litigation process.
There is also the chance that the trucker or other at-fault party might propose settling the matter outside the court through arbitration. Our Duluth truck accident lawyer can still speak on your behalf if you agree to meet privately.
Complying with the Statute of Limitation
Your Duluth truck accident case follows the same filing deadlines as other Georgia accident suits. As such, your time limit depends on the type of accident lawsuit filed. For example, if you sue for property damages, O.C.G.A. Section 9-3-32 gives you up to four years to bring the case to court. However, if you file for injury or death-related damages, O.C.G.A. Section 9-3-33 states that you must submit the suit within two years.
Filing on time is crucial to getting a settlement—your case will automatically be dismissed if you miss the deadline. That means working on the lawsuit sooner than later would be in your best interest.
Besides tracking your case progress, our Duluth truck accident lawyer can also check the deadline by looking for applicable tolling exceptions in your case. One such exception is if the liable truck driver fled someplace outside Georgia. If this happens, the statute clock would only resume when they return to the state. Another instance is if you had a disability after the accident—the clock would also stop counting until the disability is removed.
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Other Damages in Truck Accident Settlements
As mentioned earlier, winning the claim or the lawsuit lets you recover from the related financial costs of your Duluth truck accident. Also known as economic damages, these can include medical expenses, repairs, and funeral costs.
However, you could also receive damages for the pain and suffering you went through due to the accidents, such as your trauma and disabilities. These are called non-economic damages. The amount you could recover here generally depends on your condition’s severity. For example, permanent brain damage or a loved one’s death would garner a higher value than a dislocated joint.
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Contributory Fault in Duluth Truck Accident Damages
Due to O.C.G.A. Section 51-12-33, you could receive less than the anticipated recovery amount if you are partly at fault for your Duluth trucking accident. For instance, the court could find you 40 percent liable for speeding and running a red light. However, the truck driver is 60 percent liable for committing a DUI. That means you would also recover only 60 percent of your damages.
Furthermore, the law bars you from recovery if you are over 50 percent liable.
Our Duluth truck accident lawyer can review the entire claim or case before filing it with the insurer or court. They could spot any discrepancies that could increase your liability in the accident.
Our Duluth Truck Accident Lawyer Is Here To Help
If you were recently involved in a trucking accident here in Duluth, know that you can always consult with the office of Kaine Law. Our truck accident attorneys are ready to assist you through the various aspects of seeking compensation. From auto accidents to premises liability, we have decades of collective experience handling personal injury cases throughout Georgia.
You can send us your accident details through our website so we can arrange for your free consultation with our Duluth truck accident lawyer. If you have other legal concerns and inquiries, contact our support team by phone 24/7. Let us help you through this difficult time.