Truck accidents may be devastating. Often, they result in catastrophic injuries, such as paralysis, burns, and brain damage. While a truck driver who causes such an accident may walk away without a scratch, innocent drivers and pedestrians may have their lives changed forever by a moment's inattention. At the Suthers & Harper, our Savannah truck accident attorneys can fight for you to seek the compensation that you deserve after suffering injuries as a result of someone else's negligence. You should make sure to retain a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so that your case can be fully investigated.Holding a Driver or Company Accountable for a Truck Accident
Many truck accidents are caused by a truck driver's negligence. You will need to establish negligence by proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the truck driver owed an obligation to you to use reasonable care, failed to meet that obligation, and thereby caused injuries to you. In truck accident cases, negligence per se may apply. This is negligence as a matter of law, and it may be applied if you can show that a violation of a safety law caused your injuries, and you are in the group of people whom the law was designed to protect. If negligence per se applies, it may shift the focus of a lawsuit from liability to the extent of the damages.
Sometimes a truck driver does not have enough insurance coverage to cover the full damages of everyone who has been hurt in an accident. For example, if a tractor-trailer jackknifes, the trailer may swing out and strike multiple cars that may have more than one person in each of them. It is important to retain an attorney who can look for compensation in more than one place. In Georgia, an employer may be held liable for its employee's negligence under the doctrine of respondeat superior. Under this doctrine, employers may be held liable for negligent conduct that happens in the course and scope of an employee's job duties.
For this reason, many trucking companies prefer to hire truck drivers as independent contractors. However, in many cases, the "independent contractor" label will not hold water. Moreover, trucking companies may be held directly liable for their own negligence. For example, if they hire a truck driver whom they know or should know is not a competent or fit operator of a huge commercial vehicle, they may be held liable for negligent hiring.
Trucking companies may also be held liable for negligent training or negligent supervision. The latter theory would apply, for instance, if a truck driver failed to meet their legal responsibilities to keep an accurate logbook related to maintenance and hours of service. Truck drivers are not supposed to work more than a certain number of hours at a stretch, and they are expected to take certain rest breaks so that they are not operating heavy machinery while fatigued. Trucking companies are expected to keep track of their drivers' logbooks to make sure that they are honest. A trucking company that looks the other way in light of its truck driver's deceit may be held liable for doing so.Protect Your Rights by Enlisting a Truck Accident Attorney in Savannah
Insurance adjustors for truck drivers and trucking companies are more often concerned with economic gain than fairness. The Savannah truck accident lawyers at the Suthers & Harper may be able to represent you in a claim. Our firm also assists injured people in Atlanta, Watkinsville, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Roswell, Athens, Marietta, Stone Mountain, Decatur, Pooler, Brunswick and Statesboro, and other cities in Oconee, Gwinnett, Clark, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Chatham, Glynn and Bulloch Counties. Contact us by calling 1.800.320.2384 or completing our online form to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision lawyer.