Georgia Tractor-Trailer Wreck Attorney
The for-profit tractor-trailer industry is a recipe for danger. Tractor-trailer companies have an economic incentive to move products across the nation as quickly as possible. Tractor-trailer drivers have an economic incentive to work long hours and drive while tired. Ethical tractor-trailer companies enforce policies that value safety over these short-term economic incentives, but not all tractor-trailer companies are ethical. We share the roads with these tractor-trailer companies, and, unfortunately, when their drivers cause a wreck it almost always leads to a serious injury or wrongful death.
How the Stoddard Firm Can Help
The Stoddard Firm understands the tractor-trailer industry. Before starting the Stoddard Firm, Matt Stoddard spent years defending some of the world’s largest tractor-trailer companies, talking to their drivers, and attending their seminars. Unlike many others who advertise themselves as tractor-trailer wreck lawyers, Mr. Stoddard is acutely familiar with the extensive regulation that makes tractor-trailer companies liable for improper loading, hiring unqualified drivers, driving over-hours, failing to administer drug testing, and failing to perform pre-trip inspections. We know which regulations apply to which tractor-trailer companies. The Stoddard Firm is comfortable and experienced in handling all types of tractor-trailer and commercial vehicle wreck cases including:
- Interstate Carrier Tractor-Trailer Wrecks
- In-State Carrier Tractor-Trailer Wrecks
- Agricultural and Logging Truck Wrecks
- Dump Truck Wrecks
- City-owned Garbage and Recycling Truck Wrecks
- Commercial Vehicle Wrecks.
Common Cause of Truck Wrecks
Crashes involving tractor-trailers can have several contributing factors. Most crashes, even those involving large trucks, are caused by human error. When a tractor-trailer driver makes a mistake, the consequences for other drivers can be incredibly costly. Some of the most common causes of tractor-trailer wrecks include:
- Fatigued driving – Fatigue is a common problem among truck drivers in the United States. Because trucking companies have such high demands of their drivers, truckers are pushed to the limit to pay their bills. The result is a fatigued workforce that is often strained to do their jobs safely.
- Distracted driving – Just like other types of drivers, truckers can be prone to distraction. Driving a truck requires a great deal of focus, and one small lapse of attention can lead to a serious wreck.
- Speeding – While many tractor-trailers have devices that limit how fast the truck can travel, those devices don’t account for hazardous traffic conditions and areas that have lower speed limits. Travelling too fast for conditions is of the most common causes of crashes involving large trucks.
- Following signs and signals – Most truck drivers place an emphasis on following the rules of the road, but some might fall short of that obligation. For example, when a driver fails to come to a complete stop or yield when necessary, it can lead to a chain reaction in which another driver suffers the consequences.
Tractor-Trailer Wrecks Can Be Complex
We’ve mentioned that there are several unique laws that apply to tractor-trailers, all of which play a role in how cases involving truck wrecks are handled. In addition to federal laws, Georgia also has its own regulations regarding commercial vehicles and commercial vehicle drivers. The Stoddard Law Firm has extensive experience and knowledge of both federal and state laws governing tractor-trailers.
Another factor that makes these cases unique is the fact that there are often several different parties involved on the trucker’s side of the case. A truck driver may or may not own their own truck, and many drivers are either employed or hired out by another company.
These parties often have experienced legal teams who handle legal matters on a regular basis. That’s another reason it’s so important to have an attorney that has a proven track record of handling tractor-trailer wreck cases.
The legal teams and insurance representatives of trucking companies go to work immediately following a crash involving one of their drivers. It’s vital that you do the same. If you’ve been involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer, contact us as soon as possible to put our resources to work for you and your loved ones.
The Stoddard Firm is Equipped to Handle Your Case
Knowing the industry matters. Having the financial resources and manpower to fight matters. And choosing a real trial law firm, one with a low caseload, matters. Not every law firm knows what they are doing. Not every law firm is equipped to fight for full justice.
The Stoddard Firm is different, and reaching out to us is free. Please give us a call or contact us online so we can answer your questions and discuss what is necessary to achieve a favorable result in your tractor-trailer wreck case. It never hurts to have more information. There is truly no reason not to call or contact us for free advice.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. Many wrongful death and personal injury cases are settled before they go to court. However, it is our experience that the most successful cases are built as if they are going to court. Our firm prepares every case to go all the way to trial, even if it is ultimately resolved before the trial starts.
Why is an attorney important in a personal injury case?
Personal injury law can be complex, and filing a successful claim can require a great deal of time, effort and experience. A lawsuit often involves several other parties, including defendants, insurance companies and other attorneys. There are also many procedural rules that must be followed. Having experienced, skilled legal representation maximizes your chances of success.
How do I pick the right attorney?
You’ll want to look for several qualities when choosing who will represent you. Your attorney should meet with you instead of sending an investigator, and he/she should be available throughout the process instead of having you consistently talk to a legal assistant. Your attorney should have a low number of cases so he/she can devote significant time to you and your case. Your attorney should have experience handling cases with facts similar to yours, and your attorney should have a proven track record with similar claims. Your attorney should also be able to devote significant money to your case so that he/she can hire experts, travel the country finding witnesses, and depose whomever is necessary to achieve justice. It’s also important to make sure your attorney is the right fit on a personal level, which is why you should take advantage of a free consultation.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
There is a time limit on how long a person has after an injury to begin a lawsuit. This window is called a statute of limitations. For most personal injury cases in Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the time the injury was suffered. However, there are exceptions and subtleties that might change the amount of time you are afforded. Sometimes the period can be as short as 6 months, and other times it can be much longer than two years. Determining the statute of limitations requires a detailed analysis of the facts of your case.
What do I need to bring with me to the consultation?
For your free consultation, bring all relevant documents that you’ve collected regarding your case. If there are police reports, bills or correspondence from insurance companies, you’ll want to bring those items to the consultation so an attorney can learn as much about your case as possible.
How can a lawyer help me?
If you have been involved in an accident, you should explore every option available for making yourself whole again. It is your right to seek financial compensation for your injuries and damages. Lawyers are trained professionals who know what questions to ask, what details are important, how to identify every responsible party, how to handle insurance companies, and how to prepare a case for trial.
Do I still have a claim if the accident was partly my fault?
Believing that you shoulder some of the responsibility for an accident does not mean it is true. There are many factors involved in an accident, some of which may be unknown to you. If it turns out that you are partly to blame, this does not necessarily bar you from recovery. Laws about fault are different from state to state, which is another good reason to have a lawyer evaluate your claim.
What do I do about the insurance companies?
Prompt notice of an accident is required by most insurers or coverage under an uninsured / underinsured motorist policy may be denied, but this rule typically applies ONLY to your insurer – not the insurer of the striking driver. Further, while you may be required to cooperate you’re your uninsured / underinsured motorist carrier, you are under no obligation to cooperate with the insurance companies providing coverage for the other drivers/parties involved, and in fact, you should refuse to speak with them until you have a chance to consult an attorney. Insurance adjusters are out to protect the bottom line of the insurance company; they almost never have your interest at heart. As a result, its is preferable to communicate with such insurers, if at all, through your lawyer.
Will my claim be settled or will I have to go to court?
The answer really depends on how willing the other side is to legitimately compensate you for your injuries and losses. Settlement is possible once a fair value offer is made, and settlement is the client’s decision. That said, at The Stoddard Firm, we approach each case as if we are going to trial.