Truck Accident Liability: What Are the Laws?

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A Truck accident is very similar to regular motor vehicle accidents. They typically involve two parties – the truck driver and the person in the passenger car or SUV. They should be handled the same way as well. The police need to be called and the victims should be taken to the hospital. And while there are many similarities, there are key differences as well.

You can ask any Marietta truck accident attorney and they’ll tell you the same thing. Truck drivers are held to a much higher standard than regular motorists. This means that truck accident lawsuits are a bit different than your average car accident lawsuit.

In Georgia, as with most other states, truck accident cases are considered some of the most dangerous of all motor vehicle accidents. The thought of a tractor-trailer crashing into a passenger car or SUV is downright scary. Usually, the victims in these accidents suffer very serious injuries. These victims tend to hire injury lawyers in Marietta to handle their claims since they can be so complicated.

In these situations, you have to pursue more than one party. Not only do you need to sue the truck driver, but you also must name the trucking company they work for. And, instead of relying strictly on negligence to prove your case, your Marietta truck accident attorney can also look toward the federal trucking regulations.

Here, we’ll talk about the laws regarding truck accidents in Georgia. We’ll also explain why truckers are held to a higher standard than regular drivers.

Your Marietta Truck Accident Attorney Must Still Prove Negligence

Regardless of what other laws there are about trucking accidents in Georgia, your Marietta truck accident attorney still has to prove negligence. This is the standard by which most personal injury cases are measured. If you’re able to prove negligence, there’s a good chance you’ll be entitled to damages.

To prove negligence, your injury lawyer in Marietta, Georgia must prove four things. The 4 elements include:

The Truck Driver Owed You a Duty of Care

This one is rather obvious. All motorists, especially truck drivers, owe other drivers a duty of care. Not only do they need to obey all traffic laws, but they also have to obey the federal trucking regulations.

The Driver Breached This Duty

Your attorney is also going to have to show that the trucker breached this duty somehow. There are a variety of ways this can happen. For example, your lawyer may be able to demonstrate that the truck driver was speeding at the time of the crash. Or perhaps they were carrying a load that was well above what is allowed.

Your Were Injured

As with any accident case, it’s not enough that you were involved in a truck accident. You need to demonstrate that you were actually injured. Typically, this is done using your medical records. These records should show that you suffered specific injuries. Your attorney will also submit proof that you suffered financial damages.

The Injuries Were Caused by the Defendant’s Breach of Duty

It may seem obvious that your injuries would be caused by the accident, but you do have to prove it. Your Marietta truck accident attorney needs to demonstrate that your injuries were specifically caused by the defendant’s actions.

If you can prove all of these things, you should have a pretty strong case against the truck driver. Even if your evidence isn’t as strong as you want it to be, you can turn to the regulations put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Image is of a Marietta truck accident lawyer discussing case with client

How Can the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations Help Your Case?

With truck accidents, your injury lawyer in Marietta, Georgia can turn to federal regulations to prove fault. Even if there isn’t clear-cut negligence involved, you may be able to show that the truck didn’t abide by the federal regulations.

The federal regulations control how many hours truck drivers can travel without taking a break. They also require drivers to have their trucks maintained and inspected on a consistent basis. If your lawyer can show that the defendant didn’t follow these rules, they may be able to prove fault.

The important thing about these cases is that you’ll need the police’s help. When they come out to the scene and see a commercial driver is involved, they’ll check to see if they are in compliance. If they find that they aren’t keeping logbooks as required, they’ll issue a citation. They’ll also put a note of this in the police report. Your Marietta truck accident attorney can then use this in your lawsuit.

Tractor Trailer Drivers Need to Abide by Local Traffic Laws as Well

Just because truck drivers are required to follow the federal guidelines doesn’t mean they don’t also have to obey the traffic laws. Just like any other driver, truckers have to follow the local laws as well. If your Marietta truck accident attorney is able to prove that the defendant violated the traffic laws, you’ll be able to prove fault that way.

Sometimes, you have to look at a truck accident case just like any other case. As much as the federal regulations can help you, you still need to prove fault. For example, if the case went to court, the jury may not care that much that the driver was one hour over the federal allowable hours. This is especially true if you were partially at fault.

Contact an Experienced Marietta Truck Accident Attorney Today

If you or your loved one are hurt in a truck accident, you may have a legal claim. It all depends on the facts of your case. What you should do is call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. You can sit down with an injury lawyer in Marietta, Georgia who has handled dozens of cases like yours. They know how to use the federal regulations to your advantage. They also know how to negotiate with insurance companies.

If you were hurt in a truck accident, your injuries were probably rather serious. The last thing you’ll want to do is fight with the insurance company. You may need months of medical treatment to recover from the crash. You should focus on that and let our team focus on the legal side of things. Since it doesn’t cost anything to retain our services, you have nothing to lose.