Injured in a truck accident in Albany?
Find the best Georgia injury attorney near you.
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Albany, GA 31707
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Georgia injury lawyers helping accident victims near Albany for over 50 years
Semi-trucks, tractor trailers and 18-wheelers are the beasts of the highway that keep America running. Weighing approximately 40 tons, they ferry products to and from every corner of our state, and indeed the entire continent. As of 2016, there were 2.8 million registered semi trucks operating in the United States alone.
That same year, an average of 475,000 truck accidents were reported, 60% of which proved fatal for drivers and passengers in the other vehicles involved. And from 2015 to 2017, the most common cause of fatal truck crashes was failure to yield right of way.
Here in Albany and Dougherty County, serious and fatal truck accidents are an ongoing problem—particularly along Highway 82, Highway 19 and Highway 91.
Wherever a crash happens in Albany, accident victims are entitled to certain rights and benefits under Georgia law. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a truck accident, you need to understand all of your rights and responsibilities when it comes to compensation. You need the best truck accident lawyer to evaluate your case.At the law offices of Westmoreland, Patterson, Mosely, and Hinson, our injury lawyers have over 200 years of combined experience helping accident victims receive the compensation they need for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability & other damages.
Common types of truck accidents
- Rollovers. These most often occur when the semi truck begins traveling over loose surface and when the driver attempts to steer back onto the smooth pavement. The driver overcorrects and all 80,000 lbs. of truck literally roll right over, causing severe and sometimes fatal injuries to the trucker and nearby drivers.
- Unsecured loads. No one wants to drive behind a vehicle carrying a heavy load of furniture, lumber, etc. because there’s an increased risk of getting into an accident if that load isn’t properly secured. Should something fall off, or even just start throwing its weight around, this can cause serious damage and injury to multiple vehicles.
- Jackknife. When the axle brakes on a semi truck lock up, the driver has no control over their trailer which can begin to skid over the pavement. This is what’s known as a “jackknife” accident. There’s very little, if anything, the driver can do, and it often results in rollover accidents.
- Underride. Semi trucks tend to be the largest vehicles on the road, which means if a smaller vehicle, especially a sedan, rear-ends an 18-wheeler, they tend to get pinned underneath the truck. Underride crashes often result in extensive damage to the smaller vehicle and fatalities.
- Tire blowouts. Underinflated tires, overloading, and bad road conditions can all lead to a tire blowout. In these types of truck accidents, the tire literally looks as if it has blown up, shredding rubber all across the road and sometimes causing accidents.
- Wide turns. When a truck attempts to make a right hand turn, they need a lot more space than the average vehicle. Unfortunately, not everyone respects these requirements and might try to make a right hand turn from the inside lane. This often results in the semi and the other vehicle crashing.
Albany truck accident damages
In the event of a truck accident in Georgia, you may be eligible for financial compensation for the following damages:
- Medical bills. Amputations, disfigurement, head injuries, and many other types of truck accident injuries often require extensive medical attention, including a trip to the emergency room in an ambulance. The person responsible for a truck accident (or their insurance) should be held liable for those costs so that the injured accident victim is able to receive all the medical care they need to make a full recovery.
- Lost wages. Even a minor injury can affect one’s job performance and career. The treating physician, physical therapist or perhaps another specialist may prescribe restricted movements and light duty restrictions to help an injured accident victim make a full recovery. Sometimes this means taking time off from work or accepting a different position that requires less movement (and less pay). With medical bills adding up, lost wages can be particularly stressful on the accident victim.
- Property damage. Damage to the vehicles, as well as other objects that were in the wrong place at the wrong time (such as a phone or computer), may be compensable under a truck accident claim or lawsuit. Typically, insurance helps cover these costs.
- Pain and suffering. Emotional distress injuries, lost opportunities due to the accident, and general unhappiness are all examples of the pain and suffering victims of a truck accident might experience. Fortunately, there are ways to get help financially to help compensate you for these losses.
- Wrongful death. In the event of a fatal truck wreck, Georgia allows certain surviving family members to file a claim for wrongful death on behalf of their deceased loved one. If you lost a loved one and now face the cost of a funeral and medical bills, an experienced Albany truck accident lawyer can help you receive compensation so that you can focus on your family’s needs.
Common causes of truck accidents in Albany, GA
- Bad weather. It likely comes as no surprise to any driver that rain, snow, fog and even wet leaves are all common culprits to car crashes and truck accidents.
- Poor road conditions. Residents of Albany, Georgia are painfully familiar with pesky potholes. While they are an inconvenience and frustration to many of us, they are actually quite dangerous as they increase the risk of a truck (or a vehicle near a truck) to lose control and collide with other vehicles around them.
- Improper training. Lack of proper training is more uncommon than many trucking companies like to admit. Programs exist specifically to train truck drivers on how to operate and care for these massive vehicles, yet improper training continues to be an ongoing problem.
- Equipment malfunction. Keeping up with required vehicle maintenance, from oil changes to rotating tires to filling up with the right gas, goes a long way towards preventing any issues on the road. But vehicle malfunctions often still occur without warning, often from trucking companies trying to cut corners and save costs.
- Overloaded cargo. In the U.S., 80,000 is the maximum weight one semi truck trailer can haul. However, this doesn’t mean that drivers (or their employers) don’t try to overload the trailer. When this happens, drivers run the risk of overloading and causing unnecessary stress on their trucks.
- Negligent driving. Examples of negligent driving include speeding, tailgating, driving under the influence, drowsy driving, distracted driving and more. It’s bad enough when drivers of smaller vehicles do this, but when a truck driver is hauling thousands of pounds of cargo, the damage and risk of fatalities is much greater.
Truck accident statute of limitations
Under Georgia’s statute of limitations, residents in Albany have 2 years to file a personal injury claim after a truck accident, and 4 years to file a property damage claim. The clock starts ticking from the moment the accident occurs, which is why it’s important to talk to an experienced injury attorney about your legal rights as soon as possible.
The sooner you can consult with a truck accident attorney about your case, the more time they’ll have to prepare a strong argument for compensation.
Common truck accident injuries
- Cuts and bruises. If the driver was wearing a seatbelt and it did its job right, there will probably be some blue and purple bruises across the abdomen and chest. Depending on the severity of the impact, shattered windshield glass could also cut the skin and cause lacerations. There’s also the risk of sharp metal and or unrestrained objects that become airborne when the vehicle crashes, which can result in permanent scarring or infections.
- Broken bones. Broken bones are common in auto accidents due to blunt force trauma. In the event of a truck accident, this injury can be very painful and debilitating depending on how many bones were broken and how serious the break was.
- Burns. There’s a higher risk of a ruptured fuel tank when a truck collides with another vehicle or object since they’re so much bigger than the average passenger car. As a result, the damage is often more severe. It doesn’t take long for a fire to spread and swallow a vehicle up in flames, resulting in severe second and third degree burns.
- Head injuries. While not as visible as broken bones or burns, head injuries can be just as serious — if not more so. Head trauma can include anything from a tender bruise to a severe concussion, or traumatic brain injury (TBI) which often has long-term effects.
- Disfigurement. The impact itself may cause disfigurement, or a severe burn can have long lasting implications and require continued medical treatment, sometimes resulting in permanent scarring.
- Internal injuries. Humans have a lot of important soft-tissue organs that can be easily injured in the event of a wreck. The bladder, liver, spleen, pancreas, and kidneys are especially vulnerable when the airbag deploys. The upper torso and ribs can be bruised or broken upon impact, which can puncture a lung or your stomach. It’s important to let the physician treating you know of any internal pain following a crash.
- Amputation. Amputations of your limbs may be necessary after a particularly severe impact, requiring the use of prosthetics and possibly even a caretaker to help with daily needs. This could also mean years of physical therapy, which adds up quickly.
- Spinal cord injuries. Damage to the spinal column can result in temporary, partial, or complete paralysis from the waist down, and sometimes even the neck down. Months, even years, of therapy may be required before making a complete recovery — if you can ever recover fully.
- Back and neck injuries. When your head and neck suddenly snap forward but your torso stays in place because of the seatbelt, this is known as “whiplash.” Whiplash can seriously damage the bones and ligaments in your back and neck. Unfortunately, this type of injury doesn’t always make itself known right away, but drivers and passengers may experience symptoms in the hours and sometimes days after the collision.
Why contact an Albany, GA truck accident lawyer?
Consulting with an attorney as soon as possible is the best course of action you can take after an accident. Our experienced Albany lawyers can help. At Westmoreland, Patterson, Mosely, and Hinson, we have over 50 years of experience on our side, and our experts won’t settle for anything less than the best possible outcome in your case. With offices conveniently located in Macon, Albany, and Warner Robins, our team is here to help if you or a loved one have been the victim of a truck accident.