Representing pedestrians, passengers, bikers, truckers, and victims who have been injured in an accident with a commercial truck or tractor trailer.
310 Margie Dr
Warner Robins, GA 31099
8:30am – 5:30pm (M-F)
Closed Saturday & Sunday
Attorneys available on weekends by appointment
Top-rated Georgia injury lawyers helping Warner Robins truck accident victims for over 50 years
Who can I sue for damages in a truck accident?
If you were injured in a truck crash, or you lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident, you may be able to sue the following parties:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- The company who leased the truck
- The cargo loading company
- The trucking insurance company
Truck accident statute of limitations
Though this might seem like a lot of time, filing a claim takes a tremendous amount of planning, preparation and work. The sooner you can talk to an attorney, the sooner they can start preparing your case.
The average 18-wheeler semi truck weighs approximately 40 tons, which is 40 more reasons why drivers never want to get into an accident with a commercial cargo truck. For comparison, the average passenger vehicle weighs just 2 tons. As you might expect, when a car crashes into a semi truck (or vice versa), the resulting damage is almost always devastating. The driver and passengers of the smaller vehicle tend to get seriously hurt, if not killed.
Yes, semi trucks play an important role in the American economy by transporting the goods and products we need and want to our local stores and doorstep. But it’s also true that they can cause major damage and injuries if they’re involved in an accident.
In 2018 alone, 4,136 people died in truck crashes — and 67 percent of these fatalities were occupants of other cars, most of which were smaller passenger vehicles. More than half of these accidents took place on major roads, not on highways and freeways, with the most common cause being failure to yield right of way.
Regardless of who or what causes a truck accident, it’s typically the motorists not in the truck who suffer most. When this occurs, it can leave families struggling to pick up the pieces as they are forced to pay for medical bills, rehabilitations or even funeral expenses — all without being able to work until their serious injuries heal. To top it off, dealing with trucking companies and insurance adjusters following a truck wreck can be a big hassle and massive headache, as those parties will do everything possible to escape liability.
The good news is that you don’t have to handle the aftermath of a truck accident on your own.
What to do after a truck accident in Warner Robins, GA
- Make sure you’re okay. Before moving off to the side of the road to a safe spot, make sure that you and your passengers are unharmed. Do a self-check and find your bearings by focusing on your breathing and gently moving your muscles to make sure you aren’t suffering from a severe injury. If you are hurt, stay still until help arrives.
- Contact the police and ambulance. Call 911 as soon as possible, or ask someone else to make the call. Even if you are miraculously able to walk away from the accident, you should always contact police to report the accident for the purposes of properly documenting the incident. This documentation will be necessary for the records of the insurance company and the trucking company.
- Fill out a police report. After you’ve finished giving the police a statement, proof of insurance, driver’s license, and car title, make sure everything was correctly documented in the report they hand to you. First responders are human too, and they can make mistakes. It will be much easier to get the report corrected while you’re still at the accident scene.
- Contact a truck accident lawyer. Lastly, you’ll want to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in truck accident cases to learn about your legal rights. While this is far from the final step should you choose to pursue or fight an accident claim, your lawyer will be able to guide you through the process from now on.
- Notify your insurance company. You’ll want to call your auto insurance company and tell them that you’ve been involved in a truck accident as soon as possible. This notification puts your insurer on hold and will make it much smoother to get compensation for things like medical bills and damage to your vehicle. If you delay too long, your insurer may try to deny or reduce your claim. Don’t give a recorded statement until you speak with an attorney — just notify them about what happened.
- See the doctor. Immediately seek medical attention. Even if you think you’ve only suffered a few scrapes and bruises, there may be internal injuries you aren’t aware of to certain organs, along with the possibility of whiplash or a concussion. Truck accident injuries are often serious, so seek a doctor as soon as possible if you aren’t taken in an ambulance.
- Take pictures. As you wait for the police to arrive, take photos with a cell phone camera or digital camera if it is safe to do so and you aren’t seriously injured. Be sure to get images that show any damage to the truck, your vehicle and other vehicles involved. Don’t forget to take pictures of your surroundings as well, from multiple angles with different kinds of lighting.
Common types of truck accidents
- Rollovers. When a truck driver overcorrects or hits a curb, the weight of the cargo can literally cause the truck to roll on its side. Any nearby vehicles may be forced to swerve or stop suddenly in order to avoid colliding with the tipped truck, resulting in a crash.
- Wide turns. Semi trucks need more space than cars to make a right-hand turn. If they aren’t given a wide enough berth, it often results in accidents and injuries.
- Jackknife. One of the worst truck accidents is a jackknife, which is when a trailer swings out from behind the truck cab and forms an acute angle. These types of crashes often result in a rollover and very little can be done to prevent them. In many cases, the brakes on a truck’s axles lock up and the truck starts to skid over the pavement, eventually rolling over and causing severe, if not fatal, injuries.
- Underride. When a small passenger vehicle rear-ends or T-bones a semi truck, the nose often gets pinned underneath the trailer. This is known as an underride accident, and regularly results in severe damages and injuries.
- Tire blowouts. If smoke and shredded rubber suddenly fly across the interstate, it probably means the semi truck just up ahead has experienced a tire blowout from underinflation, overloading, or bad road conditions — all of which can result in an accident.
- Unsecured loads. Ever imagine what it would be like if one of those semi trucks toting brand new cars didn’t have a secure load? It’s not pretty. Be it cars, lumber, mobile homes, or crates, drivers are encouraged to give these trucks a wide berth to avoid the risk of being hit by unsecured cargo.
What damages can I recover in a Warner Robins truck accident?
- Medical bills. A single trip to the hospital in an ambulance can cost thousands of dollars without insurance, and that’s not including the expenses of having a medical examination or surgery. If the injuries are catastrophic, such as an amputation or traumatic head injury, the cost of treatment goes up even more.
- Lost wages. Following the prescribed treatment plan set forth by the treating physician and physical therapist is important to making a complete and healthy recovery. Unfortunately, this can also affect how you do your job. It may be necessary to take time off work or change to a job that is less likely to irritate your injury, which can result in reduced or lost wages.
- Property damage. On top of filing an insurance claim, our truck accident attorneys can help you cover the costs of any property damage resulting from the wreck, which includes the vehicle itself and any valuables in your vehicle that were damaged in the crash.
- Pain and suffering. It’s common for truck accident victims to experience lost opportunities and unhappiness along with injuries, all of which are examples of pain and suffering or emotional distress.
- Wrongful death. If surviving family members can prove there was negligence on the part of the other driver or the trucking company, they may be able to file a wrongful death claim in the event that their spouse, child or parent was killed in a truck accident. Though no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, our experienced Warner Robins attorneys will help you receive some sense of closure and justice by securing financial compensation to cover funeral costs and medical expenses accumulated before their death.
Common causes of truck accidents
Truck drivers aren’t always to blame when it comes to truck accidents. There are a number of contributing factors that could be the culprit of a wreck. One thing that almost every factor has in common is that it is rooted in negligence.
- Vehicle malfunction. All the training in the world can’t always prepare drivers for a vehicle malfunction. Even if the truck is up-to-date on all its oil changes and tire rotations, vehicle malfunctions such as a tire blowout or brake failure can happen without warning. Usually, however, a sudden vehicle malfunction can be linked to lack of proper maintenance on the part of the driver or the trucking company.
- Overloaded cargo. The maximum weight in the United States for a single semi truck transporting a load of cargo is 80,000 lbs. However, overloading still occurs and causes unnecessary stress on the truck, which leads to accidents.
- Negligent driving. Drowsy truck drivers are one of the top causes of accidents on the road. In order to meet their deadlines, drivers may go longer than they should before taking a break and getting rest. In addition, speeding, tailgating, and driving under the influence have also been known to cause truck accidents.
- Improper training. Despite the fact that schools and courses exist for the sole purpose of training truck operators to properly drive and maintain their vehicles, lack of proper training is still a major concern on Georgia roads. Without the proper instruction, truck drivers may be ill-equipped to avoid an accident and adjust their driving depending on weather conditions.
- Bad weather. From rain, ice and snow to fog to wet leaves, these elements are all common causes of both car crashes and truck accidents alike.
- Poor road conditions. Potholes, cracks and flooded pavement are frequent road hazards. Oil spills, erosion, and construction zones are other possible common causes for truck accidents.
Common truck accident injuries
The injuries sustained from truck accidents can be severe and expensive to treat, which is why it’s important to contact a Warner Robins truck accident attorney with the right experience to get you the best settlement possible. We frequently help clients who have suffered serious injuries, such as:
- Cuts and bruises. Sharp metal, broken glass, loose objects, and your seatbelt can all leave your body looking like a painful quilt of cuts and bruises. In fact, if the seat belt does its job right, you will likely have deep purple bruises from where it was strapped across your hips and torso.
- Broken bones. Due to the severity of the impact, broken bones are fairly common in a truck accident. Broken arms and legs are common among children and adults, but more serious injuries can include a cracked cranium, broken ribs, and broken collar bone.
- Internal injuries. The bladder, liver, spleen, pancreas, and kidneys are especially vulnerable organs in the event of a truck accident. If any of your ribs are broken, there’s also the risk of a punctured lung.
- Disfigurement. Whether the impact itself causes disfigurement, or a severe burn from the fuel tank rupturing permanent scars a person, this type of injury can have life changing effects and require painful medical treatment.
- Amputation. The loss of a hand, foot or limb after a severe truck accident is the last thing anyone wants to think about. It typically takes months of physical therapy for the body to recover and get used to a prosthetic.
- Back and neck injuries. Whiplash is the most common back and neck injury in a car or truck accident. Whiplash injuries happen when the head and neck snap forward, but the torso stays in place because of the seatbelt. This motion can damage important bones and ligaments in the back and neck.
- Burns. The force of impact, especially with another vehicle, can cause a truck’s fuel tank to rupture and ignite. Burns from a truck accident can range anywhere from minor to so severe that it’s necessary to have a skin graft.
- Head injuries. A cracked or bruised skull, or a concussion, can occur in the event of a truck accident and should always be treated as soon as possible in order to avoid the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Spinal cord injuries. Severe damage to the spinal cord or column from a truck accident can range anywhere from minor whiplash to complete paralysis from the waist or neck down. It can take months, or even years, to recover from this type of injury, and it must be treated right away.
Why hire a Warner Robins, GA truck accident lawyer?
At the injury law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Mosely, and Hinson, we want you to know that you don’t have to fight this battle alone. In the event of a truck accident, contact one of our Warner Robins attorneys right away for your free consultation. With over 50 years of experience on our side and three offices located in Macon, Albany, and Warner Robins, our lawyers are here to help if you or a loved one were the victim of a truck accident and are seeking compensation.