Can You Sue The Truck Driver After A Trucking Accident In Georgia?
On the road, there is perhaps nothing more terrifying than seeing a semi truck coming at you when you are powerless to stop it. In the state of Georgia, you can absolutely sue the driver of the truck. However, the process is not as straightforward as if you were hit by another car. Here, there may be many parties to blame, and the exact cause of the accident may not at first be clear.
The Truck Accident Claims Process
Because an accident involving a large truck is different from a car accident, you need professional legal help on your side as soon as possible. No matter who is responsible, an insurance claim should be filed. And if the trucker is responsible, then a lawsuit might necessary too to recoup what you have lost (that you would not have lost otherwise without the accident).
Timing is critical when dealing with a truck accident. Trucking companies will take every measure to protect themselves, and there is no reason why you should not do the same. You will feel more at peace knowing an experienced lawyer is helping you with your case, ensuring that you and your rights are protected.
Our experienced truck accident lawyers can help. At the law firm of Prieto, Marigliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC, we can help you understand what your next steps should be, or take over your case entirely. The choice is up to you.
Call us at (855)-329-7144, or fill out the form to the right to be connected with one of our licensed personal injury lawyers. With a free consultation with no obligation to retain, you have nothing to lose, so call today!
Negligence on the part of the truck driver is the number-one complaint in personal injury lawsuits against trucking companies. The explanations for a truck driver being negligent are the same as for any person operating a regular motor vehicle. These explanations include:
- The truck driver engaging in tailgating.
- The trucker driving at a high rate of speed.
- The driver is distracted, tired or impaired due to drug and/or alcohol use.
- Some kind of truck-related defect caused the truck to lose control.
Typically, a driver in a typical car accident type of situation is held responsible for these actions. However, when such an accident involves a truck, the trucking company and the driver may be held responsible for the actions of the driver.
Parties To The Lawsuit
You have decided to commence a lawsuit in Georgia against the trucker who caused your accident. But is the trucker the only one you can sue? The answer is no, there are several people who may be responsible for your accident.
The parties you can sue, in addition to the driver of the truck, include:
- The trucking company that hired the driver
- The owner of the truck, which may be different from the company the driver works for
- The manufacturer of the truck and its parts
- The shipping company that may have improperly loaded the truck
- The broker who arranged the trip for that particular day
The people you sue depends on the kind of accident you were involved in. For instance, if you were involved in an accident where a shipment fell off of the truck, then the shipping company can definitely be included as a party. If they had secured the load properly, it would not have fallen off the truck and caused the accident.
It is so important that you choose the right people to sue from the very beginning. Suing the wrong people can lead to disaster. If you’re unsure of which parties are the right ones to include in your lawsuit, Prieto, Marigliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC can help.
Determining Driver Liability
For a personal injury lawsuit involving a semi truck, it is important to establish whether the driver of the truck was on the clock or performing work-related duties at the time of the crash. If he was, then this almost guarantees that the trucking company can also be held liable. If not, or if he was an independent contractor, then the trucking company may not necessarily share liability.
Some factors to consider when trying to determine whether the driver was working at the time of the incident include:
- Did the accident happen during the hours the driver normally works?
- Was the work he was doing part of his normal work routine?
- Did the work he was doing benefit his employer in any way?
- How much freedom is the driver typically given?
One such instance where a trucking company may not be held liable is if the truck driver decides to run a personal errand while still in the company truck. He may be on his way back to the yard, for instance, when he decides to stop by a convenience store along the way to pick up some personal items. If this is the case, the trucking company can argue that since he was not actually working for them at the time, then they cannot be held responsible for his conduct.
For more detailed information, give our truck accident lawyers a call at (855)-329-7144.