Commercial trucks such as tractor-trailers are vital for transporting goods like food and medicine across the country. Unfortunately, a commercial truck accident is likely to be more severe and cause catastrophic damage to smaller passenger vehicles. Truck accident injuries may necessitate considerable long-term medical care, which can become expensive.
Because the consequences of a tractor-trailer collision can be so significant, it is crucial for truckers to remain diligent on the road. If a distracted truck driver negligently caused an accident that resulted in your injury, a skilled attorney could help you recover compensation in a civil claim. A lawyer with experience handling distracted driving truck accidents in Marietta could be an important advocate in this difficult time.
Distracted Driving Laws for Marietta Truckers
Distracted driving is illegal in Georgia under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241. Any activity that diverts attention away from the road could contribute to distracted driving, such as:
- Talking or texting on the phone
- Drinking or eating
- Conversing with passengers
- Adjusting the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system
When a truck driver loses focus while operating their vehicle, the results can be devastating. Commercial vehicles are larger and heavier than passenger vehicles or motorcycles, and they may contain dangerous chemicals or materials that can cause additional damage in a traffic accident.
Distracted driving in a busy area like Marietta can often lead to multiple vehicle wrecks and pileups. However, for an injured victim to recover damages, they must be able to prove that the trucker was distracted.
Determining Fault for Unfocused Truckers
Georgia is an at-fault state, which means that drivers are responsible for any accidents caused by their carelessness. In Georgia, if a driver is found to have been operating their vehicle while distracted or after taking a controlled substance, then that driver would be considered “at fault” and therefore liable for the damages. However, Georgia also has laws that make it a comparative fault state.
Comparative Fault in Distracted Driving Truck Crashes
Comparative fault means that more than one driver can share in the blame for causing an accident. Under O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, a partially negligent plaintiff may receive a reduced amount of compensation according to their level of liability for the truck crash.
However, the injured party can only successfully file a claim or suit if the judge or jury finds that the claimant is less than 49 percent responsible for causing the accident. An experienced attorney at our Marietta office could help gather evidence that the trucker was distracted and primarily liable for the accident.
Holding Trucking Companies Responsible for Inattentive Employees
In a truck accident case, numerous parties could be held accountable for a collision, such as the truck driver, trucking company, and truck repair facility. For example, a trucking company could be held liable for its employee’s negligence if the employee was operating within the scope of their employment.
Victims of inattentive truck drivers should work with an experienced local attorney who has handled distracted driving cases. A skilled lawyer could help determine if the truck driver and their company can be found liable.
Compensatory Damages for Unfocused Truck Drivers
Damages are compensation in the form of money. The victim of a commercial truck accident involving a distracted driver may recover two types of compensatory damages. Damages that can be precisely quantified are known as special damages, which typically include medical bills and lost wages.
General damages are those that are difficult to put a monetary figure on, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life. The damages awarded vary from case to case, but a dedicated truck accident lawyer experienced in handling distracted driving cases could help calculate an appropriate amount of compensation.
Call a Marietta Attorney for Distracted Driving Truck Accidents
Distracted driving truck accidents in Marietta can be extremely traumatic and devastating events. If you have been hurt in this type of collision, your health and well-being should be your number one priority. Do not try to fight insurance adjusters and trucking companies alone. Call our office to get the legal help you need and let our attorneys handle your case while you focus on healing.