It is estimated that a staggering 15.5 million commercial trucks operate in the United States. With so many commercial trucks on the road, the risk of getting into a truck accident has risen exponentially.
If you or a loved one were injured in a tractor-trailer collision, you might benefit from the advice and counsel of a Marietta truck accident lawyer. They could take you through the process of seeking relief, and help you formulate a plan for action. Reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney to talk about your legal options for recovery.
Components of Negligence
Negligence is a term used to describe unintentional torts. An unintentional tort is a civil wrong that, if committed, could lead to civil liability. Under the law of negligence, the plaintiff’s attorney is required to prove four elements to hold a defendant responsible for their actions.
Duty & Breach
A duty of care is imposed on each individual when they are performing an action, which includes driving. In addition to all the federal and state regulations that truck drivers must abide by, truck drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles as a reasonably prudent truck driver would under the circumstances. Truck drivers are to avoid the unreasonable risk of harm to other drivers and pedestrians they might encounter on the road.
A driver is in breach of this duty when they fail to act reasonably, creating an unreasonable risk of harm to others. Common examples of a breach might include violating traffic laws such as speeding, failing to adhere to traffic lights, or driving under the influence.
Causation & Harm
Duty and breach alone are not enough to hold a defendant liable. In addition, a truck accident lawyer in Marietta would have to prove that the defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s damages. Plaintiffs are required to show that the defendant was the actual and proximate cause of their injuries. Actual cause states that but for the defendant’s conduct, the plaintiff would not have suffered harm. And the proximate cause is present when the plaintiff’s injuries are reasonably related to the defendant’s conduct.
Also, the plaintiff must have suffered actual harm that could be compensated in court. For example, if the defendant sped by the plaintiff, but no accident occurred, the plaintiff would not have grounds to sue.
Opportunities for Relief for Truck Accidents in Marietta
The issue of vicarious liability comes up a lot in truck accident cases. Vicarious liability is a legal doctrine that allows plaintiffs to sue the defendant, as well as their employer for damages. Plaintiffs are required to file their case within two years of the accident under Georgia Code §9-3-33.
In order to apply, the employee’s actions must have occurred within the scope of their employment. If a truck driver causes an accident while transporting goods for work, vicarious liability would likely apply. Even if the driver was to detour from their employment, such as stopping at a rest stop to get lunch, a truck crash lawyer in Marietta could still seek recovery against the employer. However, if an employee causes harm during a “frolic,” the plaintiff could not recover against the employer. Frolic is a serious departure from their employment duties, such as going to the movies during work hours.
Schedule a Consultation with a Marietta Truck Accident Attorney Today
The destruction that a truck could cause is incalculable. Their sheer size and mass could plow through nearly anything, leaving those on the receiving end with devastating effects.
A Marietta truck accident lawyer could help assist those in need who have been harmed in a Big Rig collision. Do not hesitate to find the legal help you might require to get your case off the ground and into action. Learn about the ways an attorney might be able to help your legal situation, call, and schedule a consultation now.