Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer
Serving Atlanta, GA and Its Surrounding Cities
The Law Offices of Andrew Goldner’s truck accident lawyers have handled a variety of Atlanta truck accident claims serving related to the negligent or reckless driving of a tractor-trailer, commercial truck, and semi truck operator.
When you are involved in an Atlanta semi truck accident, the results can be catastrophic. Your chance of serious injury is incredibly high due to the sheer power of the truck you have collided with. Not only will you be dealing with injuries, but property damage as well. You could be forced to lose time from work and be faced with insurmountable debt. The Law Office of Andrew E. Goldner, your Atlanta truck accident attorney, represents people in Atlanta who have been injured or suffered loss in these types of truck crashes. Our Atlanta truck accident lawyers are here to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
It is rarely wise to count on an insurance company to hold a negligent truck and semi truck driver responsible for their actions. An insurance company is in the business of making money, and they don’t do this by paying every claim submitted. Mr. Goldner as your Atlanta truck accident lawyer is here to stand by your side, seeking the maximum amount of compensation available to you under current state law. We are here to assist any victim of an Atlanta trucking accident no matter the cause.
We know that being involved in such a serious accident can take an emotional toll. That is why Mr. Goldner, your Atlanta semi-truck truck accident lawyer, has made it his mission to assist victims and their families in any way he can. Whether you need assistance fighting an insurance company or pursuing damages directly from the negligent driver, Mr. Goldner will use his experience and knowledge to get you what you deserve.
You Don’t Pay Until You Win Your Truck Accident and Semi Truck Wreck Case
The financial difficulties you face after an Atlanta semi truck accident or commercial truck wrecks can be devastating. We don’t want to make your life more difficult, and that is why we work on contingency. In other words, you pay nothing up front and if you don’t win, you never pay a dime. We are confident in the truck wreck cases we take on, and we are willing to take all of the risks in bringing your claim to court.
Mr. Goldner, your Atlanta truck accident lawyer, will help you secure damages for medical expenses, current and future lost wages, replacement of property and other, intangible, losses. We will help you hold the right people accountable for their actions or inaction. Mr. Goldner, as your Atlanta truck accident attorney, can represent you against distracted, impaired and even fatigued truck drivers. Let us review the details of your semi truck and truck accident during a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and help you determine the best course of action for seeing the compensation you are legally entitled to.
Meet Andrew Goldner, the Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney
Why You Need An Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer
You need an Atlanta truck accident attorney on your side, no matter the cause of your trucking accident. The insurance company does not have your best interests in mind. Chances are that the initial settlement offer from an insurance agency is not all that you deserve. Do not accept this offer without first speaking to an experienced and qualified Atlanta truck accident lawyer.
You may not be dealing with medical issues today, but you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. When you choose to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company, you case is, in effect, over. If you begin to experience symptoms of an injury at any point following your acceptance of a settlement, you have little to no recourse to seek compensation. You deserve more than that.
Contact the Law Office of Andrew E. Goldner, your dedicated Atlanta truck accident attorney, today for a free case evaluation if you’ve been involved in a semi truck accident in Atlanta. You can reach out office at (404) 869-1580 or you may contact us online. Your case requires aggressive representation from a truck accident attorney who will treat you with dignity and respect. Call our team today and, in the meantime, browse our website for more information about our firm and how we can help you.
Atlanta Truck Accident FAQs
Left Turn Wrecks
When a tractor-trailer makes a left turn in front of another vehicle, a substantial collision often results. The length and weight of most commercial vehicles create a situation where any collision is likely to yield significant injuries. This is particularly true in left turn cases where the vehicle which has been cut-off is traveling at a substantial speed. We have seen this type of collision occur when the tractor-trailer driver is in a rush to make a delivery or arrive at a destination at a particular time and, therefore, the driver attempts to “beat” oncoming traffic.
Underriding is when a vehicle will actually go underneath the trailer portion of the truck. This collision often results in severe injuries or worse because the oncoming vehicle suffers roof and windshield damage.
Tractor-trailers frequently stop, or become disabled, on the roadway or the shoulder of the roadway. This is a very dangerous situation for motorists. Federal law requires that commercial drivers place warning markers (usually reflective triangles) at various distances behind the stopped truck in order to alert oncoming drivers that they are approaching a large, stopped commercial vehicle.
Rear – End Accidents
This type of collision is the most common. Commercial drivers are often speeding, in a hurry, inattentive, texting, talking on a cell phone, or otherwise distracted. These conditions result in the truck driver failing to stop the tractor-trailer in time and causing a rear-end collision with the vehicle in front of it.
Improper Lane Change
Tractor-trailer drivers often operate their trucks negligently by changing lanes when it is not safe to do so. The most frequently-seen collision in this category is when a commercial driver moves his truck into a lane and space already occupied by another vehicle. Not surprisingly, this negligent action usually causes a severe collision, frequently sending the passenger car off of the roadway.
In Georgia, any party that contributed to an accident can potentially be held liable for the resulting damages. This issue becomes particularly complex in commercial truck accident cases. There are many different parties that might bear liability for the crash, further two different parties might even split liability in some cases. Common liable parties include:
- The truck driver;
- The truck driver’s employer;
- The company that owned the truck;
- The company that leased the truck; and
- The company that manufactured any part on the truck or the trailer.
Georgia truck accident victims are entitled to be made ‘whole’ after an accident. In simple terms, a victim is made whole when they are placed into the position that they would have been in had no accident ever taken place. Obviously, this is not literally possible for cases involving very serious injuries. There is no way to counteract the debilitating pain associated with a serious injury. Therefore, financial compensation must be granted in an amount that fairly accounts for the full extent of a victim’s damages. After an Atlanta trucking accident, a victim may seek recovery for:
- Damages to their personal Property
- Expenses due to Medical Procedures
- Lost Wages Including Wages lost due to ability to work in the future
- Other Intangible losses, Like suffering, disfigurement and loss of quality of life.
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident, you need to be aware of your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation but you face some large hurdles. One such obstacles is that some damages are difficult to quantify. It’s easy to value a hospital bill for treatment that has already occurred, it is extremely difficult to put a dollar figure on pain and suffering or future lost earning power. All too often, insurance companies use the lack of clarity surrounding these type of damages to try to avoid paying a fair settlement offer. Victims of serious truck injuries need an aggressive attorney by your side to fight for you and your right to be compensated for your losses.
Trucking accidents are among the most complicated types of personal injury cases. This is partially because of the fact that so many different entities could potentially bear liability; but it is also because Georgia commercial trucking involves complex business relationships and extensive federal regulations. Additionally, the sheer size of commercial trucks means that accidents often result in victims sustaining particularly devastating injuries. Cases involving catastrophic injuries are inherently more complicated. For all of those reasons, it is imperative that you get your truck accident case in front of an aggressive Atlanta attorney as soon as possible after the wreck. Your attorney will help ensure that you are able to obtain the injury settlement offer that you rightly deserve. Some specific actions our truck accident team will take include:
- Acting quickly to obtain all relevant supporting evidence;
- Using subpoenas to seek information from the truck company, including vehicle inspection records, maintenance records, electronic black box data, and driver history;
- Analyzing state and federal regulations to see how they might impact your claim;
- Working to document the full extent of your current and future damages; and
- Negotiating with the insurance company, in order to ensure that you recover fair compensation.
You can indeed afford a truck accident attorney. We will never require any upfront payment from you. If we don’t win your case, you don’t pay a dime. We are more than happy to take on all of the risks involved in bringing your claim because our team takes on personal injury cases that we truly believe in. We are dedicated to helping all of our clients maximize their settlement offers and awards.
Yes. Immediately after the wreck, before trucking company risk managers and insurance investigators descend on the scene, truck drivers are often honest and admit mistakes. They acknowledge wrongdoing, admit they were speeding, admit they were inattentive, and admit that they changed lanes without looking. Later, when the commercial driver realizes that his license and/or employment status may be affected by the wreck, his story changes. Also, once trucking company employees and insurance adjusters “talk” with the truck driver, different versions of the wreck start to emerge. We have seen this scenario play out countless times. In fact, it is so common that we expect the truck drivers to do anything they can to deny liability at their depositions and throughout the claim.
No. Though they may say that they are “just trying to find out what happened” or they “have to get your statement” you should not talk with a person whose interests are adverse to yours, especially without a lawyer helping you. Often, truck company representatives and their insurance company’s agent will call within days (we have even seen calls within hours) of a tractor-trailer wreck. Why? From the moment that the truck collision occurs, these individuals are seeking to minimize the fault of the commercial driver and minimize the injured person’s legal claims. Generally, while an accident victim is still recovering from his injuries, these people will call (and record the entire conversation), asking leading questions which are designed to have the injured party basically acknowledge that they are not hurt or only suffered minor injuries. Later, if an injury claim is brought, the trucking and insurance companies will use the tape recording to try to discredit the injured person’s story, saying “you already told us that you were ok” or something similar. The best practice is to hire a trucking lawyer and let him decide whether (and when) to speak with these people before a claim is brought.
Yes, but after you hire a lawyer. Your own insurance company may want to talk with you about how the wreck occurred, what damage was done to your car, and learn about your injuries. In general, it is a good idea to have a lawyer present with you (by conference call) when you call your own insurance company. Why? Generally, these conversations are recorded. Therefore, you want to make sure you are organized, have thought about what you want to say, and are prepared to protect your rights. Sometimes, when underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage is involved, you and your own insurance company may actually have adverse interests. In these situations, you definitely need legal representation because the insurance company will often seek to minimize your injury claim.
You may. Traffic citations are not admissible as evidence in civil, personal injury cases unless the cited individual pleads guilty. In other words, if you plead not guilty and a judge or jury determines that, legally, you are guilty, the mere fact that you received a traffic ticket does not harm you in an injury case. Traffic tickets are given based upon the responding police officer’s judgment after conducting some sort of investigation at the scene of the accident. Sometimes, officers “get it right” and sometimes they “get it wrong.” If you believe that a truck driver, not you, was at fault—or more at fault than you—it is worth the time to speak with a lawyer about whether you have a good case against the trucking company.
These investigating officers, often called a SCRT team (Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team), are highly trained officials whose job it is to investigate major injury and fatality wrecks throughout the state of Georgia. At any given time, there are generally five SCRT teams spread out through the state and these officers respond quickly when major truck collisions occur. They gather evidence, speak with witnesses, photograph the wreck scene, take measurements, and mark the roadway. These actions are undertaken in an effort to reconstruct, as best they can, how and why the collision occurred. Often, law firm hired accident investigators conduct their own inquiry, utilizing many of the same technologies employed by the SCRT team.
You need someone who understands big truck lawsuits. Lawyers, like doctors, focus upon different areas. You would not go to an eye doctor to have your leg evaluated. So too, you should not go to just any “injury lawyer” for a tractor-trailer case. The distinctions between car and truck wrecks are too numerous to discuss in detail on a website page. Suffice it to say, big trucks, their drivers, and trucking companies are governed by far different rules than those regulations that apply to normal passenger cars. Truck drivers almost always have to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), which requires many hours of training (and carries with it the responsibility to drive like a professional on the road). The mechanics of a wreck, stopping distance, impact zones, and injuries are usually different in truck wrecks. When seeking a lawyer to handle a tractor-trailer collision, consider asking:
Things You Should Know About Atlanta Truck Accidents
Distracted driving is a large problem for people operating regular passenger cars. Distracted driving is a huge problem for truck drivers because of the massive pieces of machinery which they operate on the roadways and highways. The FMCSA performed an outstanding study of distracted driving and the operation of commercial trucks. The FMCSA has banned texting while driving a large truck and may soon ban cell phone use by truck drivers unless a hand-free device is used.
The use of alcohol is, of course, regulated regardless of whether one is driving a car or tractor-trailer. However, the use of alcohol is strongly monitored and regulated in connection with the operation of commercial vehicles. In fact, the FMCSA precludes the use of alcohol for a number of hours before operation of a big truck. Further, alcohol testing of truck drivers is mandatory in many post-accident scenarios, regardless of whether the responding police officer believes that alcohol played a role in the wreck.
Driver fatigue or “tired driving” is an issue which has become increasingly important in recent years. The FMCSA actually sets forth rules and regulations pertaining to whether a driver is even allowed to operate a tractor-trailer when he may be fatigued. We have handled cases where various documents (the bills of lading, driver’s logs, and meal receipts) show that the truck driver had been driving for too long and was obviously drowsy, thereby causing a wreck.
When a small car is stopped or disabled on the side of a road or highway, it may present a problem for passing motorists. When a huge tractor-trailer is disabled on the roadway, the vehicle presents a grave danger for those in the area, particularly if visibility is limited. The truck and trailer are usually massive pieces of machinery. If a passing car collides with the tractor or trailer, there is usually a terrible consequence. The FMCSA has set forth numerous rules which a driver must follow if his truck becomes disabled in or around the roadway. We have seen many cases of motorists colliding with stopped or disabled trucks which were not appropriately marked and did not have the necessary reflective triangles deployed.
It is important to understand that Georgia, and most other states, impose their own rules on commercial drivers and vehicles. Generally speaking, the FMCSA rules are the most important for lawsuits involving truck claims. The Georgia Public Service Commission (GPSC) regulates motor carriers which operate within the state of Georgia only (i.e., intrastate carriers). In practice, the GPSC had adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations as the law for motor carriers in Georgia.
We encourage you to review our past results in trucking cases, review what our prior clients have said about our work, and then call our firm for a free evaluation of your trucking case. The Atlanta truck accident lawyer is ready to help you today.
As an Atlanta truck accident attorney, I have seen many tragic cases of people badly injured or killed by a truck driver who should never have been on the road. Many truck wreck cases are focused upon the truck driver’s history of accidents while driving commercial vehicles. However, it is important to investigate whether the truck driver even should have been behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer.
First, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates that, with very limited exceptions, anyone operating a commercial vehicle (think big truck, tractor-trailer) must have a Commercial Driver’s License. CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) Applicants must have a “good” driving record. To the FMCSA, a “good driving record” means that during the two years before the driver tries to get a CDL he has not had his license suspended, revoked, and has not had any serious traffic or driving offense (which would be disqualifying) as noted in 42 C.F.R. 383.51. The common sense purpose behind these rules is that the federal government (and by extension state governments) do not want people who have proven themselves unsafe in passenger cars to be operating a 60,000 pound truck.
A truck driver is also permitted to have only one driver’s license. This allows for consistent and effective monitoring of the driver’s license. In addition, a driver must demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skill with respect to the inspection and operation of a tractor-trailer.
Knowing that even a skilled and qualified driver may cause a serious wreck, the FMCSA mandates that trucking companies maintain a minimum level of financial responsibility. This serves to provide at least some compensation to victims of truck accidents.
As an experience trucking accident lawyer, Mr. Goldner has represented a number of clients who have been injured in collisions with semi and other commercial trucks. Some people experience immediate and obvious injuries at the accident site. Others suffer pain extreme pain after some time before seeking treatment. Insurance adjusters typically argue that any delay in treatment shows that the accident and injuries were “not that serious.” The insurance companies try to paint the injured accident victim as someone who is out for money only and trying to “milk” the accident.
I have seen two primary “delayed” injuries. First, people who suffer broken ribs in car and truck wrecks often do not know that their ribs are broken until xrays are taken. Estimates are that 10% of patients admitted to the hospital after blunt force trauma (for example, an accident victim’s chest impacting the steering wheel) suffer a fracture of one or more ribs. In today’s day of cost-saving medicine, physicians are sometimes reluctant to order xrays of trauma victims. The failure to “look inside” via chest xray sometimes results in rib fractures going undiagnosed until the patient follows up for subsequent symptoms.
Another “delayed injury” we often see in serious truck accidents is bleeding in the brain. A brain bleed may present in many fashions, including subdural hematoma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, among others. Sometimes, the brain injury and bleed presents immediately at the accident scene. However, frequently, the bleeding is delayed. This situation can be dangerous where a car wreck victim present to an emergency room after an accident and undergoes a CT scan which is interpreted as clear. Then, confusion or a headache occurs later in the day. These symptoms are a tell-tale sign of a brain bleeding and injury.
The first thing that will take place is an investigation into the accident. A personal injury attorney can initiate the investigation on your behalf, just as the insurance company of the at-fault party will be initiating their own investigation.
The next thing your Atlanta truck accident attorney will help you do is file a lawsuit in civil court. They will begin the process of discovery, gathering evidence to help prove your case.
Mediation is the next step. This is an out-of-court process where all parties will meet and try to come to a settlement that is fair to everyone involved. In many cases, the opposing parties will be kept in different rooms and a mediator will act as a go between.
In the event that an agreement can be made, the case will move to trial. Both sides will present evidence and a jury or judge will deliberate and come to a decision. The decision is legally binding and must be abided to.
Many victims of trucking wrecks do understand that where a case is filed matters. People who suffer serious injuries during a trucking wreck are understandably focused upon healing and then find a trucking lawyer who can assist them with their case. As a trucking injury lawyer practicing in Fulton and Dekalb County, Atlanta, Georgia, I have seen first hand how the county (otherwise known as the venue) where a case is filed may dramatically affect the case. How?
Counties, like states, differ in terms of the socio-economic make-up of their residents. There are “red” and “blue” states and counties. Typically, conservative counties award less money than so-called liberal counties. Importantly, however, you cannot simply choose whichever county you want. The Georgia Constitution and subsequently-enacted statutes mandate where a citizen can file any lawsuit, including a personal injury action.
Generally speaking, residents of Georgia must be sued “where they reside.” Importantly, many lawyers do not know that trucking companies are frequently subject to being sued in the county where the accident happened. If the trucking company is an intra or inter-state motor common carrier, they are subject to suit in the county where their driver caused the wreck. Note that, for example, a Home Depot truck carrying supplies from one Home Depot to another would not fall within this statute because that truck would not qualify as a common carrier in that instance.
Clients are frequently surprised by the analysis that must go into the decision regarding where to file a lawsuit. There are numerous considerations, including but not limited to: is the defendant driver/trucking company well-known and/or well-liked within the county; how long has the plaintiff lived in the county; how quickly can the plaintiff expect to get her case to trial; are the juries in the venue known to be reasonable with monetary awards; etc.
If you have been involved in an Atlanta truck accident, reach out to an experienced truck and semi-truck accident attorneys for assistance. An Atlanta truck accident attorney will be able to advise you as to your legal options in Georgia.
Common Causes of Atlanta Truck Accidents
A truck crash is often more serious than an accident between two passenger vehicles. The force that a truck packs means that colliding with one often causes more serious injuries to the occupants of the vehicle. Knowing why truck wrecks most often occur can help keep everyone on the road safer.
1. Driver Error
Like all drivers, sometimes truck drivers make mistakes. They may drive too fast for the road conditions, they may drive recklessly or even drive while impaired. That being said, most trucking accidents that are attributed to driver error are because of passenger vehicle drivers. This means that truck drivers need to drive defensively when they are sharing the road with smaller vehicles.
2. Driver Fatigue
Drivers are limited by federal law as far as how many hours they can spend on the road. This doesn’t mean that drivers aren’t getting in their cab and heading down the road when they are too tired to do so. Lack of sleep, inadequate exercise and poor eating habits can all lead to driver fatigue. Truck drivers are urged to not get behind the wheel if they believe that they are too tired to drive safely.
3. Improper Vehicle Maintenance
A truck needs to be maintained just like any vehicle. When a trucking company or other owner fails to perform routine or necessary maintenance on their vehicle, it creates a potentially dangerous situation. A driver should inspect their rig at the start of every trip and submit a report. Failing to inspect and maintain a vehicle can lead to a truck wreck, and in the worst cases, fatality.
4. Improper Loading
Commercial trailers have to be loaded according to procedure and regulations. When a trailer is loaded improperly, the cargo can shift and affect the way the truck operates. A driver can easily lose control of their vehicle when cargo shifts suddenly. This loss of control can cause an accident that leads to severe injury.
5. Inclement Weather
Poor weather conditions can easily lead to an accident. If a driver isn’t properly trained for driving in inclement weather, they may not know how to respond to changing weather. Nothing short of experience will prepare a driver for operating their rig in bad weather, but a driver can slow down and increase their stopping distance.
Being involved in an truck wreck is a harrowing experience. If you are lucky enough to walk away, you may still be left with emotional trauma. If the truck driver is found to be at fault, our Atlanta truck accident attorneys will do everything in our power to get you the compensation you deserve.
By: Jennifer F.
I was involved in an accident where a delivery truck ran a red light and hit my van. I injured my neck and needed surgery and I knew that I needed an attorney that would make sure me and my family were taken care of. Andy did just that! He walked us through each step and was always honest with us about what to expect. He was able to negotiate a great settlement without going to court and we are so grateful for everything he did for us!
Law Offices of Andrew Goldner, LLC | Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer | Atlanta Semi Truck Accident Attorney
Phone: (404) 869-1580