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 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 Case
The financial difficulties you face after being in wreck with a semi truck or commercial truck 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 accident 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.
Medical Bills for Truck Accident Injuries
With medical bills piling up after your Atlanta truck accident, you may be wondering, “How am I going to pay for my health care?” Your first option is to file a claim with your health insurance to pay for emergency room treatment, doctor’s office visits, physical therapy, and more. If your medical provider offers to bill your auto insurance to cover your bills, ask them to bill your health insurance company first. Your car insurance should only be an option if your health insurance denies your claim.
If you were not solely at fault for the accident, you may seek compensation through a lawsuit in Georgia. Our Atlanta truck accident attorneys will help you pursue the best possible legal options available to you.
Don’t neglect to pay for your medical bills while waiting for an outcome in your truck accident case. If you do, you may be sent to collections by your health care provider. You may need to pay out of pocket for some expenses before you receive your settlement amount. Your attorney will fight to get you the compensation you deserve so you won’t have to add financial troubles to the list of your worries.
Keep in mind that Georgia’s comparative negligence law states that the percentage of the compensation you receive is based on your contribution to the cause of the wreck. For example, if you are found to be 30% at fault for the accident, you will receive 30% less than the total amount of your expenses. Your truck accident lawyer will help you understand what level you may be considered at fault for the crash.
Commercial Vehicle Codes to know when Talking to a Truck Accident Attorney
- 40-8-2: Unsafe vehicles, DPS safety rules authority
- 40-8-3: Load dragging on roadway
- 40-8-7: Operating unsafe vehicle
- 40-6-50(b): Driving in emergency lane, gore, or median
- 40-6-52(b): Improper lane use on multi-lane highways
- 40-6-254: Unsecured loads
- Learn more about these and additional codes at Georgia Department of Public Safety
Truck Accident FAQs
What Is Jackknifing?
Jackknifing occurs when a semi truck’s trailer swings from side to side until it eventually swings around and hits the cab of the trailer. This most often happens when the trailer is connected on a low pivot point. Jackknifing is most common with empty or lightly-loaded trailers. This is due to the fact that, the heavier the trailer is, the more it bears down on the road, increasing the traction the trailer has with the road.
One of the easiest ways truck drivers can avoid jackknifing is by driving at safe speeds, and avoiding hard braking around turns and curves.
What Are Truckers’ Hours of Service?
Truck drivers are only allowed to drive a certain number of hours before they must rest. Due to the high demand placed on truck drivers to meet delivery deadlines, these regulations are often stretched, if not ignored altogether.
Truckers may drive no more than 11 hours after they have rested for 10 consecutive hours. In addition, they may not drive more than 60 hours within 7 days, or 70 hours within 8 days. That clock restarts after at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty. There are other rules in place, but these are the most common.
Where Are a Truck’s “No Zones”?
Due to the size of semi trucks, there are large blind spots in the front and back of the trucks, in addition to the sides. These “no zones” should be avoided by other drivers. On the left of the truck, truck drivers are unable to see the next lane over along the side of their trailer. On the right, they are unable to see the two lanes along the side of the trailer.
Truck drivers are also unable to see the first 20 feet in front of the cab, and the 30-foot area directly behind them. Avoiding driving in these areas can help deter truck accidents.
How Is a Truck Accident Different from a Car Accident?
Due to the sheer size and weight of semi trucks, truck accidents are much more different from car accidents. First and foremost, truck accidents usually cause much more serious injuries. They are also more likely to result in death. The severity of these accidents is often caused by the fact that semi trucks have large blindspots and have more trouble braking quickly.
Liability in truck accidents is much different as well. In car accidents, the driver is almost always held liable. However, truck accident liability may fall on the driver, the company, and/or the truck manufacturer.
What Causes Semi Truck Rollovers?
Semi truck rollovers happen when a truck travels along a curve, and centrifugal force causes the trailer to lean away from the direction of travel. While this can happen to any vehicle, it happens to semi trucks most often because the trailer has a high center of gravity.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about half of all rollovers happen due to speed along a curve, the side of the load, the condition of the truck’s brakes, road surface conditions, and intersection conditions. They may also happen due to inattention or oversteering.
Why Wide Turns Are Dangerous
When semi trucks need to make tight turns, especially right-hand turns, they often swing outward to avoid hitting obstacles, such as the sidewalk or utility poles. Unfortunately, when they do so, they may hit other vehicles to the left of the truck. In addition, they may pin down drivers on the inside of the turning lane, crushing their vehicle.
Though truck drivers receive training for making these turns safely, and passenger vehicle drivers are taught to give trucks a wide berth for turns, wide or swing turns can result in devastating accidents.
How Common Are Rear-End Collisions with Semi Trucks?
Semi truck accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Passenger vehicle drivers may cause the accident, or a system malfunction within the truck may cause a collision. However, about 22 percent of semi truck accidents involve a truck rear-ending another vehicle within the truck’s lane of travel.
This may happen for a variety of reasons, including the truck driver losing control of their rig due to speeding, brake systems malfunctioning, poor road conditions and more. Rear-end collisions can cause devastating damage and injury.
What Is a Lost Load?
Truck accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. One that seems the most avoidable is lost load. This happens when cargo shifts around in a trailer and eventually causes the trailer doors to open. The cargo then falls out onto the road, which can cause a highway to be shut down while the lost load is being cleaned up.
For drivers traveling behind a semi truck that loses their load, the cargo can cause serious injuries. The driver may lose traction with the road due to the cargo on the ground, or their car may be directly impacted by the cargo as it exits the trailer.
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