The Georgia Code sets a specific statute of limitations for truck accident claims when filing a lawsuit for either injuries or property damage. For bodily injuries and any harm you suffer to your person, you have two years to file a lawsuit according to Statute 9-3-33. Similarly, you have four years to file a lawsuit for lost, damaged, or destroyed property, based on Statute 9-3-32.
These timelines began when the event that caused your damages and injuries occurred. Missing the deadlines in these statutes of limitations may cause you to forfeit any right you have to seek compensation from an at-fault party.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 4,700 people were killed in accidents involving large trucks on U.S. roadways in 2017. The vast majority of the victims—almost three-quarters of them—were the occupants of other vehicles. Because of their size and weight, trucks can cause catastrophic accidents.
These accidents also involve multiple vehicles more often than passenger car accidents. As such, truck accidents can cause a devastating amount of damage, not to mention bodily injuries, personal losses, and death to those involved.
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Causes of Truck Accidents
Many factors can cause or contribute to a truck accident, with the main one being driver negligence. Negligence can range from distracted and fatigued driving to reckless or aggressive driving. Speeding, texting, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are all forms of driver negligence.
Distracted driving can also encompass many different actions. The most common distractions for drivers include applying makeup, eating, using electronic devices, and interacting with other passengers while driving.
Vehicle malfunctions such as tire blowouts, brake failures, or missing brake lights can also contribute to an accident. Improper vehicle maintenance can also play a role in truck accidents specifically, as truck loaders may not properly secure cargo to the bed of a truck. Road damage, potholes, uneven lanes, slick surfaces, improper lane markings, and poor signage cause accidents as well.
Common Injuries and Damages
The factors listed above can lead to a host of different types of accidents, such as rollovers, sideswipes, and frontal or rear-end collisions. Each of these can result in severe injuries and damage to the drivers and vehicles involved. Injuries commonly seen in truck accidents are as follows:
- Trauma to the head, neck, back, or spinal cord
- Damage to internal organs
- The loss of body parts or body functions
- Broken or fractured bones
- Nerve, muscle, and tissue damage
- Burns, cuts, and puncture wounds
- Facial disfigurement, eye injuries, and dental damage
- Paralysis and death
Other losses and/or damages you may suffer in a truck accident include:
- Vehicle damage.
- Property damage.
- Lost income.
- Reduced earning ability.
- Incidental expenses.
- Higher insurance premiums.
- Medical care and treatment costs.
Medical care costs, in particular, can be very high. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may face multiple surgeries, physical therapy in the long-term. You may wish to seek compensation for your losses and damages if you have grounds to do so.
To file a claim for damages after a truck accident, you must know what the relevant truck accident claims statutes of limitations are, but you must also know whom you can potentially sue for damages. This means you must identify the at-fault party and prove his or her liability in your accident case.
In truck accident cases, at-fault parties are usually one of the following:
- The driver, if he or she acted negligently or carelessly behind the wheel.
- The truck owner or operator, if he or she was guilty of inadequate driver training, poor hiring practices, or failure to meet safety codes and standards.
- A parts manufacturer, for equipment failure and malfunction cases.
- A service or maintenance team, if unprofessional, inadequate, or incomplete repairs led to an accident.
- A government or local municipality, if road damage, signage, or traffic control device issues contributed to an accident.
After identifying the at-fault party, you must collect evidence such as police reports, dashcam or surveillance footage, and eyewitness testimony to prove your case. You must also evaluate your losses and damages. You can do this using medical reports, your treatment records, vehicle maintenance and service invoices, and salary slips or pay stubs to prove lost income.
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Seeking Legal Guidance
The team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers is just a call away if you need assistance and legal guidance with a truck accident case. We may be able to help you identify the at-fault party responsible for your accident, collect the evidence needed to prove your case, and file the relevant paperwork within the statute of limitations. It takes time to build a case and gather evidence and interview witnesses, so please reach out today at (678) 562-5595 to get the legal process underway.