While tractor-trailers are useful at transporting items through the state and across the country, they can result in devastating, if not deadly crashes in mere seconds. If you’ve been injured in a crash, it’s important to seek legal representation from an experienced DeKalb County truck accident lawyer. The attorneys at Bey & Associates have the resources and knowledge needed to help you pursue a successful personal injury claim against the party responsible for your crash, injuries, and losses.
We understand the challenges that come with dealing with the consequences of a big rig accident that wasn’t your fault. That’s why we’re prepared to guide you through the legal process and help you get the compensation you need to recover as fully as possible. Building a claim can be complex, but we’ll break it down step by step. Let’s start by taking a look at the affect tractor-trailer crashes have on DeKalb County.
Truck Accidents in DeKalb County
With four main interstates in DeKalb County, many large trucks transport goods and services through the area on a daily basis. The constant presence of tractor-trailers contributes to the number of accidents on our roadways.
In fact, the 2020 Top Truck Bottleneck List, released by the American Transportation Research Institute, shows just how many trucks are in the area. It named seven locations in Georgia in the top 100, with three of them being in the top 10. The seven bottlenecks in Georgia include I-285 at I-85 North, I-75 at I-285 North, I-20 at I-285 West, I-20 at I-285 East, I-20 at I-75/I-85, I-75 at McDonough, and I-75 at I-85. The list assesses the level of truck-involved congestion at 300 locations on the national highway system.
While some wrecks only result in property damage and minor injuries, others have the potential to cause more serious, or even fatal injuries. When a large vehicle collides with a smaller passenger vehicle, those in the smaller car are at serious risk of sustaining fatal injuries. On December 24, 2019, a tractor-trailer overturned on I-85 South near I-285 in DeKalb County. As a result, three people were injured and all lanes of traffic were blocked.
When crashes happen locally, the repercussions can reverberate through the area. Even if you or a loved one hasn’t been involved in a crash, it’s likely you know of someone who has. That’s why our tractor-trailer accident lawyers are dedicated to helping crash victims recover.
Types of Truck Wrecks
Determining the type of big rig accident you’re in is important for your claim. Once you know the type of crash, you can start figuring out why it happened and who is responsible. Some of the most common crash types we deal with include:
- Blind Spot Accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), commercial vehicles have significantly larger blind spots than the average passenger car. Because of this, it’s important for drivers to be cautious when driving behind, in front of, or next to a commercial vehicle. Truckers are more likely to cause collisions if they aren’t aware of the presence of vehicles around them.
- Rollover. Because of their size, trucks are more likely to roll over. Taking a sharp turn too quickly or carrying cargo that’s too heavy are common causes for this type of crash.
- Underride/Override. Underride and override crashes are among the deadliest crashes. An underride happens when a passenger vehicle gets stuck under the back of a tractor-trailer. An override occurs when a truck drives over the top of the car in front of them. Tailgating and speeding are common causes of these accidents.
- Jackknife. Jackknifing happens when a tractor-trailer folds in on itself. The cab forms a 90-degree angle with the trailer. This can happen when a driver brakes too hard and too quickly. Because of the nature of this type of wreck, there’s the potential for multiple vehicles to be involved in a crash.
- Cargo Accident. Semis haul a variety of goods, so it’s important that the driver or trucking company makes sure the load is secure before any traveling begins. When cargo isn’t properly secured, it may fall onto the road, strike vehicles, or cause the trucker to lose control.
No matter what type of accident you were in, our attorneys will work to build a strong claim on your behalf. Let’s take a look at how you’re likely to be affected by the wreck.
Common Consequence of a Tractor-Trailer Crash
Because of the amount of damage a truck can cause when colliding with a smaller passenger vehicle, it’s likely the victims will have to deal with a number of consequences following the event. It’s important when filing a claim to determine just how you’ve been impacted by a crash, as that information can be used to calculate the amount of compensation you’re owed. In the majority of truck accidents, it’s likely you’ll be dealing with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial losses.
The average tractor-trailer can be 10 to 40 times heavier than a single passenger vehicle. Because of that, the potential injuries are often severe—if not catastrophic. Recovery may be painful and lengthy, especially if multiple surgeries are needed. Some of the most common injuries we’ve seen after a crash include back and neck injuries, spinal cord damage, head trauma, and burns.
Back and neck injuries can cause debilitating pain. Because of how complex the area is, it can be difficult to diagnose and treat injuries. The force of impact from a crash can cause whiplash or disc injuries. When the spinal cord is damaged, there’s a risk for paralysis. Depending on the amount of damage, a victim could be permanently disabled.
Head injuries can range from mild and temporary to life-threatening. While patients are likely to recover from a concussion in a matter of weeks or months, a more severe traumatic brain injury could cause cognitive and motor problems. Head trauma must be treated quickly and carefully to avoid any lost-lasting complications.
Burns are common in accidents that involve hazardous or flammable chemicals. Tanker trucks often haul potentially dangerous liquids and substances. When a wreck occurs, there’s the potential for a fire to start. Burn injuries are among the most painful and often take a considerable amount of time to heal.
Being in any type of wrecks has the potential to cause lasting emotional trauma. Victims may suffer from sleep disturbances, stress, anxiety, fatigue, and appetite changes. In the event the accident resulted in the passing of a family member or friend, the surviving victim could develop post-traumatic stress disorder. This heightens the symptoms of emotional trauma and can be challenging to cope with without guidance from a mental health professional.
The financial losses associated with a DeKalb County truck accident vary greatly depending on the extent of what happened. Most victims are going to have to deal with medical bills, property damage costs, and lost wages.
Medical bills can add up quickly, especially if surgeries or physical therapy are needed to aid in recovery. If you’re admitted into the hospital for any length of time, it’s likely you’ll be looking at thousands of dollars in expenses. There’s also the cost of future care and any out-of-pocket expenses you have to cover, like prescriptions.
If you’re dealing with injuries, it’s likely you’ll need to take time off work to heal. While you may have some sick days to use, there’s a chance you could need to take time off work unpaid. Even missing one paycheck can cause problems—especially when you’re not only dealing with your monthly bills anymore.
Because of the size difference between trucks and cars, the smaller vehicle is likely to sustain significantly more damage than the semi. Because of that, you could be looking at significant costs to repair or your vehicle could be totaled.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Immediately following a semi collision, it’s normal to be in a state of shock. It can be challenging to process what you’ve just been through; however, it’s imperative to understand what to do so you can protect yourself and your future.
To start, check yourself and any passengers for injuries. Even if you don’t have any visible injuries, you could have sustained internal injuries. Call 911 and wait for emergency responders to arrive. Paramedics will be able to gauge the situation and take appropriate measures.
It’s like you’ll also speak with the responding police officer about what happened. Avoid apologizing or placing any blame, speak only to what you know. You might be able to recall what you believe happened at the time of the crash, but only state facts you know for sure. Failing to do so could jeopardize your future claim.
If you can, you’ll want to exchange information with the trucker. Information like their name, contact information, insurance information, trucking company details, license plate, and driver’s license number will be needed when you file with the insurance company.
It’s also a good idea to photograph the scene and your injuries and write down any potential witness information. Your attorney will be able to use the evidence you compiled to jumpstart their own investigation.
Once you’ve been attended to medically and are ready to take action, get in touch with a DeKalb County truck accident lawyer so you can get on the path to receiving the compensation you need to recover.
How a DeKalb County Attorney Can Help
If you’re trying to decide if you need to hire a truck accident attorney, you should understand the benefits of working with one. It’s often difficult to focus on legal matters when you’re in the process of recovering from injuries. We can handle the paperwork and conversations for you, so you can place your focus on what matters most—your health. We also have extensive experience investigating truck collisions. Often times, crucial pieces of evidence need to be collected in order to prove liability. We have the resources needed to collect that evidence and present it in a way that proves you were wronged.
The sooner you hire a DeKalb truck accident lawyer, the better your chances are of maximizing your compensation and making a full recovery. Building a strong claim takes time, and it’s important to utilize that time as carefully as possible. When you work with Bey & Associates, we’ll put you on track to getting your life back in order. To learn more about personal injury law or how we can help you recover from a tractor-trailer wreck, call us to schedule a free consultation today.