Suing a Truck Company After You’ve Been in a Truck Accident
When you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, the process of seeking compensation differs greatly from that of a regular car accident. You deserve experienced legal help to ensure your family receives all that you are entitled to under the law.
A truck accident can result in physical, emotional, and financial damage that lasts far beyond the initial accident. After meeting the highest priority — which is to receive medical care for your injuries — it is important to understand and exercise your legal rights to sue a trucking company for full coverage of your losses. Contacting an attorney may be the best way to help get your life back on track after this ordeal.
At Fried Goldberg, we have over 100 years of combined experience handling truck accident lawsuits. We revolutionized truck accident litigation thanks to founding attorney Joe Fried’s work in law enforcement when he noticed vast discrepancies between the elements of car and semi-truck accidents. The parties, injuries, and costs are not the same if you’re hit by another passenger vehicle vs. a fully-stocked 18-wheeler with an overworked employee driver behind the wheel.
We fight for our truck accident clients to make sure your unique needs are met. We have secured multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on their behalf. Contact us online or by calling our Atlanta, Georgia offices at (877) 591-1801 today — let us help you, too.
How to Sue a Trucking Company: 5 First Steps
After receiving any medical care that you need or arranging the tow of your vehicle, here are the first crucial steps to take to prepare for a truck accident lawsuit:
- Receive medical care: Even if you feel fine, internal ruptures or bleeding could be slowly harming you. Likewise brain injuries may present subtle symptoms at first that a trained medic or doctor will know to look for — getting medically checked out in your top priority after a crash.
- Call an experienced truck accident attorney: Even before you collect the other driver’s information or speak to police, if you have time at or after the accident, getting in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible is advised. Do not give any unnecessary personal information to other parties without first consulting with a lawyer. Your lawyer can help you with each of the following steps.
- Collect information and take photos: Obtain the name and insurance information of the truck driver, the company they work for, who owns the truck, and any witnesses or passengers or other drivers who may be involved. If you are able to, taking pictures of the accident site, the damage to the vehicles, license plates, road conditions, and vehicle interiors could help preserve important evidence at the time of the crash. For example, incriminating items that may be lost or later hidden/destroyed (like open containers of alcohol) can be shown to have existed in photographic evidence.
- Report to police and insurance: If police are called to the scene or come to interview you in the hospital, it’s important to state any facts or recollections you have for their report. Likewise, contact your insurance agency to let them know that an accident has taken place. Your lawyer may help with this as negotiating insurance payouts is part of our job.
- Create and keep documents: Write down or type out any relevant information you remember about the accident, as well as what you hear and observe afterward. Preserving these details while the memory is fresh could be crucial to your case. Keep all documents related to the crash report, your medical treatment, or vehicle tow/repair.
If you were immediately transported to the hospital for care, we understand you may not have been able to collect information at the scene of the accident. Our team will shoulder the task of gathering information for you, so you can give yourself the space and time you need to recover.
Once you decide to hire an attorney to pursue a claim, we can seek any additional information that will support your case. We understand the hardships you are facing, and our job is to make this process as easy as possible for you.
These are only the basics of preparing a trucking accident case. Each claim is different and requires detailed records, medical summaries, and a full investigation into the cause of the accident and damage that occurred as a result. Contact the truck accident lawyers at Fried Goldberg by calling (877) 591-1801 — we will handle these matters on behalf of your family in the pursuit of the justice and compensation you deserve.
Can You Sue a Trucking Company and the Individual Driver Who Hit You?
If you have been injured in a truck accident due to the negligence of another party, you may be able to sue the trucking company, the individual driver, or both. Knowing a few basics about accident liability can help you make this decision.
Suing the Trucking Company
There are various situations where you can sue a trucking company if they were negligent. These can include:
- Negligent hiring and retention: This is where a trucking company knowingly hires drivers who have a history of violations or who are unqualified to operate commercial vehicles. The company can also be liable for keeping such drivers on their staff.
- Inadequate maintenance: Failing to keep fleet trucks in good repair can lead to malfunctions and cause crashes.
- Failing to follow drug test protocol: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that trucking companies randomly test their drivers for drug use. Failing to do so can make them liable in the event of impaired driving crashes.
- Allowing truck driver violations: Dangerous truck operation can result if a truck company knowingly allows its drivers to violate FMSCA regulations (for instance, allowing them to drive long periods without taking mandatory breaks, thus violating Hours of Service requirements).
Also, trucking companies can be liable for situations where they approve or authorize the negligent conduct of a driver. An example of this is when the company specifically instructs a driver to drive over the speed limit so they can meet a deadline.
Suing the Individual Truck Driver
In other cases, it may be necessary to sue the individual driver for damages. Common instances of this include when the driver:
- Was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Chose to continue driving even though they were experiencing driver fatigue (for instance, if they falsified their break logs so they can drive longer than is legal)
- Failed to properly secure their load or cargo
- Made intentional choices to break the law or violate company safety policies
Suing Both the Driver and their Company
Suing both the driver and the trucking company may be necessary where there is a mix of liability between both the driver and the trucking company. For instance, a truck accident may involve faulty maintenance. If the poor maintenance is a result of both the driver’s conduct as well as the company’s policy, both the driver and the company might be held liable.
Lawsuits with multiple liability issues are complex and will require the assistance of a qualified lawyer. At Fried Goldberg, our attorneys will be able to clearly sort out liability issues in a lawsuit, so you can receive the maximum compensation you are owed.
You may also be wondering, “Can a truck driver sue me for the accident?” In certain instances, a truck driver may attempt to sue the driver of a passenger vehicle in the event of an accident. In such cases, a truck accident attorney is needed all the more to help defend against the legal claim.
Commercial trucking accident statistics show the severity and the complexity of such crashes. Any lawsuit after a truck accident will be different depending on what type of truck or trucking company was involved. Your attorney should be fully qualified to handle your case from beginning to end.
Contact Fried Goldberg at (877) 591-1801 if you are considering how to sue a trucking company. We are lawyers for all types of truck accidents, including Amazon delivery trucks, fire trucks, and bus accidents.
Contact Industry-Leading Truck Accident Lawyers
If you or your family member has been injured in a tractor trailer truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including emergency room visits and post-accident care
- Wages you lost because you were unable to work
- Property damage to your vehicle or the loss of your vehicle
- Pain and suffering, including emotional harm like depression and PTSD
- Wrongful death damages for the surviving family members of someone lost due to the crash
While no amount of compensation can undo the harm you may have experienced, a substantial settlement or verdict can alleviate financial stress as you fully recover from your injuries.
You need an attorney who knows the trucking industry and understands how to sue a trucking company to achieve a successful outcome. Not only do we have over 100 combined years of legal experience focused on the specifics of state and federal trucking regulations, but trucking cases also represent 95% of the work we do here at Fried Goldberg. We know these cases inside and out, and we’re ready to help you.
Keep in mind that every state has a statute of limitations when it comes to filing an accident claim, which in Georgia is a window of 2 years from the date of the collision. If you miss this opportunity, you may not be able to file at all. Contact our law firm right away at (877) 591-1801 for your free, no-obligation case evaluation — we may be able to begin representing you right away to pursue the justice you deserve.