Frequently Asked Truck Accident Questions

At Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, our truck accident attorneys have successfully represented individuals and families who have been injured in a semi-truck or 18-wheeler collision nationwide. We have provided answers to some frequently asked questions we often receive from our clients and hope that you will find this helpful in your search for an experienced attorney to help you obtain the compensation you deserve to recover after a truck accident causes you serious injury or results in the wrongful death of a loved one.

Are semi-truck accidents different than other motor vehicle accidents?

Yes. Commercial vehicles have a unique set of rules called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that govern tractor-trailers. We know these rules and how to use them to maximize the value of your case. Motor vehicle accidents involving semi-trucks or 18-wheelers also tend to result in serious personal injury or death because of their massive size and weight — as much as 80,000 pounds.

Semi-truck owners and operators are required by law to carry much higher insurance coverage than drivers of other automobiles, making the stakes much higher than other types of motor vehicle wreck cases. Trucking cases can also be expensive to bring to trial. At Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, we have the resources to match the trucking company's efforts to fight against your claim, dollar for dollar.

Who can be held responsible for injuring my family or me in a truck accident?

Certainly an at-fault driver may be held responsible for causing a truck wreck that results in injury to you, your family and any other passengers. In addition to the driver, his or her employer, the owner of the truck and trailer, the motor carrier, other involved drivers and in some instances the owner of the cargo being transported by the truck driver may be financially responsible for your injuries.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a truck accident?

Personal injury lawsuits that arise from a truck collision in Georgia must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. The statute of limitations varies for other states. You do not need to file a lawsuit the day after a truck accident, but you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to ensure that evidence is preserved and your rights are protected.

When should I contact an attorney if I was involved in a truck accident?

As soon as possible. Trucking companies often have teams come to the scene of the accident to begin their investigation. It is important to contact an experienced trucking attorney to preserve evidence, interview witnesses and begin working on your case as soon as possible. Contact our law firm so that we can begin working on your trucking case today.

How much does it cost to speak with an attorney about my options after being injured in a truck accident?

Nothing. There is no cost to meet with an experienced Georgia-based truck accident attorney at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP. Contact our firm today or to schedule a free consultation to discuss how the exceptional trial lawyers at our firm can help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve no matter where your truck accident occurred.

Can I sue if a semi-truck rear-ended me?

Commercial truck drivers have a duty not to follow too closely behind the vehicle in front of them. Safe driving habits for truck drivers include leaving a certain amount of distance between their vehicle and the vehicle ahead. A truck driver who tailgates is not following safe driving procedures, and he may be responsible for causing a wreck where he rear-ended another vehicle.

If the trucking company asks me to sign something at the scene of the wreck, should I sign it?

You should always consult an attorney before signing any documents the trucking company or its driver asks you to sign. If someone from the trucking company asks you to sign a document at the scene of the wreck, keep a copy of the document but do not sign it, and contact a qualified lawyer who specializes in trucking cases as soon as possible.

What should I do if I have been in an accident with a tractor trailer?

First, you should call 911 to get help for any injured victims and notify law enforcement of the wreck. Second, if possible get the name of the truck driver and his employer. Third, take pictures of all vehicles involved in the accident, including your vehicle, as well as any skid marks and any other evidence of the cause or effects of the wreck. You should also get names, phone numbers, and addresses of any people who witnessed the accident. Finally, you should contact a good lawyer who understands trucking cases. Butler Wooten & Peak LLP has a proven track record of success handling trucking cases for our clients.

How much stopping space should a tractor trailer leave between it and the vehicle in front of it?

A commercial truck driver should always be able to stop within the distance he can see ahead. Fog, rain, darkness, or other conditions may require that the semi-truck driver slow down to be able to stop within his sight distance. A truck driver's failure to leave an adequate distance between his vehicle and the vehicle in front of it can cause a wreck and seriously injure those involved.

How fast are semi-trucks allowed to drive?

A truck driver may not be following safe driving practices simply because he is driving within the posted speed limit. Commercial drivers must adjust their speed to account for road conditions, traffic flow, weather, visibility, and the weight of the vehicle and cargo, among other things.

Can a truck driver be at fault for an accident if he claims he hit me because he did not see my car?

Truck drivers have a duty to be aware of their surroundings and know what traffic is doing ahead of them and on all sides of the truck. If the driver did not see you before he hit you, he may not have been following safe driving practices and may be responsible for your injuries.

Are commercial trucks allowed to park or idle on the side of the road?

Like all drivers, commercial truck drivers have a duty not to do anything that would negligently endanger others. If a tractor trailer must stop on the side of the road, the driver should engage the vehicle's four-way flashers and place warning devices on the road to alert oncoming traffic. Failure to use appropriate lights and warnings can cause a wreck with devastating injuries.

Who is responsible if a defective tractor trailer causes a wreck?

Identifying when a defective tractor or trailer is responsible for causing a wreck requires a comprehensive understanding of the field of truck accident liability. Specialized experts must investigate the vehicles, the scene of the wreck, and any other evidence in the case. Where a defect in the tractor or trailer caused a wreck, the manufacturer, wholesaler, and/or sellers may be held responsible. The experienced products liability lawyers at Butler Wooten & Peak LLP can help you determine whether you have a products liability case.

Call our Georiga-based law firm today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an attorney at our Atlanta or Columbus office. Our team of trial attorneys have handled serious accident cases in courts across the United States. If you are outside of Georgia and have questions, please call to learn how we can help.