Because of trucks’ massive size and weight, truck accident victims often suffer serious injuries that leave permanent damage. Unlike passenger vehicles that usually only have one party at fault, there may be multiple parties liable in a truck accident. However, what should injured parties do if the truck that hit them leaves the scene of the accident? Our truck accident Macon GA lawyers answer this question below.
Are Hit and Runs Illegal in Georgia?
If you are injured in a truck accident and the driver flees the scene, that will affect your case moving forward. In the state of Georgia, it is against the law for any driver to flee the scene of an accident. Furthermore, parties are required by law to report the accident to law enforcement or exchange contact information with the other drivers involved.
The only time it may be permissible to leave the scene of an accident is if the owner of the damaged property is not available. In this case, the driver who hit them is responsible for leaving a note on the damaged property. However, with truck accidents, this scenario is unlikely to apply.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident if the Driver Left the Scene?
If the driver of the truck left the scene, there are several important steps you should take:
- Call 911: If the truck driver failed to pull over, call 911 as soon as possible. They can gather information for the police and call for medical help. Also, they may be able to locate the driver once you provide them with detailed information.
- Write down everything you experienced: You should do this regardless of whether the driver remained at the accident scene. Take photos and videos of the damage to your vehicle, road hazards, and weather conditions. If there are witnesses, get their names and contact information. If you can, try and jot down any information about the truck driver and their vehicle. This includes the driver’s physical appearance and make, model, and color of their truck. If it had a logo on it, jot that down, too. If possible, try and snap a picture of their license plate before they leave the scene.
- Contact your insurance company: Drivers in Georgia aren’t required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. However, regardless of whether or not you have it, contact your insurance company to report the accident. Keep in mind, though, that what they try to offer you may not be nearly what you deserve. This leads us to our next point.
- Schedule a consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney: As mentioned above, insurance companies aren’t working for you – even though they may claim otherwise. Often, insurance companies will underpay your claim or outright deny it based on innocent comments they may try to spin you as being at fault. An experienced attorney won’t let you get taken advantage of like this. They understand the insurance company’s tactics, so they know how to work against them. Furthermore, they will investigate the details of your claim and work with law enforcement to track down the truck driver.
Common Causes of Georgia Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, like:
- Aggressive and distracted driving
- Fatigued driving due to trying to meet or exceed delivery deadlines
- Improper cargo loading
- Lack of training
- Bad weather such as snow, ice, and rainstorms
- Poor vehicle maintenance
All truck drivers in Georgia are required to hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to operate an oversized, commercial vehicle. Furthermore, drivers are required at both a state and federal level to not exceed certain hours per week. In Georgia, truck drivers are not allowed to exceed 60 hours in a seven-day work week. Similarly, they must not log more than 14 hours per shift, including the mandatory three hours of break time for rest or cargo loading. Georgia truck drivers must also take a 30-minute break once they’ve reached their eighth hour of driving.
Common Injuries Sustained in a Truck Accident
As noted above, the injuries sustained in a truck accident are usually severe. Often, injured parties will need surgery, rehabilitative services, and ongoing medical care. In some cases, they may no longer be able to work or conduct their day-to-day activities.
The most common injuries sustained in a truck accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of limb/amputations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Blunt force trauma
- Serious neck injuries
- Broken bones
How Long Do You Have to File a Truck Accident Claim in Macon, Georgia?
Georgia residents have two years from the date of the truck accident to file a personal injury claim. This is the statute of limitations. In other words, this is the legal time frame you have to bring forward a claim. Once this window closes, so does your ability to collect compensation. Considering the extensive injuries and ongoing treatment associated with truck accidents, accident victims will need compensation in order to move forward on the road to recovery.
Were You Injured in a Truck Accident With a Driver Who Refused to Pull Over? Don’t Handle This Fight Alone!
Handling the aftermath of a truck accident can be scary. But with the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer in Macon, GA, the process doesn’t have to be. At Reynolds, Horne & Servant, we have years of experience handling the most complex truck accident claims. Even though it’s against the law, truck drivers do sometimes leave the scene of the accident or refuse to pull over. When this happens, it can immediately put you in a stressful situation you don’t deserve to be in.
Our attorneys recognize this, which is why we will fight for you and your rights after a truck driver failed to pull over and do the honorable thing. Call us today at (478) 217-2582 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free truck accident consultation.