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Establishing liability, seeking damages after truck accident, P.1

In our previous post, we began looking at recent proposals to address the issue of truck safety in Georgia, including reducing speed limits for large trucks and establishing truck-only highway lanes. As we noted, there are a number of established safety measures in the trucking industry and truck drivers and their employers may be held liable for violating these rules.

In any motor vehicle accident case, establishing liability requires proving specific elements, including duty, breach, causation, and harm. Safety requirements such as the hours of service rules, cargo securement rules, traffic laws, and also the general duty to exercise reasonable care in the operation of a motor vehicle can serve as a basis for liability in personal injury litigation, but gathering sufficient evidence isn’t always easy. 

The discovery process in litigation provides plaintiffs tools and opportunities to request information and documentation from the defending party, but it is important to work with an experienced advocate who knows how to navigate the process. Sometimes gathering the information necessary to establish liability requires creativity and sometimes it involves invoking the authority of the court. A skilled attorney will understand how to move the process along so that the evidence is in place to build the strongest possible case for liability.

Depending on the nature of the breach of duty, different types of damages may be available to a plaintiff. Cases where an accident occurs because of simple negligence may, in some cases, be treated differently than cases in which an accident occurs because of deliberate failures to abide by safety rules and regulations. We’ll look further at this issue in a future post. 

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