Blind Spots

Atlanta Attorney Diligently Serving Truck Crash Victims

One of the first lessons a new driver learns is to check a vehicle’s blind spot before changing lanes. This is even more important for truck drivers, since a commercial vehicle’s blind spots are much larger than in a normal car. Georgia Department of Public Health data show that, in recent years, the average number of car accidents caused by a driver’s failure to check a blind spot is about 21,000 per year. Atlanta truck accident lawyer Terrence R. Bethune has been helping victims of vehicle collisions since 1997. If you were injured because a truck driver failed to check blind spots, you may be entitled to compensation.

Injured Georgia Drivers May Pursue a Negligence Claim

People injured by the carelessness of someone else can assert their right to compensation by filing a negligence claim. A case arising out of a trucker’s failure to check a blind spot would likely be filed against the truck driver’s employer. Georgia law makes it possible to hold an employer responsible for behavior by an employee that takes place within the course and scope of his or her employment.

A negligence lawsuit requires that an accident victim prove:

  • The defendant was legally required to conform to a certain standard of care;
  • The defendant breached this standard;
  • The defendant’s lack of proper care caused the victim’s injuries; and
  • The injuries resulted in compensable damages.

The usual standard of care in crashes involving trucks or other vehicles is what an ordinary person would do in the same or similar circumstances. A commercial driver in Georgia must drive a truck with the care expected from someone driving such a large, potentially dangerous vehicle. Failing to check a blind spot is almost always a breach of a trucker’s duty, since it is a basic task necessary to safely drive a semi-trailer. The best way to prove a breach would be the truck driver’s own admission that he failed to check a blind spot. However, it is more likely that circumstantial evidence will be needed, such as showing that the trucker changed lanes with a car in a blind spot.

There will often be more than one cause of a highway collision, but the victim must show that he or she would not have been hurt if the defendant had driven with reasonable care, and that the injuries were a foreseeable result of the defendant’s negligence. After a victim successfully proves each element of a negligence claim, he or she can be entitled to damages to compensate for any physical, financial, and emotional injuries. Medical expenses, car repair bills, lost wages, and testimony about pain and suffering or emotional distress are all important pieces of evidence that help prove damages.

In some cases, a truck company may be directly liable to an accident victim in addition to its indirect liability as a driver’s employee. Failing to properly train drivers to operate their vehicles, which might explain a trucker’s failure to check a blind spot, suggests that the company did not meet its obligations under federal and state law.

Victims of truck crashes must file an injury lawsuit within a certain time frame, known as the statute of limitations. Waiting until after this period ends generally will prevent an injured person from getting compensation. Moreover, it is vital to file your lawsuit as soon as possible before evidence decays or is destroyed. Tampering with relevant evidence, which is called “spoliation,” may result in severe sanctions for any party found by the court to have engaged in it. But it is best to avoid this issue altogether by pursuing your claim in a timely manner.

Discuss Your Case With a Georgia Truck Accident Lawyer

Most truck drivers don’t intentionally change lanes without checking their blind spots. But, according to the law, even an unintentional mistake can amount to a negligent breach of a trucker’s duty. If you were injured on a Georgia highway because a truck driver forgot to check his blind spot, aggressive truck crash attorney Terrence R. Bethune may be able to help you seek compensation. Call (404) 875-7800 or visit our contact page to schedule your free case evaluation.