Truck Accidents

Helping Injured Victims in the Heart of Georgia

Unfortunately, traffic accidents are a fact of life. But when they involve tractor-trailers or other large commercial trucks, the results can be devastating. People can be seriously hurt, and their lives forever changed. Truck accident attorney Jon R. Hawk knows the tremendous impact these accidents can have on victims, and fights to help them get the compensation they need.

Interstate 16, I-75 and the I-475 bypass are among the most heavily traveled highways in Middle Georgia. Every day, thousands of heavy logging trucks, flatbeds, 18-wheelers and commercial vans haul millions of pounds of equipment, materials and freight through the area. And every year, trucks and commercial vehicles are involved in crashes that result in injuries or fatalities. Many crash victims turn to the Macon law firm Jon R. Hawk, Sr., LLC to hold negligent parties responsible.

Jon represents people who have been hurt in all types of truck accidents. The details of the crash can be different in each case. But any type of accident can leave you seriously hurt.

How did your accident happen?

Why did your accident happen?

A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. But other commercial trucks are also large and heavy. Logging trucks. Delivery vans. Construction vehicles. An accident involving any kind of commercial truck can cause injuries that turn your life upside down. You may need hospitalization, surgery, therapy and medication. Recovering from your injuries can take months or years. Some injuries are permanent.

Negligent parties that caused the accident can include the driver, the trucking company or in some cases, manufacturers of defective vehicles or parts. There may be more than one party at fault for the accident. Jon gets the facts in your case and holds all negligent parties responsible.

Fighting to recover compensation

Injury claims involving commercial trucks are complex. There are federal regulations governing truck safety, and the large over-the-road freight companies often self-insure. Many have local investigators on the scene of an accident immediately, and all of them will fight aggressively to protect themselves from heavy financial liability.

Jon has his own legal team, and we work for you. We’ll investigate the accident to find evidence of negligence. We review documentation and talk to witnesses. We can visit the accident scene ourselves to learn more about what happened. We’ll act fast to preserve evidence, such as trucking company records and black box data from the truck’s electronic control module.

The insurance company may make a lowball settlement offer, hoping that you will take it and just go away. That’s not good enough. Jon makes sure that any resolution to your case includes the financial compensation you need to recover as much as possible.

He builds a strong case that the insurance companies can’t ignore, and is often able to negotiate a settlement that works for you. But Jon is also known for his litigation skills, and will fight for you in court, if that’s what it takes. He is proud of the case results that have helped clients rebuild their lives after an accident.

If you were injured or your loved one was killed in a truck accident, you deserve aggressive legal representation that will stand up to the teams of lawyers on the other side. Talk to Jon R. Hawk. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

“How did your accident happen?”

Jackknife

In these accidents, the trailer swings out from the cab at an angle that looks like a jackknife. It happens when the drive-axle brakes of a tractor-trailer lock up. This causes the trailer to skid. Jackknife accidents are dangerous because the driver can’t bring the tractor-trailer to a stop. As a result, the truck crashes into everything in its path, and can cause serious injuries.

It can be challenging to prove negligence in a jackknife accident. Jon and his legal team reviews every piece of evidence during an investigation of the accident. We’ll look for signs that the driver was speeding or distracted. We also check to make sure the driver had received proper training.

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Truck Rollover

This type of accident is very dangerous, especially on Georgia highways. It happens when the wheels of the truck lift up off the road. The truck then rolls over on its side or upside-down, often into the path of oncoming cars. Rollover accidents can cause severe damage, and people can be seriously hurt.

Different factors can lead to a truck rollover accident. These include speeding, sudden changes in steering, improperly loaded cargo and hitting an obstacle on the road. A truck can also roll over after jackknifing. Jon and his legal team investigate the accident to look for evidence of negligence by the driver, the trucking company, or sometimes even the manufacturer.

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Underride

A tractor-trailer driving down the road brakes suddenly. The driver of the car directly behind it is unable to stop in time to avoid a collision. The car crashes into the rear of the tractor-trailer, and slides underneath it. This can lead to serious injuries for people in the car, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, loss of limbs and broken bones. Injuries may be fatal.

Jon and his legal team conduct an investigation into your accident to look for evidence of negligence. Trucks are supposed to be equipped with underride guards that prevent these types of accidents. Or, the guard could have been defective. In some cases, the driver may also have been distracted, or driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

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Lost Load

When cargo is not properly secured and balanced in trucks, it can come loose during transit. This can cause an accident in a couple of different ways. The imbalance created by shifting cargo can make the truck more difficult for the driver to control. Or, on flatbed trucks, the cargo can come loose and spill out onto the road, crashing into oncoming cars.

Lost load accidents can cause serious injuries. Jon and his legal team will review all documents related to the crash and interview all witnesses as part of a thorough investigation. Jon will hold negligent parties responsible and seek financial compensation for your injuries.

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Tire Blowout

In this type of accident, a tire on a truck blows out suddenly on the road. The driver struggles to maintain control of the truck. This can be quite difficult if the driver is on the highway, traveling at high speed. Before the driver is able to bring the truck to complete stop, the truck is likely to crash into any cars in its path.

There can be different reasons for a tire blowout. The trucking company may not have followed federal regulations regarding truck maintenance. Or the tire manufacturer may have supplied a defective product. Jon and his legal team will find the facts and hold the negligent party or parties responsible.

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Wide Turn

Tractor-trailers are very big and very heavy, and can’t make sharp turns. When the driver needs to make a turn, it has to be a wide one. The truck doesn’t have a lot of space to operate in, and may temporarily enter another lane of traffic. The driver needs to be alert, and make the turn carefully and slowly.

But when the driver is careless or makes the turn too fast, the truck can easily crash into a car, causing injuries to the people inside. Jon and his legal team investigate the accident to look for signs of negligence. For example, the driver may have been distracted or fatigued. Jon holds negligent drivers responsible, and fights to get you the compensation you need to recover.

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“Why did your accident happen?”

Texting Trucker

Texting while driving by truckers is against both federal regulations and state law. But there are some truckers who ignore laws banning texting. The danger is that texting takes a trucker’s eyes off the road. This can lead to a serious accident, even if the driver was only distracted for a few seconds. Texting by truckers is especially dangerous, because of the weight and size of commercial trucks.

Jon and his legal team will conduct a thorough investigation of your accident. They will look for evidence that the trucker was driving at the time of the crash. This evidence can include phone records and witness statements. Then Jon will fight to hold that trucker responsible.

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Drunk or Drugged Truck Driver

Driving any vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is extremely dangerous. These substances slow the reaction times of drivers and affects their ability to make good decisions. It is easy for a truck driver who is under the influence to cause an accident that leaves people seriously hurt.

Our legal team conducts an investigation of your accident to look for signs of alcohol or drug use by the truck driver. Sometimes, the driver has been tested by the police, and there is documentation. We also talk to witnesses, who may have seen the driver drinking or using drugs before the crash.

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Speeding Truck

Truck drivers usually have a deadline to deliver their cargo. Sometimes they will exceed the speed limit to try to make up time. But a speeding truck is an accident waiting to happen. Because of its size, it takes longer for a speeding truck to come to a complete stop. Ignoring speed limits increase the risk of a truck getting into an accident that causes serious injuries.

Jon knows where to find evidence that a truck driver was speeding, which establishes negligence. In some cases, speed will be noted on the accident report completed by the police. Jon will also seek data from the truck’s black box, which records the truck’s speed just before the crash. The trucking company may also have given the driver an unrealistic delivery schedule, which is also negligent as the driver can be tempted to speed in order to make that deadline.

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Fatigued Truck Driver

Driving a truck means spending long hours on the road. Spending too many hours behind the wheel leaves a driver fatigued. A very tired driver is not safe on the road. Fatigue causes drivers to react slower and make poor decisions, which can lead to an accident. That’s why federal regulations specifically limit the number of hours a commercial truck driver can spend on the road.

But some drivers try to get some extra time on the road to meet their deadlines. That’s why Jon and his legal team seek access to the driver’s hours of service (HOS) logs that they are required by law to keep. Jon will also interview witnesses and seek the truck’s black box data to determine if the logs are accurate.

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Truck Maintenance Issue

Trucking companies are required by law to regularly maintain the trucks in the fleet, and to make prompt repairs as needed. When this responsibility is not met, there can be a problem on the road that leads to an accident. A tire could blow out. Brakes could fail. Or something else could happen that makes it difficult for the driver to control the truck.

Jon and his legal team seek access to trucking company maintenance records to look for evidence of negligence. We check to make sure the truck was properly maintained and that any problems were fixed promptly. A trucking company is negligent if they shirked this responsibility to try to save money.

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Improperly Loaded Cargo

Drivers and trucking companies must follow specific federal regulations for loading cargo onto truck. For example, steps must be taken to ensure the cargo is properly balanced and secured. The danger of not following these regulations is that cargo can come loose during transit. This creates an imbalance on the truck, making it more difficult to control. And if the truck is a flatbed, cargo could fall onto the road and crash into other vehicles.

Improperly loaded cargo can result in accidents that leave people hurt, especially on the highway. Jon and his legal team investigates your accident to find out if federal regulations were followed. If cargo was improperly loaded, we hold the negligent parties responsible.

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