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Understanding Liability in Truck Accidents: Who’s Responsible?

truck accident

When you get into any type of traffic accident, you are expected to contact emergency services, wait for the police to arrive (if it is medically safe to do so), and share contact information with the other party.

While some of this protocol is designed to keep you safe and make sure you get necessary medical attention, it also helps authorities and insurance companies determine who is responsible for the accident.

Determining liability in a truck accident in Georgia is important. The liable party will be responsible for compensating the other party for damages. To fully understand your rights when you are involved in a truck accident, you need to know how liability is assigned and what it means for all parties involved.

Negligence and Liability

The most common causes of truck accidents are various types of negligence. Examples of negligence include driver fatigue, distracted driving, and failing to check mirrors when switching lanes. However, none of these examples reveal who is responsible. The liable party in a truck accident depends on the circumstances of the negligence.

For example, if a truck driver strikes your car from behind, that information alone isn’t enough to know who was liable. It is possible that the truck driver was negligently looking at their phone and didn’t notice you. However, it is also possible that you cut the truck off by swerving out of your lane while reaching for a sandwich.

When lawyers investigate the causes of truck accidents, the first thing they try to determine is negligence. This involves looking at the four elements that make up negligence:

The Duty to Care

The first element is the duty to drive safely and protect others on the road. This duty is easy to prove because every driver has this duty. When you get a driver’s license, you agree that you will follow the rules of the road and do your best to avoid causing harm to others.

Violation of That Duty

This is where the investigation truly begins. A semi truck accident attorney needs to determine whether one or more drivers ignored their duty. Most violations of this duty involve ignoring traffic regulations.

For example, if you run a red light, you clearly violated your duty to protect others. Running a red light places others in or near the intersection in danger.

Not all violations are quite as easy to identify, though. It would be more difficult to prove that a truck driver was fatigued. An attorney might need to examine the driving logs and compare them to federal regulations to make that determination.


Returning to the example where you run a red light, proving you ran the red light isn’t enough to prove you are responsible for an accident. Let’s assume you ran that red light at 4 a.m., and no one was driving along the cross street. In that situation, there is no causation between your unsafe behavior and an accident.

This could even be true if you got into an accident while running a red light. Imagine that the truck driver also ran the same red light, and the accident occurred because they swerved into your lane and not because you both ran a red light. Violating a duty to care only matters when it directly results in an accident.


The final element of proving negligence is damages. For a driver to be negligent, the other party must have suffered harm that can be proven in court. Damages are usually proven with things like medical bills or other receipts that prove losses.

In a truck accident, damages are typically easy to prove because the harm caused in truck accidents is usually quite significant.

Contact Seay Felton LLC Trial Lawyers After a Truck Accident

The truck accident lawyers with Seay Felton LLC have been committed to helping people in Atlanta and the greater Georgia community for most of their careers. Our team has over 50 years of combined legal experience and an exceptional record of getting the compensation our clients deserve.

If you were seriously injured in a truck accident, you deserve to be represented by a truck accident attorney who cares. We’ll help you understand liability in your case and how that affects your legal options.

Want to know more? Contact Seay Felton LLC today. The initial consultation is free, and there is no fee if we don’t get recovery for you.

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