Were You Injured in an car accident caused by an 18-wheeler?
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#1 Biggest Mistake Not to Make AFTER AN AUTO ACCIDENT
WHY GET AN ATTORNEY FOR
MY SEMI-TRUCK ACCIDENT?
You may need an experienced accident attorney if the following is true:
How Much is My Tractor-Trailer Accident Case Worth?
If you are wondering how much your case is worth if you were injured by a tractor-trailer, a few things need to be kept in mind:
1. Multiples parties may be responsible for your accident.
2. Trucking companies often have more insurance coverage on their trucks.
3. Settlements can vary depending on the injury, damages, and losses related to the accident.
If you get in an accident with a truck driver, and it was not your fault, there may be more money available to pay your accident-related bills and pain and suffering. The insurance on a truck is generally much higher than insurance on a personal vehicle. So, if you have a serious injury, or have lost a loved one, there would be be coverage available.
Often, Georgia semi-truck accident cases result in very large verdicts and settlements, depending on the injury, damages, and/or losses. Hiring an attorney can be crucial to making sure your family is financially compensated fairly.
NOTE: An attorney who is inexperienced with tractor-trailer cases may put you at risk of not getting as much compensation as you might with an experienced Georgia lawyer.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A
- Check your passengers – Make sure you and your passengers are safe from any oncoming traffic, and check for any visible injuries.
- Call 911 – especially if you see any injuries, and do not attempt to move any injured people (unless necessary to get them out of the road).
- Exchange insurance information with the other driver.
Don’t leave the scene, or else you might be accused of hit-and-run!
Get the other driver’s name, contact information, and insurance. If the trucker was at-fault, you should also get the name of the company the trucker works for.
- Get the police report. If you called the police, there will be a report written and available in a couple days from the accident. It’s important to obtain this right away. Murphy Law Firm would be happy to order this report for you right away.
- Collect evidence from the scene – if you are able, take pictures of the accident, including your vehicle and the truck. Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses at the scene. They might be able to testify for you later.
- Keep accurate medical records of all your injuries – make sure a medical professional documents all your injuries. You should also write a journal that states how your injuries interfere with your daily life and the activities you can no longer enjoy.
- Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance company! Insurance companies will take any opportunity to use your words against you so they can either deny your claim, or lessen the value of your claim.
WHY NOT TRUST THE
No matter how smart you are, you are no match the insurance companies and their lawyers – who have decades of experience at saving their companies money while the victims suffer.
So don’t talk to the trucking companies or the insurance companies no matter how reasonable they may seem. Don’t even trust your own insurance company! You have nothing to gain, and everything to lose.
Always deal with these big companies with the help of an experienced accident lawyer present. That’s our job: to protect you and make your case as strong as it can possibly be.
Top Questions About Georgia Semi-Truck Auto Accidents
In a semi-truck accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against multiple parties at the same time. For this reason, semi-truck accidents are somewhat more complex than car accidents, where you would typically file a claim against the other driver’s insurance (the driver who caused the accident).
In a semi-truck accident, there may be several vehicles involved who share varying degrees of responsibility for the accident. Some, or all, of the responsible drivers may be sued for compensation. A good attorney will help you go one or multiple parties, to broaden the scope of available compensation.
It is important to know how much insurance coverage is available to you, in the event you suffered very serious injuries, or even the loss of a loved one.
Parties which may be held responsible for a trucking accident include the truck driver, the truck owner, the team responsible for maintaining the truck or loading its cargo, the designer of the roads on which the accident occurred, the manufacturer of the the truck itself or any of its parts, or the truck’s lessee, if it was leased to someone not its original owner.
Of course, each case is unique. Your case may not include all, or even some, of these parties, but it will likely include at least one.
There is an important distinction between truck drivers that are employees and independent contractors:
Getting Compensation as an Employee: Some truck drivers are direct employees of the companies for whom they are driving for. If you were in a collision with a truck driver who was an employee, then their employer may be found responsible. This is known as “vicarious liability” and applies even if there was no direct liability.
Getting Compensation as an Independent Contractor: Truck drivers that are independent agents who agree to work for a company for a limited period of time are legally considered “independent contractors.” If you were in a collision with a truck driver who was an independent contractor, then it may be harder for you to get compensation from the company, unless you can prove that the company acted in negligence, causing the accident. Since there are a lot of complexities in this situation, legal advice can only be given about your case when we know the facts of your specific case.
Although you may have been involved in an accident with a semi-truck, that doesn’t automatically mean it is the trucker’s fault! We’ve actually represented injured truck drivers who were involved in a wreck because the other drivers were driving recklessly.
If you were the one who caused the accident, you shouldn’t expect any compensation through a personal injury case (although if you were driving a company vehicle, and were on the clock, you may have a workers’ compensation case).
What if both parties were at fault? In some cases, a truck driver was partly or mostly responsible for an accident, but the other driver still acted in a way which contributed to the accident. If you were the other driver in this scenario, you many still be able to collect some damages, but they will be lessened according to the rules of comparative negligence.
In most truck accident lawsuits, the plaintiff, or injured person who did NOT cause the accident, must prove the other driver was negligent, and that negligence caused you harm (such as injuries and damage to your car).
In many cases, the trucker merely breaking the law is enough to prove negligence. If a trucker runs a red light and hits you, the traffic violation shows that the trucker was negligent.
WHY TALK TO AN EXPERIENCED GEORGIA TRUCKING ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?
1. Your attorney will have knowledge of ALL the laws that will apply to your case.
2. The attorney will have a good idea of what your case will be worth, and won’t accept an offer that is lower than you deserve.
3. The attorney will know what evidence to collect, what forms should be signed (and not signed), and what to say over the phone.
4. The attorney will be able to fight for the MAXIMUM amount your case is worth.
As with other types of accidents, there are a few different types of damages that you are allowed to collect in a truck accident lawsuit.
- Economic damages: which include specific losses that can be added up, such as medical bills, damage to your car, and money you lost by not being able to work (lost wages);
- Non-economic damages: costs that are not quantifiable, such as pain and suffering;
- Punitive damages: which are sometimes awarded by a jury for no other purpose than to punish an especially egregious offender.
Of course, the types of damages which you are eligible to collect will vary – based on the details and facts of your case and the quality of your legal team.
When you hear about an accident involving a tractor-trailer on I-75, you know that it was probably an accident with severe injuries or fatalities. One factor is the considerable difference in size between a semi-truck and a passenger car. However, they still occupy the same roadways, making this a deadly combination for any accident.
A recent accident on I-75 involved an 18-wheeler that changed lanes and didn’t see a Mustang in its blind spot. The truck managed to avoid crushing the car but rammed into the pillars for the bridge overpass, injuring the driver and closing the interstate for hours.
Sharing high-speed roads requires vigilant concentration to keep your car out of harm’s way. Because tractor-trailers sit high off the pavement, a collision with a passenger car usually means the roof of the vehicle is crushed or sheared off. Far too often, the driver of the passenger car sustains critical injuries in a Georgia semi-truck accident.
You can help prevent this type of accident by taking these precautions while driving:
- Remain aware of your position near any trucks.
- There are “blind spots” around tractor-trailers in which the truck driver cannot see other vehicles, especially small cars. Take caution to ensure that you do not spend an excessive amount of time in these blind spots.
- If you are passing a semi-truck, do so quickly, so that you do not disappear from the driver’s view when you approach the cab on either side of the truck.
- The spots directly in front and behind the truck are also vast danger zones. If you can’t see the truck driver’s face in the side-view mirrors, he can’t see your car.
- Taking care not to linger in these blind spots can help you avoid an accident with a big truck and, as a result, prevent a lifetime of suffering from severe injuries.
What Are The Most Common Tractor-Trailer Driver Injuries?
As a tractor trailer driver working or living in Georgia, it is vital that you know and understand your rights to worker’s compensation benefits, as well as a personal injury claim if the accident wasn’t your fault. It is wise to seek the advice of a Georgia attorney that has experience in handling both workers’ compensation claims for Georgia truck drivers, and Georgia auto accidents. Depending upon the severity of your injury different treatment options may be available.
Injuries can occur in any occupation, unfortunately truck drivers have to deal with injuries that can leave them permanently disabled or unable to continue to work in the same capacity. Common Injuries that can happen while working as a tractor trailer driver are:
These types of injuries can occur in an auto accident or can occur when during the loading and unloading process. Crush injuries can lead to reconstructive surgery or even amputations.
This type of injury can happen when the driver is loading or unloading items onto his/her truck and lifts items too heavy for one person. These injuries can also occur when reaching or bending. These injuries include: Lumbar strain, cervical strains, shoulder strains, torn rotator cuffs, knee injuries, ACL tears or tears to the meniscus.
This injury is common among tractor trailer drivers due to the heavy materials they are constantly moving.
Often this type of injury occurs during a tractor trailer accident where the semi driver strikes their head on or against the frame or steering wheel in the cabin or if cargo in the trailer hits/falls on the driver during the loading or unloading process. These injuries can include: concussions, hematomas, swelling, and memory loss.
Spinal cord and back injuries are common with truck drivers because of impacts during auto accidents and also, because often drivers load and unload their heavy cargo. These injuries happen in the discs, ligaments, vertebrae, and muscles, surrounding or composing the spine. Injuries may include: herniated or bulging discs, fractures of the vertebrae, or muscles strains or tears.
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