Frequently Asked Truck Accident Questions
Truck Accident FAQ’s
How are truck accidents different from car accidents?
Truck accidents are usually much worse than passenger vehicle collisions, mainly due to factors like vehicle weight and lack of immediate stopping power. A loaded 18-wheeler can weigh roughly 80,000 pounds, while most cars weigh less than 4,000 pounds. Because trucks are so heavy, they need significantly more distance to stop, especially when travelling at a high speed. As a result, when a passenger vehicle collides with a truck, the former is almost always at a significant disadvantage, meaning the driver and passengers in the smaller vehicle are more likely to suffer severe injuries or even death.
What are the most common types of truck accidents?
Some of the most common types of truck accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions caused by a truck’s longer stopping distance.
- Poor visibility due to huge blind spots. This may cause a truck driver to fail to see other vehicles when changing lanes or turning.
- Rollovers due to severe weather or poor road conditions.
What should I do if I’ve been injured in a truck accident in Georgia?
The post-accident steps are generally no different than if you were involved in a passenger vehicle accident.
First and foremost, make sure everyone is okay. If you or anyone else is badly injured, you’ll need to be transported to the nearest emergency room.
If you are able to stay at the scene of the accident, you should write down the truck driver’s company and insurance information. Gather contact details from any witnesses so you can reach out to them with questions as to what they saw. You should also document the scene by taking pictures or videos. After you’ve gathered the necessary information and received medical attention, it’s time to get in touch with an experienced truck accident attorney to help you with your personal injury claim.
Is the truck driver responsible for the accident?
While the truck driver may have caused the accident, they may not be the only liable party in your personal injury claim. Unlike typical car accidents, liability in a truck accident is much more complicated and can include the driver’s employer, loading facility, repair facility, the state department responsible for road upkeep and manufacturers of defective truck parts.
While a truck driver may be liable for their driving, their employer may also be at fault for hiring an unskilled driver or incentivizing drivers to exceed federal limits on consecutive driving hours.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, it may be in your best interest to work with a Georgia truck accident lawyer who can identify who’s liable in your specific case.
How much does it cost to hire a truck accident attorney in Georgia?
Many personal injury attorneys offer free legal consultations. During a consultation, an attorney will carefully examine the details of your accident and injuries to see if you have a case. This is usually a good time to present any evidence you have gathered, such as pictures, witness statements and medical bills for your injuries.
If a lawyer takes on your case, chances are they work on a contingency fee basis. This means that instead of paying your attorney an hourly rate, you pay them a fee only if the outcome is favorable. In other words, if your lawyer negotiates a favorable settlement, you’ll be asked to pay a percentage of what you’ve won.
You won’t be required to pay anything out of pocket and your settlement may end up being significantly higher than it otherwise would be had you not hired a lawyer.
What damages can I recover?
As a plaintiff, there are several types of damages you can recover in a personal injury case. These damages are meant to help you recover from your injuries and reclaim the life you had prior to the accident.
Examples of damages you can recover in a truck accident case include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Emotional suffering
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of consortium
If the trucking company calls me, should I speak to them?
No, you should avoid any communication with the trucking company or their insurer after filing a claim. The insurance carrier is working for their client (the truck driver or their employer), and their goal is to minimize the trucking company’s liability and either reduce or deny your claim all together.
Your truck crash lawyer will likely recommend you leave all the communication with the defendant to your legal team, since they have the experience to skillfully handle things on your behalf without jeopardizing the outcome of your case.
What evidence is used in a personal injury case involving a truck accident?
If you file a personal injury claim, you (and your legal team) are responsible for gathering the necessary evidence to prove your case. Since truck accident cases can be complicated, consider hiring a skilled attorney who knows how to investigate truck crashes.
There are several types of evidence your attorney may need to obtain, including:
- Access to the truck’s black box records containing information like the speed and tire pressure at the time of the accident
- Inspection records
- Trucker’s driving record
- Witness testimony
- Police report
- Pictures from the crash
- Cell phone records (to establish if the truck driver was texting while driving)
Keep in mind, evidence in your case should be obtained as soon as possible to avoid running into potential problems like lost or destroyed records or witnesses having problems recalling important details.
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