If you are involved in an accident with a Semi-Truck, if you are physically able to do so, there are some steps that you should take that can help get you through the experience as smooth as possible.
First, Call the Police. Contacting the authorities is important to both making sure that everyone who needs medical treatment gets it as well as formally documenting the accident in case you have to file a lawsuit.
Usually, truck accidents cause more severe injuries, leading to larger settlement amounts. Getting an accurate police report from the authorities is a crucial piece of evidence that will be used to prove fault in your accident and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Second, Gather Evidence. If you are able to, you should gather as much evidence from the scene of the accident as possible. The important pieces of evidence you should try and get include:
By gathering relevant evidence, you strengthen the potential lawsuit you may have, potentially leading to a larger financial settlement.
Third, Contact a Personal Injury Attorney. Semi-Truck Accident Injury cases can become incredibly complex, due to the severity of injuries and the number of parties that could be held responsible. Speaking with an attorney early on can prevent you from making any mistakes that could negatively impact your case, ensure your legal rights are protected, and increase the value of your settlement.
Thankfully, most Personal Injury attorneys work on what is called a Contingency Fee Basis, as well as provide free consultations to Accident Injury Victims.
A Contingency Fee Basis means that clients do not pay any legal fees upfront, and their attorneys only collect legal fees if they win a settlement, which comes as a small percentage of the total settlement.
Working on a Contingency Fee Basis is very beneficial to Truck Accident Victims because they can rest assured knowing that their attorney will do everything in their power to maximize their settlement for them.
Even if you do not think that you were injured at the time of your accident, you should always seek out medical attention as soon as you can after the accident.
Unfortunately, there are many injuries that people sustain in motor-vehicle crashes that do not cause immediate symptoms.
Common injuries such as Whiplash can sometimes take days or even weeks to show up, and if they go undiagnosed for that long, the insurance companies will try and attribute them to a different event, meaning you will lose out on compensation for them in your settlement.
Although the sooner you act the better off you will be, just because you made the mistake of waiting to act after an accident does not mean that all is lost.
States have what is called a Statute of Limitations which provides a timeframe for which a legal claim must be filed after an accident.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. However, even though you are given a two-year window for which to act, cases are usually stronger and have larger awarded settlements the sooner they are filed.
If you are contacted by an Insurance Company after your accident, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING to them until after you have spoken with a Truck Accident Attorney. Insurance company's goals are to minimize the amount that they have to pay out in a settlement due to an accident.
Anything that you say to them over the phone regarding your accident can be used by them to argue that they should not have to pay the amount of compensation that you deserve.
An experienced Truck Accident Attorney will inform you of exactly what you can and cannot say to the insurance company, or may just deal with them directly. Following their instruction is vital to protecting the value of your case.
There are many different factors that can lead to a Truck Accident that may not necessarily be as common in other auto accidents. Some of the common causes of truck accidents include:
Many of the factors that cause trucking accidents are due to one or multiple violations by either the Truck Driver, the Trucking company, or another Third Party.
Having an experienced attorney who can investigate the cause of your accident and determine if there were any violations can help protect your legal right to compensation.
If you are involved in a Semi-Truck accident, there are multiple parties that could be held liable. Liability in your case depends on a number of different factors, but the usual guilty parties are either:
-The Truck Driver,
-The Trucking Company,
-The Company shipping the materials in the truck or
-The Party Responsible for the Truck Maintenance
Depending on what is determined to have been the cause of your accident and injuries, one or all of the above entities can share a portion of the liability. This is where having an experienced law firm thoroughly investigate your accident can help to clear up the details of your case and prove liability.
Who Can Be Held Liable for my Truck Accident?
Unfortunately, traffic accidents involving Semi-Trucks often leave victims with serious, possibly life-threatening injuries. Although every accident is different and can result in different injuries, some of the common ones include:
It is important that if you have been involved in an accident that you seek out an evaluation by a medical professional. This will ensure that any injuries you have suffered are documented, you receive proper treatment for them, and they can be included in your financial settlement.
Even if your Truck accident injury involved a Private Contractor, you may still be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries.
However, this does usually mean that the trucking company that hired the driver is not responsible for paying out damages to the victim, but instead your financial settlement will be paid out by the liability insurance provider used by the Truck Driver themselves.
Issues involving liability in trucking accidents can become complex due to situations like this where the driver is a private contractor and technically is not employed by a Trucking company. Speaking with a Big-Rig accident attorney is the best way to clear up these types of issues and determine who owes you compensation for your suffering.
Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies have more strict Guidelines that they must follow when operating their vehicles. These guidelines are written out in both Federal and State level mandates. If a Truck Driver or Company is in violation of any of these guidelines, they can be fined or lose their license.
Some of the different concepts that are covered in these guidelines include:
If it is determined that a company or driver was in violation of any of these laws, it can mean a larger settlement when it comes to your accident injury settlement.