The Georgia Truck Accident Guide was created by The Gunnels Law Firm to help injured residents obtain maximum compensation. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation.
Driving on the road with a truck can be very frightening when they are doing something they’re not supposed to be doing. These vehicles are massive and an accident with one of them can be catastrophic. If you have made your way to this page, it is probably because you have been seriously hurt in a truck accident. We want to express how very sorry we are. Our Atlanta truck accident lawyer is here to help you get through this difficult time. We will do everything in our power to go after the liable party’s insurance company and get you the result you need. Your compensation will cover your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. After you read up about your case, please do not hesitate to give us a call to set up a free initial consultation with our lawyer.
Georgia Truck Accident Statute of Limitations
To have a successful case, you need to bring your claim or settle it in civil court within the given amount of time. In Georgia, your given amount of time (or statute of limitations) is two years from the date of the truck accident. That means you are given a deadline in which to either bring your claim or have it settled. If you wait past the two year deadline, you lose your right to compensation. We suggest hiring an attorney as soon as possible so that they have as much time as possible to build you a strong case.
How Georgia Truck Accident Compensation Works
Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state which means that you can collect compensation even if you are partially at fault for the accident. You will however have a reduced award. If you have been deemed 10% at fault for the accident, then your compensation award will be reduced by 10% which is something we try to keep from happening to you. If you are mostly at fault, then you will be barred from receiving compensation. Our Georgia truck accident lawyer will do everything they can to get you the fullest and fairest amount of compensation.
First Step of a Successful Truck Accident Case
The most important step you can take after your truck accident is getting the medical attention you need. Odds are your injuries are severe due to the nature of this accident. If an ambulance shows up, it is most likely the best idea to get on it. Your health is the most important thing in this scenario and you need to get your injuries tended to right away. If you wait to see a medical professional, you run the risk of worsening your condition. You also risk having the insurance company use this against you. Your medical records serve as evidence in the case and they will look at it as such. If you have a gap in treatment, they are going to say that they won’t give you compensation because your injuries couldn’t have been bad enough to need immediate medical treatment or that you lied about how you got the injuries. The best option is to get to an emergency room, urgent care center, or primary doctor as soon as you are able to.
Avoid Talking to the Liable Party’s Insurance Company
The insurance company that represents the liable party will be reaching out to you shortly after your truck accident, possibly while you are still recovering from your injuries in the hospital. They know that you might be of impaired mind, perhaps on pain medication that keeps you from having sharp reasoning. They call under the impression that your cooperation will help resolve the case quickly. While that may be true, it does not mean that you will necessarily be getting the result you need. You have no legal obligation to talk to them and we encourage you not to. You do not need to and it most likely will not help you. They ask you for a recorded statement so that they can catch you saying something wrong. When they do that, they get to reduce the compensation they owe you or throw out your case entirely.
Frequently Asked Truck Accident Questions
How Do I Pick the Right Attorney?
A really difficult time in a person’s life can be when they have been injured as the result of a motor vehicle collision that is caused by a commercial truck. There are some very specific things you need to look for in hiring a personal injury attorney if you have been injured in one of these accidents. The first thing is experience. Working up a commercial truck case is not the same as working up a car wreck case. There are many different things that go into consideration because of the way the laws are structured in regard to commercial truck drivers. Commercial truck drivers are professional drivers, so there are a lot more stringent regulations that go into operating those vehicles. There is a lot of federal regulation that you have to work through in order to be able to properly handle a commercial truck case. We have experience in handling these types of wrecks and working through all of the relevant information in order to properly work up a commercial truck wreck case.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you want a law firm that has been able to deliver results in these types of cases. It’s important to know that the law firms or attorneys that you’re talking to know their way around these cases and aren’t going to be figuring it out as they go.
Another thing to make sure that you understand about these cases is you want an attorney who has experience taking commercial truck wreck cases to trial. Often, commercial truck wreck cases rely significantly more on expert witnesses than a general car wreck case. You need an attorney who has experience with those types of experts and with presenting these cases to a jury. You’re not looking for an attorney who will just work these cases up without the requisite experts and take an insurance company’s best offer, regardless of whether it’s a good resolution for you or not. You want to have an attorney that you know will take a case all the way to trial, if necessary. Sometimes you need a jury to force these insurance companies to give you a fair resolution to your injury claim.
What Mistakes Should I Avoid Making?
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you want to make sure you avoid these common mistakes that could ruin your case before it has even started. Commercial vehicle wrecks are much different than general auto wrecks and need to be handled differently.
We often see people who have harmed their case because they didn’t immediately seek medical attention after the incident. Often, we have people that wait multiple weeks before they actually go seek treatment. Once you have started that process of receiving medical treatment, make sure you follow through with it. We see people all the time who have harmed their case because they didn’t follow through with their treatment. Don’t miss treatment, because you will have insurance companies who latch onto those gaps in treatment and claim that you must not have been as injured as you say.
Finally, make sure that you immediately hire a lawyer who knows how to handle commercial vehicle wrecks so that they can get the process started. It is crucial in commercial vehicle wrecks to hire an attorney who knows how to handle these cases because evidence needs to be preserved immediately. If that evidence is not preserved, then your case is going to be infinitely harder to prove and document. Make sure that you hire an experienced attorney who handles these cases regularly.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
When clients come in to see us over a commercial truck wreck, one of the first things they want to know is the value of their case. That’s not something that can be determined until the full extent of your injuries is known, which requires you to complete your medical treatment and find out if you are able to make a full recovery. A case where you fully recover is not worth the same as a case where you’re not going to recover. Those are things that have to be looked at to determine the value of a case. When you’re talking about a commercial truck wreck, these are often cases that have substantial injuries.
Another thing that generally makes commercial truck cases more valuable than individual car wrecks is the way that Georgia law is applied to them, in that juries are typically more willing to pay more for personal injuries when it is a corporation on the defense side. They typically think that corporations have more money and, therefore, it won’t be as big of an impact to them as it would be to a sole individual. Those cases have more value to a jury, and they have more value when you’re talking settlement with insurance companies as well.
Another thing to keep in mind, in terms of personal injuries arising from commercial truck wrecks, is that, for the most part, the value of your injury is going to be capped at the amount of liability insurance that the defendant has. When you have a commercial vehicle that has caused the wreck, there’s generally going to be a lot more insurance involved. These are all types of things that can greatly affect the value of your case, as well as the extent of your injury.
Do I Need to Have a Minimum Amount of Medical Bills?
When we have clients come to see us about injuries they’ve sustained in accidents with commercial trucks, often they want to know how much value they need to have in medical expenses to warrant pursuing one of these claims. The answer to that goes back to what type of injuries there are. Sometimes you can have very significant injuries that have very minor medical expenses associated with them, and those are definitely worth pursuing. For example, if you have a significant scar as a result of the accident, those cases have significant value to them, even though they may not have a whole lot of medical expenses associated with them.
On the other hand, you may have a situation where you have $150 in expenses from a hospital visit, and the next day you’re fine. The value of the recovery for those cases is just not enough to warrant spending your time filing a lawsuit. You’ll spend a lot more money on one of those cases than you’ll receive in the end, and nobody’s looking to do that.
The best thing to do if you’ve been injured in a collision with a commercial vehicle is immediately contact a personal injury attorney. They can help you evaluate your claim and walk you through the process to make sure that you have everything aligned properly.
Do I Need to Give a Recorded Statement?
We’re often asked by people whether they should give a recorded statement when they’ve been involved in a wreck involving a commercial vehicle. The answer to this question is no. Don’t ever give a recorded statement to an insurance company, especially when you don’t have a lawyer present. While people may think they are helping their case by doing this, in fact, the exact opposite is true. Insurance companies utilize trained insurance adjusters and examiners who know how to ask questions in a way that will lead to vague answers that will hurt your claim later on. There’s no reason to give these statements. It’s not required, and there’s nothing positive that can be gained from it from the perspective of the injured party. If you’re ever asked to give one of these statements and you don’t have an attorney, make sure you don’t give that statement. Hire an attorney immediately.
How Long Do These Cases Take?
We are frequently asked in trucking cases how long it’s going to take to resolve the case. The answer to that question is it varies from case to case. In comparison to a general car wreck case, a commercial truck case will often take much more time to resolve than a car wreck case does. That’s because commercial truck cases are often a lot more evidence-intensive than a car wreck case. With a car wreck case, there is often clear liability. That’s not always the case in trucking accidents.
Additionally, because there are different regulations that apply to truck drivers and to truck owners, it’s important that you work through and you find out all the information about whether they complied with those obligations. For a trucking case, if there are very significant injuries, you can expect one of those cases to have to be put into litigation, which, from that point, would probably mean you can expect a couple of years before you get a result. Sometimes those cases will settle prior to having to go to trial, but a lot of times they have to go to trial because trucking cases often involve very significant injuries and the insurance companies don’t want to pay what those cases are worth.
Call Our Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident, please do not hesitate to give our office a call to set up a free consultation. Your case is a priority to us and we will treat it as such. When you need a dedicated, supportive, and competent Atlanta truck accident lawyer, we are here to help you. We will collect your evidence and protect it from going missing, we will talk to your witnesses to make sure we have the testimony we need, and we will go head to head with the insurance company to get you the best possible result; the result that you deserve to get.