Truck accidents in Georgia often result in severe injuries, and the consequences can be catastrophic. Due to the sheer size and power of trucks, even a momentary lapse in a truck driver’s attention can have devastating consequences.
Each year, nearly 200 drivers in Georgia lose their lives in truck accidents, and as the number of trucks on the road increases, so too does the number of people who are injured or killed.
In the event of a collision between a car and a truck, the passengers in the car are likely to sustain significant injuries.
A car is simply no match for the force of a large truck impact. If you or someone you care about has been injured and requires the assistance of an Douglas truck accident attorney, reach out to the Joe Durham Law Firm.
We offer a free evaluation of your accident claim and will gladly answer any questions you may have.
What Are Some Common Douglas Truck Accident Causes?
Our trucking accident lawyer in Douglas is well-versed in the statistics surrounding truck accidents in Georgia.
They have extensive experience handling truck accident cases, given the high number of fatalities caused by truck accidents in the state. Most truck accidents are caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Inexperienced drivers
- Tire and wheel failure
- Unsafe road conditions
- Misjudging the gap between cars and overhangs
- Cargo shifts
- Equipment failure
- Improperly maintained commercial vehicles
While truck accidents share similarities with car accidents, there are some unique aspects to consider. Truck drivers often work long hours and may become more prone to accidents as a result.
Many truck accidents are caused by operator negligence, though issues related to product and maintenance may also play a role.
One unique aspect of truck accidents is that truck drivers maintain meticulous driving records. They must log the hours and miles they drive each day, which means that their logs can reflect long hours worked when fatigue or overwork is a factor.
Your truck accident attorney can access these logs on your behalf, which is a task you may not know how to handle on your own.
What if the Truck Driver’s Insurance Company Refuses to Pay a Claim?
Handling truck accidents is no easier than handling car accidents. There is typically a presumption of negligence on the part of the truck driver, but your attorney will still need to prove your case.
That is why it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly after your accident. You must document your injuries to support your insurance claim.
In an ideal scenario, your claim would be paid in full within days of your accident. Unfortunately, there is always the possibility that the truck driver’s insurance company may deny your claim. This typically occurs for one of the following reasons:
- The insurer disputes that you suffered injuries.
- The insurance company believes that you were at fault for the accident.
- You have pre-existing conditions or old injuries.
- The commercial driver was not insured.
- You have a history of filing claims against commercial drivers.
- You were drunk or under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident.
- The policy was not valid.
Your Douglas truck accident attorney will work diligently to ensure that your claim is paid. He or she understands that settling your claim is in everyone’s best interests.
If your claim is not paid, your attorney may need to file a lawsuit. Insurance companies generally want to avoid lawsuits just as much as you do because they are costly and time-consuming.
In fact, they usually cost the insurance company more than it would have if they had paid your claim in the first place.
What Evidence Will Your Truck Accident Injury Lawyer Need?
Even if the truck driver’s negligence seems apparent, you must still present evidence to prove your case. Insurance companies have a vested interest in denying claims because every dollar they pay out represents a loss in profit.
As a result, even if the evidence suggests that the truck driver is at fault, the process can still be a battle. It is essential to have an experienced truck accident lawyer at your side to help you fight this battle.
Taking pictures of the accident scene is crucial. Your lawyer can use these pictures to demonstrate how the accident occurred, and if the truck driver was negligent, the pictures should prove it.
Additionally, your attorney may hire an accident re-creation expert to testify as to how the accident happened.
If the truck was speeding or shifted lanes improperly, your lawyer must present evidence to support these claims.
The pictures you take at the accident scene can play a significant role in establishing liability.
In addition to taking pictures of the accident scene, it is essential to call the police. Even if the truck driver promises that his insurance company will pay your claim, you should still call the police.
A police report serves as official documentation of the accident and often contains information that may be difficult to obtain later on.
For instance, the police report typically includes eyewitness information, which may be invaluable if your case goes to trial. Your attorney will want to speak with any eyewitnesses to strengthen your case.
Your Douglas Truck accident Attorney Must Prove Your Injuries
Refusing medical treatment after a truck accident is the biggest mistake you can make. Seeing a doctor is the only way to prove that you sustained injuries and to demonstrate when they occurred.
Delaying medical treatment can make your lawyer’s job more difficult, as it gives the insurance company an opportunity to dispute that your injuries resulted from the accident. Common injuries sustained in truck accidents include:
- Back injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones and lacerations
- Facial disfigurement
- Spinal cord injuries
- Permanent disability
Truck accident injuries can be incredibly painful, and a combination of injuries can be devastating or even fatal. In many cases, surgery and physical therapy are necessary, leading to significant medical bills.
The truck driver’s insurance company should be held accountable for covering these expenses, and it is your trucking attorney’s responsibility to seek compensation for your injuries.
How Will Compensation Will Be Determined After A Truck Accident?
The compensation you receive after a truck accident will depend on various factors, including economic and non-economic damages. Examples of economic damages that your compensation may cover include:
Current medical expenses, including hospital fees, emergency room visits, surgery costs, appointments with medical professionals, and the cost of assistive devices.
- Future medical expenses – such as compensation for ongoing medical treatment or therapy.
- Lost wages – covering the period between the accident and the settlement of your case.
- Loss of earning capacity – which may be calculated by the defending party based on what you could have earned if the accident had not occurred.
By demonstrating the specifics of the accident, victims can receive appropriate compensation for loss of earning capacity.
Non-economic damages resulting from a truck accident can also include:
- Pain and suffering, compensating the victim for physical suffering caused by their injuries. The extent of the injuries and expected duration of suffering are considered when calculating compensation.
- Mental anguish, which can result from emotional distress, embarrassment, fright, nervousness, worry, or grief.
- Loss of consortium, which compensates spouses, parents, or minors of the victim. In the event of the victim’s death, additional compensation may be awarded.
If the lawyer can prove that the offender acted willfully in causing the accident, punitive damages may also be awarded. These damages may include jail time, in addition to monetary compensation for economic and non-economic damages.
How is Negligence Proven After A Truck Accident?
In a semi-truck accident, determining negligence on the part of the truck driver or any other party responsible is crucial if you or someone you know has been injured.
Your truck accident lawyer can help you provide evidence that the driver failed to fulfill their responsibilities and duties and was negligent, resulting in the accident.
Examples of negligence in commercial trucking include running a red light, speeding, texting while driving, and falling asleep while driving.
To ensure safety in commercial trucking, the FMCSA mandates that commercial truck drivers must adhere to specific regulations, including:
- Keeping a logbook of their driving hours.
- Documenting every break and service taken.
- Meeting scheduled maintenance requirements.
- Following the correct loading procedure for hazardous materials and cargo.
- Abstaining from controlled substances, drugs, or alcohol while on the job.
- Limiting driving to under 10 hours per day.
How Is A Truck Accident Different From A Car Accident?
Commercial semi-trucks, also known as big-rigs or freight trucks, can weigh over 80,000 lbs, which is equivalent to the weight of 20 standard passenger cars combined.
Despite regulations limiting commercial truck drivers to a maximum of 10 hours of driving per day, financial incentives often push drivers to exceed these limitations, thereby endangering the safety of other motorists.
Bigger Insurance Policies
Truck drivers have insurance policies that cover all types of accidents, but they are typically worth 50 times more than standard car accident policies, with most policies worth millions.
Because of this, insurance providers named in these lawsuits are resourceful and extremely meticulous when it comes to avoiding liability.
These seasoned insurance providers use various methods and techniques to avoid full payouts.
They may offer settlements that seem significantly high, but they are often much less than the compensation you deserve.
An experienced and trustworthy 18 wheeler accident attorney can assist you in avoiding these tactics and ploys that the insurance carriers use.
They will also ensure that you fully understand each step of the process involved in your case.
An Increase In Property Damage
The commercial 18-wheeler freight trucks translate into a hefty amount of weight in motion, which significantly outweighs the standard vehicles on the road.
This in combination with the massive size of these trucks, usually means that damages to a surrounding area are always going to be much greater when compared to collisions between 2 or more standard-sized cars.
Injuries That Are More Serious
The injuries that are usually sustained in car accidents are typically a lot more devastating when caused by a commercial truck, which usually requires far greater medical care and recovery.
This can include anything from fractures, broken bones, whiplash, and lacerations. The injuries that are sustained from freight trucks will always be significantly greater and even life-threatening.
Medical Bills That Are Much Larger
With an increased likelihood of serious injuries, recovering from these types of accidents usually involves a lot more time off work and longer hospital stays.
Truck accident victims often are unable to go back to work which translates into financial implications such as loss of earnings.
When you have a compassionate and trustworthy personal injury attorney like Joe Durham Jr. P.C. you are provided with an idea of the amount of suffering and pain, and the time your case is actually worth, to ensure your compensation is fair.
Increased Chance Of Death
The accidents that involve big rigs or semi-trucks also result in far higher fatality rates when compared to regular accidents with cars.
The FMCSA, released statistics that states that accidents involving trucks claim anything from 3,000 to 5,000 lives every year.
When taking these staggering and frightening statistics into consideration, and the resources that are available to the trucking companies along with their insurance providers.
A reliable truck accident lawyer is your best chance of getting what you deserve.
An assessment at no cost of the case is the first important step that you need to take to choose whether you want to hire an truck accident attorney or not.
Damages Your Truck Accident Attorney will Demand Include:
After a truck accident that caused you injury, your attorney will work to pursue compensation for damages that apply to your case, including:
- Compensation for lost wages
- Coverage of medical bills incurred in the past, present, and future
- Payment for the reduced capacity to earn a livelihood
- Settlement for permanent disability resulting from the accident
- Coverage for the damage caused to the property
- Compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by the accident
During your initial consultation with a truck wreck attorney, it’s essential to provide as much information as possible.
This will enable the lawyer to understand what happened and prepare your case against the insurance company. To ensure your 18 wheeler accident attorney has the necessary details, make sure to bring the following with you:
- The accident or police report
- Contact information for all witnesses
- Medical documentation
- Pay stubs and tax records to prove wages and earning capacity
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Pictures of your injuries
- Insurance information for both drivers
Your truck accident attorney in Douglas will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. This may involve negotiating with the insurance company to secure a fair settlement.
However, if a settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer will prepare and file a lawsuit on your behalf. It’s important to remember that in Georgia, you only have a two-year window to file a lawsuit.
So it’s crucial to provide your lawyer with as much information as possible to give them a head start in building your case.
Contact an Douglas Truck Crash Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you have been injured in a truck accident due to no fault of your own, it is recommended that you contact a truck injury lawyer.
You can schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer for free, which will give you the opportunity to find the peace of mind you need during this challenging time.
The next few months following the accident are likely to be tough, but having a truck wreck attorney by your side can make things easier for you.
A Douglas truck accident attorney can assist you in navigating through the process and provide you with the support you need.