Trucking incidents in Georgia can result in the most severe forms of injuries imaginable. Because truck operators maneuver such colossal and potent vehicles, when they become negligent, individuals suffer injuries. Almost 200 drivers in Georgia die annually in truck accidents. As the quantity of trucks on the road increases, so does the number of individuals injured and killed.
When a car and truck collide, the passengers in the car are bound to sustain some severe injuries. A vehicle simply cannot endure the force created by a large truck. If you or your loved one has suffered harm and requires an Macon truck accident lawyer, reach out to the Joe Durham Law Firm. We would be delighted to answer your inquiries during a costless evaluation of your accident claim.
What Are Some Common Macon Truck Accident Causes?
Our Macon-based attorneys for truck accidents possess knowledge of the statistics. They are familiar with how many people suffer injuries or die annually due to truck collisions in Georgia. With such a high number of fatalities caused by truck accidents, 18-wheeler accident attorneys in Georgia are busy. They have been handling truck accident cases for decades. Most truck accidents occur due to:
- Driver fatigue leading to falling asleep at the wheel
- Operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Inexperienced drivers
- Tire and wheel malfunctions
- Hazardous road conditions
- Misjudging distances between vehicles and overhangs
- Cargo shifting
- Equipment failure
- Commercial vehicles not maintained correctly
As you can observe, truck accidents are not entirely distinct from car accidents. Truck drivers work strenuously, and sometimes they overwork. After spending extended periods driving long distances, truck drivers in Georgia are more prone to accidents. Most of these accidents are due to operator negligence, but product and maintenance issues can also play a role.
One factor unique to truck accidents is that the truck driver maintains meticulous driving records. They must document the hours and miles they cover every day. If they are excessively tired or overworked, their records usually reveal the long hours. Your truck accident attorney can access these records, which may be challenging for you to do on your own.
What if the Truck Driver’s Insurance Company Refuses to Pay a Claim?
Managing truck accidents is just as challenging as dealing with car accidents. There is an assumption of negligence on the truck driver’s part, but your attorney must still prove your case. That is why seeking medical care promptly after your accident is crucial. You must document your injuries for your insurance claim.
In an ideal scenario, your claim would be completely settled within days of the accident. Unfortunately, there is a possibility that the truck driver’s insurance provider may refuse to pay your claim. This usually occurs for one of the following reasons:
- The insurer contends that you did not sustain any injuries
- The insurance company believes that you were at fault
- You have prior medical conditions or previous injuries
- The commercial driver was not insured
- You have a track record of filing claims against commercial drivers
- You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision
- The policy was invalid
Your Macon truck accident attorney will strive to get your claim paid. They understand that it is in everyone’s best interests to settle your claim. If the claim is not paid, your attorney will need to file a lawsuit. Insurance providers want to avoid litigation as much as you do. Lawsuits are time-consuming, and they are costly. They usually cost the insurance company more than what they would have paid for your claim in the first place.
What Evidence Will Your Truck Accident Injury Lawyer Need?
Irrespective of how apparent the truck driver’s negligence may seem, presenting evidence to prove your case is still necessary. The insurance company has a vested interest in refuting your claim, as every payout they make is a loss in profit. Thus, even if the evidence points to the truck driver’s fault, a battle may still ensue. Having an experienced truck accident lawyer by your side to fight this battle is essential.
One thing you must do is take photographs of the accident site. Your attorney can utilize these images to demonstrate how the accident occurred. If the truck driver was negligent, the pictures should corroborate that. Your lawyer can engage an accident reconstruction expert to testify about how the collision happened. If the truck was speeding, your attorney must establish that it was. If it veered improperly into another lane, evidence must show it.
Another crucial step is to contact the police. Even if the truck driver promises that their insurance company will cover your claim, you must call the police. A police report serves as a record of the accident and usually contains information that may be difficult to obtain later on. For instance, the report generally includes eyewitness information. If your case goes to trial, your attorney will want to speak to any eyewitnesses.
Your Macon Truck Injury Attorney Must Prove Your Injuries
The most significant blunder you can make after an accident is to decline medical care. Consulting with a physician is the only way you can prove that you sustained injuries. It also helps establish that you received injuries when you claim you did. Waiting for days after the accident to seek medical attention makes your attorney’s job harder.
By doing so, you give the insurance company an opportunity to assert something other than the accident caused your injuries. They may contend that something occurred between the accident and your treatment, resulting in your injuries.
Truck accidents can cause several common injuries, such as:
- Back injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones and cuts
- Facial disfigurement
- Spinal cord injuries
- Permanent disability
Any of these injuries alone can be excruciating. When combined, they can be disastrous or even fatal. You may require surgery and physical therapy, which can lead to mounting medical expenses. The truck driver’s insurance company must be held accountable for these bills. It is your trucking attorney’s mission to get you compensation for your injuries.
How Will Compensation Will Be Determined After a Truck Accident?
The amount of compensation you receive after a truck accident may depend on various factors. There are both economic and non-economic damages in such cases. Your compensation resulting from a commercial truck accident will cover monetary costs such as:
Current medical expenses – this includes all hospital care fees, emergency room visits, surgery, appointments with medical professionals, and assistive devices.
Future medical expenses – compensation for future medical expenses.
Lost wages – compensation for lost wages between the time of the truck accident and the settlement of your case.
Loss of earning capacity – if the victim can demonstrate what precisely occurred at the time of the accident, it may be easier to obtain the required compensation. The defending party may usually calculate the amount the victim could be earning if the accident had not occurred.
Non-economic damages resulting from the accident may include:
Pain and suffering – compensation for all physical suffering resulting from the truck accident injuries. Your lawyer will consider factors such as the extent of your injuries and the expected duration of suffering when calculating your compensation.
Mental anguish – victims may experience emotional distress, embarrassment, fright, nervousness, worry, grief, and other forms of emotional suffering following a truck accident.
Loss of consortium – compensation may be granted to parents, minors, and spouses of victims. In the event of the victim’s death following the truck accident, the offender may be required to pay additional compensation.
If the attorney can prove that the offender willfully attempted to cause the accident, punitive damages may be awarded in addition to economic and non-economic damages. These damages may include imprisonment, as well as monetary compensation.
How is Negligence Proven After a Truck Accident?
In the event that you or someone you know has suffered an injury following a semi-truck accident, it is essential to establish negligence on the truck driver’s part, as well as any other party deemed responsible. Your truck accident attorney will help you present evidence demonstrating that the driver neglected their responsibilities and duties, and that they were negligent and the cause of the accident.
Some examples of negligence that apply to commercial truck drivers include running a red light, speeding, texting while driving, and falling asleep at the wheel.
Given the high-risk nature of commercial trucking, FMCSA has mandated that commercial truck drivers adhere to the following regulations:
- Maintain a logbook documenting their driving hours
- Record every break taken and all services rendered
- Adhere to scheduled maintenance requirements
- Follow regulations on proper loading procedures for hazardous materials and cargo
- Refrain from using controlled substances, drugs, or alcohol while on the job
- Limit 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, typically weigh more than 80,000 lbs. This is equivalent to the weight of 20 standard passenger cars combined. While laws and regulations dictate that commercial truck drivers should not drive for more than 10 hours a day, there are various financial incentives for drivers to exceed these limits, which puts the safety of other motorists at risk.
Bigger Insurance Policies
Truck drivers have insurance policies designed to cover all types of accidents. However, these policies are typically worth as much as 50 times the standard car accident policies and often worth millions. As a result, insurance providers named in these lawsuits are resourceful and extremely meticulous when it comes to avoiding liability.
Experienced insurance providers use a range of methods and techniques to avoid full payouts, including offering settlements that may appear to be significantly high but are often less than the compensation you deserve.
A reliable and experienced truck accident attorney can help you avoid these tactics and ploys used by insurance carriers. They will also ensure that you have a clear understanding of each step involved in your case.
An Increase In Property Damage
Commercial 18-wheeler freight trucks carry a substantial amount of weight in motion, significantly outweighing standard vehicles on the road. When combined with their massive size, accidents involving these trucks often result in greater damage to the surrounding area than collisions between two or more standard-sized cars.
Injuries That Are More Serious
The harm commonly endured in vehicle collisions becomes much more severe when a commercial truck is involved. Such incidents often demand extensive medical attention and recovery due to the intensity of injuries sustained, which may encompass fractures, broken bones, whiplash, and lacerations. The impact of freight trucks can result in significantly more substantial and potentially fatal injuries.
Medical Bills That Are Much Larger
Due to the heightened risk of severe injuries, recuperating from commercial truck accidents usually entails longer hospitalizations and time off work. For many victims, returning to work may not be possible, leading to financial hardships such as loss of income.
Fortunately, with a compassionate and reliable personal injury attorney such as Joe Durham Jr. P.C., you can expect to receive compensation that reflects the extent of your suffering, pain, and lost time. Their expertise can ensure that you are properly compensated for the impact of the accident on your life.
Increased Chance Of Death
Crashes involving big rigs or semi-trucks have significantly higher fatality rates compared to those involving regular cars. According to the FMCSA, these types of accidents claim between 3,000 to 5,000 lives annually.
Given the alarming statistics and the available resources at the disposal of trucking companies and their insurance providers, it is essential to seek the services of a trustworthy truck accident lawyer to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
The initial step is to obtain a free case evaluation to determine if hiring an attorney is the right choice for you.
How a Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You
While you focus on recovering from your truck accident injury, your attorney will work to obtain compensation for the damages relevant to your case, including lost wages, property damage, medical bills (past, present, and future), pain and suffering, permanent disability, and diminished earning capacity. To achieve this, your lawyer needs to have a clear understanding of what transpired.
During your initial consultation with a truck wreck attorney, it’s crucial to bring along as much information as possible to provide your lawyer with ample time to prepare your case against the insurance company.
Essential documents to carry include the accident or police report, contact details for witnesses, medical records, wage and tax records, pictures of the accident scene and your injuries, and insurance information for both drivers.
Your Macon truck accident attorney will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to by negotiating with the insurance company for a fair settlement. If negotiations fail, your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf, but it’s essential to remember that in Georgia, you have two years to file a lawsuit, so time is of the essence.
Contact an Macon Truck Crash Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident due to no fault of your own, it’s crucial to contact a truck injury lawyer at 229-351-5320. The first consultation is free and provides you with the peace of mind you need during this difficult time.
The coming months may be challenging, and having a truck wreck attorney by your side can make it easier for you. A Macon truck accident attorney can provide you with the necessary support and help you navigate through the legal process.