The deck is stacked against truck accident victims because trucking companies have teams of lawyers and investigators who are looking out for their interests — not yours. You need an advocate on your side who is committed to protecting your rights and getting you the compensation you need to get your life back on track.
The Shrable Law Firm, P.C. levels the playing field. Our Americus personal injury lawyers have the experience and resources to take on even the biggest trucking companies. With our help, you can focus on your recovery while we pursue the full and fair compensation you’re owed.
To schedule your free consultation, contact us online or call us at (229) 349-6291.
Common causes of truck accidents
Many different factors can contribute to a truck accident. In some cases, the truck driver may be at fault, while in others, the trucking company’s negligence may be to blame.
- Driver fatigue – Truck drivers often work long hours and may be pressured to meet unrealistic schedules – this can lead to serious mistakes, such as falling asleep at the wheel. Even mild fatigue can impair a driver’s reaction time and decision-making ability, increasing the risk of an accident.
- Driver error – Truck drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which means they should have more training and experience than the average driver. However, not all truck drivers meet this standard, some may be inadequately trained, and others may have a history of traffic violations. The driver and the trucking company may be at fault if they failed to properly vet the driver or didn’t provide adequate training.
- Improper maintenance – If the truck isn’t properly maintained, blown tires or brake failures may cause an accident with severe consequences. Companies that fail to properly maintain their trucks may be held liable for any accidents that occur as a result of an accident that could’ve been prevented if they performed all regular maintenance on the truck.
- Defective parts – The truck manufacturer may be held liable for manufacturing or distributing faulty parts. The trucking company may also be liable if they were aware of the defect but did nothing to fix it or warn drivers. For example, if the trucking company received notice of a safety recall for the truck but didn’t take it off the road, they could be held liable, but if they were unaware of the safety issue there’s a chance that they wouldn’t be liable.
Common truck accident injuries
When a large commercial truck collides with a passenger vehicle, the results are often devastating. Truck accidents can cause life-changing injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Broken bones
These injuries can require extensive and expensive medical treatment, and some victims might never fully recover. Even if the original injury was relatively minor, chronic pain and other long-term problems can develop over time. Additionally, permanent disabilities can make it impossible to return to work or enjoy hobbies and activities that were once part of everyday life.
Profound emotional trauma is also common after a truck accident – post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety are all likely outcomes. These psychological injuries can be just as debilitating as physical ones, making it tough to cope with the aftermath of an accident.
In some cases, truck accidents are fatal. If you’ve lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the trucking company or other parties.
What to do after a truck accident
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it’s important to seek medical attention right away, even if there are no obvious injuries. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, may not be immediately apparent but can still be very serious and can cause irreparable harm if left untreated. Seeking medical care can not only ensure that you get the treatment you need but also create a record of your injuries, which may be useful if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
Be sure to call the police and get a report. This can be critical evidence if you decide to take legal action. The police will gather information about the accident, including witness statements and the truck driver’s information. They will also take pictures of the scene and the damage to both vehicles.
If it’s safe to do so, take your own pictures of the scene, the damage to the vehicles, and the road conditions so that you have your own record of what happened, it’s possible that your photos or videos may show something helpful that isn’t in the police’s photos.
Gather the names and contact information of any witnesses and tell them that your attorney or insurance company will likely contact them in the near future. Again, if it’s safe for you to do so, it’s a good idea to write down everything you remember about the accident while it is still fresh in your mind.
After you’ve sought medical attention and gathered evidence, you should reach out to an Americus personal injury lawyer who has experience handling truck accident cases.
In the meantime, don’t speak to the trucking company or their insurance adjusters because they may try to get you to say something that could damage your case. If you happen to answer one of their calls, refer them to your attorney as all communications need to go through them.
Don’t wait to file a claim
There’s a limited amount of time in which you can file a personal injury claim after a truck accident called the statute of limitations.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident. Exceptions may apply when a minor victim is involved or when the truck driver was working for the government. If you fail to file within the statute of limitations, you could be barred from taking legal action and recovering compensation.
Although you do have two years to take action and that seems like a long time, it’s best to avoid waiting until the last minute to file a claim. Even the best Americus truck accident attorney will need time to investigate the accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with the trucking company or their insurance carrier. Giving your lawyer ample time to work on your case while the evidence is fresh can increase the chances of a successful outcome.
Damages you may be able to recover
If you’re successful in your personal injury claim, you may be able to recover damages that are intended to reimburse the victim for the losses they suffered from the accident. These can include both economic and non-economic damages as well as punitive damages in some instances of especially appalling behavior.
Economic damages are those with a specific monetary value, such as medical bills, property damages, and lost wages. For example, if you had to miss work because of your injuries, you could recover the wages and benefits you lost while you were out. If you had to pay for any medical treatments such as hospitalization, surgery, or physical therapy, you could also recover those costs.
Compensation for future economic damages may also be an option if your injuries from the accident prevent you from working in the same capacity or from returning to work at all. If your injuries are expected to have a long-term or permanent impact on your ability to work, you could recover the future wages, bonuses, and commissions you’re expected to lose.
Non-economic damages are those without a specific monetary value that are intended to compensate the victim for more subjective losses that resulted from the accident. These can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and disability or disfigurement.
Calculating the value of non-economic damages can be more challenging than economic damages because there’s no set formula that can be used to determine the amount of damages. Instead, your attorney will look at other cases similar to yours and will present that information to the judge and jury as additional support for the amount of non-economic damages you seek.
Punitive damages may also be available in some cases. These damages aren’t intended to compensate the victim, instead, their purpose is to punish the wrongdoer and deter future misconduct. However, the victim will be the recipient of these damages if they are awarded.
To award punitive damages, the jury must find that the defendant’s actions were willful or reckless. In truck accident cases, punitive damages may be available if the truck driver was speeding, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if the trucking company encouraged or allowed the driver to break the rules of the road.
Why you shouldn’t just accept the insurance company’s offer
After a truck accident, the insurance company may try to quickly settle your claim by offering you a lump sum of money. They may tell you that it’s the best they can do or that you need to take it now because it’s the only offer on the table.
You should avoid accepting the insurance company’s first offer, even if it seems like a lot to you. In most cases, the insurance company will lowball the initial offer in hopes of getting you to accept a settlement that is much lower than what your case is actually worth. If they come back with a counteroffer, it’s still likely to be below what your case is worth.
Even if you have mounting medical bills and are struggling to make ends meet, you should avoid accepting a quick settlement from the insurance company. Once you accept their offer, you will likely be required to sign away your right to take any further legal action. This means you will not be able to seek additional compensation even if your injuries turn out to be more severe than you initially thought.
Your attorney can help provide you with payment options for your medical bills while your case is pending, however many of those options are only available if you’re working with an attorney such as an Americus truck accident attorney from Shrable Law Firm.
We’ll help you receive maximum compensation
Speaking with an Americus truck accident lawyer can help you understand the true value of your case and ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of by the insurance company. If you decide to file a lawsuit, your lawyer will be able to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to try to reach a fair settlement.
If a settlement can’t be reached, your lawyer will be prepared to take your case to trial. At trial, a judge or jury will hear evidence and testimony from both sides and then decide how much you should receive in damages. This process can be lengthy, but it may be necessary to recover the full amount of compensation that you need and deserve.
Hurt in a crash? Our Americus truck accident lawyers can help.
At Shrable Law Firm, our Americus personal injury lawyers will represent you on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t owe us anything unless we win your case.
You can be confident that our experienced attorneys will fight for your best interests every step of the way. To learn more about how we can help you, call us today at (229) 349-6291 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free case evaluation.
Wrongful Death Claim
Americus Personal Injury Lawyer
Albany Office Address
Address : 127 N. Westover Blvd. Ste 3 Albany,