When a passenger vehicle collides with an 18-wheeler, the results can be devastating. The normal weight for 18-wheelers is 80,000 pounds. Force and high speed can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.
After such a traumatic experience with an 18-wheeler collision, you may not know where to turn. It can be daunting to know which step you should take first. Thankfully, an Augusta truck accident lawyer can help bring you justice.
Why You Need a Lawyer After a Truck Accident
Pursuing injury claims and negotiating fair settlements with insurance companies can be complex. Having an 18-wheeler accident attorney in Augusta can make all the difference. Having a lawyer on your side means they can do the following:
- Perform a thorough independent investigation of what caused the accident and who is liable
- Gather all available evidence like black box data, inspection records, driver logs, videos, photos, etc.
- Consult with reconstruction experts to analyze the sequence of events.
- Interview eyewitnesses and obtain recorded statements.
- Determine the full scope of damages related to medical treatment, lost income, disability, pain and suffering, etc.
- Manage communications and negotiations with insurance adjusters.
- File a lawsuit in Georgia civil court if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached.
With help from your lawyer in these areas, you can be more at ease after your accident. You will not have to worry about which step you should take next. Your attorney will be guiding you.
Get the strong arm
How an Augusta Truck Accident Lawyer Proves Liability
To strengthen your case after a trucking accident, you must prove the truck driver or trucking company’s negligence caused the accident. The more proof you have, the better. Some types of evidence are:
- The truck driver’s qualifications, training history, and driving record
- Maintenance and inspection records for the truck
- Company safety ratings and compliance with regulations
- Truck driver’s log book and hours of service documentation
- Black box data from the truck
- Police reports and accident investigator findings
- Eyewitness statements
- Video footage from dash cams or nearby buildings
- Traffic cameras and other recordings
- Weather reports, road conditions
- Skid marks, debris fields, and other accident scene evidence
Gathering the proper evidence can help your lawyer fight for you more easily. Having proof does not leave too much room for the other party to turn the blame on you and win. A lawyer can help you organize your proof.
Georgia Statute of Limitations on Accident Claims
Make sure you file your claim as soon as possible. Under state law, you have two years from the date of a trucking accident to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. This statute of limitations applies to truck drivers and their employers when negligence appears to be involved.
Failing to take legal action with an 18-wheeler accident lawyer in Augusta within this period can result in losing your right to a fair outcome. This is not something you should procrastinate on as the time goes by quickly. Having an Augusta 18-wheeler accident attorney immediately investigate your case helps ensure critical deadlines are met.
It is also vital to promptly notify the truck driver’s insurance carrier about your injury claim. This should be done as soon as you can. Most policies have strict notification and filing requirements.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
An 18-wheeler crash is unfortunately quite common on Georgia’s highways. This is often due to preventable factors. Some frequent causes our attorneys see behind these devastating collisions include the following:
- Driver fatigue or falling asleep at the wheel
- Driving while intoxicated or impaired
- Speeding or aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Improper loading
- Poor vehicle maintenance and equipment failures
- Violating hours of service regulations
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Unsafe passing or lane changes
When truck drivers engage in these types of scenarios, devastating crashes are often the result. Trucking companies need to more effectively promote safe driving through training. It would also help to improve workplace culture.
Catastrophic Injuries from Big Rig Accidents
Collisions with 18-wheelers can lead to catastrophic injuries. This is because they can weigh up to 40 tons. Some of the most common injuries include the following:
Spinal Cord Damage, Including Paralysis
The tremendous forces can crush vertebrae. This can cause nerve damage and cause loss of movement or sensation. Patients are often left partially or fully paralyzed, profoundly impacting their mobility and independence.
Paralysis can take a significant emotional and physical toll. Even routine activities or daily tasks can be too hard to handle. Some people have even described this as being trapped in their own body.
Not being able to do normal activities can lead to depression and anxiety. Not to mention, it can lead to a loss of identity. Lifestyle adjustments can often be made, but it is common to feel like a burden on others.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Injuries to the head from the impact or being thrown around in the vehicle can lead to life-threatening situations. The impact can bruise brain tissue and tear blood vessels. This usually leads to urgent surgery.
Often times a brain injury will lead to bleeding and swelling. Unfortunately, it can also cause permanent damage. Brain injury survivors frequently suffer impairments in cognition and speech.
After treatment, rehabilitation is usually needed for the rest of your life. This is because even when the initial swelling goes down, it leaves permanent impairments. Injured areas of the brain are not able to return to normal.
Let Our Team Help You Bring You Justice
Colliding with an 18-wheeler is traumatizing in itself, let alone the injuries. Working with an 18-wheeler accident lawyer in Augusta, GA, can help you build a strong cost. You do not deserve to pay for your own injuries if you were not at fault.
While the value of a life can never have a number on it, pursuing fair compensation can help with any injuries or emotional trauma. Our team is eager to help you prove your side of the story. Contact us to start with a free consultation.