Whether you’re driving along I-85, I-285, or another highway in Brookhaven, you will be sharing the road with semi-trucks. And if you are involved in an accident with one of these huge vehicles, the consequences can be detrimental.
Unfortunately, more than 150 people died in truck crashes in Georgia in 2014, and thousands more were injured. If you’ve been in an accident with a semi-truck, you can get compensation for your injuries. First, however, you need a Brookhaven truck accident lawyer on your side.
Are 18-Wheeler Accidents Worse than Other Types of Accidents?
Yes, and you only have to look at the size of a semi-truck to see why. Traveling on the highway, a semi-truck dwarfs an ordinary sedan, weighing as much as 80,000 pounds when carrying a full load. As a result, in an accident, a semi can easily crush almost anything else on the road.
Nationwide, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 83,000 injury crashes involving large trucks in 2015 alone.
What Makes Truck Accidents More Dangerous?
Two contributing factors are truck drivers and trucking companies. First, truck drivers are notoriously held to difficult schedules that don’t allow them enough time to rest. As a result, fatigue is a major factor in many truck crashes.
Truck designs also contribute to the severity of truck accidents. Trucks have major blind spots, especially along their sides, making seeing cars in the adjacent lanes difficult.
Finally, commercial vehicles have a different braking system than passenger cars, making it hard for trucks to stop suddenly. And when a driver tries to make a sudden maneuver or misjudges a turn, 18-wheelers can “jackknife” or tip over, spilling the truck’s cargo load or causing massive damage.
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Who Is Liable for Your Injuries in a Semi-Truck Accident?
Liability depends on how your accident happened and who owns and operates the truck. In highway accidents, the party liable is the one who was negligent or careless, usually because of driving in an unsafe manner or not following traffic laws.
But sometimes, a driver’s employer is held liable, or there might be a third party whose negligence caused the accident. So, depending on the situation, several parties might be liable for a semi-truck accident, including the trucking company, the driver, a third party that did maintenance on the truck, or another motorist on the road.
However, as long as you didn’t cause the accident, you have a valid claim, and the city of Brookhaven allows you to recover money from the at-fault party. This is because accidents are expensive, and the money you receive can compensate for what you have had to pay to cover the cost of your injuries.
Many people badly hurt in a truck accident recover large amounts of money for pain and suffering.
When someone dies in a truck accident, immediate family members can recover wrongful death damages for their losses. For many accident victims, this money is the only thing that makes it possible to continue treatment, pay the bills, and begin focusing on the future.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Brookhaven Truck Crash?
After you suffer severe injuries in a Brookhaven truck crash, you have a legal right to monetary compensation and non-monetary compensation. A truck accident attorney in Brookhaven, GA, from our team will fight for you to recover damages such as:
- Physical therapy
- Medical expenses
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of income
- Property damage
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
We have a record of success in recovering our clients’ maximum compensation and damages. We’re ready to build a strong case by using evidence such as photos and videos of the crash, police reports, dash cam footage, and witness testimonies.
The Insurance Company Is Already Offering Me Money Should I Take It?
Be wary of that first offer you get from the insurance company. It likely won’t be as good as you think. Insurance is a for-profit business, meaning insurance companies want to make as much money as possible by paying as little as possible to people who claim after being injured.
The insurance company knows you are probably stressed and worried about the accident and your future. So it hopes you’ll snap up the first settlement they offer you. The catch is you can only get one insurance settlement, and if you take the first offer, you won’t be able to get more or file a lawsuit for your injuries.
A better approach is to be patient and set up a consultation with a good personal injury lawyer. Once you have a lawyer on your team, you don’t have to worry about negotiating with the insurance company or proving how badly you were hurt.
Your lawyer has that covered, making it easier to work on getting treatment and recovering. Having a lawyer also usually means you ultimately get far more money than you would have otherwise.
How Long do You Have to File a Claim in a Truck Accident?
There are time limits for filing claims in injury cases. These are known as “statutes of limitations,” found in state and federal laws.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for truck accidents is usually two years from the accident date. But some types of crashes have a much shorter time frame.
If you miss the deadline for filing a claim, the local courts will dismiss your claim, and you will be stuck footing the bill for an accident that wasn’t your fault. To prevent this from happening, it is critical to talk to a good truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
Georgia Truck Accident Statistics
According to 2019 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 8.9% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes in Georgia were large trucks. This statistic highlights the dangers of large commercial trucks when parties don’t uphold a duty of care.
Of these fatal collisions, 20 were single-vehicle crashes, and 11 involved multiple vehicles. Both types of accidents are dangerous, but when more vehicles are involved in a crash, there is a higher chance for catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and fatalities.
What Factors Contribute to a Brookhaven Truck Collision Settlement?
Every truck accident case is different, but a few constant factors affect the amount of your settlement. Our truck accident attorney in Brookhaven, GA, can explain how the following factors affect your truck crash case:
Severity of Injuries
This is arguably the most impactful factor in a truck collision settlement. Your settlement will likely be higher if you have severe to life-threatening injuries requiring extensive medical care.
A higher settlement is necessary to cover all your medical costs. If you have any of the following injuries, your settlement may be higher than the average truck accident settlement:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Loss of limb
- Chronic pain
Level of Liability
Another factor that impacts your final settlement amount is whether the negligent parties were grossly negligent in their actions. Gross negligence means the liable party was intentional in their actions to cause you harm.
While this degree of negligence is rare in truck collisions, it can happen. If our lawyers find that the liable party intentionally hurt you, you could be eligible for punitive damages. This damage will add extra compensation to your settlement and is intended to punish and discourage the defendant from performing the actions again.
Number of Parties
The final factor affecting your settlement is how many liable parties you can hold accountable. If multiple parties are liable, you and your lawyer can file a claim against each.
You could collect compensation from them all. And by having multiple at-fault parties, you can increase your settlement amount.
How Much do Lawyers Take from Settlements in Georgia?
Even though our truck accident lawyers in Brookhaven, GA, work on contingency, we’ll deduct our attorneys’ fees from your settlement when we win your case. Our standard contingency fee falls between 33.3% and 40%, or roughly one-third of your settlement.
However, it could vary depending on your case. That’s why before you start working with us, we’ll agree to the number or percentage of your settlement we will deduct. If you have any questions about compensation or our contingency fees, a personal injury attorney from our law firm can answer your questions.
Talk to a Brookhaven Truck Accident Lawyer Today About Your Case
At John Foy & Associates, we only do one thing, and in 20 years, we’ve learned to do it well: we get money for people who have been injured. Our truck accident lawyers in Brookhaven, GA, have an affordable payment policy: you don’t pay us unless we succeed in getting you paid.
We’ve been helping people cope with their losses from truck accidents for over 20 years. We know how to get insurance companies to pay for your medical bills, the time you’ve lost from work, and other costs. We want to offer you a free consultation to learn what happened to you and explain how we can help.
Call us or fill out the contact form on our website for a complimentary consultation and get help from The Strong Arm.