Truck accidents are among the most serious auto accidents in Columbus, Georgia. Every year, accidents involving semi-trucks cause approximately 200 deaths across the state of Georgia, along with thousands of injuries.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a truck accident, you may face steep medical bills, miss weeks or months of work, and need to completely replace your car. A good Columbus truck accident lawyer from John Foy & Associates can help you recover the money you need to pay for all these expenses.
What Makes Semi-Truck Accidents Different from Other Car Accidents?
A fully-loaded semi-truck and trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. That’s nearly 25 times the weight of a typical car. Because tractor-trailers are so heavy, they can do terrible damage even in a relatively minor accident.
Other factors also make semi-truck accidents more dangerous:
- Semis cannot stop quickly and accidents often involve high speeds
- Drivers of semi-trucks have limited visibility of what is beside or behind them
- Many semi accidents involve the truck “jackknifing” and/or tipping over
- Some trucks carry flammable or hazardous substances
Because semi-trucks are so dangerous, their drivers are also held to higher standards. A semi driver must carry a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and follow rules to make sure they are not fatigued, distracted, or overworked.
Most semi-truck drivers are professionals who do their best to follow the rules. But unfortunately, they face long days on the road and demanding deadlines. Driver fatigue and distraction are common factors in semi-truck accidents.
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What Should I Do If I Was in a Truck Accident in Columbus, GA?
The first thing you should do after a Columbus truck crash is call 911. After that, if you’re physically able, it helps to gather information. Ways you can help yourself at the accident scene include:
- Taking photographs of what happened
- Speaking to any witnesses, and ask them for their contact information
- Calling the police and waiting for them to arrive
Additionally, you should see a doctor after the accident. Even injuries that seem minor at first may be much more serious than you expect. We can help you find a doctor who is familiar with the injuries caused by car accidents.
Who Is Responsible in a Truck Accident?
In many car accident cases, only the at-fault driver is held responsible for the crash. Truck accidents are different. While the truck driver is often liable for damages, so is the carrier, or the company that employs the driver. And because of the complicated nature of a truck’s machinery and cargo, manufacturers and vendors could be responsible for truck accidents as well.
Sometimes, the victim of the accident can also be held responsible. Georgia law holds people to what is called “contributory negligence,” also known as “comparative fault.” According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 51-12-33, even if you only had a small amount of fault in your crash, your compensation can be reduced proportionally.
Because more parties can be drawn into a truck accident lawsuit, it can be much harder to navigate the process of getting your compensation for the injuries you’ve sustained. Thankfully, our Columbus, GA, truck accident attorneys are equipped to help you along every step of your claim.
We can make sure the at-fault parties are held accountable and that you don’t have your compensation taken away.
What Costs Can I Recover for a Truck Accident Claim in Columbus, GA?
The law in the City of Columbus says that auto accident victims have a right to recover all their costs. This can include:
- All medical costs including hospital stays, doctor appointments, tests, and more
- Medication costs
- The cost of physical therapy or any other rehabilitation
- The price of repairing or replacing your vehicle
- Money to make up for any time missed at work because of your injuries
When your truck accident lawyer in Columbus, GA, calculates your damages, they will take into account both damages you have already suffered, along with expenses that you will most likely have to pay in the future. That way, the insurance company won’t be able to short you and pay less than you deserve.
Additionally, the law can award you money to compensate you for serious losses like a permanent disability, emotional pain and suffering, or the death of a loved one. We understand that this money can never replace what was lost. The purpose of the money is to help offset the financial hardship of moving forward with your life.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Truck Accident?
Every truck accident case in Georgia is different, so there isn’t any one-size-fits-all estimate for your settlement. However, because of the extensive damage semis can cause, the financial recoveries for truck accidents can be quite large. In some cases, they can run into millions of dollars.
Some of our notable truck accident settlements include:
- $6.6 million for a client injured by a tractor-trailer
- $4.9 million for an 18-wheeler accident
- $2.7 million for a driver injured when two car carriers collided in front of them
- $2.5 million for a client who rear-ended a tractor-trailer with malfunctioning lights
When you get an initial consultation with one of our truck accident attorneys in Columbus, GA, they will assess your case. At that meeting, your lawyer can give you an estimate of how much you may receive in compensation.
How Do I Know If I Have a Valid Truck Accident Case?
The only way to be sure is to speak with a legal professional. All too often, we see truck accident victims who wrongly believe there’s nothing they can do, or even think the accident is their fault. Often they’re wrong. Remember, if the truck driver could have done something differently to prevent the accident, they legally share some or all of the responsibility.
When you call John Foy & Associates, we will send an investigator to gather evidence about what happened. In many cases, we will find out that:
- The truck driver had been on the road too many hours
- Their road log shows they didn’t get enough rest
- Their truck couldn’t have passed a roadside inspection
This substantially strengthens your case as it shows that the trucking company, not you, was at fault.
If you’re not sure whether you have a case, it’s at least worth getting an initial consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers. They will listen to your story and tell you what they can do to help.
Why do I Need a Columbus, GA, Truck Accident Lawyer?
Trucking companies pay large amounts of money for liability insurance. In theory, this insurance is supposed to pay for all your medical costs after an accident. In reality, however, insurance companies do not want to pay up. They have large legal teams and they will devote all their resources to finding a way to pay you less than you need.
Often, the insurance company will call you shortly after the accident and offer you immediate money. They know that you already have medical bills, and the financial worries are setting in. They offer you quick money if you sign their paperwork. Don’t do it. Signing those papers means giving up your right to any additional money.
If you sign the papers today and then you find out you need surgery, or medication, or physical therapy, you will be on your own. We have seen this happen too many times. Always speak to a good Columbus, GA, truck accident attorney before you accept anything from the insurance company. It doesn’t hurt to sit down for a consultation and discuss your rights.
Is There a Deadline to File a Truck Accident Claim in Georgia?
Yes, the Columbus court system uses a set of deadlines based on both Georgia state law and federal law. If you miss the deadline, you usually lose all rights to your claim.
According to OCGA § 9-3-33, the deadlines for truck accident claims can be as long as two years from the date of the accident. However, some exceptions give you much less time. You should speak to a lawyer immediately.
Talk to a Columbus Truck Accident Lawyer for Free
At John Foy & Associates, we have over 20 years of experience helping the victims of truck accidents. We understand that the injuries caused by a semi-truck collision can be extreme and life-altering. And we know firsthand that the loss of a loved one can never be fully healed.
The Columbus, GA, truck accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates understand your situation and how hard the recovery process can be. We have helped many victims and families go through this difficult period, and we have a long history of winning recoveries for our clients.
Our goal is to help you make the fullest recovery possible and ensure that you have no financial worries doing so. Don’t leave your future up to chance. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.