Garbage trucks provide essential services in Columbus, but if a truck driver isn’t careful, they can cause an accident. If you were the victim of this type of crash, you might deserve financial compensation.
You can seek financial recovery through a personal injury claim. At John Foy & Associates, our Columbus garbage truck accident lawyers know how to help. We have 20-plus years of experience and have won over $1 billion in results for our clients.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. You pay nothing unless we win your case. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for your free consultation.
What Is the Average Garbage Truck Accident Settlement?
Truck accidents are less common than other collisions, but they are more costly. Truck accident claims can easily total millions of dollars.
Every case is unique, so the data on averages is limited. But the following factors will affect your potential settlement.
Who’s at Fault for the Accident
Any accident claim in Georgia depends on fault. Georgia is a fault state, which means the person whose actions caused the accident is responsible for the costs. Before you can recover any compensation, you must be able to prove liability.
Most of the time, the truck driver’s employer is responsible. The company should have liability insurance for when the driver causes an accident. However, the employer or insurance company might try to blame someone else to avoid liability.
Besides the driver or their employer, the at-fault party could be:
- Another driver on the road
- A maintenance company
- The truck’s manufacturer
- A government agency
Since 2015, the law in Georgia has required drivers to yield to garbage trucks. Although the truck driver is often at fault, other drivers have a duty of care too.
Your settlement will depend on insurance coverage and who was at fault. You’ll also need an experienced lawyer who can hold the at-fault party responsible.
Your Accident Damages
Your settlement will also depend on your damages. A fair settlement should cover your accident costs fully.
Your damages might include:
- Doctor and hospital bills
- Prescription drug costs
- Physical or psychological therapy
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Vehicle damage
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Garbage trucks are much larger than most vehicles on the road. When a garbage truck crashes, the damages can be significant. You’ll want to consider all losses you experience because of the accident. Otherwise, you could end up paying for costs that are not your fault.
If you lost a loved one in the accident, you might also have a wrongful death claim. Our lawyer can help you understand your options.
Legal skills and knowledge are also a considerable part of an accident claim. For this reason, we recommend speaking to an attorney before making any big decisions.
You will probably need to negotiate with the insurance company for the compensation you deserve. And insurers are not afraid to offer as little as possible. You’re more likely to get a fair offer if you work with an experienced lawyer. Having an attorney on your side levels the playing field and protects your rights.
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You Might Have a Claim Against the Government
If the city handles garbage collection, you might have a claim against the government.
Under the Georgia Tort Claims Act, OCGA §50-21-23, you can bring a case against the government for negligence that happens under an employee’s scope of employment.
The details are complicated, so check with an attorney about your options. You will also need to give written notice of your claim within 12 months of the accident. How you file a claim varies by city. For example, you must file a lawsuit in Atlanta within six months.
What Happens If You Miss the Deadline?
If you don’t file your claim within the statute of limitations, you probably won’t be able to recover damages. The courts will typically throw out a case that has passed the deadline. However, talk to a lawyer before assuming anything.
It’s best to get started on your case immediately. Your attorney can help gather evidence and build a strong claim. If you need to file a lawsuit, your lawyer can help prepare for court.
Damages You Can Claim
If someone else caused your accident, you can seek compensation. You’ll need to know all of your damages from the crash.
Common personal injury damages include:
You can claim any treatment costs for your accident injuries.
Medical expenses include:
- Emergency room bills
- Ambulance bills
- Doctor and hospital bills
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Blood or imaging tests
Be sure to consider all treatment you will need. If you have severe or permanent injuries, you might need medical assistance for years. Your lawyer can help estimate your future costs and include them in your claim.
If you were working before the accident, the crash will probably affect your income. You can claim any lost wages or lost earning opportunities.
If you need to repair or replace your vehicle, you can include those costs. Garbage trucks are much larger than most cars on Columbus roads, so severe vehicle damage is common during an accident.
Pain and Suffering
Your claim can also include the emotional effects of your accident.
You can claim losses like:
- Physical or emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
Your lawyer will know how to calculate these types of damages. Unlike medical bills and lost income, you cannot point to specific invoices or receipts as proof. Your attorney will use a formula to determine your pain and suffering damages.
Speak with a Columbus Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer for Free
Get the legal help you need and deserve after your accident. Call John Foy & Associates today for a no-cost, risk-free case review.
Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for your free consultation.