Trucks are involved in about 200 traffic deaths in Georgia each year, and hundreds of people suffer severe injuries. If you have been in a semi-truck accident in Duluth, you may be facing a long recovery with surgeries, hospitalizations, and ongoing rehabilitation. Some injuries will never fully heal.
Help is available to ease the financial burden of your injuries. The Duluth truck accident attorneys at John Foy & Associates have been helping truck accident victims in the area for more than 20 years. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Duluth, let us sit down with you to go over your claim and show you how we can help.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
The most important thing to do after any accident is to make sure you’re safe. If possible, pull your vehicle over to the side of the road, remove yourself from any dangerous situation, and call an ambulance if you need immediate medical attention.
There are some steps you can then take to increase your chances of receiving compensation for your truck crash. These steps include:
- Taking pictures of the scene of the accident
- Writing down your account of what happened before, during, and after the crash
- Talking to any witnesses and getting their contact information
- Going to the doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment
- Saving all bills and related documents
- Contacting a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible
Another important thing to keep in mind after your accident is that the other party, their lawyer, and the insurance company will try to contact you. Be polite with them, but only tell them what they need to know. They will try to use your words against you to reduce your compensation or deny your claim.
This is why you should try to get a truck accident lawyer in Duluth as soon as you can. A skilled attorney will be able to protect you from parties who want to take advantage of you. Our team knows what to say to get you the best settlement possible.
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What Makes 18-Wheeler Accidents Different from Other Accidents?
Any Duluth car accident can cause serious injuries or even a loss of life. But because semi-trucks are so large, a truck accident is more likely to lead to devastating damage.
A semi with a full load can weigh in at 40 tons, and that’s over 20 times as much as an ordinary car. The size and weight alone can cause disastrous injuries.
Are Semi-Trucks Dangerous?
Yes. Semi-trucks present dangers that other vehicles on the road do not, such as:
- It’s hard for them to make sudden stops.
- Semi-truck drivers have large blind spots and limited visibility.
- Semi-trucks may carry hazardous or flammable substances.
- Semis are prone to “jackknifing” or tipping over.
Truck drivers themselves can also be at fault. While truck drivers generally are well-trained professionals and careful drivers, they also have grueling schedules with long hours on the road. Fatigue affects judgment and is a factor in many truck accidents.
Because of the unique dangers that large trucks present, your medical bills and other expenses may be higher than if you were in a normal car crash. A personal injury lawyer can help you recoup those damages and recover from your accident.
What Can a Truck Accident Attorney in Duluth Do for Me?
The first thing that your truck accident lawyer will do is listen. They will sit down with you for a free consultation and assess your case. Then they’ll tell you what your next steps should be.
Once you agree to hire an attorney, they will get to work to make sure you get the compensation you need to move on from your crash. That can include:
To prove that the other party was negligent and that that negligence caused your accident, your lawyer will investigate your crash and gather evidence. Evidence in a truck accident case can include:
- Photos of the scene of the crash
- Security footage of the accident
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
- Driving records
- Driver schedules
Good evidence is extremely important to building a strong case. Our firm has been helping injury victims for decades, and we know what to look for.
Calculating Your Damages
To show how much you’re owed for your accident, your attorney has to add up all of your damages and convey those to the other party and their insurance company. These damages can be both concrete, financial damages that you’ve incurred (economic damages) or damages to your quality of life (non-economic damages).
Negotiating with the Insurance Company
Another important part of any personal injury claim is negotiating with the insurance company. They want to spend as little money as possible, so they’ll do anything to reduce the amount of compensation they give you. To do that, they’ll twist your words, bully you, and even deny your initial claim.
Our Duluth truck accident lawyers are expert negotiators and know what to say to get you the best settlement possible. Insurance companies know we’ll stand up for you to get you what you truly deserve.
Fighting for You in Court
Most truck accident claims get settled outside of court. However, in the rare event that negotiations break down and your case goes to trial, we will represent you. Our personal injury lawyers in Duluth have extensive legal experience and will fight for your right to recover without paying out of your own pocket.
What Damages Can I Recover for My Truck Crash?
The City of Duluth applies Georgia law and allows accident victims to recover 100% of their costs and damages related to the accident. If you were in an accident, you may be able to recover:
- Medical expenses, such as doctors, hospitals, surgeries, and tests
- Prescription drug costs
- Physical therapy costs
- The cost of repairing your car or replacing a totaled one
- Lost wages (the pay you lost if you missed work because of the accident)
When your truck accident attorney tallies up your damages, they’ll take into account both the expenses that you’ve already paid as well as those you’re likely to pay in the future. That way, you can continue to receive the treatment you need without worrying about how you’re going to pay for it.
How Much Money Can I Recover for a Truck Accident in Duluth?
Our goal at John Foy & Associates is to help you make the fullest recovery possible and rebuild your life. We know life is not easy after a major accident, and you may be facing months or years of treatment.
That’s why we will never encourage you to take the first offer you get from an insurance company. We want you to get a full medical diagnosis from doctors who understand your condition and can predict how long your recovery will take and what it will cost. Only then will we pressure the insurance company to give you every penny you deserve.
When you meet with one of our attorneys for a free initial consultation, they will assess your situation and tell you how much you might expect from your claim. Every case is different, so it’s impossible to say how much your settlement will be without knowing the details of your accident.
Why Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer If I Already Have an Offer from the Insurance Company?
An insurance company should be there for you in times of trouble, but that’s not really how insurance companies operate. Insurance companies are “for-profit” businesses, which means they want to keep costs low and profits high.
To do this, they will offer you fast money in hopes of settling your claim cheaply, before you even know what your injuries will cost long-term. We talk to many people who took this money and now wish they hadn’t. They regret signing away their rights because they’ve found out that their care will cost far more than the insurance company’s payment.
A truck accident lawyer sees these insurance company games every day and has a strategy for dealing with them. For example, at John Foy & Associates, we start off every case with an investigation.
We collect evidence showing how your accident happened, and we refer you to doctors who can assess your injuries. Often, this is all we need to do to get significantly more money out of the insurance company.
Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?
In most auto accidents, there are usually one or two liable parties – that is, anyone who was at fault for driving recklessly or not paying attention. However, because of the complicated nature of semi-truck supply chains and driver work schedules, liability in these cases isn’t so simple.
Liable parties in a truck accident could include:
- The truck driver
- The driver’s employer or manager responsible for overworked drivers
- The company whose merchandise is being transported
- Equipment manufacturers responsible for faulty parts
Your truck accident attorney will work to find any and all responsible parties and hold them accountable.
Can I Be Held Liable for an Accident I didn’t Cause?
Yes. In Georgia, even someone who was not the main cause of an accident can be held partially liable, according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-12-33, Georgia’s “contributory negligence” law.
Contributory negligence, also called comparative fault, means that any negligence you exhibited during your accident, even if it was minor, could serve as cause to reduce your compensation proportionally. For example, if you stand to get $10,000 in damages but you were 20% responsible, you could lose $2,000 of your compensation.
The other party might try to say that you had more of a role in your accident than you actually did. With the help of our truck accident attorneys in Duluth, you could be able to prove that you were simply a victim of someone else’s negligence–and that the other party was totally responsible.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
We resolve most of our cases outside the courtroom before a lawsuit is ever filed. What usually happens is that we collect the evidence we need to build a strong case. Then, we show the insurance company proof of how the accident happened and that you were not at fault.
We also give them expert medical opinions about how much your injuries are going to cost. Once they see that we have the evidence to back up your claim, they know we could win in court. Rather than risk a trial, the insurance company will usually offer a fair amount.
But occasionally, an insurance company refuses to budge. If this happens in your case, we will talk it over with you and explain your options and the risks involved. It’s up to you to decide, but if you do take your case to the Gwinnett County courts, rest assured that our litigation team is ready and able to represent you all the way.
How Much does It Cost to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
You shouldn’t pay anything upfront. At John Foy & Associates, we don’t like the idea of billing you by the hour when you’re already dealing with injuries from an accident. So we have created a payment structure that makes our services affordable for everyone:
- Your consultation with us is free.
- Our services cost nothing out of pocket.
- You pay nothing, ever, if we don’t win money for you.
If we get you a financial recovery, we will collect our fees as a percentage at the end. We think this is the best way to get you the help you need as quickly as possible. At your initial consultation, you can learn more about how your truck accident lawyer gets paid.
How Long do I Have to File a Truck Accident Claim in Georgia?
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. This means that, most of the time, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes your window of opportunity could be mere weeks.
In addition to a potentially short deadline, evidence and memory can fade faster than you would like. That’s why it’s important to get started on your case as soon as possible. The longer you hesitate to contact a Duluth truck accident lawyer, the harder it will be to get the compensation you need to recover.
Talk to a Duluth Truck Accident Attorney for Free
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you need to act quickly. There are strict deadlines for filing truck accident claims, and if you miss your deadline you won’t be able to recover anything.
Let the Duluth truck accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates give you a free consultation to go over your claim and help you decide what to do. Call us or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.