All car accidents involving semi-trucks are serious. An 18-wheeler semi-truck simply has so much mass that smaller vehicles always lose out, and the injuries and property damage involved can be extreme.
In Gainesville, some of the most painful cases we take on come from truck accident victims.
If you have been involved in this kind of accident, we urge you to speak to a lawyer. At John Foy & Associates, our Gainesville truck accident attorneys know how to help accident victims. We have spent over 20 years working exclusively for the victims of injuries and accidents across the state.
Should I Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer in Gainesville?
If your truck accident resulted from a negligent party, you should hire a lawyer for your claim. “Negligence” is defined by someone’s inability or unwillingness to meet the standard of care that any reasonable person can be held to.
If you have any reason to believe that the other driver in your accident was guilty of negligence, a truck accident attorney in Gainesville can help.
With us, you don’t need to worry about the stress of paying for a lawyer or putting time into your claim. We don’t charge anything upfront, and we don’t get paid unless you win. You can rest assured that we’ll handle your claim every step of the way.
However, if you’re thinking about representing yourself instead of hiring a lawyer, you may want to rethink. Attempting to take on a personal injury claim without a skilled lawyer by your side significantly reduces your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
It’s worth it to at least meet with one of our lawyers so that you can learn more about what we can do for you. A free consultation with a truck accident lawyer can show you why you should get the help of someone who knows how to get a fair settlement.
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What Makes Semi-truck Accidents Different from Other Car Accidents?
Semi-trucks simply have more momentum behind them than any other vehicle, and they represent one of the most dangerous forces on the road. When fully loaded, a single semi-truck can weigh 80,000 pounds or more – roughly the same weight as 23 regular cars in a row. The force of 23 vehicles hitting your car, pickup truck or SUV can be devastating.
Victims of truck accidents routinely suffer life-threatening injuries. Many will have disabilities for life. Other factors also make truck accidents unique among car crashes. For example:
- Trucks have a hard time stopping, and simply cannot stop as quickly as other vehicles
- Truck drivers often have limited awareness of vehicles behind their tractor-trailer, or even to the sides
- Drivers face strict delivery schedules, often causing them to drive when fatigued
- Some trucks carry flammable substances, chemicals, or other dangerous materials
No matter what caused your accident, a lawyer can help. Our team can investigate the evidence in your case and get to the bottom of what–and who–caused your crash.
Who Is Liable in My Truck Accident Case?
Unlike most car accidents, in which there are usually only two or three parties responsible, truck accidents can be more complicated. In addition to any drivers involved in the accident, other parties could also be held responsible for your crash. That’s because of the complicated nature of truck driving and the process that goes into putting a semi-truck on the road.
Parties who could be liable in your truck accident case include:
- The truck driver
- The driver’s supervisor
- The manufacturing company that makes parts for the truck
- The carrier company that hires the truck driver
- The company whose product is being transported
- Local entities responsible for road conditions
Truck drivers have to meet certain standards and requirements in order to be on the road. And if their company or supervisor overworks them, they may be liable, too. Your Gainesville truck accident attorney will investigate your case and show exactly who was responsible so that they can be held accountable for their negligence.
What Causes a Typical Truck Accident in Gainesville?
The causes can vary widely from one truck accident to another. Most truck drivers are experienced professionals, and the truck driver is not at fault in all accidents. However, because of the danger that they represent to other motorists, truck drivers have a responsibility to be particularly careful in how they drive.
Truck drivers often face intense pressure from their employers to stay on the road and keep hauling—as quickly as possible. This means there are several factors that we see in one truck accident case after another:
- One in three truck accidents involve driver fatigue as a factor.
- Lack of maintenance. In roadside inspections, approximately a third of all trucks do not meet standards.
- Drivers breaking rules. When polled, more than half of truck drivers admit they have faked their road logs so that they could stay behind the wheel longer than allowed by law.
No matter what caused your truck accident, as long as there was some negligent party, you can seek compensation. A personal injury lawyer can help.
What Should I Do If I’m in an Accident With a Semi-Truck in Gainesville?
Above all, protect your rights. Truck companies are often large freight companies, many of them from out of state, and they are top customers for insurance companies. Their insurers will go to great lengths to avoid paying you what you’re owed, both to protect their own bottom line and for the sake of the trucking company.
These insurers have an army of lawyers looking for ways to deny or downplay your claim. You can be sure that the money they offer you is not nearly what your claim is worth.
The ways you can protect yourself start at the accident scene itself. After calling 911, you should:
- Look for witnesses: Anyone who saw the accident happen could be a valuable witness. Talk to others at the scene, including bystanders and other drivers. Ask witnesses for their contact information.
- Snap pictures: A picture can help show the extent of the damage or vital clues as to who caused the accident. Take as many pictures as you can.
- Video record your conversation with the truck driver: If the driver is fatigued, intoxicated, or using pills to stay awake, a video can provide crucial evidence.
- Get medical attention: Always see a doctor for your injuries, even if they appear minor at first.
Above all, get legal help. The only way to level the playing field with the insurance company is to have a lawyer of your own on your side—preferably one who has a history of working on truck accident cases. We will always provide a free consultation to help you determine if you have a case.
What Costs Can I Recover in a Gainesville Truck Accident Case?
The City of Gainesville follows state law and allows you to recover 100% of your costs and damages related to the accident. We typically see damages including:
- Medical bills such as hospital stays, surgery, and doctor appointments
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitation or physical therapy
- Wages lost because you missed work for reasons related to the accident
- Car repairs or replacing your vehicle
In addition, the Hall County courts could award you substantial amounts of money for the physical pain you suffered, any disability caused by the accident, or other serious losses. We don’t believe that this money can ever make up for a life-changing injury or the loss of a loved one.
However, we have seen financial recoveries save families from bankruptcy as they deal with the aftermath of the accident. Many truck accident claims are worth $100,000 or more.
How Long do I Have to File My Truck Accident Claim in Georgia?
Like with any other personal injury claim in Georgia, truck accident victims usually have two years from the date of the incident to file their claim. That’s according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 9-3-33. If you try to file after the two-year period ends, it’s likely that your claim will be denied.
The two-year statute of limitations doesn’t always apply, though, and sometimes you could have mere weeks to file. That’s why you should contact a Gainesville truck accident attorney as soon as you can so that you don’t miss your opportunity.
How do I Know How Strong My Truck Accident Claim Is?
The best way to know if you have a strong truck accident claim is to get an opinion from a professional. At John Foy & Associates, we make this as easy as possible. We can come to your home, your workplace, or anywhere else that’s easy for you to meet.
We charge nothing for your consultation, and if you decide to proceed with your case, we charge you nothing unless we win you money. We want you to be able to make the best decision after your accident, with no risk and no pressure.
Speak to a Gainesville Truck Accident Attorney for Free
We know that the months after an accident can be traumatic, with physical pain, financial pressure, and uncertainty about your future. Let us sit down with you for a free consultation to discuss your legal options and help you get the largest financial recovery possible.
The Gainesville truck accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates are dedicated to helping accident victims. Let us help you. Call us at (404) 400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.