After any truck accident in Savannah, you should take action quickly. Even though the other driver caused the crash, the legal burden of proof is on you. You will need to provide evidence of the other driver’s fault, your injuries, and your costs.
Thankfully, you don’t have to handle your case alone. Our Savannah garbage truck accident attorneys know how to build accident claims, helping victims fight for compensation. We can handle the legal details while you heal.
To get a free, no-obligation with our team at John Foy & Associates, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online. Get the Strong Arm on your side today.
How Much Is a Garbage Truck Accident Settlement Worth?
Your settlement will depend on a few things. Let’s break each of them down.
Your “damages” are the losses you have from an accident. Also, the accident must have happened because someone else was careless. According to OCGA §51-12-2, there are two main damage types in Georgia:
- Special (or economic) damages
- General (or non-economic) damages
Special damages have set dollar values; these losses include medical bills, lost income, and property damage. You must provide proof of special damages through bills and other documents.
General damages are more complicated. Pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress are examples of general losses. There’s no set value for suffering, but your lawyer can use a formula to come up with a number.
Percentage of Fault
Georgia uses a partial fault system. According to OCGA §51-12-33, when someone is partly to blame for an accident, the percentage of fault affects what they can recover.
Let’s look at an example:
- After a garbage truck accident, the court found you 10% at fault. The truck driver was found to be 90% at fault.
- Your damages totaled $100,000.
- The court reduced the damages you can recover by 10%, meaning you can only receive $90,000. You are responsible for the remaining $10,000.
The truck driver would be unable to collect any damages. Someone who is 50% or more at fault cannot recover their costs. If you were partially at fault, that could affect your settlement.
But don’t assume any blame without speaking to a lawyer. Insurance companies are good at making injured people feel guilty. Even if you suspect you’re somewhat at fault, talk to an attorney first – you probably deserve a lot more than you think. A lawyer can also speak with the insurer for you and protect you from sneaky tactics.
Garbage truck crashes can be complicated. Rather than one of two drivers being at fault (like with most accidents), the at-fault parties could be:
- The truck driver
- The garbage company
- A government agency
- A maintenance company
- The truck manufacturer
Poor hiring practices, bad maintenance service, defective truck parts, and even damaged roads can contribute to a garbage truck accident. If you suffered injuries, you owe it to yourself to know who was at fault.
In some cases, several parties could be responsible. You might need to file multiple lawsuits and fight for money from more than one place.
Get the strong arm
How a Truck Accident Lawyer in Savannah Can Help
A lawyer is your protection from the “other side” after an accident. Each driver will have his or her own story about what happened, and you might worry about representing yourself. Your attorney can build a case to support the truth: that someone else’s actions injured you.
A legal professional can also ensure you know your rights. Personal injury law is complicated, and you could lose out on a lot of money if you’re unsure what to do. A Savannah garbage truck accident lawyer can provide:
- Knowledge of local laws and regulations for garbage trucks
- A firm hand against greedy insurance companies
- In-depth experience building and negotiating complex cases
Attorneys can also identify every at-fault person or company. When a garbage truck crash occurs, there are often easy-to-miss details. Your lawyer will research the collision to hold every guilty party accountable.
From start to finish, your lawyer should know what to do. Before you talk to anyone else about your accident, speak with a trusted attorney. You can at least get a baseline on your legal options and how to protect yourself from unfair practices.
Steps to Take After a Garbage Truck Accident
After the accident, make sure you and any passengers are safe. If you can, move your vehicle to a secure location away from moving traffic. Also, do not leave the scene.
Garbage truck accidents can be severe. If you have injuries that need an ambulance, call 9-1-1 immediately. The same goes for anyone else in the accident who needs treatment.
You should also:
- Talk to the garbage truck driver, and exchange information. Ask for the driver’s name, phone number, address, insurance policy number, and commercial driver’s license (CDL) number.
- Get the driver’s employer information. The city or a waste management company might employ garbage truck drivers. Ask for the driver’s employer’s name and contact information—you will need both later.
- Take pictures. Use your phone or a camera to snap photos of the scene. Photograph your injuries, your vehicle damage, and anything else that helps show what occurred.
- Look for any witnesses. Did anyone see your accident happen? Ask for their contact information and write down details about the witnesses’ appearance and what they described.
- Ask about the police report. At least one police officer should arrive at the scene and create an accident report, but that doesn’t always happen. Ask about the report and where you can get a copy.
Also, be careful about anything you say. Unfortunately, insurance companies know how to use a victim’s own words against him. Avoid saying anything that could hurt your case—even the word “sorry.”
Speak with a Savannah Garbage Truck Accident Attorney Today
To get started with a free, no-risk consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online. Talk to a lawyer before you speak with anybody about the crash. Your attorney can help you take the right actions and avoid the other side taking advantage of you.