Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyers
As the capital of Georgia, Atlanta serves as a significant transportation center with a high volume of commercial trucks traversing its highways and streets. This heavy traffic unfortunately leads to truck accidents, which can cause devastating injuries and even loss of life. Read on about truck accident statistics in Georgia, prevalent causes and injuries, average settlements, the procedure for filing a claim, and the steps to follow after a truck accident. Contact the experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Shiver Hamilton Campbell to discuss your potential truck or auto accident case.
- Bad Weather Truck Accident
- Blind Spot Truck Accident
- Cell Phone Truck Accident
- Drowsy/Fatigued Truck Accident
- Dump Truck Accident
- Fatal Truck Accident
- Federal Trucking Laws & Trucking Industry Regulations
- FedEx & UPS Truck Accident
- Jackknife Truck Accident
- Negligent Truck Maintenance & Manufacturing Defect
- Negligent Truck Driver Accident
- Overweight Truck Accident
- Rollover Truck Accident
- Truck Accident Liability
- Truck Driver Fatigue
- Truck Driver Intoxication
- Truck Side Impact Collision
Truck Accident Statistics in Georgia
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that the state experiences an average of over 4,000 large truck accidents per year, resulting in hundreds of fatalities and thousands of injuries. Georgia is among the top 10 states in the country for truck accident-related deaths. The congested interstates of I-285, I-75, I-85, and I-20, which pass through the core of Atlanta, are recognized as truck accident hotspots.
Various factors can lead to truck accidents, including:
- Driver fatigue: Spending long hours on the road can result in driver exhaustion, affecting their ability to make quick decisions and judgments.
- Distracted driving: Engaging in activities such as texting, eating, or using a phone while driving can cause drivers to lose focus and control.
- Excessive speed: Driving at high speeds reduces reaction time and increases the chances of severe accidents.
- Insufficient training or experience: Drivers who are inexperienced or inadequately trained may lack the necessary skills to safely operate large trucks on the road.
- Mechanical failure: Issues such as brake failures, tire blowouts, and other mechanical problems can lead to a loss of control and accidents.
- Improper loading: Unsecured or unbalanced cargo can cause trucks to tip or shift, resulting in accidents.
Truck accidents frequently result in serious injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Damage to internal organs
- Cuts and abrasions
- Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries
Average Truck Accident Settlements in Georgia
Settlement amounts for truck accident claims can differ significantly based on factors like the severity of injuries, the degree of negligence, and the specific circumstances surrounding the accident. Settlements can range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. Factors that can influence the settlement amount include medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and property damage.
Initiating an Atlanta Truck Accident Claim
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Atlanta, it is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can assist you in navigating the complex process of initiating a claim. Your attorney will collaborate with you to gather evidence, determine liability, and negotiate with insurance providers to obtain the most favorable settlement for your case.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, take these measures to safeguard your rights and support your claim:
- Obtain medical attention: Prioritize your health. Even if you don’t feel injured, visit a doctor to identify any concealed injuries.
- Contact the police: A police report can offer valuable evidence for your claim.
- Collect evidence: Take photographs of the accident scene, your injuries, and any property damage. Obtain contact details for witnesses and those involved in the accident.
- Refrain from admitting fault: Avoid discussing the accident specifics or accepting responsibility until you have consulted an attorney.
- Consult an attorney: Speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and protect your rights.
Mistakes To Avoid After A Truck Accident & Admitting Fault
In the immediate aftermath of a devastating truck accident, those who may have been hurt may be unsure of what to do next and may make mistakes that could hurt their chance at recovering damages in court. There are numerous mistakes to avoid after a truck accident in Atlanta and a lawyer could help. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney could be your advocate not only in court but in the minutes and hours after an accident.
Admitting fault at the scene of a truck accident in Atlanta is usually discouraged. Anything that either party says at the scene is admissible in evidence. Any evidence admitting fault could be damaging to the plaintiff’s case.
A person should be honest about the facts with law enforcement at the scene but it is important not to speculate or admit fault based on conjecture. An injured person should simply state what they saw without drawing conclusions about fault. An apology could be used as an admission and brought into evidence because there is a belief that they must have done something wrong to warrant the apology.
Should Someone Give Recorded Statements to Insurance Companies?
There is a danger in giving recorded statements to the defendant’s insurance company. They are not in the business of helping the injured party. They are trying to see if there is a way to deny the claim or minimize the amount paid. An injured person in Atlanta should consult with a lawyer before giving any statements to insurance companies.
If the person does receive a check from the company, it is critical that they do not cash it out. The injured party may not have calculated any future costs and could be denying themselves proper compensation if they take the early offer.
Refusing Treatment for a Truck Accident
Delaying treatment after a local truck accident is a mistake to avoid because the defense could use it to suggest there was no injury or that the harm was minor. It is imperative that injured people seek treatment as soon as possible and report the symptoms honestly so that the medical records provide accurate documentation.
Anyone injured in an accident should follow doctor’s orders or follow up with medical treatment. It is important that the person is able to document what their injuries were and show that treatment was warranted. If they do not follow the doctor’s advice, it raises the suggestion that the injury may not have been significant. The longer the treatment gap is, the more it fuels speculation from the defense that the injuries went away or were non-existent. The gap also makes it possible to argue that the injuries resulted from some other event that happened after the accident in question.
Failure to Call a Lawyer Following a Crash
It is important to call a lawyer immediately after a truck accident because a trucking company will have professionals reviewing the scene and documenting evidence. They may download important data from the vehicles that could show things like speed, braking, whether seatbelt restraints were used, and whether airbags deployed or not. They may have investigators talking to witnesses and trying to shape the facts as they come together. An Atlanta attorney could help even the playing field by informing someone who has never dealt with a truck collision claim before of the mistakes they should avoid.
While the claimant is recovering from their injuries, the lawyer could also gather evidence, including by preventing the damaged vehicle from being salvaged or recycled, which would save any needed evidence.
Monetary Recovery Can Cover Damages
Once someone proves negligence caused an accident involving a truck, those who suffered injuries may recover compensation to cover several losses due to the accident. They may recover money to compensate for added expenses such as medical bills and alterations to their home.
They may also recover compensation for income lost due to time off work both in the past and the future. If the accident affects a person’s future earning capacity, compensation for that may also be available. In addition, the individual suffering from the accident may receive compensation for consequences such as pain and suffering.
If the accident results in death, compensation may be available to the family for economic and emotional loss.
Atlanta Truck Accident Damages
Injuries sustained from a truck collision could prove to be very costly. A person could be hospitalized and face expensive medical bills. A person could also miss work and potentially miss out on making money to pay off bills. That is why it is so important to consult with a dedicated truck wreck attorney to learn more about receiving Atlanta truck accident damages.
Recoverable Economic Damages
When someone is out of work as a result of their injuries, that is an economic damage they can gather and assess. Future economic losses such as the inability to work permanently or partially into the future is another economic damage. An economist appraises and assesses those losses as calculating future income is not quite as simple as adding up the past wages.
They must make value judgments and estimates for the person’s projected future raises and increases in benefits. That calculation is established through the raise intervals based on their earnings history, the type of job, and data for that type of job.
They must also identify and calculate other economic Atlanta truck accident damages. For example, when a person suffers orthopedic injuries in a truck accident and must make modifications to their home or buy medical equipment, those are economic damages.
In Atlanta, a professional who can accurately calculate total expenses must analyze most medical expenses. It is not just the amount a person’s health insurance company paid for the expenses, it is the reasonable value of the services as measured by the gross amount of the bill before any reductions or adjustments the health insurance forced the provider to write off or what health insurance paid.
What are Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic Atlanta truck accident damages include the full range of values, activities, and limitations associated with a truck accident other than paychecks and medical expenses. A truck accident lawyer adds value to a case by examining non-economic damages for what the injured person likes to do, used to do, dreamed of doing, or was trained to do. The lawyer evaluates how the family relationships are impacted by the person’s injuries. In addition, they look at the changes in daily living with pain or limitations in physical movement or cognition.
Anyone who deals with insurance companies quickly learns that they try to reduce the broad category of damages a jury evaluates to simple calculations. Insurance companies create a simple metric to compare the value of non-economic damages to the economic damages. However, nothing in the law identifies any of the metrics they create, still, they may tell a person that the total value of their case should be one to two or three times the medical expenses. That metric comes from insurance companies who underestimate the claim.
Deciding How Much a Person Can Recover
A damage cap is a legislatively enacted limit on the worth of a case in a specific category of damages. Atlanta currently has no hard damage caps. The system in Atlanta is policed by fair and impartial judges throughout the local judiciary. The trial judge can check or cap the amount of any verdict in a case if they believe that, based on the evidence presented, the result is a miscarriage of justice or is too high or too low.
The term for reducing the verdict is remittitur. The term additur is used when the court increases the jury award of damages when the amount is too low. Properly instructed juries decide what is fair and reasonable compensation for a case. The Seventh Amendment guarantees our citizens’ right to have juries decide the amount of compensation. That precious right is as old as America itself.
Juries work hard to agree to amounts that are fair and commensurate with the case. Georgia had a damage cap that applied to pain and suffering awards in medical malpractice cases, but the Georgia Supreme Court struck down that cap as a violation of the Georgia constitutional right that all citizens have the right to a trial by jury. If a person has a lawsuit against another person for monetary damages, a jury decides who won the lawsuit and the amount of compensation they deserve. As such, there is currently no legislative cap on Atlanta truck accident damages.
Calculating Truck Accident Damages
The standard for calculating truck collision damages is subject to the enlightened conscience of a fair and impartial jury. There is no set formula. An experienced truck wreck lawyer is able to explain to a jury how to put a monetary value on a lifetime of limitations, also known as pain and suffering. Speak with a lawyer to learn more about, or help in, calculating Atlanta truck accident damages.
Damages an Auto Insurance Typically Covers
One thing people may not understand or appreciate about truck accident cases in Atlanta is that 18-wheelers or tractor-trailers are not supposed to use the downtown connector to Atlanta unless they are making a downtown delivery. In other words, a long-haul truck driving through Metro Atlanta must go around downtown on I-285, which is the perimeter interstate that circles the metro area.
An experienced attorney can look through the documents, the bills of lading, and the other load documents that show the truck’s origin and destination. It is possible that the truck driver was prohibited from using the downtown connector and should not have been driving on it. This could affect the amount a person can recover after calculating Atlanta truck accident damages.
The injured person’s auto insurance covers at least three categories:
- Medical payments
- Property damage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage
Medical payments are available on most Georgia policies and generally covers somewhere between $5,000 and $50,000. The amount is stated on the person’s declaration page in their insurance policy and shows the available medical coverage.
This is non-fault coverage. In other words, it does not matter whether the person fell asleep, ran off the road and hit a tree, or if a truck was at fault for the accident. The plaintiff can use their own policy or MedPay coverage to pay deductibles, co-insurance, and ER visits that were not covered.
Calculating Atlanta truck accident damages could prove to be difficult at times, particularly when there is a dispute about the underlying fault for the crash. For example, if a truck that strikes a person accepts responsibility to some degree, the adjuster for the at-fault insurance company also accepts some responsibility. In these scenarios, the property damage may be directly paid by the trucking company’s insurance.”
Contact an Experienced Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney
Those involved in truck accidents often suffer serious injuries and their priority should be on working towards recovery. However, worries about added expenses and questions from attorneys and insurance companies can impede recovery efforts.
An Atlanta truck accident attorney could begin providing advice right away to help you avoid making mistakes that could compromise your claim. A lawyer may be able to work to collect evidence and will serve as your representative during questioning and negotiations, working on your behalf to help you obtain the maximum amount for your claim. Call now for a free consultation to learn how an attorney’s experience could work for you.