Answers to the Questions Our Truck Accident Attorneys Often Hear

We hear a lot of similar questions when folks walk through our door who have just experienced a truck accident injury. How will I pay my medical bills? How do I prove the truck driver was at fault? What happens next? Below we have compiled a list of answers to the most common questions that we come across. 
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  • Do I need a personal injury attorney to handle my truck accident claim?

    While it's technically possible to handle your own truck accident insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, doing so would put you at a serious disadvantage. Commercial trucking companies and their drivers are often represented by a team of corporate lawyers whose primary job is to protect their clients' bottom lines by helping them avoid liability for accidents and injuries.

    If you choose to handle your truck accident case by yourself, you risk being outmatched by savvy lawyers with years of experience.

    Why hiring an attorney to help with a truck crash case makes senseAfter a truck accident, you may be seriously injured, temporarily out of work, and unable to keep up with mounting accident-related medical debt.

    Or even worse, if you lost a loved one in a tragic truck crash, you may be trying to manage your grief and navigate the complex wrongful death claims process at the same time.

    Either way, with so much at stake, it's no time to go it alone. 

    A skilled personal injury attorney hired to represent you in a truck accident case can:

    • Level the playing field. Having an attorney discourages insurance corporations and fleet companies from attempting to push you around. With an attorney by your side, this communicates to the other parties you're taking the claim seriously—and so should they.
    • Conduct a thorough investigation. Your attorney can gather evidence, interview witnesses, hire expert witnesses, and preserve and request evidence from the other party's defense team.
    • Fight claims of shared liability. Insurance companies may claim you were partially responsible for the accident in order to reduce their financial responsibilities. An attorney can fight these defenses to prevent them from harming your ability to collect compensation for damages.
    • Negotiate a fair settlement. Insurance companies and their lawyers often offer unfair, low-ball settlements to truck accident victims without legal counsel. An attorney can help you negotiate a settlement that meets your needs.
    • Take your case to court, if necessary. In the event that a fair settlement can't be reached, an experienced personal injury attorney can take your case all the way to trial.

    Consult a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney

    If you were seriously hurt or lost a loved one in a Georgia truck accident caused by another person or entity's negligence, the seasoned attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak can help you investigate your rights and options for compensation. Contact us today to request an appointment for a complimentary initial case consultation.

     

  • Who can be held liable if I’m hurt in a truck accident?

    In 2014, the most recent year for which statistics are available, approximately 132,000 people were injured in large truck and bus crashes in the United States. In Georgia alone, 144 people were killed in accidents involving large trucks that same year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

    With so many commercial vehicles on the road and their drivers under pressure to perform as quickly and efficiently as possible, truck accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence. For the victims injured in those crashes or the surviving families of those killed, the road to recovery can be long and frustrating. Victims are left to recover from their injuries or manage their grief while still trying to maintain the financial stability they enjoyed before the accident. This is often a difficult task, as injuries can prevent victims from working or the death of a loved one can leave the rest of the family without an income provider.

    The law, however, does allow victims to pursue justice and compensation from those responsible for the accident. In car crashes, it’s often simple to determine who is at fault—one driver made a choice that impacted another driver. In cases of commercial truck crashes, however, the situation can be much more complicated, with a number of parties playing a role in the operation of the vehicle. So, what can a victim do? Who can be held accountable for the accident?

    Who Is Responsible for a Truck Crash in Georgia?

    There are a number of parties who may be held liable for a commercial truck accident in Georgia. Deciding just who to name as responsible depends on a number of factors, including the details of the accident and the relationship among the parties involved with the truck. In general, it is possible that victims can pursue a claim against:

    • The driver. Just like the drivers of other vehicles on the road, commercial drivers have a responsibility to act safely on the road and follow all traffic laws. When a driver’s negligence and bad decisions lead to an accident, he can be held accountable for his actions.
       
    • The trucking company. In general, businesses are responsible for the behavior of their employees while they are working. Additionally, it has been shown that shipping companies often place pressure on their drivers to deliver their goods and services as quickly as possible, sometimes encouraging their drivers to ignore federal regulations in order to do so. These practices are illegal, and the company can be held liable.
       
    • The cargo company. Improperly loaded or unsecured cargo is often a factor in truck crashes. If the cargo shifts during transit, it can make the large vehicle unstable and difficult to control even in good weather and on well-maintained roads.
       
    • Truck manufacturers. If the design or production of a truck does not meet safety standards, the company that produced the defective part can be held liable. Bad tires or braking systems are common causes of truck accidents. While commercial vehicles can overcome some issues, sometimes even minor problems can be exaggerated due to the large weight and height of the trucks.

    Determining Fault After A Georgia Truck Accident

    It is possible that more than one party holds some responsibility for the accident. How is a victim to know who should be held accountable? A skilled attorney can help victims examine the details of their case and decide how best to move forward. Experienced injury attorneys have pursued these claims in the past, and they understand what is necessary to mount a successful case. In truck accident cases, this is especially important.

    In some cases, the responsible parties will try to shift blame onto others, sometimes even including the victim. As a general rule, companies are responsible for the behavior of employees, but not those whom they hire as independent contractors. Additionally, the company can only be held liable if the employee was operating within the scope of the job and if the act was not intentionally done against a specific person. So, determining and proving the relationship between the trucking company and the driver can be critical.

    The other parties may also try to point fingers: the manufacturer blames the driver for lack of maintenance, or the cargo company claims the trucking company affected the way the cargo was secured. Sorting through every version of events can be time consuming and frustrating.

    Finally, the state of Georgia follows the rules of comparative negligence. In short, if the courts determine that the victim holds some degree of accountability for the accident, it could affect any settlement or judgment awarded. All these factors will determine just who can and should be held responsible for an accident and for the injuries of the victim.

    At Rechtman & Spevak, we’ve worked with accident victims to successfully pursue justice and fair compensation for their injuries, and we may be able to help if you or someone you love has been hurt in a truck accident. Call our truck accident lawyers at 888-522-7798 to learn more about your rights and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.