- 179 large truck collisions occurred in Georgia in 2016.
- 33 truckers or truck passengers lost their lives in these accidents.
- There were 1,554 fatal traffic collisions in 2016.
Commercial trucks are large and powerful. When one of these vehicles is involved in a collision, it’s often the people in the passenger car who suffer the most damage. A car is no match for a big rig, and an accident with a semi can lead to catastrophic head trauma, serious injury to the spinal cord, and more.
The injuries sustained by victims may require months of rehabilitative therapy or life long care. As Atlanta truck accident attorneys, we know that victims are often left devastated and looking for an advocate. That’s exactly who we are.
Accident Victims Have Rights
When a person is injured in a truck accident in Atlanta, talk may revolve around damages. These are accident-related expenses that can be recovered in civil court. Not all people will receive the same types of awards or the same amount.
A victim of a truck accident may be able to recover damages for:
- Medical expenses that have already been paid and those that may be incurred in the future. These include expenses for hospital bills, doctor bills and therapy bills.
- Property damage sustained as a result of the crash. This may include damage to the vehicle and items inside of it.
- Lost wages when the victim cannot return to work. If the victim is permanently disabled, government benefits may come into play.
- Funeral and burial expenses in the event that the injuries prove to be fatal. This may result in a wrongful death trucking accident claim.
- Pain and suffering, which can be difficult to put a number on. A personal injury attorney will work with their client in order to show the court how the accident has impacted their ability to return to a normal life.
Amounts May Vary
As Atlanta truck accident attorneys, we know that victims often want to know exactly what they are entitled to. Putting a number on compensation is difficult to impossible because there are so many factors that are considered when determining a final award.
When a victim takes their case to court, a judge may consider the following when determining compensation.
1. Financial Damage
Compensatory damages are easy to calculate because they are based on the exact amount of money a victim has been forced to pay out. For example, a judge may ask for copies of all your medical bills related to the injury and total them. The judge may also ask for some type of projected report outlining the medical care you will need in the future and its estimated cost.
You may be compensated for the damage to your vehicle. If it was totaled, you may be given the current market value or more, depending on the circumstances and the law. A judge may award funeral and burial expenses to the family or estate when injuries are fatal.
2. Seriousness of Injury
Typically, the more serious the injury, the more you will be compensated. This isn’t because the judge is going to award exorbitant amounts of money, but because your medical and other bills will be higher, as will your property damage.
3. Your Claim
The amount you are awarded will depend if your claim is a personal injury one or for wrongful death. Wrongful death cases typically result in higher awards because there is more at stake, such as the lost earning power of the victim, a loss of consortium, a loss of support, and more.
You Can Seek Damages
Expect to be offered a settlement from the trucker’s or truck company’s insurance agent after a serious accident. Before you accept the offer, understand that it may not be in your best interests. The insurance company is a big business and they think about their bottom line, not yours. Initial settlement offers are a sort of fishing expedition. If you take a bite, your case is effectively over.
Most people don’t know that if they accept an insurance settlement, they are rarely able to file a civil lawsuit. Because most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis and offer free case evaluations, there is nothing to lose by having an attorney review the offer.
An attorney can tell you why it’s a reasonable offer or present you with options for declining the offer and moving into negotiations or a lawsuit.
If you choose to file a lawsuit and proceed with your case, you and your attorney must be able to prove:
- The at-fault party had a legal responsibility for care;
- The at-fault party breached that duty;
- The at-fault party did cause the accident;
- Injuries sustained were a direct result of the accident; and
- Damage has resulted from the injuries.
Our Atlanta Truck Accident Attorneys are Here for You
If you have been involved in a truck accident in or around Atlanta, reach out to our office. Our Atlanta truck accident lawyers are ready to advocate for your rights in court. We understand what it takes to win a personal injury case and we will put that knowledge to work for you. Reach out today and schedule your free case evaluation.