It’s normal to wonder what to do after a truck accident. Truck accidents are handled differently than car accidents due to commercial trucking regulations, additional liable parties, and more.
Since truck accidents involve the truck driver, the trucking company, and the trucking company’s insurance provider, settling the accident can be intimidating to deal with on your own. Work with a lawyer throughout the entire process, especially if you suspect that the case will not be easy to settle.
What To Do After A Truck Accident
Get Medical Attention
Get medical attention as quickly as possible following the accident. Unless your injuries are minor scratches and light bruises, your condition must be assessed by a medical professional such as your primary care physician. If you have serious injuries that require emergency attention, the police will help coordinate an ambulance to take you to the local hospital to receive treatment.
Aside from emergency issues, a visit to a doctor ensures that your condition will be fully assessed and documented. You will be able to utilize this documentation as evidence of your injuries. Also, you will be able to receive proper treatment and/or follow-up visits to the doctor to make sure that your injuries do not worsen.
Medical documentation is key to getting the full compensation that you deserve. Make sure to obtain copies of all documentation for your own records, including receipts, bills, medical evaluations, travel expenses, and more.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
After the truck accident occurs and the scene has been cleared, contact your insurance provider for what to do after your truck accident. You’ll give them the basic details of the accident, including that the accident involved a large commercial truck. Truck accidents are settled differently than car accidents, but you will want to report that accident to your insurance provider in the same way.
Settling Outside of Court
When you’ve experienced injuries, property damage, and other damages as a result of the truck driver’s negligence or wrongful actions, you will be approached by the trucking company’s insurance adjuster with an offer to settle the accident. The insurance adjuster’s job is to keep the case outside of court. Often, the settlement offer will be low and unacceptable.
If you’re unhappy with the trucking company’s insurance settlement offer, you do not have to accept it. Working with a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf is typically the best route.
Since trucking companies and their insurance providers can be intimidating, working with a truck accident lawyer helps you have confidence throughout the negotiations process and often gets you a larger settlement.
Pursuing Legal Action
If negotiations do not yield an acceptable settlement, you may decide to pursue legal action through a lawsuit. What you should do after a truck accident is meet with a truck accident lawyer to figure out the best course of action to get all of the compensation that you are entitled to by law.
Unfortunately, you are not able to pursue legal action for truck accident damages if you are 50% or more responsible for the accident. Additionally, your settlement winnings will be reduced by the percentage that you are at fault, according to O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33, Georgia’s comparative negligence law.
When pursuing legal action, you and your lawyer will come equipped with strong evidence, including medical documentation, pictures, videos, testimonies, and more. You’ll first enter a discovery period, then negotiations with a mediator will begin. If negotiations through mediation aren’t successful, a trial may follow.
When choosing a lawyer, it’s important to work with one who can represent you in trial when necessary. Additionally, a lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced in truck accident cases can help you properly prove the negligence or wrongful actions of the truck driver and/or the trucking company.
A top Atlanta truck accident lawyer like Mike Rafi will cite commercial truck rules and regulations as necessary when proving the fault of the liable parties.
Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Cases
There is a time limit in which you need to file a legal claim for a truck accident, depending on the claims you have. Common claims for truck accident cases include personal injuries, wrongful death, and personal property damage.
When a wrongful death has occurred, O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 states that you’ll need to file the claim within two years from the date of the accident. O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 covers personal injury claims, too, which also need to be filed within two years.
O.C.G.A. § 9-3-32 states that a personal property claim must be filed within four years from the date of the accident. Personal property damage covers both damage to your vehicle and your personal possessions.
Get Help with Your Truck Accident Today
Whether you’ve just been in a truck accident or you’ve been negotiating with the trucking company’s insurance adjuster unsuccessfully on your own, Mike Rafi can help you resolve your case. With extensive experience in truck accident lawsuits and impressive case results, there is no better choice than Mike for your legal representation.
Start getting help with your truck accident case today with a free consultation with top truck accident lawyer Mike Rafi. Call 404-948-3311 or send our team a message to schedule your consultation now!