If you were injured in a truck crash and are trying to decide whether to hire a truck accident lawyer to manage your personal injury claim, there are few things you need to keep in mind.
After the accident, while you were being treated for your injuries, the trucking company was already hard at work investigating the crash and preparing to defend against your personal injury claim.
Not only does the trucking company have a team of high-priced lawyers and risk managers exploring every legal strategy for denying or devaluing your claim, the company likely has years of experience defending against these claims.
This puts you at a tremendous disadvantage before you have even filed a claim. Fortunately, you have the option of hiring an experienced Savannah truck accident attorney, which can go a long way toward leveling the playing field and defending your best interests.
Here are some of the many ways an attorney can improve your chances of recovering fair compensation.
TELLING YOU WHAT STEPS TO TAKE AFTER THE ACCIDENT
There is often a lot of confusion after a truck accident. Victims may be unsure who to call and what steps to take to defend their rights and begin the process of recovering fair compensation.
This is a big problem because your actions in the aftermath of the crash can go a long way toward determining the success of your personal injury claim. Without proper guidance, you could do something that lowers the value of your claim, like admitting fault or minimizing your injuries.
Contacting a reputable attorney can help eliminate some of your confusion and help you protect your rights. An attorney will instruct you on what your priorities should be and how to deal with phone calls and other communication from trucking companies and their lawyers.
For instance, the first thing you need to do is obtain medical treatment. Listen to your doctors and follow the treatment plan they give you.
You should also try to collect as much evidence as possible, such as pictures of the scene of the crash, medical records and statements from witnesses to the crash.
Then you should contact an attorney to review your claim and find out what to do next.
DETERMINING LIABILITY FOR THE CRASH
While many truck accidents were caused by the driver, there are often many more parties that bear some responsibility for the crash, including:
- The driver’s employer
- Owner of the truck
- Company that manufactured the truck
- The company that owns the trailer
- The company that leased the truck
- Facility that repaired the truck
- Manufacturer of the trailer
- Cargo-loading company
- Government entities
You need a skilled truck accident lawyer who knows how to thoroughly investigate the crash and carefully review police reports, witness statements and other evidence to determine all of the liable parties.
This is arguably the most important way that an attorney can help with a truck crash claim. You cannot recover all of the compensation you are entitled unless you know all of the parties that are responsible for the crash.
NEGOTIATING WITH MULTIPLE PARTIES AT ONCE
If more than one party played a role in the crash, you will have to negotiate with multiple attorneys and insurance companies simultaneously.
Unless you have a wealth of legal knowledge and experience with these kinds of negotiations, it will be almost impossible to negotiate fair compensation from each party.
That is why you need an attorney who has experience with these kinds of negotiations. Your attorney should also have an in-depth understanding of the role each party played in the accident. This helps in determining how much compensation each party owes you.
ENSURING COMPARATIVE FAULT IS APPLIED FAIRLY
Under Georgia’s modified comparative fault law, you are prohibited from recovering personal injury compensation if you bear 50 percent or more of the responsibility for your injuries.
If you are less than 50 percent responsible, you can recover compensation, but the award will be reduced by your percentage of fault for the accident.
The lawyers, risk managers and others representing the defendants will try to assign you the highest percentage of responsible they can.
If you hire a skilled attorney, he or she can help ensure this law is applied fairly, given all of the factors of the case. An experienced attorney will have a detailed understanding of the modified comparative fault system in Georgia and how it should be applied to personal injury claims.
APPLYING TRUCKING INDUSTRY LAWS
Commercial trucking is regulated by agencies such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which holds trucking companies to strict regulations regarding driver qualifications and training.
Federal laws mandate the monitoring of driver activity by trucking companies during long-distance routes to ensure the driver works a safe number of hours and obtains specific hours of sleep. For instance, under FMCSA regulations, drivers who are carrying property can drive up to 11 hours only after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
Trucking companies must also require drivers to obtain a number of training hours before operating a truck alone.
A skilled truck accident attorney is aware of industry laws and can accurately identify violations which contributed to your accident.
The Nye Law Group, our personal injury lawyers in Savannah can provide you with expert representation, seeking fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Your initial consultation with our attorneys is absolutely free and you will not be charged for our services unless we obtain compensation.
Call 855-856-4212 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form today.