When a small passenger vehicle and a truck collide, the individuals in the passenger vehicle usually suffer the most. Their injuries can be catastrophic, causing them to rack up high medical bills and lose out on wages for a long time. Victims have the right to seek compensation if someone else’s negligence caused the accident. However, they usually need the help of a truck accident attorney to help them prove their case.
Under Georgia’s comparative negligence laws, your compensation can be reduced if you were partially at fault for your accident. Insurance companies will use these laws to minimize the amount they have to payout. They may even try to get out of paying you anything at all. Georgia Code § 51-12-33 sets out that plaintiffs can only receive the portion of total damages caused by the defendant. If you were more than 50 percent at fault for your injuries, you won’t be able to get compensation.
A Truck Accident Lawyer in Atlanta on Proving Negligence
Negligence refers to any action which a reasonable person would have foreseen and addressed or avoided. Some common acts by drivers suggest negligence including:
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while using a cell phone
- Overloading the trailer
Police will rely on physical evidence and eyewitness testimony to determine fault if the driver disputes your account.
Showing that someone else was responsible for your injuries is the first step in proving liability. However, proving that a negligent occurred is not enough. You must also establish the person’s negligence directly led to the accident. This means you must document all your losses in full and prove that they were caused by the person’s actions. This includes medical bills, lost wages and property damage.
Who Can Be Held Responsible in A Truck Accident
Truck drivers can often be held responsible for accidents in Atlanta, but this isn’t always the case. If the owner of the truck is a different person, they may be at fault. An owner can be held liable if they neglected to perform routine maintenance and this caused the vehicle to malfunction. When companies lease vehicles from their owners, these companies can also be held responsible. They are required to maintain the truck and ensure it is safe for operation. Manufacturers can also be held responsible if the truck had a known defect and the driver was not alerted.
What an Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney Will Advise You to Do After the Crash
Even if another party is responsible for your injuries, you need to protect your rights. There are some things you may say or do after your accident that could jeopardize your ability to get compensation. That’s why as truck accident attorneys, we always give our clients certain instructions.
For example, you need to seek medical care immediately after the accident even if you don’t think you are badly hurt. A doctor may be able to identify injuries which you are not yet aware of. This is more common than you may think since shock and adrenaline can mask injuries.
We also advise you to contact the police if you are able to do so. You are legally required to call the police if an accident caused injury, death or extensive property damage. Since truck accidents are usually serious, you should call the police even if you don’t appear to have serious injuries. Also, the effects of the accident may take weeks or months to appear. The police report can play an important role in determining liability, so you need to ensure you get one.
Another important thing to remember is that you need to be careful with what you say. Comments to the police, the truck driver or the insurance company can impact your ability to claim compensation. Stick to the facts and refrain from attributing or accepting blame unless you speak to an attorney first.
Contact the Bethune Law Firm Today
It can be very difficult to focus on your recovery when there are complex legal and insurance issues to deal with. Insurance companies know this and they will try to get you to accept a very low settlement offer. They may dispute their client’s liability and hope that you will give up on getting compensation.
If you have experienced truck accident lawyers in Atlanta on your side, you’re more likely to get fair compensation. At the Bethune Law Firm, we will investigate the accident, determine who was responsible, and help you secure damages. We will stand up against the insurance company and do everything we can to help you. Call us today to schedule a free consultation (800)-465-8733.