How to Protect Your Rights After a Truck Accident

Any serious Atlanta traffic accident can be a frightening experience, but a collision with a large truck can be horrifying. When considering that large trucks may weigh between 20 and 30 times more than passenger vehicles, the chance of death and serious injury to automobile occupants is significantly higher than in most accidents. The victims of such crashes may consider seeking damages from the operator of the truck, but they will need the services of an Atlanta truck accident lawyer to ensure adequate compensation. These are some of the things that should be done after a truck mishap.

Share Only Necessary Information

The drivers of the vehicles involved need to share their personal and license information. They should also share the names of their insurance providers. However, those involved should never admit to any guilt regarding the accident. Such information could be used against a driver and reduce the chances of obtaining sufficient compensation. If any person involved needed medical care, you should also take care to retrieve those medical records if possible. These can be helpful during any subsequent legal action.

Contact the Police

Atlanta law enforcement personnel who are responsible for the particular jurisdiction will collect information and complete a report after an accident. This material is impartial and can be useful in subsequent litigation.

Beyond the material that will be collected by the police, those involved in an accident should collect as much information as is possible. This includes taking pictures of the vehicles involved. It will also be wise to speak to any witnesses, who could provide the type of information that can make a difference in terms of determining financial responsibility for an accident.

Record the Costs of the Accident

Expenses can range from medical bills and time off from work to the costs involved in repairing or replacing a vehicle. Costs of a personal injury can also include the personal pain and suffering beyond the physical injury itself.

Contact a Dependable Truck Accident Lawyer Today

In addition to the things that victims can do on their own, there are many legal aspects to a serious traffic accident that require proper advice. This is why it is important to consult with an Atlanta truck accident lawyer.

When you’re ready to hire a lawyer, contact The Fitzpatrick Firm, LLC. We specialize in personal injury cases and are ready to help you with your case. You can visit us at our Atlanta location, or reach out to us at (678) 607-5550.

How to Protect Your Rights After a Truck Accident

Car and truck accidents result in 3 million injuries every year. Truck crashes are fatal as trucks weigh more than 35,00 pounds. It takes effort and complete concentration to navigate a fully-loaded truck, even in the clearest of conditions.

Sadly, there has been a 52% increase in truck accidents since 2009. Of all these accidents, 68% of the fatalities are passenger car drivers or occupants. So, what makes trucks susceptible to crashes? Many factors contribute to the rise in truck accidents, and you should be aware of them to prevent more crashes.

1. A Negligent Truck Driver

Reckless truck drivers are the main reason for crashes. Driving a truck is tiring and stressful, making it easy for the driver to get exhausted easily and lose focus. A minor distraction can cause a disastrous accident in seconds.

Consequently, driver incompetence like overspeeding for conditions, driving while intoxicated, and failure to apply driving school lessons can lead to truck crashes. Contact Atlanta’s competent truck accident attorneys in Atlanta, GA for legal assistance if you are involved in an accident due to driver negligence.

2. Maintenance Complications

The deadliest maintenance issues are malfunctioning brakes. Trucks have air brakes that stop the loaded vehicle at 100ft if it speeds 35mph – 40mph. If the brakes malfunction, these heavy trucks become a problem on the road. The driver may do all they can to stop the crash, but the brakes may still cause a deadly accident.

Overloaded trucks are also a major cause of truck accidents. When a truck exceeds its loading limit, the driver will have difficulty managing the truck, which easily causes a crash, especially in bad weather.

According to  Atlanta truck accident attorneys and experts, bald and worn-out tires bring about many injuries from truck accidents. A heavy load truck with worn-out tires is a major reason for truck crashes. Out-of-service trucks should not be on the road until they are properly serviced.

3. Bad Weather Conditions

Bad weather conditions often cause truck accidents. Fog, rain, and wind are road users that severely affect trucks more than cars because of their size and weight.

Additionally, roads filled with water can cause a truck to hydroplane and skid. This may affect the braking system and cause the truck to lose control of its speed, posing a risk for accidents. Flooded and excessively wet roads also interfere with proper tire traction, which is important for safe driving.

4. Car Driver Neglectfulness

In some instances, truck accidents are caused by incompetent car drivers. Beginner drivers that are not familiar with maneuvering a truck can distract the truck driver or cause a collision that could lead to deadly injuries.

To avoid this, you should always pay attention to the truck’s movement and avoid overspeeding or passing a truck on a busy road.

When you fall victim to a truck and car crash, ensure you rely on Atlanta truck accident attorneys to file a claim. Without truck accident attorneys, you risk not getting compensated.

5. Trucks’ Cargo

Cargo overload is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. The overall weight distribution of the cargo in a fully loaded rig is also important in preventing crashes from occurring. If part of your load tilts towards one side significantly more than the other increases your chance of losing control while driving surfaces that allow the tires to slide.

What Affects Your Truck Accident Claim?

Winning your truck accident claim depends on several factors. If your trucking accident lawyer proves that the crash resulted from negligence, then your chances of getting fully compensated increase.

Other determining factors include the at-fault party, severity of the accident, injuries suffered and resulting car damage.

Looking for Truck Accidents Attorneys?

You should never pursue a claim without the help of an automobile accident lawyer. If you are involved in a car accident in Atlanta, call the police, call 911, and contact The Fitzpatrick Firm for a truck accident lawyer at (678) 607-5550. You can also receive a free case consultation when you speak with a lawyer today!

Main Causes of Truck Accidents in America

It’s never anybody’s plan to be involved in a car accident. Sadly, car and truck accidents keep rising in the U.S, greatly impacting the lives of many Americans. In 2019, heavy trucks caused 10% of all fatal accidents and injured many. Some of these accidents are the result of drivers’ negligence or recklessness. Oftentimes, they are related to commercial trucks that ignore traffic laws or drive imprudently due to excessive speed and fatigue.

Regardless of how safe you feel after an accident, it is important to contact a truck accident lawyer in Atlanta, GA. They will explain your rights and advise on how to handle an injury claim. To protect these rights without getting aggressive, stick to the guidelines outlined below.

Your Rights After an Accident

First, you have the right to an automobile accident attorney. Liable parties can easily take advantage of your ignorance if you are not assertive about this right. A lawyer knows the jurisdiction and local justice laws on personal injury claims and compensation. Lack of legal representation could cost you your case.

Next, you are allowed to call 911 and contact the police. Emergency dispatch is vital in cases where there are injuries and deaths. If you are unsure of the severity of the truck accident, be safe and seek medical help. Contacting law enforcement also helps in reporting the accident and collecting evidence.

You should also feel comfortable talking to witnesses and using media to gather information. When you spot a witness that might help your case, ensure they talk to the police and explain everything in detail as it happened. Use your smartphone to gather evidence of the accident scene, car damage, and personal injury. Bear in mind that you only have a limited amount of time to take pictures and video before the scene changes.

Lastly, do not sign any forms until you consult with your attorney. Most accident claims are made through insurance companies. It is advisable to avoid talking to these companies before consulting an attorney. Some of them can be dishonest and will manipulate you to accept compensation for less than the actual damage sustained.

Finally, you have the right to remain silent until your truck accident lawyer is present. If the insurance company or liable party is compelling you to release information, feel free to let your car crash attorney know.

How Long Do You Have to Sue?

You have two years to file a liability claim and four years to file property damage claims in Georgia. If you were underage during the truck accident, the deadlines would start when you are 18.

However, certain situations can cause the extension or reduction of these periods. These include:

  • Six months’ timeline for city and county automobile
  • One year for state cars and trucks

The legal technicalities surrounding automobile accidents are more reasons to hire a competent truck accident lawyer in.

Can You Pursue a Lawsuit After a Settlement?

The general rule indicates that you cannot file after signing a settlement. Although, there are rare cases where you can proceed to a lawsuit, even after settlement.

If you feel that the settlement was enabled by deception, contact your truck accident lawyer Atlanta residents trust and review the settlement. With proof of fraudulent negotiations, you may be lucky enough to sue the liable parties.

Additionally, you can file a lawsuit against another liable party that you did not settle with. For instance, if you negotiate with the driver but later realize that a defect in the automobile caused the accident, you can sue the manufacturer and seller.

We Are Here for You

Road accidents are a sensitive issue and should only be handled with the help of trucking accident attorneys. Contact The Fitzpatrick Firm today or call (678) 607-5550 to get in touch with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Atlanta, GA.

Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer: What to Know

The first thing you should do is call us, the Fitzpatrick Firm, at (678) 607-5550 and explain every detail of your case. From there we will gather vital information relating to your case and provide you with the advice needed to know if you still want to proceed with the lawsuit. Then, if you are fully comfortable going through with the lawsuit, we will gladly take your case. Your mental and physical health is what’s most important, so you will not be charged a fee from us until you are fully recovered. That helps us (and you) decide whether or not you’ll be able to return to work or your daily activities.

Types of Damages/Injuries

Sometimes personal injury claims can be so straightforward that you could handle the case on your own, without help from legal counsel. However, if damages/injuries caused by the accident are serious enough, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation. Types of damages/injuries in this respect, include:  

  • Fatal Injuries 
  • Wrongful Death 
  • A Groundless Denied Insurance Claim 
  • Permanently Disabling Injuries 

Determining the value of your claim

Insurance adjusters will try as hard as possible to undermine your claim in any fashion. That’s why it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side to deal with these adjusters. Medical evaluations offer a glimpse of knowledge into the value of your claim. If you have to miss work because of injuries incurred due to another’s negligent actions, you should certainly be compensated for it. The same goes for future medical expenses. Our attorneys will work diligently to get you a sufficient settlement.

If you think you are in need of an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact the Fitzpatrick Frim today.

How to Know if You Have a Personal Injury Case

If you have been injured — physically and/or mentally — as a result of another individual’s negligence, a personal injury attorney will attend best to your legal needs if called upon. However, here at The Fitzpatrick Firm, legal guidance is not our only priority when it comes to satisfying your needs. Namely, we make sure our clients are completely comfortable throughout every step of the process. This means you will have the final say in everything; for example, whether or not you’d be comfortable with taking the case to trial would be up to you. Contact us at (678) 607-5550 if you are in need of legal counsel.

 What will our personal injury attorneys do for you?

Once our attorneys know specific details pertaining to your incident, a legal plan will be devised and assembled in order to move forward with your case. After accumulating evidence, scanning through case law similar to yours, and developing a course of action, we will begin to prepare you for trial. Since personal injury lawsuits tend to be complicated, it’s important for you to understand that it may be stressful for you. However, hiring a good personal injury attorney will help mitigate the difficulties and stresses common to this kind of law. 

Types of cases handled

What is a Personal Injury Lawyer

Here at The Fitzpatrick Firm, we handle cases involving semi-truck (also tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles) accidents that result from the truck driver’s negligence. Trucking accidents can result in serious bodily harm and/or damage to your own vehicle. Since federal and state safety laws essentially control trucking companies and their employees, this type of lawsuit can be difficult to understand.

What Do You Need To Know After Being Involved In A Trucking Accident?

In 2016, police reports indicated that around 475,000 accidents involving large trucks took place throughout the year in the United States — 22% of those resulted in injury. Usually, trucking accidents take place on highways where the average vehicular speed is the highest. Clearly then, these accidents can result in serious bodily injury especially when taking into account the weight discrepancy between the two vehicles if it involves a semi-truck and some version of a smaller car.

You certainly will want to at least consult with a lawyer if you’ve been involved in an accident with a semi-truck. The reason being is that the insurers who represent truck drivers tend to be assertive and audacious. Not only are these insurers representing vehicles that can cause significant damage on their own, but also because they are consistently driving at faster speeds. With such high liability, trucking insurers will do anything within their power to get their client off the hook because of the sheer amount of money at stake. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been struck by a semi-truck, you should immediately consult with an attorney to see what steps to follow.

atlanta trucking accident attorney

When Should I Hire A Trucking Accident Lawyer?

As soon as humanly possible. The insurance adjuster will most likely try and contact you prior to you reaching out to an attorney at all. What they are trying to do is this: get you to agree to some sort of settlement before an attorney can step in on your behalf. This does not necessarily mean you need to contact an attorney immediately following the accident. Instead, take some time to think about how you’d like to proceed and go from there.

Once you decide to hire an attorney, he or she will do everything within their power to find out what exactly caused the accident. You will want to hire an experienced truck accident attorney if you want a chance at winning your case.

Examples of Incidents That Would Require A Trucking Accident Lawyer

  • A deadly truck accident
  • An accident that left you critically injured
  • If there is even a minimal chance you are the at-fault driver
  • If there were multiple vehicles involved 
  • If the accident took place in a school/construction zone

Common Injuries Due to Trucking Accidents

The average semi-truck weighs in at about 80,000 pounds while the quintessential automobile’s net weight is usually around 5,000 pounds. Consequently, whether you drive a Honda Accord or Ford F-250 does not make much of a difference given the combination of weight and speed common to all semi-trucks.
Thus, an assortment of serious injuries can transpire as a result of a trucking accident. Several severe injuries we have seen here at The Fitzpatrick Law Firm are as follows:

  • Burns 
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (concussions, blunt head trauma)
  • Neck/Back Injuries
  • Broken/Fractured Bones 
  • Internal Bleeding 
  • Lacerations to the Face and/or Scalp 
  • Spinal Injuries

However, death is not an uncommon result in trucking accidents and when it does happen, the driver and passengers inside the vehicle that is struck by the semi-truck are in the most precarious position.

If any of the aforementioned details pertain to you, dial (678) 607-5550 or contact us to speak with an experienced, established attorney who will seek full compensation for you and your family.

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