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.