Commercial trucks are massive compared to passenger vehicles. When crashes happen, this size difference often means the occupants of the smaller cars suffer the most severe injuries. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently found more than two-thirds of all truck accident deaths were individuals in cars and other passenger vehicles, not truck drivers.
If you suffered injuries in an 18-wheeler accident in Georgia, you already know just how devastating these tragic events can be. The good news is that you can seek justice and a fair financial recovery for your injuries and losses by filing a personal injury claim with the help of an experienced Columbus truck accident lawyer.
At Bence Law Firm, LLC, we provide personalized client service aimed at taking the pressure off you. Healing should be your top priority. Fighting for compensation for you is ours. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our dedicated personal injury attorneys.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Columbus
You may not know what to do in the aftermath of a truck accident. Take the following steps to protect your legal rights and kickstart your injury claim:
- Seek prompt medical care. A doctor will determine the extent of your injuries, prescribe the medical treatment you need, and lay the foundations of your injury claim by establishing a connection between your injuries and the truck collision.
- Gather evidence from the semi-truck accident scene. Never refuse emergency medical treatment if paramedics recommend it. But if you are able, collect evidence from the crash site to support your claim. Examples include photos, the names and insurance information of every driver involved, the police accident report, and witness statements. Medical bills and other documentation of your accident-related financial losses will also support your claim for compensation.
- Attend all follow-up medical appointments. Don’t skip out on rehabilitation appointments that you need, such as physical therapy or occupational therapy. Follow every one of your doctor’s treatment recommendations. This shows the insurance company(s) that you took your health and recovery seriously.
- Avoid speaking to the insurance company until consulting with a Columbus truck wreck lawyer. Insurers for commercial truck companies know truck accident claims can have a high-dollar value. Adjusters and corporate attorneys will be looking for any reason to minimize your settlement. Let a knowledgable legal professional do the talking for you to protect your case.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Columbus
The leading causes of semi-truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving – Texting while driving, making phone calls, adjusting navigation devices, or any other activity that diverts a trucker’s attention away from the road constitutes distracted driving.
- Drowsy driving – Driving while tired can be just as hazardous as drunk driving.
- Driving under the influence – Driving while impaired by alcohol, illicit drugs, or any other intoxicating substance puts every motorist in harm’s way.
- Driving errors – Breaking traffic laws often contributes to large truck accidents. This may happen when a negligent truck driver fails to check blind spots, disregards traffic signals, tailgates, and drives too fast for road conditions.
- Mechanical defects – Faulty tires, brakes, airbags, or other components that fail in transit can cause a truck driver to lose control of the rig and barrel into nearby cars.
- Poor road conditions – Potholes, puddles caused by poor drainage, or missing road signs can increase the chances of a deadly truck accident.
- Poor maintenance – Truck companies must conduct regular inspections and make repairs to their vehicles. Failure to care for their fleets according to federal and state laws puts everyone at risk.
- Negligent hiring – Trucking companies must also hire qualified drivers. If they cut corners by employing drivers without a CDL license or failing to conduct a background check, they can be held liable for their negligent business practices.
Many times, more than one contributing factor leads to a truck accident in Columbus. A seasoned Columbus truck crash attorney can investigate your case to determine what happened and who should be held responsible for your injuries.
Why Are Truck Accident Claims So Complicated?
Truck accidents have some significant distinctions that can make them much more complex than a standard car accident. These include:
- More parties involved – Many different parties are invested and involved in the operations of a commercial vehicle. Any of them could bear partial or total liability for a trucking accident.
- Higher insurance limits – Commercial insurance policies have higher limits, which means more money is at stake. When there’s more money on the line, those who are liable tend to fight hard to avoid paying up on a truck accident insurance claim.
- Severe injuries and damage – Serious injuries and vehicle damage are not only more costly to treat or repair, but they can also result in much longer recovery periods that lengthen the overall claims process.
- Different rules and regulations – Commercial vehicle drivers are subject to specific rules and regulations, making determining fault in truck accident cases much more complicated.
Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident Case?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding a Columbus truck accident, any of the following parties may be liable:
- The truck driver
- Another motorist or road user
- The trucking company or truck driver’s employer
- A manufacturer, mechanic, or repair facility
- A cargo loading company or team
Proving liability and negligence is critical after a tractor-trailer crash. An 18-wheeler collision lawyer in Columbus will know what questions to ask to help you recover compensation from the at-fault party.
What Compensation Is Possible After a Semi-truck Accident?
With a successful truck accident injury claim, you could pursue compensation for the following types of accident-related losses:
- Medical expenses
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Repair or replacement costs for vehicle or property damage
- Lost wages from missed time at work
- Lost future earning potential from an accident-related disability
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life
Before accepting any settlement offer, you should seek legal help from the legal professionals at Bence Law Firm, LLC. Catastrophic injuries can be life-changing, putting your financial future and well-being are on the line.
Statute of Limitations on Truck Accidents in Columbus
If you believe you have grounds for a truck accident lawsuit in Columbus, be aware that Georgia law only gives accident victims two years to take legal action. This deadline is called the statute of limitations. The clock starts ticking on the date when you initially sustained your injuries.
Don’t wait too long to get legal advice from a truck crash attorney. A civil court judge will likely dismiss your case if you wait too long to file your claim. This means you lose your right to demand money for your losses. It’s best to work with an experienced attorney to give you the best possible chance of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and other damages after a truck collision,
Reach out to a Columbus Truck Accident Attorney to File a Claim
A trusted injury lawyer can help you with your semi-truck lawsuit by:
- Explaining your legal rights and options
- Conducting an independent investigation into the accident
- Working with expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists
- Communicating with the insurance company and other attorneys on your behalf
- Filing all legal documents on time
- Negotiating aggressively for maximum truck accident compensation
- Filing a truck accident lawsuit and taking your case to court if necessary
You can discuss the details of your case with a skilled Columbus truck accident lawyer today. Turn to Bence Law Firm, LLC. Our law firm will discuss your options for compensation in a free legal consultation.
The attorney-client relationship matters to us. We don’t want to make things harder for you. That’s why we charge no upfront legal fees to start work on your truck accident case. We only get paid if you do. Contact us right away to get started.