Calling the police and an ambulance after an accident should always be one of your first moves, but you should also consider calling a lawyer. Working with an attorney after a truck accident often means the difference between getting your case compensated in full and getting only a pittance to help pay for vehicle damage.
Insurance companies and the trucking companies they represent in court will often do everything in their power to shut down your case, which can include manipulative tactics that plaintiffs need to protect themselves against. Our attorneys work to prevent you from making statements that could be misconstrued as admissions of fault and we work to prevent you from accepting a settlement before knowing the full implications of that decision.
Call (844) 876-4357 today for a free case evaluation from Howe Law’s Savannah, GA truck accident attorneys.
Determining Fault in a Truck Accident Case in Hinesville, GA
Many drivers’ first legal question after an auto accident is one of fault. Drivers are often afraid that something they did might make them legally considered at fault or might ruin their chances of properly holding the driver who hit them accountable. They might also overlook legal principles that can put multiple drivers at fault or even put a trucking company at fault for a crash caused by their driver. Our truck accident lawyers explain the different factors that go into deciding fault after a truck accident:
Am I at Fault?
A driver’s first concern might be that they could actually be at fault for the crash. When you are the one who was seriously injured and the truck driver walks away from the crash nearly unscathed, it is likely that you are not to blame. Looking at the facts of what happened, consider whether you violated any traffic laws or whether you did anything out of the ordinary that might have caused the crash. If you were doing what you were supposed to be doing on the road, then it is unlikely that anyone could blame you for the truck accident.
If you were doing something unusual or illegal, a low degree of fault will often not play a big part in your case. Courts are allowed to consider a driver’s partial fault in causing the crash and reduce damages by the same percentage of fault. For example, if you are found 10% at fault compared to the trucker’s 90% fault, then a $100,000 case would be reduced to $90,000. Courts often assign partial blame for things like slight speeding or a rolling stop, but in the face of the trucker’s drunk driving or massive violations, the court might not see you as sharing any responsibility.
What Constitutes Fault?
For someone to be responsible for a truck accident, there must be something they did wrong. In most contexts, this means a traffic violation or regulatory violation; however, unsafe driving that does not explicitly violate a statute or regulation can also be a factor in deciding fault. For example, most trucking accidents involve speeding, overweight trucks, drunk driving, commercial driver’s license violations, and distracted driving.
Who Can Be Found at Fault?
The trucker is one of the parties we seek to hold responsible in most cases. However, fault does not necessarily begin or end with them.
Sometimes truck accidents are caused by another driver altogether. If a truck is hit by another driver, it could throw the truck off course and lead to a multi-car pileup. In these cases, the trucker’s reaction to being hit might be reasonable, and the other driver would be liable instead.
In most cases, however, the trucker did something wrong to cause the crash. This can include any kind of traffic violation or unsafe behavior behind the wheel that might have caused the crash.
The company the trucker works for can also be held responsible for the accident in many cases. If the trucker was an employee and was on duty at the time of the accident, that likely gives you grounds to sue the trucker’s employer for the trucker’s negligence. In addition, trucking companies can also be held liable for problems with the vehicle or the driver that they should have resolved or prevented with better maintenance or hiring/retention policies.
In rare cases, other parties might also be liable for a crash, such as the manufacturer of a defective truck part, the mechanics who made a faulty repair, or the local municipal government that caused a road defect.
Damages for Injured Truck Accident Victims in Hinesville, GA
A crash involving a truck can often lead to quite substantial damages. Victims’ cars are often totaled in these accidents, meaning that the insurance company will only pay the total remaining value of the car rather than paying for repairs beyond that cost. Additionally, the drivers and other occupants in a totaled car could face life-altering injuries, resulting in additional damages.
While property damage is incredibly common in car accidents, it is not the focus in a personal injury case. Our lawyers will do what we can to get you full compensation for the value of your car, the cost of repairs, and the drop in vehicle value that results from the fact that it was involved in a crash. We will also fight for other property damage, such as destroyed cell phones, cargo, and other items in your car. However, the core focus in an injury claim is the financial compensation for your injuries.
The damages for injuries can include bills for hospitalization, physical therapy, rehabilitation, mental health therapy, and other medical and psychological care costs. We can also seek compensation for the wages you missed while you were unable to work because of the injury and damages for the physical and mental impact the injury has. These intangible physical and mental/emotional damages are often called “pain and suffering,” “emotional distress,” or simply “non-economic damages.”
Call Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Hinesville, GA Today
For help after a truck crash, call Howe Law’s truck accident attorneys at (844) 876-4357.