Trucking Accident Attorney Albany
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a semi-trailer truck, a trucking accident lawyer Albany, from the Ferguson Law Group will be dedicated to protecting your claim and your rights. We know how stressful your situation is and we can help you hold all negligent parties accountable for your accident.
Determining Fault in Trucking Accidents
As an accident victim, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. Our commercial trucking attorneys can help. We’re here to make sure that all responsible parties will be held accountable for their negligence.
Determining who’s responsible for your accident, injuries, and damages can be difficult. Our semi-truck accident lawyers will investigate your claim to help determine who should be held responsible for your accident and ensure they’re held accountable for all damages.
With a commercial truck accident, several parties can be found liable, including:
- Truck drivers
- Trucking company
- Maintenance contractors
- Cargo loading company
- Industry demands
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
In most cases, a truck accident occurs due to the negligent actions of the driver, although, as mentioned above, several parties can be held responsible for a commercial truck accident.
Truck drivers are under tight deadlines to deliver their cargo safely and on time. However, strict rules and regulations surround the trucking industry. These regulations also include how many hours a driver can drive consecutively before they must take a break. Drivers are allowed to drive for a total of fourteen consecutive hours, following ten hours off duty. A truck driver is required to keep a log of all the hours they drive and the length in between driving hours.
Driver fatigue is a major cause of trucking accidents, followed closely by distracted driving. It only takes the driver failing to pay attention to the road for a split second before an accident occurs.
An inexperienced driver can also be to blame for an accident, especially if they’re driving in inclement weather. It’s the trucking company’s responsibility to ensure their drivers have had the proper training before they’re allowed to operate one of these dangerous vehicles.
Improper Vehicle Maintenance
A commercial truck is subject to strict standards for repair, maintenance, and inspection. Failure to meet state and federal service standards is considered a serious offense, one that may have fatal consequences.
When a truck accident occurs due to improper maintenance, an Albany truck accident attorney can help determine who’s to blame, whether it’s the driver, trucking company, maintenance contractor, or all parties.
The FMCSA and state laws require the regular inspection of truck components. A driver is also required to complete a written inspection at the end of each shift. Failure to do so can result in:
- Trailer detachments
- Tire blowouts
- Disabled signal lights
- Brake failure
The trucking industry demands can also be to blame for an 18-wheeler accident. Our Albany truck wreck attorneys understand the effects these demands have on drivers, causing them to drive longer and faster than necessary to deliver their cargo on time.
What to Do After Being Involved in a Truck Accident
Due to their size and weight, semi-trucks can cause catastrophic injuries. After an accident, medical treatment should be your priority.
In addition to seeking medical treatment, there are other important steps that you can take that can help build a stronger case.
If possible, obtain the names, numbers, and addresses of the other parties involved in the accident and any witnesses.
You should also write down the name and contact information of the trucking company. In some cases, the trucking company will have violated regulations to save money. If the trucking company’s violations caused the accident, the trucking company may be held responsible for your damages.
You can also take photos of the accident and write down a detailed account of exactly what happened in the accident, such as your speed, the lane you were driving in, and the road conditions. This type of evidence can help a lawyer prepare your case.
After an accident involving a commercial truck, you may have to deal with insurance adjusters who work for the trucking company’s insurance provider. An insurance adjuster may show up at the scene of the accident or contact you at home to offer you a low settlement amount. Avoid speaking to them if possible and never sign or agree to anything. The insurance adjuster’s job is to pay you as little as possible.
A trucking company has several resources that are meant to protect them after an accident. Because of this, you need an experienced truck accident lawyer to represent you and fight for your rights.
Our truck accident attorneys have a deep understanding of trucking industry regulations and we can investigate your case to determine if these regulations were violated. We have several years of experience handling these types of accidents and can investigate your claim, gather evidence, and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
How Commercial Truck Accidents are Investigated
An investigation into a commercial truck accident is often very complex and can involve:
- Speaking with eyewitnesses
- Obtaining the truck driver’s driving log and employment record
- Obtaining copies of the truck’s maintenance records
- Meeting with accident reconstruction experts
- Meeting with medical professionals
- Obtaining medical records and police reports
- Evaluating all vehicles involved in the accident including steering components, tires, brakes, and more
Why You Need a Big Truck Accident Attorney
Representatives of insurance companies and trucking companies will go to great lengths to get the accident victim to accept the lowest settlement possible. Insurance and trucking companies have the skills and resources to build a case against you and will attempt to place the blame on you.
Never speak to an insurance adjuster or truck company representative without talking to a truck accident lawyer first. When an attorney is representing you, the insurance company will be notified and advised that all communication must be made through the attorney. If you’re already working with an attorney and the insurance adjuster persists in making contact, notify your attorney.
How Can A Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
Having the Ferguson Law Group on your side will ensure that your best interests will be protected every step of the way. We will provide you with knowledgeable and valuable guidance for maneuvering this type of complex claim. We know how to investigate the various factors that can lead to a truck accident to determine if the careless actions of another party caused your accident.
Our legal team is familiar with trucking industry standards and regulations, and we’re skilled at evaluating and collecting evidence, such as:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Truck manufacturing or design defects
- Maintenance and trip inspection logs
- Signs of excessive wear on truck components, such as tires and brakes
- Repair and service records
- Weather and road conditions at the time of the accident
What Damages Can I claim after a Commercial Truck Accident?
After an accident involving a commercial truck, the types of damages you can claim will depend on the types of injuries you sustained. How much you’re able to recover will also vary, based on the driver’s insurance policy. However, many accident victims will claim the following damages:
Medical expenses will begin with the ambulance transport from the scene of the accident, through to emergency room treatment, hospitalization, appointments with specialists, rehabilitative therapy, medical equipment, doctor appointments, medications, and any modifications to your vehicle and home after the accident.
Pain and Suffering
If you sustained serious injuries in the truck accident, then you likely suffered immense physical pain. You may have also missed opportunities and activities, been diagnosed with PTSD, and experienced emotional disturbances due to the accident. A court can award compensation for these types of losses.
Loss of Wages
After the accident, you may have missed several days, weeks, or months of work while healing. You may find your activities limited by the injuries you sustained, or you may have spent a significant amount of time in the hospital as you were recovering. Lost wages can add up quickly. You can claim lost wages as part of the recompense from the insurance company. If your injuries have left you permanently disabled and unable to return to your previous job, you can also claim lost earning potential.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accident injuries can vary, depending on the stability of the accident victim’s vehicle, the speed of their car and the truck’s, and the site of impact. However, many people who have been involved in a truck accident can suffer the following injuries:
Traumatic Brain Injury
A TBI often causes long-term issues, including ongoing emotional regulation issues, difficulty processing normal activities, and sensory processing challenges.
Spinal Cord Damage
Damage to the spinal cord can cause paralysis or loss of mobility. Whether movement returns can depend on the patient, their ability to recover, and their health.
Because semi-trucks weigh thousands of pounds, they can cause crushing damage that can require the amputation of a limb due to the inability to restore function or blow flow. Amputation may also occur during the accident.
A broken bone can cause long-term limitations and trauma, making it difficult for the accident victim to return to their normal life and job.
Soft Tissue Damage
Typically, torn tendons and ligaments can cause pain and ongoing discomfort, more so than broken bones.
A truck accident can cause ongoing damage to internal organs, making it difficult for the accident victim to function.
Do I Need to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Not all accidents require legal representation. However, most truck accidents can devastate victims, requiring an attorney to deal with all the complexities of the case. Additionally, this type of accident can involve many parties, including the driver, their employer, and even the truck manufacturer. An insurance company will not be so quick to play games when a lawyer is involved, so when you’ve suffered severe injuries, it’s always wise to have an attorney in your corner.
Do I Have to Go to Court?
It’s possible. Most types of personal injury cases involving auto accidents will settle before going to court. An attorney will negotiate with the insurance adjuster who represents the driver and their employer, to reach a settlement agreement that will provide fair compensation for injuries and other losses that are directly related to the accident. In some cases, it may not be clear who should be held liable, and the defense may not be willing to offer full compensation. If a settlement agreement cannot be reached, a truck wreck lawyer from the Ferguson Law Group will fight aggressively for you in court.
Should I Accept an Offer from the Insurance Company After a Truck Accident?
A trucking company is required to carry a large insurance policy because of the increased bodily injury and property damage that accompanies truck accidents. However, this doesn’t mean that an insurance adjuster who represents the trucking company will agree to pay out a claim. If the insurance adjuster knows that the policyholder was negligent, they may attempt to avoid paying a large settlement or any court-awarded damages by offering a lowball settlement offer immediately following the accident. These offers are simply designed to entice the accident victim to sign an agreement that will give up their right to sue for damages in the future.
These settlements are never close to the size of the settlement the accident victim deserves for their injuries and other losses.
An initial offer from an insurance company should be considered a starting point for negotiations. Never accept their initial offer, especially if you have not consulted a lawyer. Most truck accident attorneys are skilled negotiators who will get accident victims a much larger settlement than what they could get on their own.
Contact the Ferguson Law Group Today!
If you have been involved in a truck accident and you’ve suffered serious injuries, the team of experienced truck accident attorneys from the Ferguson Law Group are here to help. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and have one of the leading commercial trucking attorneys review your case and discuss what your legal options are.
Tifton Office225 East 2nd Street, Tifton, GA 31794