Trucking Accident Attorney Savannah
A semi-truck weighs tens of thousands of pounds more than a regular passenger vehicle. Because of the significant weight and height difference, when an 18-wheeler is involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle, the outcome can be devastating.
Most passenger vehicles do not stand a chance when they are hit by a commercial truck. Even if the accident occurs at a lower speed, the injuries and damages can still be excessive. Because of the high likelihood of severe injuries occurring in commercial truck accidents, settlements tend to be higher than regular passenger vehicle accidents.
These cases can be very complex and often involve multiple insurance policies and several parties that can be found liable for the accident victim’s damages. If you have been involved in a truck accident, contact a trucking accident lawyer Savannah at the Ferguson Law Group as soon as possible to explore your legal options and learn how we can protect your claim.
Liability in a Commercial Truck Accident
When an accident victim makes a claim for compensation following a trucking accident, liability plays a big part in the accident victim’s settlement offer. The stronger the evidence that indicates the truck driver was at fault, the less likely the insurance company will be to take the position that the settlement amount should be reduced based on the percentage of fault the accident victim was responsible for.
Just like with an auto accident, every truck accident case is unique.
Other issues can impact liability, including:
- Whether or not the semi-truck had an unforeseeable malfunction,
- The trucker was cut off by another driver
- The accident victim contributed to the accident in some way.
Because of the complexity of these cases, it’s important to collect as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident. You must also consult with a truck wreck attorney who is familiar with handling complex commercial truck accident cases in Savannah.
When liability is uncertain, the insurance company will usually offer a lowball settlement offer if anything at all. An attorney can advocate on your behalf and negotiate a fair settlement that can compensate you for all of your losses.
Damages in Trucking Accident Claims
Trucking accidents often result in severe, life-changing injuries that require several weeks, months, or years of recovery, painful surgeries, and ongoing medical treatment. In these types of complex cases, an experienced truck wreck lawyer will know how to build a solid case that can hold the trucking company and its driver liable for damages. The damages in a truck accident case are often much higher than an accident involving two passenger vehicles since the massive size and power of a semi-truck can cause severe injuries or fatalities.
Some of the damages the liable parties can be held responsible for in a trucking accident claim or lawsuit can include:
When a semi-truck hits a passenger vehicle it often totals that vehicle. This means the insurance company simply pays the fair market value of the automobile instead of paying to have it repaired. Usually, this will occur when the cost of repair is close to or above the value of the automobile itself.
Typically, if a car is damaged, the insurance company will pay the costs for repairs.
The process is very simple. A trucking company’s insurance carrier arranges to have the vehicle inspected and an estimated cost of repairs is created. Once the repairs are complete, the insurance company will pay the bill.
In some cases, especially if there’s a disagreement regarding liability, the driver of the passenger vehicle’s insurance company pays the repair bill and will then seek reimbursement from the trucking company’s insurance carrier later on.
However, if the vehicle is totaled, the accident victim will most likely receive the blue book value of their vehicle during the settlement process. In this case, the insurance company is obligated to only pay the fair market value for the automobile.
The total cost of medical expenses is another factor that plays a role in the settlement offer after a trucking accident. This can include past medical bills incurred, in addition to future medical bills the accident victim is expected to incur.
Usually, the injuries sustained by the accident victim are life-altering or severe. In most cases, the higher the medical bills are, the longer the accident victim will require treatment. In cases that involve severe injuries, future medical treatment can be significant. This can impact the claim for future medical costs.
However, there’s no guaranteed amount that the accident victim can receive for their medical expenses, considering each amount is determined case by case. In some cases, the trucking company’s insurance carrier will take the position that the accident victim’s treatment was unreasonably expensive and excessive, or the treatment was not related to the accident. This is a fairly common tactic used by insurance adjusters in an attempt to drive the value of the settlement down so that the insurance company can save money.
A semi-truck accident often results in severe and life-threatening injuries. This can significantly impact the accident victim’s ability to work.
In cases where the injuries have resulted in a permanent disability, the accident victim may be forced to change careers or may be unable to work in the future. As the accident victim recovers, they are forced to miss several days, weeks, or months of work. In this case, the victim would have a claim to recover lost wages.
If the accident victim has been injured so severely that it affects their employability at their current job or other jobs, they have a claim to compensate for their impaired earning capacity.
Typically, to prove lost wages, the accident victim’s employer must present documentation of the normal hours their employee worked, the wages associated with their work, and how much time at work the accident victim has missed due to their injuries.
To prove impaired earning capacity, the accident victim’s employer must verify that the victim’s injuries prevent them from returning to work at the same level they were at before the accident.
When seeking compensation, an attorney will include the accident victim’s lost wages and/or their impaired earning capacity in the settlement demand.
The calculation for impaired earning capacity is very complex and will take into account the accident victim’s experience, training, education, and physical abilities before the accident occurred, compared to after the accident. This is then translated into employability for that particular job market at that time.
Pain and Suffering
Unlike economic losses, appropriate compensation for pain and suffering is harder to determine. A lawyer must take into account the severity of the accident victim’s injuries and the damages they sustained, in addition to how much time was missed at work, and other things in the accident victim’s life that they were forced to miss due to the injuries they sustained and the physical pain they went through. Emotional distress, permanency of injuries, physical limitations, and scarring are also taken into account.
If the accident victim’s family members rely on them, a truck wreck lawyer will also take into account how the accident has impacted the lives of the accident victim’s family members due to the injuries the victim sustained, in addition to the family member’s observations of the victim’s pain and limitations.
Once a lawyer has compiled all of the evidence, they can include the appropriate amount for pain and suffering.
Typically, insurance companies will fight this amount the hardest since it’s not always as cut and dry as economic damages, such as medical bills.
Only lawyers who have significant trucking accident claim experience can truly steer the insurance company on the right course since it’s usually the threat of litigation handled by an experienced trucking accident lawyer that will keep the insurance company honest.
Building a Case
Semi-truck accidents are much more complex to handle compared to regular motor vehicle accidents. More parties are usually involved, the paperwork is very complex, and possible state and federal regulations violations must be investigated.
The attorneys at the Ferguson Law Group will begin investigating a case immediately to preserve important evidence that can help prove liability.
Many parties may be held responsible for damages including the driver, trucking company, cargo loading company, truck part manufacturer, trailer manufacturer, and the company responsible for maintaining and repairing the truck and the trailer. Due to the complexity of these cases, an immediate investigation is essential.
Trucking companies are quick to make repairs or hide valuable evidence that can prove your claim. Our attorneys know how to investigate this type of challenging case and will utilize all of our resources to uncover the truth.
Contact the Truck Injury Attorneys at the Ferguson Law Group Today
If you’ve been involved in a trucking accident, contact the truck wreck attorneys at the Ferguson Law Group today. With the help of our experienced truck wreck attorneys, you can rest assured that your case is in the best hands. Our attorneys are determined to help accident victims receive maximum compensation for injuries, lost wages, property damage, and other damages suffered as a result of the truck accident. We are not afraid to take on major trucking companies and insurance companies. We will not back down until our clients receive a fair settlement offer for all of their losses.
Contact our office today to schedule a consultation. We will answer any questions you may have, discuss your legal options, and determine how we can hold all the parties liable for your injuries and other damages.
Tifton Office225 East 2nd Street, Tifton, GA 31794