A truck accident brings with it an overwhelming whirlwind of medical treatment, insurance claims, and time off work. Amid this turmoil, ensuring that you get the justice you need can seem daunting. But by hiring a skilled truck accident lawyer in Atlanta, you can secure compensation for your losses due to someone else’s negligence.
Here’s an overview of the compensation you can sue for in a truck accident and the role a truck accident injury attorney plays in getting you the maximum amount possible:
Your Rights to Compensation After a Truck Accident
Let’s start with the basics. As the injured victim of a truck accident, you may receive compensation for your losses. Numerous parties could owe you that money.
Compensation You Could Receive
The law generally entitles you to receive compensation for the full scope of losses you suffer in a truck accident. Lawyers categorize your losses into two broad categories: economic damages and noneconomic damages. Separately, you may also have the right to claim punitive damages.
Economic damages are quantifiable and concrete financial losses you suffered as a direct result of the accident.
They frequently include:
- Medical expenses, including your treatment, rehabilitation, and any future medical costs due to the accident.
- Lost income and job benefits if the accident caused you to miss work or lose your job entirely.
- Loss of future earnings and opportunities if you suffered an injury that caused a temporary or permanent disability that prevents you from working.
- Property damage if the accident caused damage to your vehicle or any other property.
Noneconomic damages encompass all the other ways a truck accident can harm you.
They can include:
- Physical pain and discomfort your injuries from the accident or medical treatments caused.
- Emotional or psychological trauma and anxiety you experienced due to the accident.
- Loss of consortium, also known as loss of affection or companionship, which encompasses adverse effects on your relationship with your spouse or immediate family.
- Loss of independence due to your injuries.
- Challenges of living with scarring, disfigurement, or loss of bodily function.
Sometimes, victims of truck accidents can ask a court to award them punitive (or exemplary) damages. These damages do not compensate the victim but punish the at-fault party for extreme or malicious conduct and deter others from similar misbehavior.
Parties Who May Have to Pay You Compensation
Numerous parties could be liable for your losses following a truck accident. By law, anyone—whether an individual, business, or entity—that engaged in wrongful conduct leading to the accident could owe damages to the injured victims.
These parties may include:
- A negligent truck driver who caused the crash by speeding or driving when drowsy.
- The employer of an at-fault trucker.
- The owner of a truck who failed to properly maintain it, resulting in the crash.
- The company responsible for loading cargo into the truck unsafely, causing a loss of control.
- A truck manufacturer that sold defective parts that contributed to the cause of the crash.
- A local government or road contractor responsible for unreasonably dangerous road conditions that triggered an accident.
These are just some examples. Every truck crash differs in its particular facts and circumstances. The most reliable way to determine who might owe you damages for a truck accident is to speak to an experienced attorney.
How Much You Can Receive
The amount of money you might receive for a truck accident depends on various factors. There’s no fixed amount that you are guaranteed to receive—in fact, there is no guarantee of payment at all. That is why hiring a skilled lawyer to handle your claim is always in your interest. Having a lawyer take care of the legal details maximizes your chances of getting the most money possible.
The compensation you could receive depends on:
- The severity of your injuries and their consequences on your daily life: As a rule of thumb, the worse your injuries are and the more disruption they cause, the more money you can claim.
- The availability of evidence to support your claim: Your rights depend on whether a lawyer can prove someone else’s liability to you for damages in court if your case moves to litigation. The more evidence there is to make your case, the better your chances of a favorable result.
- Your lawyer’s skill, experience, and reputation: Lawyers who have an established track record of winning truck accident injury cases tend to get better results than those who don’t.
- The financial resources of the parties liable to you: You stand a better chance of obtaining full compensation from a party with ample liability insurance coverage or large liquid assets than one that does not.
The Role a Truck Accident Lawyer Plays in Securing Compensation for You
A truck accident lawyer’s job is to secure compensation for your injuries and losses following a truck crash. The lawyer handles all the legal and administrative tasks required to compel liable parties to pay you what you need. While the lawyer works on your behalf, you can focus your attention and energy on healing from the trauma of your truck accident.
Truck accident lawyers wear multiple hats while pursuing compensation for you. Here are just some of the services they frequently provide for truck crash victims:
Identifying Liable Parties
A lawyer’s first order of business in most truck crash cases is to determine exactly what happened to you and who bears the blame for it. By law, the at-fault parties are likely liable for your damages.
A lawyer investigates fault by reviewing all available information about the crash, including police reports, video footage, witness statements, truck onboard computer data, and physical items, such as damaged vehicles. They may also hire crash reconstruction or trucking industry experts to zero in on the parties at-fault for the harm you suffered.
A lawyer strives to identify as many liable parties as possible. The more they can find, the better the odds of securing full compensation for your losses. The lawyer also assesses each liable party’s financial resources—typically their liability insurance coverage and liquid assets—to determine how able they are to pay. This tells the lawyer who to prioritize when pursuing compensation on your behalf.
Evaluating Your Damages
Early in a truck accident case, a lawyer typically evaluates your current and future expected losses to calculate the amount you should receive in compensation.
Lawyers with significant experience in truck accident cases leave no stone unturned in tallying your damages because they want to ensure that any legal action they take on your behalf seeks sufficient funds to ensure that you can pay your bills and meet your future needs.
Collecting Evidence to Support Your Claim
Your rights to compensation depend on whether a lawyer can prove someone else’s liability to you for monetary damages if your case goes to trial. Proving a case requires evidence that a lawyer can present in court. It is up to a lawyer to gather and organize that evidence to support your case.
Evidence in a truck accident claim takes various forms. It can include footage from traffic cameras, data from truck onboard logging devices, your recollections, testimony from eyewitnesses, and records from official police or regulator investigations, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Lawyers aim to gather as much evidence as possible to leave no doubt in the minds of insurance companies, defense lawyers, judges, or juries about who is liable to you and how much they owe.
Handling Insurance Companies
Insurance coverage is central in securing compensation for most truck accident injuries. You may carry various forms of insurance that pay some of your expenses after suffering an injury in a truck crash. The party (or parties) at fault may also carry liability insurance coverage to foot the bill for your damages.
Having a right to payment from an insurance company does not automatically translate into money in your pocket. Far from it. Insurance companies often try to avoid paying you what they owe. The last thing you need while recovering from the trauma of a truck accident is to worry about battling insurance adjusters and bureaucracy.
You do not have to. As your representative, an experienced truck accident lawyer can handle all interactions with insurers on your behalf. Lawyers know how to hold insurance companies accountable and ensure that they follow the rules and fulfill their contractual obligations to pay covered claims.
You do not have to worry about receiving a call from an aggressive insurance adjuster again—your lawyer becomes your point of contact with the insurance companies and protects your rights.
Most truck accident injury claims settle out of court—sometimes before you have even filed a lawsuit against the parties at fault. But no settlement is guaranteed. It takes skilled and aggressive negotiation to achieve a settlement that pays you fair compensation for your losses.
Truck accident lawyers negotiate settlements all the time. They know how to convince the defense lawyers and insurance companies representing at-fault parties to offer high-dollar settlements. With an experienced truck accident attorney negotiating on your behalf, you stand the best chance of settling your claim on favorable terms.
Going to Court
Truck accident cases that do not settle frequently go to court, where a judge or a jury makes the final decision. A truck accident lawyer can take your case to court and present evidence and arguments to convince judges and juries to award you the necessary compensation.
Although most cases end in settlement, experienced truck crash attorneys prepare every case as if a court will decide it so that no matter what direction your case heads, they are always ready to put their best foot forward.
Advising and Counseling
Throughout the process of getting compensation for you, a truck accident lawyer also serves as your trusted advisor and counselor. The aftermath of a truck crash can turn your life upside down.
But lawyers have guided many people in similar positions through these challenges and out the other side, and they can do the same for you. For many truck crash victims, having a lawyer to talk to about life decisions is nearly as valuable as the compensation they work to secure on their behalf.
Truck Crash Lawyers Are Affordable
Don’t delay contacting a truck accident lawyer out of worry about the cost. You can afford to hire an attorney, no matter your financial situation.
All truck accident attorneys offer a free consultation to crash victims and their loved ones. You can meet with a knowledgeable legal professional for free and learn about your rights and options without paying a penny. You will not owe anything for a consultation, even if you decide not to proceed with legal action.
Truck accident lawyers also regularly represent clients on contingency. They do not charge upfront or bill by the hour for their services. Instead, they keep a percentage of any money they secure for you as a fee. In other words, you only pay them if they win your case.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Today
You can sue for potentially significant compensation after suffering injuries in a truck accident. But having the right to sue does not automatically translate into money in your pocket. Hiring a truck accident attorney is the most reliable way to maximize the amount you receive.
To learn more about your rights after suffering harm in a truck crash, contact an experienced truck accident lawyer in your area today for a free consultation.