If you were hit by a semi-truck, you generally have these legal options:
- You could file an insurance claim, whether with your own policy or the at-fault driver’s.
- You could file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault party.
Both of these things can be difficult to manage on your own after a serious collision. For that reason, you may consider partnering with a semi-truck accident lawyer on your case. They can assess your legal options and pursue financial recovery for your losses.
Your Legal Options Depend on Your Situation
You may wonder: “What should I do to recover damages? Should I file a claim or lawsuit?” Ultimately, the best decision for you depends on your situation. Some factors to consider include:
- The cause of the accident
- The severity of your condition
- The extent of your property’s damage
- The involved insurance policies
- Fault and liability for the wreck
Generally, you only have the option to seek compensation for your losses if someone else caused your accident due to negligence. Proving negligence involves showing that because another party acted carelessly or recklessly, you suffered harm. A semi-truck accident lawyer can prove negligence and carry out an appropriate course of legal action.
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Your Legal Options: Filing an Insurance Claim
After a truck accident in Georgia, you could file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. In fact, many truck accident claims get resolved out of court through settlements.
Settlements require you to go through negotiations with insurance agents. For instance, the insurance company may offer you an initial settlement that does not cover your losses. You – and your lawyer – could then counter the deal with an offer that addresses your needs.
Ideally, this process ends with a settlement offer that meets your needs. If not, however, you can proceed with a lawsuit against the negligent party.
What Compensation Can You Get Through an Insurance Claim?
An insurance claim may cover these damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
Your lawyer will review any offers made by the insurance company. They will explain whether any offers account for your past, present, and future losses. It’s vital to discuss any offer with your lawyer; after all, once you accept an offer, your case ends.
Your Legal Options: Filing a Lawsuit
As noted, many semi-truck accident cases do not require lawsuits. However, if your situation calls for one, your lawyer will manage everything litigation requires. You could file a lawsuit against one or more of the following parties:
- The trucking company
- The truck’s driver
- The truck’s manufacturer
- Other drivers on the road
Additionally, through a lawsuit, you can pursue damages outside of what’s usually covered by an insurance policy. Recoverable damages through a lawsuit may comprise:
- Your necessary medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage expenses
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Childcare and transportation expenses
If you lost a loved one, you could recover the cost of their funeral, burial, and end-of-life care costs.
How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit?
Generally, you have two years to file a lawsuit after a truck accident, per O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. Your filing deadline could vary depending on your age and whether a government agency was involved. It’s crucial to file your lawsuit within this two-year period.
If you neglect to file your lawsuit on time, the courts will refuse to hear your case, and you could have few legal options.
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Why Should I Partner with a Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer?
You should consider legal aid because truck accident cases can get complicated. Trucking companies (and their insurers) are more interested in profits–not paying injured people’s claims. Without legal help, you could find yourself facing a long road to compensation while recovering from a serious condition.
Regardless of whether you file an insurance claim or a lawsuit, a lawyer can establish:
Who Caused Your Georgia Truck Accident
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) notes that negligent truckers cause many truck accidents. For example, truckers may end up in an accident if they:
- Back up without checking their blind spots
- Fail to yield appropriately
- Run a red light or stop sign
- Speed or tailgate other drivers
- Take a turn too quickly
- Drive under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or fatigue
However, truck drivers do not always bear responsibility for these collisions. In some cases, the trucking company holds fault for the collision, especially if it fails to perform proper maintenance or doesn’t vet its drivers.
The truck manufacturer could also be at fault for a collision if it produced a defective vehicle. Using your case’s evidence, your lawyer can determine who should pay for your losses.
Your Lawyer Will Manage Your Case’s Heavy Lifting
To secure compensation, your lawyer needs to show that someone else caused your collision. This involves:
- Questioning witnesses
- Working with experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists
- Reviewing the police report
- Visiting the accident scene
- Reviewing your legal options
- Assessing the cost of your damages
- Asserting your rights through negotiations
- Litigating your case if a settlement isn’t possible
Speak to Us After a Truck Accident in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area
What are your legal options if a semi-truck hit you in Atlanta? You may file an insurance claim or go to court to seek compensation. Find out more about these options with Bader Scott Injury Lawyers. During your free case review, we can discuss your legal options if a semi-truck driver hurt you.