Typically, it will be worth the hassle for you to file a truck accident case. Without filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the at-fault party who caused the accident that injured you, you will not receive compensation for your losses. Collisions involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks tend to cause more severe injuries or fatalities than car accidents because of the heavy weight of large trucks.
According to the National Safety Council, 107,000 large trucks were involved in collisions that caused at least one injury in 2020. Occupants of smaller vehicles, like passenger cars, tend to bear the brunt of the severe injuries in these accidents. There were nearly 5,000 fatalities in these crashes.
What You Need to Know About Truck Accident Claims
Truck accident injury claims require knowledge of all the same issues as any accident involving only passenger vehicles, as well as these issues:
Complicated Insurance Disputes
There might be multiple insurance policies that could cover your losses, but when there are multiple policies, each insurance company will likely deny liability and try to pass the buck to the other insurance company. It will take close analysis of each policy to determine which company’s coverage applies to your losses from the truck accident.
Federal Regulations That Apply to Commercial Trucks
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues extensive regulations that govern the operation of commercial trucks. For example, there are limits on the number of hours a person can drive a tractor-trailer hauling cargo without stopping to rest or sleep. Knowing which records to look for to prove violations of these federal laws can be crucial in a truck accident case.
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Recoverable Damages in Truck Crash Injury Claims
The types and amounts of damages you could seek in your tractor-trailer collision case will depend on the specific facts of your situation. No two cases are identical.
Some of the categories of damages people pursue in a truck accident claim include:
- The cost of medical treatment they needed to treat their wounds from the accident. This category could include things like the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, surgery, doctors, diagnostic procedures, blood transfusions, physical therapy, and pain management.
- If you suffered debilitating injuries in the truck crash, you might need extended treatment for weeks or even months in a specialized rehabilitation center. For example, a person with a traumatic brain injury might need to relearn how to perform certain functions, like speaking, walking, and eating with a fork and knife.
- A person with catastrophic wounds, like paralysis from spinal cord damage, might not be able to live independently after the truck crash. They might need daily assistance with medical treatments and personal care, which could be delivered through home healthcare services or in a nursing home.
- Many people need to take time off from their job to recuperate from their injuries following a truck accident. If your boss did not pay you your regular amount of income during that time, you have a claim for lost wages that you could pursue in your injury claim.
- Sometimes, severe injuries leave a person unable to make as much money as they did before the truck collision. Whether you have chronic pain, weakness, loss of function, or some other impairment that limits your work activities, you could add the financial loss of decreased earning capacity to your injury claim.
- Pain and suffering damages compensate the injured individual for the physical discomfort, inconvenience, and emotional distress of getting wounded in the truck accident. This loss is a separate category from your medical expenses. You can seek and collect your medical bills and pain and suffering damages.
- Other intangible losses. After experiencing a horrific truck crash, particularly one with devastating or fatal injuries, some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Another intangible loss is disfigurement from extensive scars, burns, amputation, or large surgical incisions.
- If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you could pursue additional compensation for the family in a wrongful death case.
If you do not file an insurance claim or a lawsuit for these losses after a truck crash, you will end up bearing the financial cost of your injuries yourself instead of the party whose negligence caused the collision.
The Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Victims in Georgia
Georgia imposes a two-year filing deadline, also called the statute of limitations, for personal injuries or wrongful death arising from a truck collision caused by negligence, according to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. If your lawsuit does not get filed before the deadline expires, you can lose all right to seek compensation for your losses from the at-fault party.
Negotiating with the insurance company of the defendant does not satisfy the statute of limitations. The claims adjuster will stop talking to you when the filing deadline expires because neither they nor their insured have any liability for your injuries at that point.
You do not have to go through this experience by yourself. A truck accident lawyer at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers could help you seek the compensation you deserve from the at-fault party who caused your loss. We offer a free consultation with no obligation.