Trucks account for only 4% of the vehicles on American roads – but are responsible for 1 in 10 deaths.
Truck accidents cause extensive damage and serious injuries. Regardless of the cause, the aftermath is always overwhelming – and being the victim of a truck accident is a harrowing, life-threatening experience that will stay with you forever.
So, what should you do if you’re injured? The answer isn’t straightforward – but don’t worry.
We’re here to help. Read on to learn why you need a serious truck accident attorney if you’re hurt in a truck accident.
The Severity of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents aren’t like “regular” car accidents. The sheer size and mass of a truck can lead to catastrophic consequences. When a truck collides with a smaller vehicle, the force of the impact is significantly more severe.
Serious truck accident injuries – and even fatalities – often result.
Truck accidents also cause extensive property damage and substantial disruption to infrastructure. When a trucking company causes an accident on the freeway, the resulting fallout causes traffic jams that can paralyze entire road networks. It’s even worse when a multi-ton trucking vehicle tips – or “jackknifes” and folds in on itself.
The force of an impact often damages not only the vehicles involved but nearby structures. These factors result in additional complications in the aftermath of an accident.
What Makes Truck Accidents Different?
Truck drivers usually operate under the employment of a trucking company. This adds an extra layer of liability and complexity: Trucking companies are required by law to maintain their fleets, ensure their drivers are qualified, and allow for adequate rest periods between journeys.
These guidelines are set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which sets strict standards for driver rest periods and cargo restrictions.
Yet violations of these regulations often play an important role in truck accidents – and the competitive nature of the trucking industry means there’s always an incentive to drive for longer, load more cargo, and cut costs on maintenance inspections.
What does this mean?
In a trucking accident, determining who’s at fault is complicated. Insurance companies, trucking companies, and drivers all point the finger at each other, leading to complicated legal landscapes. Claims take longer to process, and the victims are often left high and dry.
Common Injuries Sustained in Truck Accidents
The range of truck accident injuries is vast. From bumps and bruises to life-threatening conditions, truck accident injuries have the potential to change your life forever. The most common injuries include broken bones, whiplash, spinal cord damage, and traumatic brain injuries.
Having a clear understanding of your injuries is crucial from your point of view. Without it (and without expert medical testimony), you won’t be able to seek fair compensation.
Each injury requires different treatments – and demands different expenses. Receiving the compensation you deserve is the main reason you need to seek the services of a serious truck accident attorney.
What To Do If You’re Hurt in a Truck Accident
If you’re injured in a truck accident, you will need an immediate action plan to protect yourself, and a long-term plan to protect your rights. Your first step should be to ensure your own safety. Call 911 at once, even if the accident seems insignificant.
If you’re physically able, document the scene. Take photos of the vehicles involved, visible injuries, and the wider context of the accident. Gathering evidence now will be invaluable later on.
Do not leave the scene until the police arrive to make a report. In addition to your testimony, this report will be an essential piece of evidence in any future proceedings.
Even if you feel fine, you should seek immediate medical attention. Many truck accident injuries aren’t immediately apparent, like whiplash and internal bleeding.
Avoid discussing the accident with anybody other than the police and a truck accident lawyer in Atlanta. Anything you say can be used against you later on. Crucially, never admit fault for the accident and absolutely do not discuss details of the accident with the trucking company or driver.
Finally, contact a serious truck accident attorney as soon as possible. They will defend your rights and act as a guiding hand throughout the legal process.
Gathering Evidence to Protect Your Rights
Evidence is crucial in any vehicle accident. As we established above, trucking accidents are far more complex than other auto accidents: Being able to prove your claim is more difficult, with more parties looking to throw a wrench into the works.
So, start gathering evidence at the accident scene. Additional forms of evidence, like trucking records and medical reports, will strengthen your case and encourage insurance companies to offer you better terms. Your serious truck accident attorney will assist you in gathering evidence and verifying it.
The Role of a Serious Truck Accident Attorney
A truck accident lawyer in Atlanta is invaluable in the wake of a trucking accident.
They possess a deep understanding of trucking laws and they have relationships with local courts and insurance companies that will help you. Their personalized guidance will ensure you receive fair compensation for your hardship.
Your attorney with gather evidence and hold all responsible parties accountable. If necessary, they’ll represent you in court. Yet, 9 times out of 10, a good trucking attorney will help you settle out of court.
This means you receive compensation faster and avoid the lengthy, drawn-out process of a trial. Dealing with insurance companies is a daunting task and having an expert to fight in your corner gives you peace of mind in knowing that you’re not fighting your battles alone.
Defend Your Rights After a Truck Accident
If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, it’s up to you to take action. Seek medical attention and gather evidence. Then, contact an attorney to better understand your position.
Don’t lose hope. Remember: You have rights. A serious truck accident attorney is there to help you protect them.
Scholle Law has championed victims’ rights for more than 25 years. Our passion is helping our clients receive maximum compensation for their injuries, and our record-high payouts speak volumes about our success. Book a free consultation here.