One of the most common causes of injury and wrongful death in the United States is that of automobile accidents. According to GDOT, 134 people have lost their lives on Georgia roadways thus far in 2014. That is equivalent to approximately 13 deaths each week in 2014. Arguably the most dangerous types of automobile wrecks are those that involve one or more tractor trailer vehicles. These accidents hardly ever allow everyone involved to walk away unharmed.
Early Wednesday morning, a multiple 18-wheeler crash occurred in Spaghetti Junction, a heavily trafficked area of metro-Atlanta. While exiting onto I-85 North from the Interstate 285 ramp, one big rig driver lost control of his vehicle and impacted another tractor trailer that was already traveling on Interstate 85. The driver of the 18-wheeler struck by the out-of-control truck tragically lost his life as a result of the crash. The collision caused one truck to be split in two and left a diesel spill along the roadway, which led to traffic problems throughout much of the day Wednesday. This accident, along with countless others caused by tractor trailer operators, led to serious injuries and the wrongful death of an innocent victim. In 2006, the Large Truck Crash Causation Study reported that 29 percent of 18-wheeler crashes are caused by drivers losing control of their truck.
Importance of Hiring a Trucking Accident Lawyer for Representation
Each automotive crash is different, but typically the most complex accidents to prove liability in are those involving tractor trailers. For this reason, it is important that those injured in big rig crashes should contact an injury lawyer right away. Georgia state law allows injured victims to recover compensation for medical bill reimbursement, pain and suffering, lost wages as a result of the crash, and even punitive damages in select cases. Before recovering this reparation, however, it is likely that the insurance companies will fight hard to decrease the overall amount recovered by the victim. An experienced injury attorney will follow a proven process to gain the maximum amount of compensation available to you.
First, an investigation will be opened to gain information and evidence on who was at-fault for the crash. Insurance companies will conduct their own investigation, many times searching for information that will discredit your reliability and therefore allowing them to pay less for damages.
Next, an experienced trucking accident lawyer will create a legal claim for you, making use of the material collected in the investigation. The claim will not only detail the reasons that the defendant was at-fault, but will also describe the victim's injuries, treatment plan, and medical bill amounts. The purpose of the claim is to request reparation for the losses sustained by the victim as a result of the negligent actions of the defendant.
Negotiations then begin, with the trucking company's insurance and your attorney negotiating an acceptable amount to be paid for your suffering. Ideally, this is where your injury claim will conclude. If the two parties cannot come to an agreement for an appropriate monetary amount outside of court, the next step is to bring the claim in front of a judge.
The final step in a tractor trailer legal claim is to present the case to a judge and/or jury. This step is only taken when the plaintiff attorney and injured victim agree that the settlement amount offered by at-fault party is not adequate. The verdict then determines whether or not the injured victim receives compensation, and if so, how much.
This legal process is complex and intricate, which is why it is important to contact and hire an experienced trucking crash lawyer as soon as possible after an accident involving a big rig. For a free legal consultation and to find out whether you have a legal claim, contact us online or by phone at (770) 427-5498 today.