At Monge & Associates, we believe that the more informed you are, the better able you are to make decisions about your future and your case. If you or your loved one was involved in a tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, or semi-truck accident, you likely have many questions. Who is responsible for the accident? How will you afford the medical bills? What will your future look like?
Browse our FAQs to find answers to common truck accident questions:
- What Is Considered a Commercial Motor Vehicle?
- Who Is Responsible for Truck Accidents?
- I Was Injured in a Collision with a Truck. Do I Have a Case?
- Can I File a Claim If My Family Member Was Killed in a Truck Accident?
- What Damages Am I Able to Recover in a Truck Accident Case?
- How Are Truck Accident Cases Investigated?
- How Much Is My Case Worth?
- Should I Accept the Insurance Settlement?
- Do I Really Need an Attorney for My Truck Accident Claim?
- What Should I Look for in an Attorney?
If you have specific questions about your case, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.
What Is Considered a Commercial Motor Vehicle?
A commercial motor vehicle is any type of truck that is used by businesses for work purposes, such as to carry and deliver commercial goods. There are many types and styles of commercial vehicles, including tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, tankers, freight trucks, and delivery vehicles, among others.
Who Is Responsible for Truck Accidents?
In any truck accident case, there may be a number of liable parties. While it may seem like the truck driver is the one who caused the accident, he is an employee of the trucking company. As such, the trucking company may be partially or fully responsible for the accident. For example, some trucking companies attempt to cut corners and maximize profits by pressuring drivers to meet unrealistic quotas. This, in turn, can cause those drivers to violate hours-of-service regulations, drive while fatigued, or use energy-boosting stimulants to meet strict deadlines. In such cases, the trucking company may be found partially responsible for looking the other way or even encouraging these risky and illegal truck driver behaviors.
If you were injured in a truck accident, it is in your best interest to have an experienced attorney look at your case and determine exactly who is liable for your injuries and losses. The Atlanta lawyers at Monge & Associates offer free, no-obligation consultations; contact us today to learn more.
I Was Injured in a Collision with a Truck. Do I Have a Case?
While many truck accident cases involve some form of negligence on the part of the truck driver, trucking company, manufacturer, or related party, not every truck accident entitles you to compensation. Some truck accidents are the result of negligence on the part of the other motorists involved. In order to pursue a claim for damages, you will need to prove that the other involved party/parties are at fault for the accident. You will also need to prove that the accident directly or indirectly caused your injuries and that those injuries have diminished your quality of life.
Can I File a Claim If My Family Member Was Killed in a Truck Accident?
In Georgia, certain family members may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a relative who was killed by another person, company, or entity’s negligent actions or inactions.
Individuals who may file a wrongful death claim in Georgia are, in order:
- The surviving spouse and minor children (if any) of the deceased
- The surviving parent or parents of the deceased if there is no spouse or minor children
- The personal representative of the deceased’s estate if there is no surviving spouse, minor children, or parents
What Damages Am I Able to Recover in a Truck Accident Case?
The specific damages you may be able to recover will depend on the detail of your case. If you were injured in the accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your:
- Medical bills
- Lost income/wages
- Lost future earnings (“earning ability”)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- and more.
If your loved one was killed in the accident, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses prior to death
- Funeral/burial costs
- Loss of income (if the deceased was your primary source of financial support)
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional suffering
- and more.
In rare cases, you may be able to recover punitive damages if you can show that the negligence that led to the accident was egregious or that the accident was caused by intentional wrongdoing.
How Are Truck Accident Cases Investigated?
Most truck accident investigations begin when the victim or victim’s family hires an attorney. From there, the attorney requests verification of the truck driver’s qualifications from the trucking company. The trucking company provides the attorney with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) required “driver qualification file,” or DQF. The DQF includes information regarding the driver’s medical/lab test results, driving record, commercial driver’s license standing, and more.
The attorney will also investigate police reports regarding the accident, take witness statements if appropriate/possible, review the truck’s electronic on-board recorder, and may even visit the accident site and view the truck. In many cases, the attorney will work with a team of accident reconstruction specialists, trucking industry experts, economists, and other professionals to determine exactly how the accident occurred, the total losses suffered by the victim/victim’s family, and who is liable.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
It is very understandable that most people want to know how much their case is worth. They want to know that they will be able to afford their medical bills and ongoing treatment, as well as the other damages that resulted from the accident, such as lost income, disability, pain, and suffering. However, it is impossible to say how much your case is worth without looking into the details involved in the accident. Contact our firm to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Atlanta lawyers to learn more about how much your case might be worth.
Should I Accept the Insurance Settlement?
After an accident, the trucking company’s insurance provider will likely reach out to you. They may ask you to make a statement. However, it is crucial that you remember that these insurance companies are not here to help you. They are trying to save themselves money and avoid paying out the full value of your claim. All too often, we have seen accident victims accept lowball settlement offers from liable insurance companies. Once you have accepted a settlement, you forfeit all your legal rights to pursue any claim.
Rather than speak to the liable party’s insurance adjustor, contact the attorneys at Monge & Associates for a free consultation. We guarantee a bigger settlement offer than you had prior to hiring our firm or you pay us nothing.
Do I Really Need an Attorney for My Truck Accident Claim?
In short, yes; it is nearly impossible to successfully pursue a truck accident claim on your own. This is largely due to the complexity of these types of cases. There may be multiple parties at fault for the accident and, therefore, multiple parties liable for your injuries/losses. Additionally, trucking companies have the money and resources to hire their own attorneys. These attorneys will do everything they can to prove you were responsible for the accident. They work hard to devalue or even deny your claim. It is absolutely crucial that you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to take on these major trucking companies and insurance providers.
At Monge & Associates, we understand that costs are usually a concern. We are proud to offer contingent fees, meaning there is no upfront cost for you. Instead, our attorneys’ fees are paid via a pre-agreed-upon percentage of your recovery at the conclusion of your case. In other words, you do not pay us unless we win your case.
What Should I Look for in an Attorney?
Because truck accident cases are very complicated, it is important that your attorney has experience handling these types of claims. At Monge & Associates, we have been assisting injured individuals and families throughout Georgia and the surrounding areas since 1993. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients.
You will also want an attorney who takes the time to listen to you and is there to answer your questions and address your concerns. No two accidents or injury claims are the same and, therefore, your attorney should not offer you a one-size-fits-all solution. At Monge & Associates, we are proud to offer compassionate, individualized services to all our clients. We are available 24/7 and we can even come to you. We believe that you have the right to talk to us the same day you call and that you have the right to stay informed and updated about your case throughout the entire legal process.
We even offer a Client Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are not 100% satisfied with how you’re treated within the first 30 days of hiring our firm, you are free to take your file—no costs and no questions asked.