April 25, 2024

Five Mistakes to Avoid After a Georgia Truck Collision

Many people who are hit by a big rig come away with severe injuries that qualify for compensation. They know that trucking companies have deep pockets, and they expect a generous payout for the pain and suffering they’ve endured. 

However, injured parties often end up with a disappointingly low settlement check. The reason? They made a mistake that hurt their case.

Here are five mistakes that you must avoid if you wish to maximize your compensation after a collision with an 18-wheeler truck in Georgia.

Not Collecting Evidence at the Accident Scene

A commercial truck accident lawyer will tell you to gather as much evidence as possible while you’re still at the accident scene. This may not be possible if you have to rush to the hospital, but if you’re able, try to collect the following:

  • Pictures of your car from several angles
  • Photos of the truck that hit you
  • Video footage of the driver if they’re acting strangely (they may be intoxicated or fatigued from driving more hours than legally allowed)
  • Pictures of anything that might have contributed to the accident, such as poor weather, damaged pavement, or hidden stop signs

Also, ask the truck driver for:

  • Their contact details
  • The name and phone number of their employer
  • Their commercial driver’s license and insurance information
  • The truck’s license plate and DOT (Department of Transportation) numbers

Failing to Notify the Police

State law requires you to report your accident to the police immediately if the crash injured or killed someone or caused more than $500 in property damage. Even if your accident doesn’t meet that criteria, the city in which the crash happened may still require you to make a report.

Not notifying the police can carry heavy penalties. Leaving the scene of an accident that caused minor injuries without notifying police is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail.

Avoiding Medical Attention

A Georgia truck accident attorney will tell you that this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. If you don’t see a doctor soon after the accident, your semi-truck accident lawyer may not be able to connect your injuries with the crash. The trucking company’s attorney might say you hurt yourself elsewhere, and you’ll find it difficult to prove otherwise.

Admitting Fault to the Insurance Company

The insurance company would love nothing more than for you to admit fault. If you do, they can pay you less or nothing at all. Naturally, insurance adjusters try to trip you up so you say something that hurts your case.

You don’t have to outright say, “I caused the accident,” for the insurer to blame you. Even statements such as, “Sorry, I didn’t realize the light had turned red,” can be enough to lower your settlement.

Accepting the First Settlement Offer

The first settlement offer from the insurance company is usually too low to cover all of your damages. It’s tempting to take the money and make do, but a good tractor trailer injury attorney may be able to negotiate for more.

Your big rig crash attorney can send a negotiation letter outlining the value of your damages. If negotiation doesn’t work, they can represent you in a trial.

Call Our 18-Wheeler Accident Law Firm for Truck Collision Legal Counsel

If you’d like to maximize your compensation for a big rig wreck, you could use guidance from a knowledgeable Georgia truck accident attorney. The Foster Firm has won six-figure settlements for our truck accident clients, and although no two cases are alike, rest assured that we’ll fight aggressively for fair compensation.For a free consultation, call (404) 975-4630.