What to Do If You Are Involved in an Atlanta Truck Accident
If you are injured in an Atlanta truck accident, the massive weight differential between a tractor-trailer truck and a small passenger vehicle can mean permanent life-altering consequences. When one is suffering from the severe pain or intense emotions associated with a tractor-trailer collision in Atlanta, an injured person cannot reasonably be expected to focus on the issues of gathering evidence, proving liability, dealing with insurance companies and taking actions to protect his or her legal rights in order to seek fair financial compensation on his or her own.
However, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other significant injuries can greatly impact a victim's quality of life and account for crippling medical bills. Our Atlanta tractor-trailer accident attorneys have provided a number of suggestions that should be considered following a trucking accident to preserve your truck accident claim:
Collecting and Preserving Evidence
Trucking companies have extensive resources and often dispatch investigators to the scene of a big-rig crash to immediately collect evidence and begin developing defense strategies. Critical evidence could be lost, and the trucking company might have a huge head-start in building a defense to any potential personal injury claim. If you are injured in a tractor-trailer accident, you need an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer by your side in order to preserve important evidence.
At Montlick & Associates, our attorneys investigate every accident on a case-by-case basis. Depending on what evidence is needed, our attorneys might decide an expert is necessary to prove causation, if it is unclear who is at fault for the accident. If our attorneys decide such a person is needed, this expert will probablyl do the following to thoroughly investigate your particular accident, among others:
• Identify the truck involved;
• Inspect the truck for any maintenance issues, and determine if there were any deficiencies in safety screenings;
• Determine if the truck driver received adequate training and supervision as a licensed commercial driver;
• Evaluate whether the truck driver had unsafe driving practices;
• How many hours of service (HOS) violations the truck driver had; and
• Determine other potential grounds for imposing liability.
In addition to possibly having an expert evaluate the facts of your case, the "black box" on board the tractor-trailer can provide very important information that will help support your personal injury claim. Most tractor-trailers, and some passenger cars, have a black box that records data, such as the speed at impact if a collision occurs, and the distance a truck traveled before colliding into another vehicle. It is extremely important that this evidence is properly preserved if at all possible following an accident, as it can answer several key evidentiary questions.
Obtaining Diagnostic Evaluation and Treatment
Trucking accidents often result in devastating injuries. More likely than not, if you have been involved in an accident, you will likely be taken by ambulance to a hospital for evaluation and possibly treatment. This initial medical consult and treatment will be used as evidence of your injury if a physician determines that the injuries you suffered are a direct result of the accident you were involved in.
Retaining Legal Representation
While prompt legal representation is important in any motor vehicle accident case, it is especially important in those involving tractor-trailer accidents. In any given case, there is always the potential that evidence might be destroyed, whether intentional or not. In order to prevent this from happening, it is essential to seek prompt legal advice. For example, driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of big-rig collisions, which is why drivers are supposed to maintain a logbook that document the driver's hours of service (HOS). Because these records are at risk of being manipulated, our Atlanta truck accident attorneys will investigate to determine if, in fact, key evidence has been altered.
It is important to remember that many tractor-trailer accident cases don't result in injuries severe enough to trigger an investigation of logbooks. Typically, only accidents involving catastrophic injuries go to court. If a case does go to court, our attorneys will review fuel receipts, logbooks and the truck's black box to fully investigate the accident.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 35 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Claim
Our Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Montlick & Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast, including, but not limited to, Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins, and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.