Lasky Cooper Law in Savannah, GA, discusses the rights of commercial truck accident victims.

Commercial Truck Accident Victims: What Are Your Rights?

As home to one of the busiest seaports in the United States, motorists in Savannah, GA, are no stranger to truck accidents. Our high-traffic region is constantly bustling with tractor-trailers, cargo vans, cranes, and commercial vehicles of all types and sizes, resulting in hundreds of life-changing accidents each year.

Were you or a loved one recently hit by a commercial truck along the Georgia Coast or in South Carolina’s Lowcountry? Have you sustained injuries that have resulted in expensive medical bills and caused you to miss work? Can commercial truck accident victims sue companies that employ negligent employees?

Understanding your rights as the victim of a truck accident is essential ‒ but several distinctions can complicate the legal process and affect the compensation you receive.

No matter the nature of the collision or the extent of your injuries, Lasky Cooper Law is here to help. Request a consultation with one of our attorneys, or read on to learn more!

Can You Sue a Truck Driver’s Company After an Accident?

In Georgia, commercial truck accident victims have the right to sue companies for negligent, at-fault drivers. However, there are situations where employers may dispute their involvement in collisions.

Some employers may argue that their employee was not within the scope of their employment when the collision occurred. A common argument is that an employee was off-duty when they crashed the truck, or that they were operating the vehicle in an unauthorized manner when the collision occurred.

Whether or not the employee was within the scope of their work, the insurance company should still provide coverage in the event of damage and injuries. With that said, commercial truck accident victims are entitled to seek compensation for their vehicle damages and injuries through legal means.

Can You Sue Independent Contractors?

Companies that hire independent truck drivers to transport their goods are generally not responsible for damages or injuries. In these situations, truck accident victims would likely file a personal injury claim against the driver ‒ not the company paying for the transport services.

Were you recently involved or injured in a commercial truck accident in or near Savannah, GA? Contact Lasky Cooper Law to begin discussing your case. We can assist you even if the involved truck driver was an independent contractor or employed by a company.

What Should You Do Immediately After a Truck Accident?

The scene immediately after a truck collision can be chaotic. Amidst the chaos, it is essential that you remain calm and follow these steps.

Before the Police Arrive

If you are injured, or if anyone is unconscious or experiencing severe neck or back pain, do not move from the vehicle. Doing so could exacerbate the injuries. If the injuries are not severe and the car is not totaled, you can move your vehicle to the side of the road and out of traffic’s way.

Call 9-1-1 immediately and wait for first responders to arrive. If you’re able to, you can go to the truck driver and other motorists or pedestrians involved and see if they need any assistance. Do not leave the scene.

While on the scene, don’t admit fault and minimize your interactions with the truck driver. They could potentially bring up anything you say later on in court. Listen to anything the truck driver or any witness says at the scene. Don’t reveal any details about your insurance policy to anyone other than to law enforcement.

Get a Police Report

A police report will help determine who was at fault and provide a detailed reconstruction of the accident and all other variables. This will be essential if up against the truck company’s insurance company in court.

In most cases, it is also necessary to get a police report. In Georgia, motorists must report accidents that exceed $500 in damages. Commercial truck accident victims should wait no longer than a day to report the accident to their company.

Gather Evidence & Witness Contact Information

Take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the other truck before moving your vehicle. Photos will reveal the extent of the damage and help to prove who was at fault and determine the level of compensation you receive if you file a personal injury claim. Take photos of skid marks and any damage to the curb or nearby street signs.

Get the name, address, phone number, and any relevant contact information from any witnesses. These can include people in other vehicles, pedestrians, bystanders, or property owners who witnessed the collision. You may need their witness testimony to prove your case.

Don’t Wait to Seek Medical Attention

Even if your injuries only seem minor, seek immediate medical attention. Many times, commercial truck accident victims will experience pain and symptoms days after the collision. If you wait in the hopes of the injuries improving, the truck company’s insurance company could argue that the injuries didn’t directly result from the accident.

Collect all medical records, X-rays, and information from doctors and hospital visits, including chiropractors and specialists who treat your injuries. Keep track of all your medical expenses. You should also keep track of travel expenses that pertain to your injuries (driving back and forth to hospitals, specialized treatment, etc.)

Have you missed work due to your injuries? Are you no longer able to participate in physical activities you enjoyed before the accident? Make sure you have missed work time on record with your employer. If anyone can speak on behalf of your pain and suffering beyond work, get their contact information. They may be able to provide a statement in court that proves your case.

Call Your Insurance Company

Commercial truck drivers will have coverage from their employer’s insurance company (unless the company is uninsured, which can and does occur.) Commercial truck accidents should report the accident to their insurance company as soon as possible. You should report the accident to your insurance company ‒ even if you were not at fault! Failure to do so can potentially weaken your personal injury claim.

Hire a Truck Accident Attorney in Savannah, GA

Hire an attorney immediately after the accident. When up against trucking companies and big insurance companies, there will be complex circumstances that are best left to an attorney to navigate. Contact Lasky Cooper Law today. Our powerhouse attorneys understand the fight you’re up against and will defend you in your truck accident case.

Commercial Truck Accident Victims: Know Your Rights!

Was your vehicle recently hit by a commercial truck? Have you sustained injuries that have resulted in medical bills and missed work?

The time to act is now. Truck accidents are all too common near the Port of Savannah and throughout the Georgia Coast and South Carolina’s Lowcountry ‒ and truck accident victims continually pay the price.

The attorneys at Lasky Cooper Law are ready to piece together your case and help you secure the compensation you rightfully deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, or stay tuned to our blog for more information!

car accident

What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident

Taking action after you’ve been injured in a car or truck accident can ensure you receive fair and adequate compensation.

As a premier personal injury attorney in Savannah, GA, Lasky Cooper Law has helped motorists throughout the Central Savannah River Area receive compensation for their car accident related injuries. No matter the extent of your injuries, we’re here to represent you and fight for the compensation you deserve.

To help motorists prepare for the unexpected, we’ll explore what to do if you’ve been injured in a car accident. If you’ve recently been injured in a car or truck accident, contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

Don’t Panic

No matter how minor it may seem, don’t leave the scene of the accident. Check to see if you and your passengers are okay. Then, check on the other driver, passengers, and any affected pedestrians.

If the accident was minor and you’re caught in traffic, slowly and carefully drive your car to the side of the road with your hazard lights on.

If the accident is serious and there are significant injuries, leave the vehicles as they are. Determine whether anyone is in need of immediate medical assistance and call 9-1-1.

Get a Police Report

Law enforcement will provide a report that includes a preliminary investigation, a vehicle inspection, as well as interviews with all involved parties and witnesses.

Most importantly, the police report will determine who was at fault, which will be an imperative piece of evidence in a personal injury claim. Without this report, you can find yourself at odds in court, with the other driver potentially changing their story or denying the accident altogether.

Keep Roadside Interactions to a Minimum

It’s important to check and make sure all involved parties are okay and determine if someone needs medical attention. However, it’s recommended that you keep any and all roadside interactions to a minimum.

Don’t apologize or take responsibility for the accident. Any discussions made at the scene could potentially be used against you in court. Wait until law enforcement has arrived. There’s no predicting the emotional state of the other driver and passengers involved.

Collect Witness Information

Whether or not the police have arrived on the scene, obtain the contact information of witnesses, including their full name, phone number, and any other identifying information. Witnesses will often leave the scene before the police arrive, which can make it harder to determine who was at fault. You don’t want to be in a situation where it is your word against the other driver’s.

As long as your injuries don’t prevent you from speaking, you should collect information that will help you get in touch with any witnesses to your accident. Not only will this help law enforcement create a more detailed and accurate report. You may need witness testimony at a potential trial later on.

Collect Other Vital Information

You should record as much detail about the accident as possible, including photos and video.

Record the impacted area of your vehicle, as well as the other(s) involved. Photograph the front side, all sides, and the rear. Take photos of your surroundings, any skid marks, damaged property, and the position of the vehicles in relation to the curb and street. All of these photos will be helpful in piecing together and recreating the accident.

Seek Medical Treatment

Don’t wait to receive medical attention following your accident. Your injuries may seem minor or nonexistent; however, bruising, whiplash, head, spinal, or muscle injuries can develop symptoms and cause pain one to three days after an accident.

Even if you have a high pain tolerance and want to tough out your injuries, it’s best to err on the side of caution and get evaluated by a medical professional. That way, should you miss work or acquire medical bills due to an injury, you have a better chance of receiving compensation.

Describe your injuries, symptoms, and pain in detail. Your medical provider will record all of this information in your medical records. Insurance companies use this information to evaluate the validity of personal injury claims. If you wait to seek medical attention, the insurance company could argue that your injuries are not related to the accident.

Notify Your Insurance Company

While you are not required to notify your insurance company right at the scene, it’s best to do so within 72 hours of the accident. Let the carrier know that you were involved in a car accident where there were injuries and property damage. You don’t have to disclose any additional information or details about the accident to the insurance carrier prior to filing a claim.

Notifying the insurance company is not the same as filing a claim. Alerting the insurance company that there was an accident will not increase your premium. What it will do is ensure you receive coverage if and should you need it. This will also protect you in case the other driver is underinsured or does not have car insurance at all.

Contact an Auto Accident Attorney

There’s no predicting when you’ll be involved in an automobile accident. Unfortunately, injuries resulting from a car or truck accident can lead to high medical bills, lost wages, long-term or life-altering injuries and even emotional distress.

If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Savannah or the surrounding areas of Georgia or South Carolina, you deserve fair, adequate, and just compensation. Contact Lasky Cooper Law today! Our auto accident and personal injury attorneys are ready to assist you.