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!