what do you do if you get hit by an 18 wheeler

After a collision involving a commercial truck, an 18 wheeler accident lawyer at The Graham Firm can help you protect your legal rights and recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to for your medical expenses, future medical care, lost earnings, loss of future earning potential, and pain and suffering. 

If you or someone close to you has been injured in an 18 wheeler accident in Atlanta, contact  The Graham Firm to speak with a semi-truck accident attorney as soon as possible.  Your consultation is always free, 100% confidential, and we are available 24/7/365 to take your call. 

 

Top Causes of 18 Wheeler Accidents

Truck accidents can be complex events to reconstruct and determine causation. Sometimes, the elements that influence 18 wheeler crashes occur hours, days, or months before the crash. For example, an 18-wheeler could undergo major maintenance and then sit for a month, before the driver goes on a trip and loses control of the commercial vehicle and crashes. Without a thorough investigation, this can be difficult to determine. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration lists associated factors in large truck crashes

  • Driver external distraction
  • Truck drivers following too close
  • Making illegal maneuvers
  • Driver illness
  • Impairment from drugs or alcohol
  • Driver inadequate surveillance
  • Over-the-counter drug use
  • Driver unfamiliarity with roadway
  • Fatigue
  • Inadequate surveillance
  • Pressure from employer/trucking company
  • Roadway problems
  • Speeding/traveling too fast for road conditions
  • Commercial vehicle brake problems/failures
  • Truck cargo shifting
  • Vehicle tire problems/failures. 

Frequently, an 18 wheeler accident may have multiple contributing factors or causes. In an example scenario, an investigation could determine that the trucking company changed a driver’s usual route to a different one that is unfamiliar to them, and then put pressure on the driver to complete it within a specified time period, disregarding factors like ice or snow. The police or law enforcement report may or may not reveal the cause of the crash. 

At The Graham Firm, we work with Georgia’s top accident investigators to determine the cause of a crash and all potentially liable parties, including drivers, trucking companies, tractor owners, trailer owners,  logistics companies, freight companies, maintenance shops, brokers, shippers, and insurers. 

 

What Do You Do if You Get Hit by an 18 Wheeler?

A large truck can weigh between 35,000 to 80,000 pounds, depending on how it is loaded. As a result of their massive size and weight, any collision involving a big truck can easily be catastrophic or fatal. If you are struck by an 18 wheeler vehicle, either as a driver or occupant of a passenger car, as a motorcyclist, as a bicyclist, or as a pedestrian, you should take the following steps:

  • Take photos and videos to document the accident scene (or ask someone to take them for you) 
  • Call 911 to report the accident 
  • Seek immediate medical attention. Do NOT delay getting to a hospital or medical care facility. 
  • As soon as your immediate medical needs have been met, contact a lawyer to discuss your legal rights. 

Trucking companies have their own legal counsels or retained law firms standing by to assist them immediately following a collision. At the Graham Firm, we are familiar with the devastation of heavy-duty 18 wheeler trucks, tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, and big rigs. We handle claims against large trucking companies, small trucking companies, and owner-operator drivers. 

 

18 wheeler accident lawyers

 

What is the Difference Between a Truck Accident Case and a Car Wreck Case?

Personal injury claims involving 18 wheelers are unfamiliar events, and frequently complex. Unlike car accidents involving two passenger vehicles, 18 wheeler accidents involve trucking companies and federal regulations. Truck drivers must be properly trained on how to drive large commercial vehicles, and large commercial trucks must be inspected and maintained. Depending on where the truck is operated (in just one state or across multiple states), the truck may be subject to specific inspection requirements

Trucking companies are familiar with accident litigation and the high cost of accidents. They take steps to protect their legal and financial interests, and train drivers to follow checklists and take specific steps following an accident. Many companies have installed road-facing and driver-facing cameras, which can be used to reduce their liability in the case of a disputed crash. Camera recordings can also be used as evidence, assuming your lawyer is able to preserve the footage for review. 

After an accident, a damaged truck may be quickly towed hundreds or even thousands of miles away and may be destroyed or repaired within days. Time is of the essence after any accident, but especially in 18 wheeler accident litigation. Contact a Georgia 18 wheeler accident lawyer as soon as possible. Once you hire an experienced big truck accident attorney, they immediately issue a spoliation letter to ensure driver qualification files, driver logs, and maintenance records are retained and preserved for review. 

 

How Long Does a Commercial Truck Accident Lawsuit Take?

Along with “how much is my case worth?”, one of the most frequently asked questions an accident victim asks in an initial consultation is “how long will it take for my case to settle?” The length of a personal injury claim can vary widely and is usually between several months to several years. Although the insurance company may offer an immediate settlement, this may be just a small fraction of the amount you are entitled to. An important part of determining the total amount of damages you may recuperate is evaluating your injuries to determine how they will impact you in the future. When injuries are severe or permanent, the total of damages you can recover may be significant. 

 

How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Lawyer After an 18-Wheeler Accident?

When you hire a truck accident attorney for your commercial vehicle personal injury claim, they will typically handle your lawsuit on a contingency fee basis. This means that you pay no up-front costs or out-of-pocket expenses. If they recover money for you, the law firm is paid a percentage of your monetary recovery - either a settlement or trial verdict. They take on all the risks of your case. In the unlikely event that an attorney accepts your case and does not recover money for you, you owe nothing. 

 

Why Choose the Atlanta Truck Accident Attorneys at the Graham Firm?

If you are looking for one of the best 18 wheeler accident lawyers in Atlanta to represent you in your personal injury claim, contact The Graham Firm. When you hire us for your claim, you can count on us to:

  • Listen to your story and explain your options to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim. 
  • Review the facts of your accident and if necessary, hire an independent investigator to determine contributing factors and causes. 
  • Consult with specialists to determine the impact and full extent of your injuries. 
  • Defend you against attempts to deny your claim or blame you for an accident.
  • Negotiate the full and fair compensation you deserve. 
  • Take your case to trial, if a fair settlement is not offered.

Truck accident cases can be complex and challenging, and not all lawyers have the experience or resources to successfully recover maximum compensation for serious injuries. The lawyers at The Graham Firm have a long history of successful case results in personal injury cases. Contact us to discuss your 18 wheeler case today.