Filing a truck accident claim in Georgia is usually a three-step process: bringing the claim, collecting and preserving evidence, and negotiating a fair settlement.
The settlement process after a truck accident is usually more complicated than that following a general car accident because:
- There are more parties involved
- The investigation is more complex and in-depth
- The process relies on federal trucking laws
- Negotiating a fair settlement is more complicated due to multiple parties involved
If you were involved in a truck wreck in Marietta, Atlanta, or other parts of Georgia, it is advised to have a truck accident lawyer to help you navigate the settlement procedure in Georgia and move forward with your personal injury claim.
How Do Truck Accident Claims Work?
As mentioned earlier, the settlement procedure after a truck crash in Georgia is a three-step process.
The first step is to identify the at-fault, liable party and file a truck accident claim with that party. More often than not, the trucking company is responsible for the crash, but other parties, including a truck manufacturer, vehicle maintenance company, and cargo loading company, may also be at fault.
The second step is to collect and preserve evidence. After the investigation has begun, your attorney will have to gather sufficient evidence of the liable party’s fault. Otherwise, your truck accident claim may be denied. A skilled Marietta truck accident lawyer will review the following types of evidence to establish guilt:
- The police report
- Eyewitness statements
- The truck’s maintenance records
- The truck driver’s logbook
- The trucking company’s employment records
- Photos and videos of the crash scene
- Damage to vehicles
- Testimonies from expert witnesses
- The conclusion from accident reconstruction specialists
- Evidence of federal trucking law violations
Since critical pieces of evidence could get lost, it is imperative to have a lawyer who would preserve evidence and conduct an independent investigation to build a strong legal claim and ensure that key pieces of evidence do not go missing.
Finally, the third step is to negotiate a fair settlement. In semi-truck accident claims, the insurer will either offer you a settlement or deny the claim after reviewing your case. Do not accept the initial settlement offer because you might be entitled to much more than what is being offered to you.
More often than not, insurance adjusters fail to take the full extent of the claimant’s damages and losses into account. As a result, parties are unable to reach a fair settlement unless the claimant is represented by an Atlanta truck accident lawyer who helps obtain the maximum compensation available.
How Long Do You Have to File an Insurance Claim in Georgia?
The deadline for auto accident-related personal injury cases in Griffin, Marietta, Atlanta, and other parts of Georgia is two years.
After a truck wreck, you must file a claim for injuries (liability) within two years from the date of the crash. If your truck accident claim involves only car repairs, you have up to four years to bring your claim against the liable parties.
Fact: Approximately 450,000 truck collisions occur each year across the United States. About 1% of these crashes are fatal, while the other 23% result in injuries.
What is the Average Cost of a Commercial Truck Accident?
There is only one study available regarding the average cost of an auto collision involving semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and other types of trucks. A study published in the Business Report stated that the average cost of a commercial truck crash is more than $148,000.
However, the cost of a truck wreck that involves a fatality can skyrocket to more than $7.6 million. It is worth mentioning that the average cost of a truck accident included data of all medium and heavy trucks and excluded injury claims.
Here is what you get when the cost per accident is broken down by type of truck:
- Nearly $100,000 for accidents involving a truck with no trailer
- More than $170,000 for collisions involving a tractor-trailer with one trailer
- More than $510,000 in accidents with a truck pulling two or three trailers
The average truck accident claim that includes injuries is nearly $335,000 for a crash involving a semi with one trailer and more than $1.2 million for a collision involving a truck pulling two or three trailers.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Truck Accident Claim?
Georgia law imposes strict deadlines by which insurance companies must act on personal injury claims after a big truck crash:
- 15 days to acknowledge a truck accident claim. Meaning: your insurer must confirm that they have received your claim within 15 days of the filing date.
- 15 days to provide proper forms. After you have filed your claim, the insurer also has 15 days to send the appropriate forms along with instructions for filling them out.
- 15 days to accept or deny your claim. After receiving your proof of loss form, the insurance company must either accept or deny your claim within 15 days. If there were proof forms required after your auto accident, the insurance carrier has 30 days from the filing date to accept or reject the claim.
- 60 days for a final decision. Georgia insurance companies have 60 days from the notice of the claim to accept or deny a claim. That is the maximum amount of time an insurer has in the claims process.
- 10 days to pay a claim. Your insurance company has only 10 days from the date of issuing the final decision to pay out benefits.
Your insurer’s failure to adhere to these deadlines can constitute insurance bad faith and unfair claims practice, which, as a result, entitles you to sue your insurance carrier. Speak with a truck accident lawyer from The Graham Firm to evaluate how much your truck accident claim is worth, collect and preserve evidence, and negotiate the maximum settlement amount. Feel free to call us at 888-404-PAID (7243) to discuss your options.