While much depends on the specifics and the complexity of your car accident case, a car accident attorney (in general) can: communicate with the other driver’s insurer, gather the necessary evidence with respect to fault for the accident. Call us today at (470) 268-5802 If you have been injured in a car accident that occurred due to someone else’s negligence.
Being involved in a car accident can be quite devastating, especially if you have suffered serious injuries. Car accidents can occur at any time, anywhere on the roads. You may be considering hiring a car injury attorney near me to help you in that process of seeking compensation and perhaps, not sure how to choose the right one, and even how the attorney will help you. Call us today at (470) 268-5802 or get in touch with us online to schedule your FREE, no-obligation case review/consultation.
Car Injury Attorney Near Me
Being involved in a car accident can be quite devastating, especially if you have suffered serious injuries. Car accidents can occur at any time, anywhere on the roads. If you have been involved in a car accident, you’re probably thinking of filing a claim or a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your damages. Further, you may be considering hiring a car injury attorney near me to help you in that process of seeking compensation and perhaps, not sure how to choose the right one, and even how the attorney will help you.
Usually, victims of a car accident involving serious or long-term injuries require an experienced attorney to get the most desirable outcome for their car accident claims. The right lawyer can be key in getting the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
An experienced car injury lawyer can be extremely helpful in navigating the often complex, chaotic, and confusing world of insurance claims and injury settlements following a car accident. Here is what you need to know:
- Most car injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning your lawyer only gets paid if there is a successful resolution to your claim.
- An attorney brings to the table in-depth knowledge of the law, the ability to put your best case together, and the skills to negotiate the best possible settlement for your claim/case.
- Handling a car accident claim on your own carries a huge risk unless your injuries are very minor and the other side is admitting fault.
If you have been injured in a car accident and wondering exactly how an attorney can help you, read on to find out what a car accident lawyer brings to the table, including:
- gathering, organizing, and analysis of key evidence and records
- a network of investigators and experts who can help strengthen your case, and
- negotiation skills that will get the best outcome for your car accident claim.
What Will My Car Accident Lawyer Do?
While much depends on the specifics and the complexity of your car accident case, a car accident attorney (in general) can:
- communicate with the other driver’s insurer
- gather the necessary evidence with respect to fault for the accident
- organize your medical records and bills
- work with your doctors to make sure they provide the medical information you need so that you can prove damages in your claim
- communicate with your health care providers to obtain any missing records
- organize and present the evidence to prove liability and damages
- negotiate with lien holders on your claim (such as health, disability, or workers’ compensation insurers) to potentially reduce the amount of those liens, and
- negotiate a satisfactory settlement with the insurance adjuster or the defense attorney.
Let’s now look at a couple of these things in-depth.
Communicating with the Other Driver’s Insurer
In any personal injury case, your car injury lawyer will open up a line of communication with the insurance adjuster for the other party (or parties) involved. The adjuster has the pocketbook, so it is critical for your attorney to have good communication and a good relationship with the adjuster.
Gathering Necessary Evidence of Liability
A good car injury attorney near me can help obtain all of the evidence that you will need to prove liability in a car accident claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
While you may have already taken photographs of the accident scene, your lawyer will probably go back to the scene him/herself to see what it looks like. While a picture may be worth a thousand words, actually seeing the scene can be worth a thousand pictures.
The attorney will make sure to get all of the accident or police reports in the case and will often speak with the investigating police officers and witnesses. A good attorney will leave no stone unturned when it comes to gathering evidence of liability.
Gathering Necessary Evidence of Damages
This is where a good lawyer can be essential to your case, especially when you have suffered significant car accident injuries.
It’s critical to obtain all documentation related to your injuries, but it isn’t always easy to get your hands on those records and bills from health care providers. Although the records are technically yours, and you have an absolute right to them, sending medical records to patients and lawyers is just not a health care provider’s first priority.
Large hospitals may have specific procedures that must be followed to respond to medical record requests. If you do not follow their procedures (which they often don’t publicize very well), they simply won’t respond to your request.
On the other hand, small doctors’ offices may not have the staffing or the time to respond to medical record requests on a timely basis.
Then, when the health care provider does respond to the request, the records may be incomplete. Any attorney’s secretary or paralegal will tell you that they often have to request the same records more than once and that they have to follow up endlessly with the provider’s office.
Finally, it may turn out that the doctor didn’t use the “magic words” as to causation, prognosis, and disability in his or her notes. To successfully prosecute any type of personal injury claim, you must be able to prove, through medical evidence,
- exactly what your injury, disability, or physical limitation is, and
- that it was caused by the defendant’s negligence.
Doctors often don’t mention causation and extent of the injury or disability in their medical records. If this happens in your case, your car accident lawyer will write the doctor and ask for a special letter in which the doctor gives his/her opinion that the accident caused your injury or disability and that, as a result of the accident, you will be hindered or disabled for a specific period.
Negotiating with Lien Holders
If you received benefits from a health, disability, or workers’ compensation insurer, that insurer will have a lien on your claim. A lien means that the lien holder gets paid before you do, out of any settlement or judgment you receive.
A good car injury attorney near me will work with the lien holder to try to get the lien holder to reduce its lien. This is important work. Every dollar less that the lien holder takes is one more dollar that goes into your pocket.
Negotiating with Insurers/Defendants
Negotiation is a very specific skill (some might even call it an art). An experienced car injury lawyer is always going to be far better at settling a car accident case than a layperson would be.
A good attorney knows how much your case is worth and knows how to work the case and conduct the negotiations to arrive at the best outcome for you.
A Car Accident Attorney Knows the Law
Hiring a car accident attorney to represent you after a car accident means you will have a professional working for you—one who is extremely knowledgeable about the relevant laws and procedural rules that may affect your case.
An attorney can advise you of the shared fault rules in your state and how they might affect your case if your own carelessness (negligence) played a part in causing the accident.
An attorney will also be familiar with time limits (called statutes of limitations) that can bar you from filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. For instance, in many states, you must file your lawsuit within two years of your car accident, or you will lose the right to take the matter to court. A lawyer will also be able to inform you about any special exceptions to the statute of limitations—for example, a minor often has more time to file a lawsuit than an adult.
Your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf and will know how to respond to defenses raised by the other side. In addition, once your case gets underway, your lawyer will play an invaluable role in preparing your case for trial—and even going to trial if your case doesn’t settle.
Even though a lawsuit is rarely necessary, the threat of legal action offers strong leverage when negotiating a fair settlement.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, having a car injury lawyer near me who is knowledgeable about the law evens the playing field, especially when you are going up against the experience and vast resources of a large insurance company.
A Lawyer Does the Legwork in Your Car Accident Claim
A lot of work goes into negotiating an insurance settlement, not to mention filing a personal injury lawsuit. After you have been in a car accident, taking on this time-consuming work might be the last thing you want to do, even if you can do it. Handing things over to an experienced attorney can reduce your stress and increase your chances of a good outcome.
While this is likely your first time dealing with the ins and outs of an accident claim, car accident attorneys have dealt with all manner of claims and have faced the full range of insurance company tactics. They have experience gathering the necessary evidence to support your claim, including police reports, witness statements, medical records and bills, and employment and lost wage information.
Your attorney will also be able to organize the evidence and write a settlement demand letter to send to the insurance company. If you are unable to settle your accident case, your lawyer can take care of filing the necessary paperwork to start a court case and deal with the defense attorneys on your behalf.
Having a seasoned professional car injury attorney near me navigate the day-to-day work of your case eases the burden on you so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Car Injury Attorney Near Me
If you have been injured in a car accident that occurred due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to file a claim/lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries. Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC is a trusted law firm with over 25 years of experience representing and fighting for victims of car accidents in Atlanta to get the compensation that they deserve. We are ready and more than happy to fight for you as well.
Call us today at (470) 268-5802 or get in touch with us online to schedule your FREE, no-obligation case review/consultation.
Car Injury Attorney Near Me
Is the Driver an Employee or Independent Contractor?- To show that a driver is an employee of the trucking company and not an owner-operator of a rig, you will need to focus on how much control the company has over the trucker’s schedule and ability to enter into contracts with other trucking companies. Call Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC now at (470) 268-5802 If you have been involved in a commercial vehicle accident.
A truck driver’s employer can be responsible for an accident caused by a truck driver under a legal theory called respondeat superior, meaning “let the master answer.” Contact Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC today at (470) 268-5802 If you have been involved in a commercial vehicle accident.
If the trucker who hit you was negligent (careless), you can bring an injury-related insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver after the accident. You will also want to look into other potentially liable parties, like the truck driver’s employer. Call us now at (470) 268-5802 If you have been involved in a commercial vehicle accident.
Distracted driving- Unfortunately, some drivers use their cell phones or any other electronic device while driving and they don’t pay attention to what is happening on the road leading to distracted driving. Any form of distraction that can divert the attention of the driver away from the road – even for a second or two – can easily lead to a fatal head-on collision. Call Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC today at (470) 268-5802 If you lost a loved one in a fatal car accident that occurred due to someone else’s negligence.
Accidents involving commercial trucks are much more complicated than a typical car accident claim. In a commercial truck accident, you will probably be able to file claims against more people and companies, including: truck driver, truck driver’s employer, owner of the truck. Contact Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC today at (470) 268-5802 If you have been involved in a commercial vehicle accident.
Atlanta Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Atlanta Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer: Driver and Company Liability for Commercial Truck Accidents.
After a truck accident, is the driver on the legal hook or is an employer or business financially responsible? When you have been injured in an accident involving a big rig, semi-trailer, or commercial truck, the most important thing after seeking medical attention is to partner with an experienced, professional, reliable and dedicated Atlanta commercial vehicle accident lawyer to protect your rights.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 5,000 people were killed and an estimated 159,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks in 2019. Many large trucks are commercial trucks, including delivery trucks, 18-wheelers, big rigs, and tanker trucks.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, you need to know:
- the truck driver’s employer and others might be on the hook for your losses, and
- state and federal regulations might help you prove the driver was at fault for the accident.
Who Is Legally Responsible for a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
Accidents involving commercial trucks are much more complicated than a typical car accident claim. In a typical two-car accident case, you might be able to sue the at-fault driver and file a claim with an insurance company.
In a commercial truck accident, you will probably be able to file claims against more people and companies, including:
- truck driver
- truck driver’s employer
- owner of the truck
- cargo owner and loader, and
- truck maintenance company.
Not all commercial truck accidents involve all of these entities. For example, some truck drivers are independent contractors who own their own big rigs.
Truck Driver Liability
Commercial truck accidents happen for all kinds of reasons. Some accidents are caused by driver errors, some occur due to bad weather conditions or faulty road designs, and others are caused by equipment failures.
For example, a truck driver might speed to get to the next truck stop, make an unsafe lane change, or rear-end a car stopped in traffic. Drivers who are tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more likely to make mistakes and cause accidents.
If the trucker who hit you was negligent (careless), you can bring an injury-related insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver after the accident. You will also want to look into other potentially liable parties, like the truck driver’s employer.
Is the Truck Driver’s Employer Liable?
A truck driver’s employer can be responsible for an accident caused by a truck driver under a legal theory called respondeat superior, meaning “let the master answer.”
Under this theory, an employer can be liable for an employee’s actions if the employee was working at the time of the accident for the employer’s benefit. But trucking companies often try to avoid liability by arguing that the driver is an independent contractor and not an employee or that the driver wasn’t working at the time of the accident.
Therefore, you need an experienced Atlanta commercial vehicle accident lawyer to help you gather enough evidence to build a strong case to hold a truck driver’s employer liable.
Let’s now take a closer look at these arguments
Is the Driver an Employee or Independent Contractor?
Laws vary from state to state, but to show that a driver is an employee of the trucking company and not an owner-operator of a rig, you will need to focus on how much control the company has over the trucker’s schedule and ability to enter into contracts with other trucking companies.
You will also want to look at how the trucking company pays the driver and who is responsible for paying for the truck’s registration, permit, and insurance.
Courts and insurance companies will ask these questions and more to decide how much liability to assign to the driver and the trucking company.
For example, if a truck driver uses his own truck, pays for his own liability insurance coverage, buys his own gas, assumes the cost of maintenance and repairs, gets paid on a “per route” basis, and receives no benefits from the trucking company, the driver is probably an independent contractor.
However, if the trucking company leases the truck from the driver, controls the driver’s routes, and obtains the necessary permits, the company will probably be responsible for accidents involving the truck.
When Are Drivers Acting Within the Scope of Employment?
For a trucking company to be liable, the truck driver must be an employee who was working at the time of an accident for the employer’s benefit (or “acting within the scope of employment”). Courts tend to look at:
- the nature, time, and place of the employee’s conduct
- the intent of the employee at the time of the accident
- the type of work the employee was hired to do
- the amount of freedom an employee typically has in performing duties, and
- the incidental acts the employer should reasonably expect an employee to do.
For example, if a truck driver rear-ends you while making a delivery, the driver’s employer will probably be liable for your accident-related losses because the truck driver was acting “within the scope of employment” at the time of the accident.
But let’s say a truck driver leaves work early to go to a basketball game and hits you outside of the stadium. Here, the driver’s employer will argue that the company isn’t liable for the driver’s negligence because the driver was not acting “within the scope of employment” at the time of the accident.
How Do Multiple Defendants Affect a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
When you (the “plaintiff”) file a personal injury lawsuit against more than one party or entity (the “defendants”), the defendants might be equally responsible for your losses (damages), or they might only be responsible for the portion of your damages they caused.
For example, a tired truck driver might share partial responsibility for an accident, along with the manufacturer of faulty tires. You can sue the driver (or the driver’s employer), as well as the tire manufacturer.
The defendants will have to sort out their share of fault to reach a settlement or let the jury decide at trial. You should consult an experienced Atlanta commercial vehicle accident lawyer to help you identify all potential defendants in your lawsuit.
What If the Driver’s Acts Were Intentional?
Generally, employers aren’t liable for intentional torts (like assaults) committed by employees. Employees are typically not acting “within the scope of employment” when they steal credit card information, for example, or punch customers in the face.
So, if a truck driver slams into you because you are sleeping with the truck driver’s spouse, the trucking company probably isn’t liable for the truck driver’s actions.
State and Federal Trucking Regulations
Truck drivers, owners, and manufacturers must comply with state and federal regulations. Regulators control how long a driver can go without rest, how much weight a rig can haul, and many other aspects of the trucking industry.
When a commercial truck is involved in an accident, there is a good chance that a state, federal, or local law was violated. Proving a violation of law greatly increases an injured person’s chances of winning an insurance settlement or in court.
State and federal regulations typically require truck drivers and owners to have more insurance than non-commercial drivers. Defendants who have higher insurance policy limits have deeper pockets are more likely to be able to compensate you for the full value of your claim.
Talk to a Lawyer
Commercial truck accidents are more complicated than the average car accident case. You might be able to handle your case yourself, but you might short-change yourself if you do.
Learn more about commercial truck accident claims/lawsuits, and talk to a lawyer. An experienced Atlanta commercial vehicle accident lawyer can help you make an insurance claim, negotiate a settlement, and represent you in court.
Atlanta Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a commercial vehicle accident, contact Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC today to talk to an attorney with vast experience handling commercial vehicle accident cases. Call us now at (470) 268-5802 or contact us online to schedule a FREE, no-obligation case review/ consultation.
Atlanta Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer
When choosing a personal injury lawyer, you want to limit your search to lawyers who handle the same type of case as your injury case. Contact Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC, at (470) 268-5802 To get the quality legal representation you need.