Truck Accident Injury Compensation in Georgia: What You Should Know

Truck Accident Injury Compensation in Georgia: What You Should Know

As destructive as a typical car accident in Georgia may prove, am accident involving a car and a commercial vehicle can create even more devastation due to the sheer size and bulk of these vehicles. If you’ve suffered a debilitating injury from such an accident, you need to understand your legal options for pursuing financial compensation. Let’s take a look at the unique features of Georgia truck accident claims and lawsuits.

Who Holds Liability in a Georgia Truck Accident?

Georgia counts as a modified comparative fault state. This means you can sue for damages in a personal injury case as long as you hold less than 50 percent of the responsibility for the accident. But who do you sue?

Unlike straightforward car accidents in which one driver sues another driver, liability in a Georgia truck accident injury can include the driver, the driver’s employer, the vehicle owner, and/or these parties’ insurance provider. For instance, the driver may have practiced negligence while representing the trucking company, or the entity responsible for the truck’s maintenance may have allowed the vehicle’s brakes to fall into disrepair.

When Should You Consider Legal Action?

The insurance company that represents the other party or parties in your personal injury case may push you to accept a cut-and-dried financial settlement. Don’t agree to such a settlement until you’ve first consulted an experienced personal injury attorney.

You need to consider all the long-term financial implications of your injury, from loss of income and immediate medical bills to (in some cases) a lifetime of ongoing medical and non-medical care. To obtain the compensation you really need, you may have no choice but to reject an insurance settlement offer and file a lawsuit instead.

In some cases, an improperly-packed shipment may fall from a truck and cause an auto injury. In these situations, the injured party would sue the shipping company instead of the truck owner or driver.

How Do You Pursue a Truck Accident Injury Lawsuit?

In most cases, plaintiffs in Georgia traffic injury cases have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. The case itself may prove more complex than a standard car accident injury lawsuit due to the number of potential defendants involved, and the need to show exactly how much liability each defendant might hold. Your attorney can use driver logs, carrier hiring records,  and other data to demonstrate negligence.

As you can see, complex cases like truck accident injury lawsuits require expert legal representation. Contact Amanda Hall Injury Law today for a consultation with our skilled, experienced attorneys.

How Does Georgia’s Helmet Law Affect My Injury Case?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle accidents cause roughly 5,000 fatalities per year. A majority of U.S. states have implemented helmet laws to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries occurring in these accidents.

The state of Georgia implemented its mandatory helmet law in 1969. This law is Section 40-6-315 in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, and it can affect your motorcycle injury case.

The Georgia Helmet Law

The Georgia helmet law is stricter than helmet laws in other states. The law requires all people on the bike to wear a helmet. This applies to bikers and passengers of all ages.

An exception to the Georgia helmet law is when a rider is in a motorized cart or enclosed cab. The biker does not need to wear a helmet while enclosed.

Helmets used by passengers and operators must be DOT-approved. Helmet standards are outlined in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218. Motorcyclists must also wear DOT-approved eye protection, including most helmet shields or goggles.

Helmets and Personal Injury Claims

A common and effective defense against a personal injury case is that the plaintiff caused their injuries by not wearing a helmet. This defense is especially effective when the case involves head injuries. The defendant can prove the injuries would not have occurred or would not be as severe if the individual was wearing a DOT helmet.

Personal injury claims regarding other areas of the body are less reliant on whether the plaintiff was wearing a helmet. The helmet should not play a role in the plaintiff’s compensation for injuries unrelated to the head or helmet. However, the defense will still try to use the fact that the biker was not wearing a helmet to sway the case.

Comparative Fault in Georgia

The state of Georgia often allows the plaintiff to receive some compensation for injuries the biker may have caused to themselves. A plaintiff who the jury finds less than 50 percent at fault for his injuries may receive compensation. The jury will decide for what percentage of the injuries the biker is at fault.

Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

A qualified motorcycle accident lawyer is the best choice when dealing with a motorcycle personal injury case. The experts at Amanda Hall Injury Law know Georgia motorcycle law inside and out. We aim to help you receive the best possible compensation for your injuries, whether you or your passengers were wearing a helmet or not.

Georgia Statute of Limitations

The Statute of Limitations concerning a claim is among the most important deadlines to know when dealing with a car accident. Whether you dealt with a fender bender in Atlanta or a serious car accident in some other part of Georgia, you’ll need to make sure that you properly file a lawsuit against the offending party before you lose your right to forever pursue that claim. Understanding the statute of limitations for car accident claims in Georgia is essential to ensure your protection in a court of law.

Today, we are going to delve into car accident claims in Georgia to better support your understanding of the statute of limitations.

Different Limitation Periods For Your Car Accident

When we talk about filing a claim in Georgia for your car accident, we aren’t just talking about phoning the offending party’s insurance company to notify them of the claim and accident. What we are instead focusing on is the actual lawsuit you will file against the at-fault individual to acquire compensation.

In Georgia, there are two separate claims with their respective statutes of limitations.

First, a claim for property damage suffered against your vehicle must be placed within four years of the offending accident. This is a Georgia guideline and the statute of limitations can and will change depending upon where you are at in the country.

Second, a claim can be made against the at-fault party for injuries to your person. To pursue a personal injury claim, you will need to make a claim within two years of the offending accident while living in Georgia. This is a general guideline as there are exceptions that can exacerbate the timeline, granting more time.

General Exceptions For Timeline Extensions

While the Statute of Limitations for filing a claim in Georgia will sit between two and four years (depending on the claim), there are exacerbating circumstances. In Georgia, if you were injured while still under the age of majority, your two-year statute of limitations will not begin until you reach the age of majority. This gives you potentially many more years to pursue a claim.

Other circumstances may change the statute of limitations regarding the claim you are filing in Georgia. To make sure that you are properly represented for your claim, contact the team at Ananda Hall Injury Law for support.

Amanda Hall Injury Law Can Help Today!

For more than 25 years, the team at Amanda Hall Injury Law has been fighting for justice on behalf of their clients. Whether injured in an accident or harmed by the negligent actions of others, Amanda Hall Injury Law fights tooth-and-nail to become a powerful voice for their clients.

Amanda Hall Injury Law promises

  • Exceptional Attention
  • Experienced Service
  • No Recovery, No Cost

Contact Amanda HallInjury Law today at (678) 445-7423

Ride Share Apps: Reducing DUI Accidents?

A new study has shown that ride share apps might actually be saving lives.

In the old days, people had a “designated driver” when they went out for a night on the town. But that designated driver didn’t always stay sober — and that could lead to big problems.

People also might have a drink or two more than they thought… and that might lead to disaster. It’s difficult for someone who has already driven somewhere to make the decision not to drive when they are already drunk.

Enter the ride share apps.

How Ride Share Apps Are Reducing DUIs

Ride share apps make it easier for people to find rides, whether they were already planning ahead or whether they found themselves having “a few too many.”

Because ride share apps are much more affordable than a taxi (and easier to call), people find it a more attractive option. They can also afford to both take a ride share home and also back to their care to retrieve it in the morning.

Both drunk driving accidents and drunk driving convictions have dropped since ride share apps became popular. And that’s likely to continue as ride share apps become even more ubiquitous. Many ride share companies are currently experimenting with autonomous vehicles.

It turns out that a simple application of a more convenient method can radically reduce the chances of a DUI.

Why People Drive When Drunk

Many people drive when drunk because they mistakenly believe they are sober enough to drive. Someone might have one or two drinks and believe that they’ve had that amount before and been fine. They may even be under the legal limit, but still impaired. So, they drive drunk only to discover that they can’t control their vehicle. And when they get into an accident, they may not even realize how impaired they were.

Other people are chronic drunk drivers. Whether they’re trying to save money, improve their convenience, or just don’t care, they continuously drive drunk. The more they drive while drunk, the more normalized it becomes. They say that they “drive better while drunk,” even, or that they’ve “never gotten into an accident.”

Regardless of the excuses, drunk drivers are very dangerous. A single encounter with a drunk driver could leave someone injured for life. It could even kill someone.

If you’ve been in an accident with a drunk driver, or are concerned about accident liability, it may be time to talk to a professional. Contact the experts at Amanda Hall Injury Law to learn more about drunk driving, its liability, and its potential consequences.

Back to School Time: Driving Safety Tips

As schools recently started opening their doors to kids this year in Georgia,  it is critically important for drivers to remember these important safe driving tips to avoid an accident and keep the school kids safe.

Know where the school zones are along the route you use to commute.

It is critically important to understand exactly where the school zones are located in your area as a driver. With children walking and biking to school, it is much more likely that an accident can happen within the school zone. Therefore, when you approach the school zone, it is important to slow down and make sure you are paying attention to kids who may cross the street without looking.

It is also critically important to limit your distractions while driving through a school zone. For example, avoid talking on your phone while driving. In addition, it is imperative not to text and drive at any time, but especially when going through the school zone.

Most areas have increased fines if you violate laws within the school zone, so slow down, and you will not only protect the kids but will reduce the likelihood of having to pay a hefty fine.

Listen to the crossing guards.

Crossing guards help the kids cross the street, and drivers need to listen to the crossing guards’ directions. If you see a crossing guard enter the street, be prepared to stop even before putting up the stop sign. It would be best if you waited until they give you the all-clear to drive on as they may see kids coming that you cannot see from your perspective.

Do not pass a stopped school bus.

While it may or may not be illegal in your area to pass a school bus, it is best to do so anyway. For example, if you are behind a bus or driving towards a stopped bus on the other side of the road, you need to stop and wait until all the kids have disembarked and have safely crossed the road.

Do not pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.

It is important to remember that you do not have the same perspective as the driver in front of you when you are behind a car. The car may be stopped for no reason, but there is an excellent chance they can see something you do not. Therefore, be patient and do not go around them as there could be a child crossing.

If a driver injured you or a family member, you might be entitled to compensation. Contact the attorneys at Amanda Hall Injury Law to discuss your case today.

What To Do If A Minor Injures You In An Accident

Being involved in a car accident is bad enough. But finding out the at-fault other driver is under the age of eighteen and a minor? Well, that certainly complicates the process more than just a standard auto accident claim.

The good news is that you still have plenty of recourse for being fairly compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other factors. Here’s what you need to know if a minor injures you in a car accident.

Understand Parental Responsibility Laws

Like most states, Georgia places responsibility on the parents of minors who cause an accident or otherwise invoke harm on another person. This means that the legal guardians of the teen or other minor driver that was involved in the collision are just as legally liable for the incident as if they had been behind the wheel themselves.

But what if the minor’s parents don’t own the vehicle? Or what if they didn’t know the teen had taken the car? While this definitely makes things take a bit longer to settle, it doesn’t mean that you won’t receive compensation or have to go to a courtroom to prove your damages.

Contact the Car Owner’s Insurance Company

In Georgia, auto insurance follows the vehicle and not the driver. This means that whatever insurance policy the parents had on the car is the one that will likely pay for your damages. This includes both physical damage to your vehicle and the medical bills for any occupants in your car.

Unless there is a problem with coverage on the policy, the insurance company will likely open a bodily injury claim to help with your medical bills. They’ll likely also cover damage repair to your vehicle under the property damage portion of the car owner’s policy.

Check with Your Own Insurance Carrier

There are instances in which the responsible party’s bodily injury coverage is not enough to fairly compensate you for your medical bills. In that case, you would want to consider working with your own auto insurance carrier to see about opening a UM/UIM claim.

This is specific coverage on your policy to help protect you from financial harm stemming from excessive medical bills in an accident that’s not your fault, but the other person either doesn’t have coverage or does not have enough coverage for the severity of the incident.

Wrap Up: What to Do If a Minor Injures You in a Car Accident

Car accidents are always a scary time for all involved. While things might get a little more technical in a claim involving a driver who is a minor, that doesn’t mean you won’t get a fair settlement without filing a lawsuit.

However, there are still certain negotiations and steps that need to happen to ensure the other insurance company doesn’t shortchange you on what you deserve. And having a knowledgeable and skilled attorney to work as your advocate is the best way to ensure a fair and quick settlement process.

Have you recently been involved in a vehicle collision with a minor? Please contact our team at Amanda Hall Injury Law to schedule an appointment.

Why Are Women More Likely To Be Severely Injured in Accidents?

When it comes to accidents on the road, you would think that men and women would be fairly equally represented. In reality, however, studies have shown a growing disparity between the number of men and women seriously injured in auto accidents. What does a breakdown of these statistics look like—and what’s the reasoning behind it all?

A Look at the Statistics

In a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it was discovered that while men are more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents than women, women are still 20-28% more likely to suffer from fatal injuries. Likewise, women are anywhere from 37-73% more likely to suffer a serious injury when compared to a male driver.

Researchers also found that women are at a three times higher risk of experiencing injuries such as concussions in an auto accident. Meanwhile, women carry a two times greater risk (compared to male drivers) of experiencing a lung injury or traumatic brain injury as a result of a car accident.

So, What Gives?

At first glance, this data can be puzzling. Why are women at such a greater risk of suffering from serious injuries when they are involved in car accidents? In reality, it mostly boils down to the type of vehicles women tend to drive. Specifically, research has found that women tend to drive smaller, lighter, and more compact vehicles. These vehicles tend to offer less protection in the event of a collision than larger and heavier vehicles, thus increasing the risk of a serious injury for drivers involved in accidents.

Studies have also found that in causes of side-impact, T-bone, and front-to-rear accidents, male drivers are more likely to be driving the striking vehicle. Because the driver of a striking vehicle has an inherently lower risk of injuries, this means that a female driver in the vehicle being struck could be more likely to suffer from serious injuries in an accident.

The Bottom Line

There remains a disparity between the number of male and female drivers seriously injured in auto crashes across the country. Mostly, this is due to the fact that female drivers are more likely to drive smaller (and thus less safe) vehicles. However, there are certainly some other factors at play.

Regardless of what led to your auto accident or how seriously you were injured, you deserve to have proper legal representation. Our team at Amanda Hall Injury Law is here to help; contact us today at (678) 445-7423 to schedule your free legal consultation. We’re proud to represent auto accident victims in Woodstock, Acworth, and the surrounding areas and will stop at nothing to pursue your case.

image of vehicle seatbelt

Seat Belts for All Will Help Decrease Traffic Accident Deaths

Current Georgia seat belt laws only require adults in the front seat to wear seat belts. Children under the age of 17 were also required to wear seat belts at all times. However, in 2019, a new law was proposed to require seat belts for all individuals in a car, ensuring everyone’s safety. This law is still moving toward approval and implementation but it is expected to save many lives. The bill is expected to pass the state legislature, providing protection for everyone who rides in a car in the future.

Mistaken Beliefs

When the previous seat belt law was passed, it was believed passengers traveling in the back seat of a car were safer and less susceptible to injury or death. However, over the years, several studies have shown the exact opposite. These studies reveal that back seat passengers are just as likely to experience injuries or even death when involved in a car accident while not wearing their seat belt, leading to the proposed changes in legislation. Wearing a seat belt reduces movement in an accident and helps protect all passengers from serious injuries or death, especially in more severe accidents.

Greater Protections in the Front Seat

If you think about all the safety features implemented in cars today, it’s clear to see that although wearing seat belts in the front seat is still essential to protect against injuries and deaths, drivers and front seat passengers actually have more protection in the event of a crash than those traveling in the backseat. Front airbags, side airbags and other newer safety features go a long way toward protecting front passengers from the impact of a crash, while the back seat often has fewer airbags, if any, and few additional safety features. When these back seat passenger aren’t buckled in securely, they are more likely to be thrown around the cabin or even out of the car, resulting in more severe injuries and increasing the likelihood of death due to the accident.

The Click It or Ticket Campaign

Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration promotes their Click It or Ticket campaign in an effort to encourage everyone to stay safer on the roads and keep their seat belts fastened. While the law in Georgia has only required seat belts for adult in the front seat and all children, this campaign always serves as a reminder that everyone needs to wear their seat belt to increase their level of safety on the road. Whether families are heading out on a road trip or they’re running errands around town, making sure everyone can enjoy a safe ride is an absolute necessity, especially with the increased traffic on the roads due to uncertainty about air travel due to the pandemic.

image of car window shattering

Georgia’s “At Fault” Law Explained

A slam on the brakes, screeching from the pavement, and then a crash. Nobody wakes up anticipating their involvement in an automobile accident, but that doesn’t stop more than 1,720 collisions from happening every single day in the state of Georgia, alone.  After an accident happens, no matter how minor, both drivers will want to know who is at fault and financially culpable for the damages.

In Georgia, finding this answer isn’t quite as easy as you might think. Let’s break down Georgia’s “At Fault” law in a few simple steps.

Understanding Modified Comparative Negligence

Each state will have its own comprehensive legislation relating to insurance. In Georgia, insurance companies will estimate the accident liability of each person involved by assigning a percentage of the blame. If one individual is considered more than 50% liable for the incident, they will not be able to claim any damages. On the flip side of the coin, individuals up to 49% liable can file for damages.

Georgia law dictates that there can be three outcomes of an automobile accident: one driver is at fault, both drivers are equally at fault, or one driver is only partially responsible.

Other effects of Modified Comparative Negligence

  • Insurance companies are incentivized to evaluate every single detail of the accident report. Including the following:
    • Police Reports
    • Forensic Crash Analysis
    • Interviewing All Parties
  • Drivers should consider legal representation when talking with their insurance company.
  • Anyone up to 49% responsible can receive compensation.

Liability Percentage and Compensation Results

Thanks to Georgia’s Modified Comparative Negligence legislation, filing a claim can leave claimants in relatively dire straits. Assigning liability will have an impact on the amount receivable. A driver 49% liable for the incident will receive just 51% of their total damages.

While it is important to have this information available, it won’t change what a responding officer writes during their initial report. Every responding officer will assign fault to one or both parties, typically with a citation. This citation can have a dramatic impact on the eventual claim that a driver makes for damages, no matter the severity.

Don’t Deal With an Insurance Company Alone

An experienced injury attorney can help guide their client throughout the entire process while circumventing common traps, pitfalls, and obstacles that would otherwise lead to a reduced settlement.

In the immediate aftermath of an automobile accident, it can be hard to focus on what step comes next. Due to Georgia’s “At Fault” laws, it is important to have legal representation when it matters most. Call Imbriale Injury Law at (678) 445-7423 to hear more!

image of highway

Fewer Cars on the Road Means an Increase in High Speed Accidents

With restrictions due to the pandemic, it’s no surprise the amount of traffic on the road has dramatically decreased this year. You may often see much emptier roads than usual, even during typical rush hour times because more people are working from home and not heading out as much. While this can offer a more relaxing ride when you do need to go out, fewer cars on the road often means an increase in high-speed accidents. With less traffic, people are more likely to drive faster, sometimes without even realizing it, increasing the risk of collisions on the road.

Dangerous Speeds Are Increasing

It’s estimated traffic has reduced about 45 percent from what it was back in March, leaving open roads in many areas, even major metropolitan areas. Rather than traveling the set speed limit, more people are exceeding those limits and driving upwards of 100 miles per hour, even in cities where the average speed limit is lower than the open highway out in the countryside. Some motorcyclists have even been stopped going over 170 miles per hour, which can have disastrous results if an accident occurs. Changing lanes and making turns at these speeds can be extremely dangerous for everyone involved. When these high-speed crashes occur, it has devastating effects on not only the vehicle, but those who are inside it. Even though officers are issuing more tickets than ever for individuals who are driving 100 miles per hour or higher, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

How to Prevent High-Speed Accidents

While slowing down is the obvious answer, there are a few other steps you can take to ensure you aren’t one of those people who finds they have vastly exceeded the speed limit, increasing the risk of a high-speed accident. First and foremost, plan your route ahead of time and make sure you leave early enough to ensure you don’t find yourself feeling rushed, which is one of the biggest contributors to speeding issues. It’s also essential to pay close attention to your speedometer. Strive to keep your speeds at or below the speed limit, rather than ignoring your speedometer and just going with the flow. You can also now download speeding apps to help keep you in check as you drive. These apps, such as the Waze app, alert you when you exceed the speed limit, giving you an audio indication you need to slow down.

Nothing is worth getting into a serious accident, even arriving to your destination late. Even though there’s less traffic to contend with, there’s no reason to vastly exceed the speed limit in the name of reaching your destination more quickly. Stay safe on the road!