Tractor trailer accidents are much more common in the United States than you might realize, and many of those collisions result in injury.
In 2019 alone, there were 118,500 large trucks involved in accidents resulting in injury, and 68.1% of the people injured were occupants of a vehicle other than the large truck, according to research by the National Safety Council.
Because of this, the commercial insurance companies that provide coverage to tractor trailer drivers are extremely experienced with navigating the claims process, and their goal is always to make sure they pay the smallest amount possible.
It doesn’t matter if the truck driver was clearly at fault, they’re going to work hard to find a reason to deny your claim.
Find Out How Tom Received a $375,000 Settlement with The Help of a Dunwoody Attorney
This is why it is so important to hire a great lawyer after an accident with a truck, especially if you’ve been injured. Finding the right lawyer can be the difference between receiving a settlement that covers all of your medical bills and having to pay for them all out of pocket.
Tom* realized this when he sustained serious injuries in an accident with an 18-wheeler, so he was determined to find a lawyer who had his best interest at heart.
“I wanted to hire an attorney, but I didn’t know who to contact. I had no clue,” Tom said.
Fortunately for Tom, a friend of a friend did some digging and found out that Nick Martin was an experienced personal injury attorney in the Dunwoody area.
Don’t Assume the Person at Fault Will Pay
Even when it’s clear who’s at fault in an accident, insurance companies work hard to avoid having to pay. This is why it’s so important to hire an attorney who has experience with truck accidents, even if you know you’re not to blame.
Take Tom’s accident, for example. Tom was simply driving his truck at the intersection of Oakley Industrial Boulevard and Senoia Road in Fairburn, when an 18-wheeler tried to turn right at a high speed and flipped his vehicle over in the process.
The trailer bounced over the median, hitting the car in front of Tom and causing it to collide with another 18-wheeler. Then the cab itself jumped over the median and collided with Tom’s vehicle. It’s something you see all the time, when a driver of a massive truck takes a turn too fast and you wonder if they’ll be able to make it. In this case, the driver completely lost control, causing a multi-car and truck pileup.
Even though it was clear that Tom shared no part of the blame for this accident, he wanted to make sure his medical bills would be taken care of. By hiring Nick Martin, he gained a partner and an advocate who helped him navigate the claims process from start to finish.
What to Do Immediately After a Tractor Trailer Accident
Anytime you’ve been in an accident with a tractor trailer, it’s important to gather as much information at the scene as possible. This will make it easier for you (and your attorney if you choose to hire one) to file a strong claim with insurance.
But first, your top priority should always be your own safety. Make sure you’ve gotten yourself to a safe place, and call 911 right away if you or anyone else needs immediate medical attention. Nothing else is nearly as important as making sure you’re safe and healthy.
Even if everyone is safe and appears to be uninjured, it’s important to make sure someone calls the police. In Georgia, drivers are required by law to immediately report any accident resulting in an injury or at least $500 of damage.
Plus, having a police report that clearly documents the events of the accident and the damages that occurred will be important for your insurance claim.
If you don’t need immediate medical care and it is safe to do so, try to gather the following information:
- Any road or weather conditions that may have played a role in the accident
- Any information you can gather from witnesses or other involved drivers
- The contact information of everyone involved in the accident
- The exact site of the accident
- The insurance information of the other drivers involved
- Your recollection of what happened
Take notes on your phone or a scrap of paper to help you remember everything, and if possible, take detailed photos of the damaged vehicles and the accident site. Keep in mind that just because you gather certain information does not mean you should share it all with the insurance company.
Your attorney can help you determine the best way to answer insurance adjuster questions and to avoid information that might give them a reason to deny your claim.
After you’ve been in an accident, you should make sure to file a claim with the truck driver’s insurance company as soon as possible. Sometimes if you wait too long, the company can use this as a reason to deny your claim.
If you’ve been injured or are just overwhelmed by all the steps involved in this process, this is the perfect time to contact an attorney who works with tractor trailer accident victims.
They can help you with everything from organizing all your records to filing the claim to talking with insurance adjusters. And the earlier you bring them into the process, the more informed they’ll be about your case and the better equipped they’ll be to fight for you in court if that becomes necessary.
Finding Help When Medical Bills Pile Up
Even though Tom was in pain after the car accident and knew he had been hurt, his injuries after the car accident were more extensive than he initially realized. In addition to neck and back injuries, Tom had also torn his rotator cuff in his right shoulder.
Sometimes after an accident, people put off going to the doctor because they either don’t realize how serious their injuries are, or they’re busy dealing with insurance and car repairs and figure they’ll make an appointment once things calm down.
In reality, going to the doctor is an important way to create a record of your injuries and strengthen your insurance claim, so it’s important to go as soon as possible.
Even if you think you’re unharmed, it’s still wise to visit your primary care doctor or an urgent care center. Some injuries don’t present symptoms right away, so the sooner you can get diagnosed, the better.
When Tom met with attorney Nick Martin, Nick encouraged him to consult an orthopedic surgeon. The specialist told Tom he would need surgery to repair his rotator cuff, as well as extensive physical therapy.
Tom ended up attending physical therapy every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for several months, so between that and the expensive surgery, his medical bills were much higher than he ever would have imagined.
And this was on top of the pain and suffering he’d experienced, and all the time he had to spend away from work to focus on healing.
From their very first phone call, Tom was impressed by the way Nick treated him with kindness and respect.
“He is a wonderful, wonderful individual. He treated us like he had known us all of his life. He didn’t treat us like a client, he treated us like friends,” Tom shared. “You couldn’t find a greater attorney, as far as I’m concerned.”
Great Attorneys Won’t Promise More Than They Can Deliver
Sometimes, in an effort to win your business, attorneys will try to assure you that they can win their case. They might talk about large settlements or try to convince you that they can definitely get you the money you deserve.
Unfortunately, nothing is quite so cut and dry.
A great attorney will not promise you more than they know they can deliver, and they’ll be upfront with you about the reality of your situation.
This is something that Tom appreciated about Nick Martin, who took the time to walk him through the possible outcomes and give him a realistic perspective about his chances of winning a settlement.
“He was very, very honest with us. And he said, ‘I will do my best for you. I’m not going to make you any promises about anything; all I can do is promise you that I will do everything I can for you.’ And he did.”
Be Prepared Before Talking to an Insurance Adjuster
One of the things many people overlook when thinking about hiring an attorney is the fact that they can help you prepare to talk to an insurance adjuster.
Insurance adjusters are the people who will contact you after you’ve filed a claim. Their job is to ask you questions and try to poke holes in your story and find any possible reason to deny your claim or pay you the smallest amount possible.
You’ll want to avoid saying anything that could hurt your chances of getting the money you deserve. Even if it’s clear you’re not at fault, these people are experts at finding loopholes.
A great attorney can prep you before you talk to an adjuster, helping you go over the information they might ask you and rehearse answers that don’t give away too much.
In general, you should:
- Never admit fault, even if you think you’re responsible
- Tell the adjuster you need to consult with your lawyer if you don’t know how to answer a question
- Keep your answers short
- Only share verifiable facts, instead of speculating about what happened
- Never accept their first offer without consulting an attorney
Once you’ve received an offer from the insurance company, your attorney can also help you make sure the amount they’re giving you is fair. They can even negotiate with the company on your behalf if they think you can get a larger amount of money.
This is another reason why it’s so important to find an attorney who’s willing to be honest with you and realistic about what you can reasonably expect.
Attorney Nick Martin will work hard to make sure you get the maximum amount of money possible in your personal injury case, but he won’t promise more than he can deliver.
“He’s not going to make a promise that he can’t fulfill. He’ll tell you straight up, ‘If I can do it, I can do it. If I can’t do it, I can’t do it.’ He’s not going to beat around the bush about it,” Tom shared.
Choose a Dunwoody Attorney Who Has Time for You
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident — especially if you’re injured — is already extremely stressful. If you choose to entrust your case to an attorney, you deserve someone who gives you time and attention, both to work on your case and to keep you up-to-date at every stage of the process.
Unfortunately, when you hire a big box attorney like the ones you see advertised on TV, you’re just a number; one of many clients. In many cases, you’ll never even talk directly with the attorney who’s managing your case.
This is one of the key things that sets Nick Martin apart from those large law firms. Nick works directly on every case he takes, and he’s quick to respond anytime you have questions or just want an update on the proceedings.
He understands that cases aren’t just an item to check off a to-do list; in the world of personal injury, it’s often your health and your livelihood on the line.
“What really impressed me with Mr. Martin was how every time my wife and I would have to call him, he would call us right back. He didn’t wait two to three days to return our calls, he called us right back. And anytime he heard anything, he would call us,” Tom shared.
Find the Right Attorney to Handle Your Tractor Trailer Accident Case
If you have been injured in a tractor trailer accident, you shouldn’t have to accept a smaller settlement — or worse, pay for all your own medical bills — just because you are dealing with a large commercial insurance company.
In Tom’s situation, Nick had to spend a lot of time negotiating with the truck driver’s insurance company, even though that driver was clearly at fault and had hit multiple vehicles that were driving on the opposite side of the median.
Fortunately for Tom, Nick is an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to work with commercial insurance providers, whether that means negotiating for a settlement or taking a case to court if all else fails.
In the end, Tom walked away with a $375,000 settlement check for his injuries and pain and suffering. He is so grateful someone referred him to the Law Offices of Nicholas P. Martin and wants anyone in a similar situation to know that Nick is ready and willing to fight for the compensation they deserve.
“I would recommend him to anybody,” Tom stressed. “Mr. Nick Martin is absolutely superb, he is absolutely fantastic. Not only is he a fantastic individual, but he’s also a fantastic attorney. And if anything was to come about again, I would definitely use him over again. He fought mighty hard for me.”
Are you dealing with injuries, lost wages, or pain and suffering after an accident with a tractor trailer or any other vehicle? Dunwoody-area lawyer Nick Martin has the experience and dedication you need to help you have the strongest chance of winning the money you deserve.
The sooner you take action, the better your case will be, so take the first step today by calling The Law Office of Nicholas P. Martin at (770) 450-6155 to schedule a free consultation.
*Client’s name changed for privacy
- 4 Reasons to Hire a Lawyer After You’re Injured in a Car Accident - September 20, 2023
- Mistakes To Avoid When Filing A Car Accident Claim - August 10, 2023
- Can You Fire Your Truck Accident Attorney? - July 5, 2023