Truck accidents may not be as common as crashes involving passenger cars, but a truck accident on a major road like Georgia Highway 74 (Joel Cowan Parkway) through Peachtree City can cause significant injuries. When this type of collision causes permanent disability, it could result in significant financial losses to not only the victim but his or her family as well.
Some injuries from a truck accident require long-term medical care and treatment, resulting in significant costs. The burden of these expenses is overwhelming itself, let alone the loss of income when the injured person can no longer work. Victims and their families should consider options that may help them recover compensation.
Social Security Disability Benefits
One option is to apply for Social Security disability benefits. To qualify, an individual must be permanently and totally disabled as a result of a medical condition that prevents him or her from performing gainful employment.
Eligibility is based upon the following three components:
- Disability Medically Demonstrable – Substantiated by clinical data and medical findings, provided by a physician and/or other healthcare provider.
- Disability Permanent – Condition not likely to improve, expected to continue throughout the individual’s life or worsen.
- Total Disability – Based on individual’s competence, not able to engage in gainful employment.
Other factors considered in determining total disability are the person’s age, work experience, skills and training. However, without establishing all three components the individual would not qualify.
Personal Injury Claim
If the truck driver is at fault for the accident, there is also the option of filing a personal injury claim. Since employers are responsible for the actions of their employees, the trucking company could be liable.
Or if someone else’s negligence caused the accident, the victim could file a claim against that individual/entity, such as a manufacturer because of a defective part or a shipping company because the cargo wasn’t properly loaded.
In pursuing a personal injury claim in Georgia, there are two main issues that claimants must prove. The first is that the accident was someone else’s fault. Truck accident cases can be very complicated, so it’s usually a good idea to secure legal counsel.
An attorney can look over the facts and consider not only the obvious details of the case but investigate into other possibilities of what might have caused the crash to happen.
This may require securing evidence from the trucking company such as:
- driver personnel files;
- the driver’s log books or other documents that might demonstrate violation of federal trucking laws; and
- the truck itself.
An attorney can help draft and send a spoliation letter to the trucking company instructing them not to destroy evidence in the case.
The second issue that claimants must establish is the victim’s injuries. When they result in permanent disability, there is a lot more at stake as far as compensation goes, so it’s critical that the extent and severity of one’s injuries are proven.
Examples of injuries that could result in permanent disability include:
- skull fracture that causes brain damage;
- spinal cord injury (paralysis);
- nerve damage (i.e. peripheral neuropathy); and
- severe traumatic brain injury.
Evidence to establish injuries might include patient medical records, medical bills, and even testimony from a medical expert who can speak regarding the extent of your injuries.
Damages in a personal injury claim could help the victim and family recover losses and expenses like lost wages and medical bills. Other forms of compensation could address the impact of a permanent disability such as pain and suffering. An attorney can help determine what types of damages a claimant should seek. Get help from Jason R. Schultz if you’re pursuing a claim after an accident around Peachtree City: 404-474-0804.