On march 7 I was in a accident. A dodge ram came from the other side of the interstate And hit me head on. It was ruled out it wasn't my fault. I. survived with little injury and the other person died. I've been driving along time and am concerned how I might feel when I get back into the truck. What if I can't drive. Anymore? Can I seek compensation?
I would suggest you speak to a qualified personal injury attorney in your area. YOu give very little information about your injuries, but if you sustained a physical injury then you should be able to recover for your medical bills. As for the emotional distress, the law in Georgia is that you cannot normally recover for emotional distress unless their was a physical touching. In other words you can't normally recover for emotional distress for just witnessing an accident, you have to have been physically touched. In the situation you describe you were physically touched as you were personally involved in the accident, so you should have a viable claim for emotional distress as well. I would suggest you speak with a qualified personal injury attorney in your area about your options in a little more detail.
If you were physically injured you should seek medical attention immediately and document your injuries. If you are having psychological problems resulting from the wreck you should seek psychological help right away, both to help you and to document your injury (ie: PTSD, etc.) for any claim you make. If you were driving as an employee for a company at the time, rather than as an owner-driver, you should consider a worker's compensation claim.
My office will be happy to discuss and evaluate this matter with you at no charge, contact us at:
www.rgrothsteinlaw.com and go to the "Contact" page.
Hope you feel better soon
Law Offices of Robert G. Rothstein
More facts are needed, but I would encourage you to seek a qualified personal injury attorney. Additionally, if you were on the job at the time of the collision, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits from your employer. This could include coverage for psychological/psychiatric treatment if deemed medically necessary. My firm handles both types of cases.
I'm sorry for what you've been through. I can completely understand why you would be concerned about how you might feel getting back into the truck after someone involved in the accident with you died. Experiences like that are akin to having PTSD, and the emotional injury is something for which you can be compensated assuming you suffered a physical impact and physical injury. You stated above that you had "little injury". What was the injury you suffered in the accident? Another important question is where was the driver from? I ask because Rossville is on the TN border, and if the accident occurred in TN, there could be different rules.
The emotional injuries that follow accidents in which there was very little physical injury are trickier to navigate because insurance companies usually marry the two, so if there was very little physical injury, their formula will spit out a small recovery for emotional distress as well. You need an attorney who is familiar with the PTSD component, and how it can impact one's daily life (especially in your profession). The accident happened almost 2 weeks ago - have you not driven since then because of regular scheduling, or because of this accident? If it is accident related, you will want to make sure it is properly documented as such. In the case of truck drivers, many of whom are technically independent contractors, this is an element of damages that can enhance a claim that is often lost. Lastly, if you have not already sought treatment/counseling for the fear you are experiencing, I would encourage you to do so if you are able to. On a personal note, these issues are best tended to before they become "hardwired" in the brain making them difficult to overcome, and from a case compensation standpoint, early and consistent treatment/counseling will support your position later on that this was a real emotional injury, not a money grab.
Avvo has many fine attorneys, many of which will respond to your question. Most of us offer free consultations and can provide more specific advice for your particular situation after that consultation Best of luck to you, and good luck getting past this and returning to a normal life.l
If you were on the job when the accident occurred, then you have two potential claims you need to look into soon. First, you would have a workers' compensation claim, and you would want to talk to a workers' compensation lawyer about that. Secondly, you would have a tort or personal injury claim against the estate of the driver at fault, and you need to talk to a personal injury lawyer about that. I settled a case recently for a semi driver who had an identical accident, and he developed some PTSD as a result. So if you start feeling anxious about getting in the truck again, get yourself to the doctor pronto for some help. Good luck to you.
Contact a personal injury attorney in your local area there in Georgia. You will need to provide the attorney with all of the information pertaining to the accident. For example, did you have insurance, did the other party (deceased) have insurance? Did the police come out to the scene of the accident and if so, did they make a report? If they did, take the report with you to the personal injury attorney that you meet with. This will help you and your new attorney to put together the claim for you. Good luck.
i'm sorry you went through this difficult ordeal. There are several issues that your question raises that may be important to your situation. For example, you don't mention where (which state) the wreck occurred, but that is important because it may affect which state's law applies to your claim. Also, I would suspect that you did have some type of physical injury in a wreck that was this serious, even if that injury was seemingly minor. If you did, then generally you can recover for your emotional distress and anxiety, worry, and ability to deal with the stress of driving as part of what is generally called "pain and suffering" under Georgia law. There may be other situations where you can recover "pain and suffering" without a physical injury, such as where you have a qualifying monetary loss, but this rule is not perfectly clear and really depends on the circumstances of each case. Also, we don't know why the other driver caused the wreck, but it may be that another type of damages called "punitive damages" are available. I would advise you to talk with a lawyer experienced in these types of cases to get advice specific to your situation. I wish you a full recovery.
Jarome E. Gautreaux
Gautreaux & Adams LLC
You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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