Legal Question in Personal Injury in Georgia

Problem with determining fault after truck accident

My mom was driving down I-85 when one of those big tractor trailer hit her, made her car spin and end up facing the wrong way. The truck drove off. After the cop came, the truck driver returned. Evidently it was a really stupid cop, because he didnít issue anyone a ticket. In the police report he did not even write down that the truck driver left the scene, and also, he wrote down a telephone number of a witness without any name. My mom didnít see any witness on the scene, so she has no idea who it can be. In the police report, the cop indicated that he tried to reach the witness but was not able to.

The truck driverís insurance company now claims that they cannot determine fault, because they have left messages for this alleged ďwitnessĒ and never heard back. They wonít give her anything. Her insurance only covered liability, so she probably wonít get anything out of them for her own car. The car is a total loss. Any ideas of what she should do now?

Asked on 6/25/04, 2:07 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Charles W. Field Charles W. Field, Attorney at Law
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Re: Problem with determining fault after truck accident

She should consult with an attorney ASAP. Just because the insurance company says it can't determine fault does not mean that someone with proper investigation can't.

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6/25/04, 2:11 pm
Kenneth L. Shigley Chambers, Aholt & Rickard, LLP
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Re: Problem with determining fault after truck accident

You can generally expect insurers for trucking companies to lie, cheat and steal at every opportunity, and to take advantage of every perceived weakness in the people the truckers hurt. That is standard operating procedure for many of them. Do not accept their delays and obfuscation.

You did not indicate whether or how she was physically injured. That is vitally important in finding an attorney who will handle your case on a contingent fee basis. If it is simply a matter of property damage, you can probably find an attorney but I don't know who. If there is a very significant personal injury, then there are many of us experienced in big truck cases who know what to do, how to do it, and would be willing to take the case on a contingent fee basis, i.e., a percentage of what is recovered for the client.

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6/25/04, 2:22 pm
Glen Ashman Ashman Law Office
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Re: Problem with determining fault after truck accident

One should never negotiate car accidents with insurers. Some are horrible and some just poor in dealing with individuals. I am assuming from what you posted that she probably was injured. If she was, and got prompt treatment, and the accident was recent, a personal injury lawyer might be interested in the case. Our office does handle such matters (we don't do cases with property damage only); if there is an injury we can be reached at 404-768-3509.

If there is property damage only, she may be able to sue in small claims court (magistrates court) and/or make a complaint to the state insurance commissioner.

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6/25/04, 2:29 pm

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