Louisiana is a large state with a great variety of roadways that can make it very difficult for commercial truck drivers to maintain safety behind the wheel. Fortunately, Louisiana lawmakers take the dangers of commercial vehicle accidents very seriously, and regularly examine the law to find ways it might be altered to save lives.
A recent bill introduced to the state legislature proposed altering speed limits in several areas to compel commercial truck drivers to maintain lower speeds than traditional drivers. The bill proposes a 10-mile per hour decrease in commercial vehicle speed limits on rural interstates and urban interstates.
Sharing the road with other drivers always presents some level of danger, but the danger increases dramatically when one is sharing the road with a large truck. On top of all of the ways that that a traditional driver can wreak havoc, large trucks present some unique dangers to other vehicles and drivers. It is always best to treat large trucks with respect and use extra caution whenever you are sharing the road with one or more of them. Understanding some of the increased risks of large trucks can help you avoid serious injury or death.
Large trucks or other vehicles towing a trailer or other separate piece are prone to jackknifing, which can be very destructive to all involved in an accident. Jackknifing occurs when the two pieces of the vehicle, the main cab and the trailer being hauled, begin to travel in different directions, becoming difficult or impossible for the driver to control. This often happens if the driver must stop abruptly, or swerve for some reason. In some cases, courts have determined that a driver was not negligent in a jackknifing accident, if the circumstances were considered unavoidable.
Large trucks also require much more room than a smaller vehicle to make turns — especially when turning right. Many instances require a truck driver to use two lanes in order to make a right-hand turn, which can catch a vehicle in the right lane off guard and trap them in the process. It is always wise to give a large truck extra room to make a turn, keeping everyone safer in the process.
Unfortunately, even for those who are diligent to give trucks extra room and drive with greater care when they are present, accidents do happen. If you have been injured in an accident with a large truck, you deserve to have your experience professionally evaluated. Proper legal guidance can help you seek justice for your losses while protecting your rights.
Applying for disability benefits after an accident can be a frustrating experience for those whose requests are denied. There is a possible silver lining, however — if your disability claim gets denied, you can appeal the decision and perhaps see the decision reversed.
Understanding the process for appealing your claim denial can help you determine how best to proceed. Denials include documentation detailing the reason the claim wasn’t approved. When appealing your denial, familiarize yourself with all the factors listed in the denial. If possible, appeals should address each factor that’s listed. Appeals must include evidence that those contributing factors deserve to be reconsidered in your favor.
The most common reason that claims are wholly or partially denied is lack of sufficient evidence to justify benefits. It is, in many ways, the real-world equivalent of taken a math or science exam in school and being penalized for not showing your work.
To increase your chances of having the decision reversed, you want to “show your work” as much as is possible. This might mean that you have the relevant doctor write an opinion you can submit to the insurer, or you might collect testimonials from colleagues about how your disability has affected your performance. You might also want to pursue additional medical testing to bolster your evidence.
Regardless of the additional evidence of disability that you submit for consideration, you should confirm that the appropriate party received it. In the event that your case must be litigated, you must prove that the insurer had all the relevant evidence that you submitted to them.
Sometimes the fight for justice is a long one. In many cases, being truly treated fairly requires having someone fighting on your behalf. With the representation of an experienced attorney, you can pursue fair treatment confidently, knowing that the full weight of the law is going to bat for you and protecting your rights.
Source: Findlaw, “How to Appeal a Disability Insurance Claim Denial,” accessed Jan. 17, 2017
One of the most common questions that arises after a commercial truck accident is whether compensation can be pursued if both drivers have been deemed at least partially at-fault. The good news is that being deemed partially at-fault in an accident does not automatically disqualify you from pursuing compensation, but you will almost certainly want to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to evaluate the specifics of your individual case.
In cases like this, the legal theory of comparative negligence comes into play. In brief, comparative negligence means that a victim’s ability to recover damages after an accident may be reduced by a percentage that directly correlates to the amount of fault they are deemed to bear.
Let’s assume that you have been injured in an accident with a commercial truck. You were partially at fault — maybe you didn’t use a turning signal properly or some other relatively minor contributing offense. You may be deemed to be 20 percent at-fault for the accident. Accordingly, if a jury determines that your injuries justify $50,000 in damages, you would only be eligible to collect $40,000, or 80 percent, of the award.
Each instance of shared fault is different and must be evaluated individually. If you have been injured in an accident in which you share some fault, the guidance of a experienced attorney can help. A Lake Charles car accident attorney can help you understand the elements at play in your particular case and lead you step-by-step through the process of filing your claim.
Source: findlaw, “Comparative Negligence,” accessed Jan. 12, 2017
Being involved in a commercial truck accident presents some unique challenges and must be handled with precision and care. Unlike an accident involving another driver operating a personal vehicle, a commercial driver and vehicle are subject to many more regulations, as is the driver’s employers.
Practically speaking, this means that you may need to bring a claim against both the driver and his or her employer if you are harmed or if someone in your family is killed in a commercial truck accident. There are a host of regulations that a driver is required to follow, which can also implicate an employer. For instance, there are specific limits placed on how many hours a commercial driver may operate his or her vehicle before resting, as well as limits on how much weight can be carried by a commercial vehicle.
Determining who is liable in your accident is not a simple matter. Depending on the circumstances, the driver and the employer may be liable, but there are scenarios where the manufacturer of the vehicle or a company that has recently performed maintenance on the vehicle may also be held liable. You may also be able to hold the employer liable for not performing sufficient background checks on the driver if you can demonstrate that the driver had a sufficient history of traffic violations.
Being injured in a commercial truck accident is a terrible thing, no matter what the details of the accident may be. However, pursuing justice for your injuries is all in the details. An experienced attorney can help you understand the intricacies of your particular experience and form a plan to most effectively pursue justice through your injury claim.
Source: Findlaw, “Truck Accident Law: What You Need to Know,” accessed Dec. 22, 2016