Whether we like it or not, we have to share the road with tractor-trailers. People make a lot of purchases online these days and this means someone needs to transport these goods. That is why we have truck drivers. They make sure that products in this country get to where they need to go. Unfortunately, truck accidents occur more frequently. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, it is critical you have an experienced Lake Charles Truck Accident Lawyer on your side.
Due to the difference in size between the vehicles involved truck accidents are exceptionally dangerous. Tractor-trailers frequently carry heavy loads and have to navigate the busy traffic. If a truck driver gets into an accident a car is at a serious disadvantage, it simply can’t handle the impact of a tractor-trailer.
When you consider the miles that these trucks cover, it’s surprising that they’re not involved in more accidents. Not only do they have to handle the normal risks on the road, but they also have to handle a large machine.
Truck accident lawyers in Lake Charles, Louisiana, have spent years handling these types of cases. They know how to prove that the truck driver was at fault. They also know how to get you compensation for your injuries. They’ll gather the evidence necessary to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you’re involved in a truck accident, you need to do a few things. First, you need to seek immediate medical treatment. Second, you need to call the police to investigate the accident scene. And, third, you need to call a Lake Charles truck accident lawyer at 337-202-2922.
Table of Contents
Your Louisiana Trucking Accident Attorney Knows the Statistics
Truck accidents are the most serious type of accidents today. Because of the sheer size of a tractor-trailer, they cause a lot of damage. In fact, truck accidents are the deadliest type of accident there is. There are actually statistics to back this up.
When we look at the statistics surrounding truck accidents, they are quite alarming:
- There were over 120,000 in 2016 that caused injuries
- Of these, over 4,000 accidents caused fatalities
- Although there was a decrease in truck accidents from 2005 to 2009, they are now steadily on the rise again
- In fatal truck accidents, the car driver was the one killed over 90% of the time
When we think about it, trucks are almost like deadly weapons traveling up and down the highway. However, everything needs to be taken into perspective. When we consider the number of trucks on the road at any given time, it’s not surprising that there are so many accidents. And, when we consider how dangerous trucks are, it’s not surprising that they cause so many fatalities.
The surprising fact is that 90% of the people who die in these accidents are car drivers. We know that trucks are much larger than cars – but does this really explain this difference? It does when you consider that nothing stands between the car driver and a huge, multi-ton vehicle.
What are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Commercial vehicles are heavy and tower over most other vehicles on the road. They transport goods, toxic chemicals, and flammable substances across the country. They pose a danger to other motorists and could lead to damage when an accident occurs. Multiple parties in a truck accident could be responsible for causing a crash that harms other people.
When you’re in the trucking industry, you must comply with regulations to ensure everyone’s safety and prevent injuries. For example, drivers aren’t allowed on the road past a maximum number of hours. Trucking companies are supposed to perform routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs on their vehicle fleets. Additionally, those responsible for loading cargo must meet weight, size, and securement system requirements.
Unfortunately, some people fail to follow the rules and end up putting people around them at risk. The most common problems that can lead to a truck accident include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Equipment failure
- Fatigued driving
- Defective truck parts
- Overloaded or oversized cargo
- Failure to check blind spots
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Trucking company negligence
- Inadequate maintenance
When you’re sharing the road with a large truck, you must pay attention. If you become distracted in any way, you won’t notice when there’s an emergency. Commercial vehicles can create hazardous conditions and cause severe injuries. If you collide with a truck in a small passenger car, the metal around you could crumple like a piece of paper. Going up against a vehicle like that is scary and overwhelming. As long as you recognize the potential risks, you can take the necessary safety precautions.
What Damages are Eligible for Compensation?
If you’re involved in a truck accident, you’ll be entitled to certain damages. Depending on your accident, you may suffer serious injuries. You may also end up with a vehicle that needs to be repaired or replaced. Your Louisiana personal injury lawyer is going to demand that you be compensated for the following:
Your attorney will demand that you be compensated for current and future medical bills. Chances are, if you’ve been hit by a truck, you’re going to need treatment for quite some time.
Your lawyer will make sure you are compensated for time missed from work. He’ll also demand that you be compensated handsomely if you end up permanently disabled.
Pain and Suffering
There is a lot of pain involved in truck accident injuries. You could have to undergo several surgeries. These are very painful and take a while to recover from. Your lawsuit may involve as much in pain and suffering as the other types of damages combined.
Chances are, if you’re hit by a tractor-trailer, your car will be totaled. At a minimum, it’ll need major repairs. The defendant should be responsible for these repairs.
Who is can be Deemed Responsible for a Truck Accident
Your attorney will also make sure he pursues all parties responsible for your injuries. In a truck accident, there could be multiple defendants, such as:
- the individual truck driver
- The insurance companies
- The business the driver works for
- The company that services the company’s trucks
- The manufacturer of the truck or its components
- Any bar or restaurant who served a drunk truck driver
- The client who loaded too much product on the driver’s truck
It’s important that your Lake Charles truck accident lawyer name all the parties upfront. You won’t get a chance to do this down the road. You could miss the statute of limitations or be told it’s too late to add a defendant.
Contact a Louisiana Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, you need a Louisiana accident attorney. Your attorney can review your case and let you know what it may be worth. He’ll also negotiate with the insurance company to try to get you a fair settlement.
You should call and schedule your free initial consultation today. You can ask any questions you may have. Your attorney will also be able to review any additional information you have about your case. Make sure you bring the following to your initial consultation:
- Copy of the police report
- Any correspondence from the defendant’s attorney or insurance company
- Contact information for any witnesses
- Your medical records
- Proof of any out-of-pocket expenses
- Medical bills received thus far
You’ll probably be scared and frustrated after your accident. You’re going to want to hold someone responsible. And that is where your Lake Charles truck accident lawyer comes in, He’ll make sure he does what it takes to get you the money you deserve. Your initial consultation is absolutely free. And you pay nothing until you settle your case. You can bet the truck driver will have lawyers working for him. And you should have an attorney by your side as well!
Can I file an insurance claim with the truck driver’s insurance company?
Yes. Louisiana follows a fault system when it comes to liability after a motor vehicle crash. That means you can automatically hold the truck driver financially responsible for your injuries and resulting damages. You would do so by requesting their liability insurance information so you could file a claim.
Most drivers in the trucking industry carry high limits of liability. That’s because commercial vehicles tend to cause more severe harm than accidents between small compact cars. The standard liability limit is $750,000. It could go up to $5 million if the driver is transporting hazardous chemicals.
How much is my truck accident case worth?
That will depend on various factors and whether you choose to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Typically, the more severe the injury, the higher the compensation. Insurance companies and jury members might use the following details to come up with a fair financial award:
- Type and severity of injury
- Duration of the recovery period
- Hours and wages missed due to inability to work
- Impact of the crash on daily life
- Availability of evidence proving fault
- Cost of necessary medical care in the future
- Total expenses from the accident
- Coverage available on the negligent party’s liability insurance policy
- Whether the injury resulted in permanent disability or impairment
What happens if I’m partly at fault for the truck accident?
Louisiana is a pure comparative fault state when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. That means the total damages you’re allowed to pursue will decrease by the percentage of blame you share. For instance, if you incurred $100,000 in damages, but an insurance company determines you were 20% at fault for the truck accident, you could only seek up to an $80,000 settlement.
What injuries are common in a truck accident?
Many factors in a commercial truck accident contribute to someone’s physical harm. Besides the initial impact, there’s cargo that could fall off the truck and cause subsequent damage. If there are hazardous chemicals, a fire or an explosion could result. Multiple scenarios could lead to a range of injuries or end in death.
The most common injuries victims sustain include:
- Crush injuries
- Loss of use of a limb or amputation
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Whiplash or concussion
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal bleeding
- Ejection injuries
Can I sue the truck driver for causing my injuries?
Yes. If you want to file a lawsuit against the truck driver or their employer for the harm they caused, you can. There’s a strict deadline known as a statute of limitations that you must follow. The statute of limitations for truck accidents in Louisiana is one year. That means you have one year from the crash date to pursue legal action in the civil court system. If one year passes, you’ll lose your right to financial compensation for this specific matter.