Truck accidents can result in tragic injuries for the drivers and occupants of passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and other innocent bystanders. Due to a truck’s large size and weight, other motor vehicle passengers tend to be at a huge disadvantage in terms of potential damages resulting from a crash.
If you or a loved one suffers injuries in a truck accident due to a truck driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover damages for your personal injuries that a personal injury attorney could help you pursue. An Alexandria truck accident lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers could work with you to pursue compensation from those who may bear responsibility for your injuries.
Establishing Negligence In Truck Accident Cases
All too often, catastrophic trucking accidents are caused by the negligence of truck drivers. Common situations that lead to truck accidents include inexperienced drivers, fatigue due to working hours violations, distracted driving, or traffic violations such as speeding, following too closely, and making improper turns.
In the case of commercial trucks, improperly securing cargo or overloading trailers also can constitute negligence if they lead to an injurious accident. Whatever the case may be, victims who sustain injuries because of these accidents may be able to pursue claims for compensation based on the truckers’ negligence.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accident lawyer serving Alexandria, call (318) 777-7777
Potentially Recoverable Damages In Truck Accident Cases
Under Louisiana law, victims can hold the liable party or parties responsible for the expenses and losses they incurred because of their accident and injuries. Recoverable trucking accident damages may be either economic or non-economic in nature.
Economic damages may include:
- Injury-related medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and surgical bills
- Future medical treatment and care costs related to their injuries
- Lost wages – both current and future – and reduced earning ability if they have lasting injuries
- Property damages to any vehicles
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic damages, although more difficult to quantify financially, also may be available. These may include:
- Emotional distress
- Psychological harm
- Loss of marital benefits for injury victims’ spouses
- The effects of permanent scarring and disfigurement
A lawyer from our firm who handles truck accidents in Alexandria can help individuals recover damages for their injuries. We know how to document each of these damages, put a fair value on the claim, and seek compensation based on that value. We use our experience, knowledge, and input from experts to estimate future costs and intangible losses.
We believe truck accident victims should receive compensation for their damages. They should not have to pay for their medical bills or other expenses out of their own pocket when they did not cause the crash and could not do anything to prevent their injuries. If you were hurt by a negligent truck driver or trucking company, you have a right to pursue compensation. We are here to help.
Alexandria Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me (318) 777-7777
Preserving Evidence Of Negligence
Evidence of negligence is crucial to any personal injury claim, and a prompt phone call to a truck accident attorney in Alexandria could be a key step for injury victims to take, in terms of preserving essential evidence. Some evidence that an experienced trucking accident lawyer may be able to obtain includes:
- Documentation of the accident scene, including written reports and photographs
- Interviews with witnesses to the accident
- Trucking company safety, maintenance, and repair records
- Drug and alcohol screening results for the truck driver
- Cell phone records, truck driver logs, and time records
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations compliance records
Given the complexity of many truck accident claims, as well as the limited one-year timeframe for filing such claims, individuals may benefit from contacting our lawyer, who handles trucking accident cases in Alexandria, sooner rather than later.
Statutes Of Limitations For Truck Accident Cases In Alexandria
As mentioned above, it is important to keep in mind that you have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim in Louisiana. Per CC §3492, you have one year from the date of the accident or injury to file your case in civil court. If you miss that window, a judge will dismiss your case, and you will lose your opportunity to seek compensation.
If you lost a loved one in the trucking accident, you and your family have our deepest condolences. You may be able to recover compensation for the decedent’s medical care up until their death, as well as funeral and burial costs, your family’s emotional pain and intangible losses, and more. There is also a one-year statutory limit for filing a wrongful death action in Louisiana, per CC §2315.2.
Call us today to discuss the details of your case with a team member to determine if your case is applicable for a wrongful death action or other options for pursuing damages.
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Liability In Alexandria Trucking Accident Cases
Traffic accidents are not always straight-forward. There are often questions of who played a role, shared fault, and other concerns that could affect who is legally responsible. Particularly, when motor vehicle accidents involve a commercial semi-truck, there are a variety of potential defendants or individuals who may be liable for any resulting injuries.
Aside from the truck driver who may have acted negligently, there are other parties who may be held responsible for injuries resulting from the accident. Like, the trucking company who employs the driver, the owner of the truck, the leaser of the truck or trailer, and the company that performed repairs to the truck.
In a situation like this, it typically falls to a qualified truck accident lawyer in Alexandria to investigate and assess all potential sources of liability.
Our Injury Lawyers Knows How To Navigate Your Truck Accident Case
In most cases, our investigation shows us that the driver made a mistake behind the wheel. They violated a traffic law, which caused the crash and your injuries and losses. When this occurs, Louisiana law, CC Art. 2320, recognizes a situation known legally as “respondeat superior.” What this means to our clients is:
- We can hold the trucking company vicariously liable for their accident
- We file our primary claim based on the company’s corporate liability insurance policy
- We negotiate for a settlement based on a much larger insurance policy than most individual drivers would carry
This is not something most accident victims would want to try on their own. Going up against a large corporation with their team of lawyers and insurance representatives can be intimidating. However, our team knows what to do and how to navigate these claims. We handle them regularly and will not back down no matter how big the company.
We Can Assess The Value Of Your Case And Negotiate A Fair Settlement
Some people settle for far less than they deserve because the insurance company makes an offer and they do not believe they can afford an attorney to pursue more. Your case is likely worth more than any insurance company will offer initially. We encourage you to let us review your case before you agree to a payout.
Once you learn about the merits of your case and your recoverable damages, you will understand why you need to ensure you receive an appropriate settlement. We also take steps to make it possible for anyone to afford our services. We work based on contingency fees. You do not pay us anything upfront. Our attorney’s fees come from the money we get for you. We only get paid when you do.
What Happens When There Are Multiple Defendants In A Case?
Truck accident cases may have more than one defendant, and it is common for multiple parties to be found liable. Those who could be held responsible in a truck crash lawsuit include:
- The truck driver
- Other drivers on the road
- The owner of the truck
- Employees who loaded the truck
- The trucking company that employed the driver
- The manufacturers of the truck or its parts
- The government or private entity responsible for road maintenance and safety
If the jury finds more than one defendant at fault, they will assign a percentage of liability to each defendant as per CC §2324. Each defendant would then be responsible for paying the plaintiff their portion of damages based on their percentage of fault.
Additionally, if the jury determines that the plaintiff shares some of the liability, their award would be reduced by their percentage of fault. Insurance companies may try to shift blame onto the plaintiff to save money, but our truck accident attorney who handles cases in Alexandria could help refute these arguments.
Negligence In Truck Accidents
Truck drivers are expected to drive their trucks safely and, in a manner, consistent with other reasonable truck drivers. When they fail to do this, they could be considered negligent.
Proving a legal duty of care is usually the first step to filing a successful civil lawsuit, but it is not the only requirement. In addition to possessing and subsequently breaching their duty to drive as a reasonable driver would, defendants must meet a few other conditions to be liable for damages.
Critically, the plaintiff’s attorney must prove to the jury that the defendant’s breach of duty was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Evidence used to prove this element of legal negligence may include medical bills, witness and medical expert testimony, and accident reports. In addition, the plaintiff must have compensable damages for a lawsuit to have merit. If injuries suffered by the plaintiff led to financial, physical, or emotional losses, a valid claim may exist.
Commercial Truck Accident Causes
There are numerous reasons truck accidents might take place. Violating safety regulations implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state laws should not be one of them, yet driver safety violations account for a significant portion of truck accidents.
Driver error, which includes both legal violations and simple misjudgments, is a factor in many semi-truck accidents. Some of the common truck driver errors our Alexandria truck accident attorneys see that lead to serious and deadly crashes are discussed below:
Large truck drivers spend extended amounts of time on the road. Many of them travel between states, transporting goods. Sometimes they are also responsible for loading and unloading their payloads when they arrive at their destination.
That can be a lot of work for anyone operating on an ideal eight hours of sleep, but commercial truck drivers often get far less than that. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that heavy duty truck drivers sleep for an average 4.8 hours a day.
Sometimes those hours might not even be consecutive. At any given moment, a semi-truck driver could be operating a big rig on one or two hours of sleep, for instance. Their driving performance, reaction time, ability to make sound decisions, and consequently, the safety of everybody on the road are all compromised. Drivers are required by the FMCSA to stay off the road for ten hours after driving 11 straight hours, but some drivers shirk the rules.
Driver distractions inside the truck are common, such as texting, using a cell phone, operating a radio, looking at a map, and reaching for food or other objects.
Driving Under The Influence
Commercial truck drivers are more often found to abuse drugs than alcohol while on the job. Marijuana, narcotics, and stimulants are the top drugs used by truck drivers. As drugs also impair judgement and performance, the potential for accidents is compounded when added to sleep deprivation.
Inadequate Surveillance Of Surroundings
Sometimes, truck drivers do not properly assess their surroundings before performing an action. He or she may have missed a smaller car changing lanes before attempting to move into the same lane. They fail to notice the driver coming up behind them or didn’t see a passenger car traveling in the opposite direction when attempting to complete a turn.
Speeding Or Traveling Too Fast For Road Conditions
To meet deadlines, truck drivers may use excessive speed to get to their destinations. They may bypass the speed limit, violating the law in some cases. Other times, they may just be going too fast for the current road conditions. Rainy weather, road construction, or higher traffic may all dictate a slower speed that the driver chooses to ignore.
A truck accident lawyer serving Alexandria will look at all possibilities during a thorough investigation to determine how your accident was caused and who is responsible for it.
Work With An Attorney From Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
For help determining the potential liability of others involved in the accident, an Alexandria truck accident lawyer from our firm may be your best option. Call today for a free consultation and get started on your case or fill out a contact form.