Tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and dump trucks provide vital services to our cities each day. To ensure the safety of these drivers and other motorists, Louisiana has laws in place to keep roadways safe. However, there are times when these rules may be broken, and these risky driving behaviors may result in serious accidents.
In its 2018 Fatality Facts, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that these vehicles weigh 20 to 30 times more than a passenger car. This means that when an accident with an 18-wheeler or semi-truck occurs, it can be disastrous. A severe truck accident comes with severe costs, which may include lost wages, medical expenses, and property damages. Sadly, there were over 4,700 fatalities caused by truck collisions in 2018, according to the Motor Carrier Safety Progress Report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
All Louisiana truck accident victims have the right to legal help following this type of traumatic event. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we may be able to help you get the compensation that you deserve following a collision. Contact us at (337) 777-7777 to learn more.
Factors Contributing to Evangeline Truck Accidents
There are many motorists, pedestrians, and bikers hurt each day as the result of a car accident. Many of these collisions are the result of negligence, often with several contributing factors. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that the most common causes of car accidents include driving under the influence, distracted driving, and speeding.
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Driving Under the Influence
This refers to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or fatigue. There are many stimulants and prescription medications, that while legal, are not allowed to be used by truckers while driving. Additionally, according to the Code of Federal Regulations, truckers are not allowed to have consumed alcohol less than four hours before driving. The IIHS also notes that drivers are prohibited from driving for more than 11 hours at a time. When you work with our legal team, we can discover if any of these regulations were violated, and if so, pursue financial recovery from the individual motorist.
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The NHTSA lists distracted driving as one of the leading causes of car collisions in the U.S. While many people may associate this term solely with texting and driving, it can also include checking social media, making phone calls, or even eating. If this is the cause of your Evangeline truck accident, we can examine call records and other timestamps to build a narrative of the moments leading up to your collision.
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Many truckers are encouraged to speed because of “by the mile” incentives. Essentially, what this means is that drivers get paid a certain amount for every mile that they drive. To rack up as many miles as possible, and to get started with the next delivery, some truckers will disregard posted speed limits to achieve this goal. However, this adds additional risk factors. According to the Truckers Report’s Facts About Trucks, large trucks need 40% more time to come to a complete stop compared to passenger vehicles. This means that if a car in front of the truck suddenly brakes, or if inclement weather poses additional hazards, the trucker can cause an otherwise avoidable accident.
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Precautions After a Truck Accident in Evangeline
If you are involved in a truck accident in Evangeline, there is a good chance that you may be injured, confused, or simply shaken up right after it occurs. If you have sustained serious injuries from a crash, it is important to seek medical care right away. Even if you do not believe that you are severely injured, it is still a good idea to be checked out by a medical professional to protect your wellbeing.
We recommend that if you are physically and emotionally able, you should try to collect as much evidence from the accident scene as you can. This can include taking photos, videos, and the license plate numbers of those involved. You should say as little as you can to any law enforcement officials or the other driver. Even small comments can later be misconstrued as an admission of guilt. Only provide the necessary information, such as your name, phone number, and acknowledgment of injuries.
During this time, you should refrain from posting to social media. In the days to come, the other insurance companies may scroll through your public profiles looking for any disparities. For example, if you claimed to have been severely injured by an accident and then post a picture of yourself at a party, you may be hindering your claim.
A member of our team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can provide you with more information on how you can look out for your best interests after an accident. To learn more, call (337) 777-7777.
Compensation for Truck Accident Claims
The damages that you may be entitled to after a truck accident will depend on the details of your case.
Some of the damages that your financial recovery may cover can include:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Pain, suffering, and inconvenience
- Emotional trauma
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
There are no statistics available that point to the average settlement of a truck accident. However, when you work with a member of our legal team, we can work to estimate the total amount of your losses and recover compensation on your behalf. According to Louisiana State Legislature, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is one year. If you do not file within this timeframe, you risk forfeiting your right to seek monetary damages.
The complexities of these cases can be hard to navigate on your own. It is for this reason that a truck accident lawyer serving Evangeline can prove to be a valuable resource. Speaking with a legal professional can help you understand your rights to compensation. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning that we do not get paid unless you agree to a settlement amount. If you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident, contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers at (337) 777-7777.