Truck accidents cause serious injuries and fatalities to other drivers every year in Lafayette, and they often lead to complex lawsuits. If you were seriously injured or lost a loved one due to a truck driver’s negligence, you may wonder if an attorney can get you a settlement to cover your expenses.
You may be entitled to damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. After an accident, you can take some of the pressure off yourself by hiring a Lafayette truck accident lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers to help you file a claim. The first consultation is free and offers an opportunity for you to discuss your case with one of our team members.
Can I Sue for Being Hit by a Semi-Truck?
You can sue for damages if you were involved in a collision with a semi-truck as long as you can prove that your case meets the criteria for a personal injury case. That means:
- You must prove that the truck’s driver, the trucking company, or another liable party had a duty of care toward you.
- You must prove that the liable party breached that duty of care by being negligent and causing the accident.
- You must prove that you sustained damages as a result of the accident.
By hiring a personal injury attorney from our firm, you can focus on your recovery while our legal team works toward creating your case argument. We can investigate your accident and collect evidence that supports each of the above claims, then petition for compensation on your behalf.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accident lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 223-9925
Should You Get a Lawyer After a Truck Accident?
It’s a good idea to hire a Louisiana truck accident attorney if you’ve been in a truck accident in Lafayette. These cases are typically much more complex than your standard car accident claim due to the seriousness of the injuries and the fact that there may be multiple liable parties.
How a Lawyer Can Protect Your Case
The truck company’s insurer will do whatever it takes to blame you to reduce the amount of compensation it has to pay. A personal injury lawyer who handles truck accident cases understands how insurance companies work. They can protect you from their tactics.
An attorney from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can protect you from:
- Making any statements that might allow the insurer or jury to assign fault to you
- Having the insurer delay responses, which could put you at risk of submitting your case late should you decide to file a lawsuit
- Accepting an unfair settlement offer, as our team calculates your damages to estimate your case’s value
Should you have any questions, our team is available to provide guidance and help you navigate the claims and litigation process without putting your case at risk.
Lafayette Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 223-9925
Do Semi-Truck Accident Cases Go to Trial?
Insurance companies can be aggressive when it comes to settling cases quickly. An initial offer from an insurance company may seem like a large amount of money, but chances are, it is not enough to cover your future medical needs. When an insurer won’t offer you enough to cover the full value of your damages, your truck accident lawyer may need to take your case to trial.
Approximately 90 percent of personal injury claims will settle without a trial, per Cornell University Law School. Insurers try to avoid going to court whenever possible because the process is expensive.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Semi-Truck Accident?
In addition to being more complex, semi-truck accident lawsuits typically take longer to settle. Trucking companies carry a high amount of insurance coverage. Naturally, the insurers do not want to pay because it means giving up a large chunk of their profits. Because of this, it can take some time before they’ll agree to a fair and adequate settlement.
Other factors may also prolong building your case, such as:
- Case investigation: It may take weeks before law enforcement, or our investigative team can determine the cause of the accident, which can affect how long we can identify a liable party. For example, if a vehicle malfunction caused the accident, it may take further investigation to determine whether the truck manufacturer, parts manufacturer or truck maintenance company is liable.
- Data retrieval: Semi-trucks keep a device referred to as a “black box,” which holds data about the truck if an accident occurs. You have a right to request this information from the trucking company when building your case. However, the trucking company may resist this request as much as possible, which could stall your legal efforts.
- Witnesses: Eyewitnesses play a crucial role in personal injury cases, as they can provide an objective side to the accident. However, contacting witnesses and convincing them to testify for your case is a whole different story. It may take time to reach out to witnesses and record their statements, which may prolong the legal process.
Our legal team will monitor your case’s progress and take appropriate measures to keep it moving forward. Time is of the essence in Louisiana, which sets a strict deadline for all personal injury cases. If you can act now, we encourage you to do so.
Determining Liability for Your Truck Accident Injuries
You may be able to sue more than one party for your truck accident injuries. However, to do that, your attorney will need to identify the liable parties. Liability for your truck accident injuries can rest on the shoulders of multiple defendants in a lawsuit. Liable parties can include:
- The truck driver behind the wheel
- The trucking company they work for
- The manufacturer of the truck
- The manufacturer of a specific vehicle part in the truck
- The maintenance company for the truck
- The company that loaded the truck’s cargo
- A municipality that governs road conditions where the accident took place
- A third-party driver who caused you to get into an accident with the truck
Federal and state laws regarding hours of service and training are in place to keep drivers safe. When a trucker takes a risk behind the wheel or when a trucking company places profits over people, they put others in harm’s way.
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Wrongful Death Lawsuits After Fatal Truck Accidents
You may want to reach out to a wrongful death attorney if your loved one was killed in a fatal truck accident. Trying to manage a legal case while grieving a loved one’s death can be emotionally overwhelming, especially because it will involve having to relive the accident events. However, you do not have to go through a legal battle on your own.
You can choose to work with one of our Lafayette wrongful death attorneys, who can organize your case for you and do the legal work necessary to file it with the civil court system. They can manage investigation efforts, evidence requests, and other communications while you take the time you need to cope with your loss. We will update you every step of the way.
Types of Damages You May Qualify for In a Wrongful Death Case
Depending on the circumstances of your case and your relationship with the decedent, you may be entitled to damages for:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of future income
- Loss of inheritance
- Medical debt
- Emotional trauma
These are just a few examples of the types of damages your lawyer may be able to pursue on your behalf. The damages you will be able to claim will depend on the specifics of your case.
Louisiana’s Statute of Limitations Sets a Short Deadline for Plaintiffs to Sue
Time is not on your side due to Louisiana’s strict statute of limitations to file a claim. According to CC Art. 3492, you have one year to file a civil action. While 12 months from now may seem far off into the future, the demands of everyday life can quickly eat up time.
Getting help from a truck accident lawyer in Lafayette right away is the best way to make sure you do not miss any important deadlines regarding your claim. Additionally, when you act quickly, this can ensure that evidence, such as eyewitness accounts and memories of the event, does not get lost.
Filing a Truck Collision Claim Allows You to Pursue Compensation for Damages
A truck accident could result in severe consequences in a variety of contexts. When filing your personal injury claim or lawsuit, you can list all the damages you suffered in a demand letter for compensation. You may divide your damages into two categories:
Economic damages refer to financial losses you suffered as a result of your injuries or the accident. For example, both past and present medical bills may pile up as a result of treatment for your injuries. Also, your current and future loss of income may further contribute to your financial hardship.
Other economic damages may include:
- Property damage costs, such as costs to repair or replace your vehicle
- Reduced earning potential
- Costs for medical equipment, such as costs for a wheelchair, crutches, or a neck brace
- Prescription medication costs
- Mileage costs to travel to doctor appointments if the facility is far from your home
Beyond monetary burdens, a truck accident could result in non-economic damages, which refer to physical and emotional losses. These more intangible damages may include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
- Permanent disability
- Emotional distress
- Psychological trauma
- Physical disfigurement
A truck accident lawyer could help recover any potential damages the injured party has a right to claim.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
To prove negligence in your truck accident lawsuit, your attorney will use evidence gathered from the scene of the crash, the results of the investigation, your medical records, and expert opinions to prove the cause of the wreck. Some common causes include:
- Distracted driving (such as texting or using a dispatch device)
- Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or fatigue
- Error or lapse in judgment
- Failure to perform defensive driving
- Carrying excessive loads
- Improper maintenance of the truck
- Not exercising caution in adverse weather conditions
- Improper maintenance of vehicles
- Failure to properly train workers
- Ignoring regulations that limit the loading of cargo
Trucking companies who fail to invest in their drivers or trucks push the limits on their duty of care. Often, they are found to be at least partially at fault when an accident occurs.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Has Won Several Multimillion-Dollar Settlements
The legal team at Laborde Earles has more than 100 years of combined experience that we are ready to put to work for you. We are not afraid to take the necessary precautions to fight for your right to fair compensation. Take a look at some of the results we have secured for our clients:
- $7,000,000 judgment for injured 18-wheeler driver
- $2,700,000 settlement for 18-wheeler accident victim
- $1,800,000 settlement for 18-wheeler accident victim
- $1,750,000 trial verdict for 18-wheeler accident victim
- $1,000,000 settlement for 18-wheeler accident victims
Many personal injury claims settle out of court. If we cannot come to an agreement with the other party, we are ready to take your case to trial. No one should pay out of pocket for expenses due to the negligent actions of another person. If your life was interrupted by disaster, we can help.
Call Our Team Today to Start Building Your Lafayette Truck Accident Case
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a truck accident in Lafayette, Louisiana, you may qualify for compensation. Call (337) 777-7777 today to hire a Lafayette truck accident lawyer to represent you. The first consultation involves a free case review and a discussion about your accident with one of our team members.