Accidents involving big rigs—a tractor combined with one or several trailers—often occur because of negligence on the part of the truck driver, their employer, or some other entity.
If you suffered injuries in such an accident, you have the right to pursue compensation from any legally liable party. These efforts involve knowledge of Marksville and Louisiana laws for establishing liability and claiming damages. A lawyer from our firm can investigate your case and protect your rights to recover compensation.
Proving Liability in a Big Rig Accident Case
A fundamental aspect of recovering damages after a big rig accident is identifying the at-fault party. Given the sheer mass of these vehicles, collisions involving these trucks often cause severe and costly injuries. As your lawyers, we will identify every person, party, or entity responsible for the accident. Doing so gives you access to a larger financial pool for your settlement.
Applying the ‘Duty of Care’ Doctrine to Your Case
Our firm will investigate every detail of your collision to gather evidence that supports your liability claim as defined by the law. Specifically, this means we will have to prove the following:
- Someone or some entity had a duty to take reasonable steps to keep you from harm.
- This party failed to fulfill its duty of care.
- This party’s breach of duty caused the accident you experienced.
- You sustained damages in the form of physical, financial, and emotional injuries.
Potentially Liable Parties
When we explore the cause of your collision and examine the “duty of care” of those involved, any combination of the following people or entities might surface as legally liable parties:
- Truck operator
- Truck operator’s employer
- Trucking company
- Maintenance provider
- Parts manufacturers
Causes of Big Rig Accidents that We Can Help You Sue for
Several factors can contribute to an accident with a big rig. Our lawyers know that the most common causes of these collisions include certain driver-based behaviors:
- Driver fatigue
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence
- Excessive speeding
- Driving while distracted
These accidents can also involve mechanical difficulties due to negligence on the part of manufacturers or service providers, such as:
- Use of a defective part that causes the rig to malfunction
- Neglected maintenance
- Faulty maintenance work
The truck operator’s employer might also hold responsibility for the collision based on:
- Failing to train the truck driver adequately
- Making poor hiring decisions
- Forcing drivers to work more hours than allowed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
How Our Girm will Investigate Your Big Rig Crash and Try to Get You the Best Result
Knowing the common causes of accidents involving tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and big rigs helps our team of lawyers investigate these collisions and uncover the evidence needed to support our cases. When you hire our firm to handle your case, we will:
- Visit the scene of your accident
- Obtain the accident report from the investigating law enforcement officer
- Take photos
- Gather videos from surveillance and traffic light cameras
- Interview witnesses
- Collaborate with accident reconstruction specialists
- Review the truck operator’s driving log and driving record
- Analyze any black box data from the rig
- Study the trucking company’s safety history
Taking these steps will give us much of the evidence we need to establish causation. To support your claim for damages, we will further investigate by:
- Gathering medical records related to your injuries
- Obtaining wage statements from your employer
- Consulting with experts who can speak to the economic, medical, occupational, and psychological impact of your injuries
Types of Damages You May be Able to Recover
The amount you can receive from a settlement or court judgment depends on the severity of your injuries, how your injuries have affected you, and the doctor’s prognosis for your recovery from these injuries. Once we have gathered this information during our investigation of your damages, we will know which types of damages we will pursue—and the amount for each.
The following list contains some of the types of damages you could collect after suffering injuries in a big rig accident:
- Medical treatment (past and future)
- Prescription medicines
- Emergency transportation
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Home modifications
- Mobility devices
- Lost income and benefits (past and future)
- Diminished future potential earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
Be Careful When Working with Insurance Companies
Our lawyers will document all the ways your truck accident injuries have hurt you, create a comprehensive report of these damages, and give it to the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Watch What You Say
In the meantime, it is critical to refrain from talking about your accident. Do not post about it on social media or share information with your friends or coworkers. If the insurance company calls you—and they will—convey as little as possible about the accident, how you are feeling, and so on. Your best course of action is to refer them to your attorney, who can answer their questions without jeopardizing your case.
We Can Take Your Case to Court
Once the insurer receives our demand letter, they will likely come back with a counteroffer. At this point, our lawyers will begin the negotiation process and fight to get you a fair settlement. If the insurance provider refuses to cooperate, we can and will file a lawsuit to recover your damages.
Marksville Residents Must Meet State Deadlines in Order to Take Legal Action
Although our firm will take the burden of this legal action off your shoulders, the one thing you must consider is that timing is everything. Louisiana’s statute of limitations for personal injury (CC §3492) requires that victims of a big rig accident file their lawsuit within one year of the collision.
If municipalities were involved in your accident, even more deadlines apply, further impacting the timeline of your case. The earlier you start, the more time you give our firm to build your case and work toward a settlement before we go to court.
Call Our Attorneys Today for a Free Consultation
The most important thing you can do after your accident is to work on your physical and emotional recovery. We can take care of everything else. When you call our firm, we will inform you of your options for proceeding with a case. We charge you nothing unless and until we win a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today for your free consultation.