Truck drivers are not always liable for truck collision injuries, but they frequently may be. According to the Center for Analytics and Research in Transportation Safety (CARTS), commercial vehicles – including trucks – caused more than 47 percent of all Louisiana traffic accidents in 2020. This includes 28 percent of fatal crashes and 45 percent of injury collisions. Other liable parties in these accidents could include:
- The trucking company
- The manufacturer of a faulty part
- A mechanic who failed to perform required work
- Another motorist
Determining Liability in a Traffic Accident Case
There will likely be multiple parties investigating your collision to determine liability. A thorough investigation of an accident is necessary to:
- Identify the liable parties
- Determine who is responsible for a truck accident
- Gather evidence to prove what happened and who caused it
Police officers investigate every accident they respond to, completing a crash report about what they learn. They may also issue citations for any traffic laws violated. When there are insurance claims filed, the insurers involved will complete an investigation, as well.
You can also hire a personal injury lawyer from our team to conduct an independent investigation on your behalf. This investigation may include experts such as accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, and others who can help you document and prove the case.
How Louisiana’s Negligence Laws Can Affect Your Claim
People who suffer injuries or lose a loved one in an accident may be able to recover compensation by proving the other driver is responsible for the accident. That is, if a victim can prove the other driver’s negligence caused a crash, they can:
- Seek an insurance settlement
- Pursue a verdict through a lawsuit and civil trial
In a truck accident case, the driver’s employer may also be legally responsible for their employee’s negligence. This vicarious liability is possible under the doctrine of respondeat superior. This doctrine states that an employer is liable for the things their workers do while on the clock and working for the company, such as when a trucker is behind the wheel.
Comparative Negligence Can Also Impact Your Case
CC Art. 2323 establishes comparative negligence in Louisiana. This deals with compensation when both parties share the fault for a crash. It takes into account each driver’s contribution to the accident when determining who can request damages and how much they can receive.
If a driver is partially responsible for the accident, their damages decrease in proportion to the contribution. For example, imagine that a jury determines you were 30 percent responsible for your crash. You may be able to take home 70 percent of the value of your damages based on this law.
How Can a Louisiana Injury Lawyer Help with My Truck Accident Case?
A personal injury lawyer from our firm can investigate your commercial vehicle accident to determine who was at fault. This will require us to identify and collect evidence from the accident, such as:
- Photographs or video footage from the scene
- Police crash reports
- Eyewitness statements
- Surveys of the crash scene
- Physical evidence
- Accident reconstruction data
Some evidence in a truck accident case is time-sensitive and in the possession of the trucking company. When you hire our team, we can take the necessary steps to preserve and obtain this evidence as well. The trucking industry has strict standards that create records you may be able to use to support a claim, such as:
- Data about the truck’s speed and operation from an onboard computer
- Information about the trucker’s recent work, rest, and sleep
- The driver’s recent medical exams
- Post-accident alcohol and drug testing results
- Dashcam video, if equipped
Seeking Compensation for Your Damages from a Louisiana Truck Accident
Once we have a good idea of who is responsible for your truck accident, our team can also help you develop a strong argument for compensation. First, we can help you determine how much your damages are worth. Some of the expenses you may be able to recover include:
- Property damages and related expenses, including towing, auto body repair, and more
- Medical expenses, such as doctor’s appointments, hospitalizations, surgeries, X-rays, rehabilitative therapies, and prescription medications
- Lost wages and other income, including future losses related to lasting injuries
- Relevant expenses and losses
- Pain and suffering and other intangible damages
You May Recover Compensation Through a Settlement Agreement or Trial
Once you have an idea of how much your damages are worth, you can take action to begin the process of recovering compensation for them. A lawyer on our team can help you navigate the claims process or a lawsuit if the insurer refuses to negotiate and agree to a fair settlement.
If we seek an insurance settlement on your behalf, our team will take over all communication with the driver and the insurance company. We will demand a fair payout and enter into settlement negotiations. Then, we can help you determine whether a settlement offer is fair and acceptable to you.
If you cannot come to an agreement with the insurance company through this process, you have a right to seek compensation through a lawsuit and civil trial. One of our lawyers can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you throughout this process.
There are Time Limits on Filing a Lawsuit in Louisiana
You only have a limited time to file a lawsuit after a truck accident in Lafayette and throughout Louisiana. CC Art. 3492 sets the time limit for beginning personal injury lawsuits at one year from the accident date, although some exceptions exist.
The same statute gives surviving family members one year from the date their loved one passed away to file a wrongful death suit. If you wait longer than one year, you may forfeit your right to sue.
Call Us Today to Speak with a Team Member About Your Case for Free
If you suffered injuries in an accident with a truck driver, a personal injury attorney from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to help. You could qualify to hold the driver and their employer responsible and recover compensation.
Call (337) 777-7777 today to speak with a member of our team for free. We represent clients based on contingency.