Trucking accidents can cause serious damages and severe injuries to those in smaller passenger cars. If you or a loved one was hurt in an accident involving a large truck, someone else could be liable for your losses, including the truck driver’s employer. You could sue a trucking company for a truck accident if their negligence contributed to your crash.
Without supportive legal services, it can be difficult to build a liability case against the person or party who is liable for your damages. A truck accident attorney in your area can help you uncover the right party to pursue and build an effective case for compensation.
Trucking Company Liability
Large trucks can cause serious harm in the event of an accident. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), large trucks can weigh up to 30 times more than passenger cars, and a fully loaded tractor-trailer may need as much as 40 percent further distance to come to a stop.
Because of this, trucking companies need to do everything in their power to ensure that their trucks are well-maintained, their drivers drive responsibly, and their cargo is safely loaded. Failure to do so could constitute negligence.
You can sue a trucking company for an accident if:
- The company did not properly vet its drivers before hiring
- The company failed to properly train its drivers after hiring
- The company failed to ensure its drivers were alcohol and drug-free while driving
- The company pressured its drivers into violating the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Hours of Service Regulations
- The company violated the FMCSA’s rules regarding truck size and weight limits
- The company failed to properly service and maintain its vehicles
Truck Driver Liability
Truck drivers provide a valuable service by moving goods and services all over the country. There are circumstances, though, when the truck driver is directly responsible for the financial aftermath of an accident. Liability is theirs if the driver is an owner/operator or independent contractor who is responsible for maintaining his own insurance policy.
The driver might also be responsible if his negligent actions caused the accident. Negligence can include driver behavior like recklessness, driving under the influence, and distracted driving. A lawyer can investigate the accident and review the driver’s logbook and driving record.
Holding The Trucking Company Accountable For Negligence In A Lawsuit
Your truck accident attorney will work to establish liability in your case by proving the at-fault party acted negligently. Demonstrating negligence means proving the at-fault party:
- Owed you a duty of care- In motor vehicle accidents, this means establishing the driver had a responsibility to drive safely. All drivers must operate their vehicles in a way that obeys the law and minimizes harm to others.
- Failed to fulfill their duty of care- The driver acted carelessly, breaching his or her duty to keep others safe. Distracted driving, driving intoxicated, and driving while fatigued are examples of actions that can cause harm to others.
- Caused the accident that injured you- Their thoughtless actions directly led to the truck accident that left you injured.
- Left you with physical, psychological, or financial injuries that resulted in damages.
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Common Causes Of Truck Accidents
A great majority of truck accidents are caused by the actions or inaction of the trucker, like:
- Driving too fast for conditions (differs from speeding)
- Driver exhaustion
- Distracted or inattentive driving
- Following too close behind another vehicle (tailgating)
- Insufficient surveillance of environment
- Driving under the influence (more often drugs than alcohol)
Other major, though less common, reasons that truck accidents happen include vehicle and environmental conditions. This could be defective or malfunctioning parts, overloaded trucks, or slippery roads.
Other Potentially Liable Parties
More than one party can be liable in a trucking accident. You may also have a case against the truck driver, the owner of the truck (if it is not the driver or trucking company), the entity responsible for the truck’s cargo, or even the truck’s manufacturer.
If your accident was the result of a flaw or defect in the truck itself, you may have a case against the company that built the truck. In addition, if the accident was caused by faulty brakes, tires, or windshield wipers, you may have a case against the manufacturer of these parts and components.
A Truck Accident Attorney In Louisiana Can Identify The Liable Parties For You
Sorting out the accident’s cause and identifying the appropriate party to pursue for damages can be complex and confusing. Let a personal injury lawyer handle this part of your case. They will have access to records, reports, and investigative notes that help them guide your compensation case.
An attorney familiar with truck accident cases can help you determine all the parties that may be financially responsible for your crash. We can make sure you pursue every avenue of compensation possible, even if it means pursuing multiple parties simultaneously.
A Lawyer Can Help You Collect Key Evidence In Your Case
Collecting evidence after a truck accident can be much more complicated than doing the same after a collision between two passenger vehicles. Truck accident evidence can include items a lawyer may find easier to access than a layperson including:
- Cargo loads and weights
- Trucker driving history
- Driving logs and rest logs
- Blood alcohol concentration test results
- Truck maintenance records
- Driver training records
- Black box data
- Traffic camera footage
- Surveillance footage
- Dash cam footage
Evidence collection is key to understanding trucking company versus truck driver versus manufacturer liability. If the truck’s system collects trip data, a lawyer may access that as well as any additional information that supports your right to financial recovery.
Black Box Data From The Truck Can Be Crucial Evidence In A Truck Accident Lawsuit
Many semi-trucks are installed with an event recorder, often called a black box. The event recorder collects data about the characteristics of the truck on a continuous basis. This data could provide critical evidence in a trucking accident claim, revealing the events that led up to the crash and the driver’s performance. Black box data stored on a commercial truck include:
- Communication between driver and dispatch
- Truck speed as well as acceleration and deceleration activity
- Instances of driving beyond speed limit
- Brakes performance and usage
- Tire pressure
- Airbag deployment
- Usage of cruise control feature
- Truck equipment failures
- Truck maintenance alerts and related data
Let us worry about obtaining medical records, crash reports, the trucking company’s records, and other evidence. You worry about recovering from your accident.
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If The Trucking Company Is At Fault, It Should Pay For Your Medical Treatment
Faster deliveries mean higher profits. But when trucking companies cut corners to improve their bottom line, people can get hurt. When this happens, the company should pay for your injuries.
You could be entitled to compensation for your past and future accident-related medical treatment. Severe injuries can lead to expensive medical bills and ongoing care needs. This may include:
- Diagnostic testing, such as MRIs, X-rays, and CT scans
- Surgical procedures
- Prosthetics, mobility aids, and other medical equipment
- Hospitalizations or in-patient rehabilitation
- Physical therapy
- Nursing services
You Can Seek To Recover Your Wages And Pain And Suffering
Medical bills are only one part of the financial burden a crash can cause. Large truck accidents often leave smaller vehicles totaled. You can seek awards to pay for a replacement vehicle and compensation for any other damaged personal property.
If your vehicle is not totaled, but its resale value is significantly decreased, you could also be compensated for its diminished value in addition to its repair costs.
Recovering Lost Wages
Another significant loss may be your income. If severe injuries caused you to miss work, you can seek compensation for your back pay. You can also fight for the loss of your future earnings if you suffered an injury that leaves you unable to work at the same earning capacity or unable to work at all.
- A lawyer can use your employment and salary history to prove your income loss to date and to estimate the value of future income losses. A lawyer is particularly helpful in this area if you work more than one job or have difficult-to-prove income.
Recovering Damages For Pain And Suffering
Pain and suffering damages compensate victims for the physical, emotional, and mental anguish an accident and serious injuries can cause. You could be entitled to these awards if you suffer from chronic pain, paralysis, loss of limb, depression, stress, anxiety, or loss of enjoyment of life.
- Your lawyer will use your medical, therapy, rehabilitation records, and statements that confirm your current condition and anticipated recovery plan to understand the value of current and future pain and suffering.
Damages For Wrongful Death After A Truck Accident
If a trucking accident resulted in your family member’s death, you can seek compensation for their final medical care. You can also pursue awards for their property damages, funeral and burial expenses, and pain and suffering. You could be eligible for compensation for the loss of their financial support and services.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Can Help You Fight For The Money You Need
Our trucking accident lawyers can help you fight for a settlement or verdict. We can assist you with an insurance claim against the trucking company and other liable parties. If we cannot settle your case outside of court, we can help you sue the trucking company for your truck accident. We will:
- File your claim or lawsuit
- Handle communications with all involved parties
- Gather evidence and prove fault
- Negotiate on your behalf
- Update you every step of the way
Count On Our Accident Lawyers To Stand By You In Various Truck Accidents
Our injury lawyers serving Louisiana handle all manner of truck accident cases. You can count on us to be there if you were involved in an accident with a heavy-duty truck, such as a:
- Semi-truck (big rigs, 18-wheelers, tractor trailers)
- Tanker truck
- Garbage truck
- Cement truck
- Dump truck
- Tow truck
- Flatbed truck
- Utility truck
- Other large commercial trucks
Act quickly to get a lawyer in your corner and to safeguard your ability to go to court if it becomes necessary. You only have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit, according to CC Art. 3492. The statute of limitations is also one year for filing a wrongful death lawsuit, according to CC Art. 2315.2.
Call Now To Get Started On Your Case
Call us today or fill out our contact form. A member of our team will be available to discuss your case and options with you.