It is impossible to say exactly what percentage of all backing up accidents involve large trucks. The most telling statistic from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s 2019 data is that 23 percent of all fatal large truck incidents involved the vehicle’s rear. However, this may include other types of collisions in addition to backing up crashes.
Large trucks, including 18-wheelers, delivery vehicles, and garbage trucks, have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles. Large trucks are also bigger, heavier, and more powerful. When an accident occurs, the damage to the other vehicle tends to be severe, and injuries and fatalities may occur.
Backing Up Accidents Involving Large Commercial Vehicles
Backing up collisions occur more often than many people realize. They are especially common in parking lots and on driveways, and on private property. In these areas, moving in reverse is common, and the traffic flow is less defined. If the accident involves a pedestrian, such as a small child who goes unseen by the driver, the outcome is often unfortunate.
Despite their training and experience, truck drivers cause these accidents when they assume their path is clear, do not double-check their blind spots, or simply cannot see a pedestrian or small vehicle in their path. This can have fatal consequences.
Victims of these accidents, or their surviving family members, may be able to seek financial recovery from the truck driver and trucking company in Louisiana. Every state has a statute or case law that recognizes the driver’s employer may be vicariously liable in an injury or fatality crash, including Louisiana.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Getting Help Navigating the Claims Process After a Louisiana Truck Crash
If you were in a backing up accident involving a large truck, our personal injury lawyer can help you build a case and recover compensation. You may be able to work with an attorney on our team in Lafayette, LA, to investigate your backing up accident and hold the at-fault parties responsible.
After a Louisiana truck collision, a law firm can:
- Investigate the cause of your crash
- Identify the liable parties, including those vicariously liable
- Develop a case on your behalf
- Prepare your insurance claim
- Negotiate with the insurance company and corporate lawyers
- Reach a fair and just settlement agreement when possible
- File a lawsuit if necessary
- Represent you at trial to seek a verdict on your behalf
With most personal injury firms, there is never a fee until you get paid. Their fees are a percentage of the recovery, and your family does not pay unless you receive compensation in your case.
Do not wait to call for help with your case. CC Art. 3492 imposes a one-year statute of limitations on most legal actions based on truck collisions. Missing this statutory deadline could cause you to lose the right to recovery. Your lawyer should help you determine the applicable timeline in your case and meet any deadlines.
Determining Liability in Your Backing Up Accident
You can only hold the truck driver and trucking company responsible for the portion of the accident caused by the driver’s negligence. This requires that you have evidence to prove:
- The driver was at fault for the crash.
- You suffered injuries as a result.
- The harm you suffered has a financial value, including physical injuries, intangible losses, and economic expenses.
It can be difficult to determine fault and liability for a backing up accident. For one thing, many of them occur on private property, such as in parking lots or parking garages. Police officers and insurance adjusters are often hesitant to assign fault for accidents occurring on private property, as the rules of the road tend not to be as well-defined as they are on public thoroughfares.
Backing up accidents are also tricky because it is often unclear what happened without video footage of the crash or eyewitnesses. For instance, if you have a collision where the front of one car struck the back of another, how can you prove the front car was moving backward and not the back car moving forward?
Your attorney will know the evidence needed to prove these cases and take steps to secure it. That may include issuing a spoliation letter to protect evidence the trucking company has, as well as obtaining other records. They can also call in experts, including:
- Accident reconstructionists
- Medical experts
- Trucking industry personnel
They will also be able to collect documentation of your expenses and losses and put a value on your intangible damages. This will help you recover a fair and just settlement from the insurance company or sue the trucking company if they refuse.
How to Avoid a Backing Up Accident
When driving near a large truck, it is a good idea to assume the driver cannot see your vehicle. If you encounter one in a parking lot, assume they could start backing up at any time. When passing a large truck on the highway, try to give it a wide berth and spend as little time as possible in a position where the driver might not be able to spot you.
You have likely seen the signs on the backs of trucks that if you cannot see their mirrors, they cannot see you. Trucks have much less visibility than passenger cars do. Even if you see their mirrors—or the driver through the window—it does not necessarily mean they see you.
In a parking lot or other area, be particularly cautious of the movements a truck driver may make. Whether loading, unloading, or stopping for another reason, they may need to reverse at some point. When possible, walk in front of the truck with plenty of space so the driver can see you, and never park directly behind a tractor-trailer.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
We Provide Free Truck Accident Case Evaluations
The Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers team wants to help your family in any way we can. Reach out to our Louisiana accident attorneys today. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you never owe us anything before getting paid.
The sooner you speak with a member of our team, the sooner we can get started working on your case. To receive a free consultation, call us at (337) 777-7777.