While every case is different, the causes of truck accidents are often negligence or recklessness on the part of the truck driver, the trucking company, the auto part manufacturer, or the maintenance contractor. Each of these potentially liable parties is discussed in more detail below.
The Causes of Truck Accidents
According to data gathered by Louisiana State University (LSU), large trucks and busses were involved in 15.9 percent of all fatal crashes, and 6.2 percent of all injury crashes in Louisiana in 2019. These accidents may have been caused by one or more of the following parties.
The Truck Driver
From ignoring traffic laws to driving while drowsy, truck drivers can cause accidents in many ways. Distracted driving, for example, remains a huge problem. Despite an increasing number of laws that prohibit using a cell phone while driving, distracted drivers killed over 2,800 people in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The Trucking Company
As with any company, a trucking company’s ultimate goal is to make as much money as possible. To do this, they may resort to underhanded means, like pressuring their drivers to work longer hours or putting off necessary truck inspections.
The Auto Part Manufacturer
Truck drivers, like anyone else, trust that their vehicle was built correctly with functional parts. Sometimes, however, the manufacturer allows a dangerous product onto the market, either by accident or because they did not want to spend the money to fix it.
The Maintenance Contractor
Maintenance teams are hired to take care of both the road and the trucks. If either one of them does not pay enough attention while on the job or leaves an object where they should not, accidents can occur.
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The money you can recover after a truck accident is called both compensation and damages. More specifically, you may be eligible for compensation relating to the physical, psychological, and financial consequences of your accident.
The first two—physical and psychological consequences—are often referred to as non-economic damages. They may include things like:
- Disability: Your injuries cost you the use of a limb, organ, or another part of your body. This may refer to dismemberment, but it can just as easily mean something like chronic pain, which prevents you from using the affected area.
- Pain and suffering: Your injuries caused or continue to cause you distress, both physical and emotional.
- Reduced quality of life: You need help with the tasks of daily living, such as shopping or cooking, that you once did with ease.
- Loss of society: Your loved one passed away, leaving you to grieve and to rebuild your life without their presence, affection, and support.
Economic damages cover the financial consequences of your accident. They may include things like:
- Medical bills: Your injuries needed emergency treatment or will need long-term treatment due to chronic symptoms—or both.
- Repair bills: Your vehicle needed repairs after the accident, or you had to replace it altogether.
- Loss of employment: You lost your job and/or cannot work anymore due to your injuries.
- Loss of financial support: You can no longer rely on your deceased loved one’s income to support your family or maintain your lifestyle.
How an Attorney Can Help
It can be difficult to concentrate on filing a lawsuit when you are still dealing with the fallout from your accident. Luckily, help is available. A lawyer may be able to assist you with your case by fighting for your rights and seeking compensation on your behalf. This way, you can focus on family and on recovery while your attorney does all of the hard legal work.
A lawyer can do many things for you, including the tasks listed below.
- Search for evidence to support your lawsuit
- Calculate accurate, recoverable damages for you to ask for
- Notify the liable party
- Fill out and file any and all forms
- Handle all communication between you and the liable party
- Negotiate with the liable party’s insurance company for a fair settlement
- Review the settlement agreement before you sign
- Prepare and present your case in court (if necessary)
- Provide regular updates
- Give honest, caring advice about your options
- Work for a contingency fee
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we know that the causes of truck accidents are many and varied in Lafayette. One of our lawyers is available to investigate the cause of your accident and fight hard for fair compensation. After a truck accident, call our main office at (337) 777-7777.