Truck Accidents Attorney in Prairieville, Louisiana
Just under two million trucks operate in the U.S., each of which weighs tens of thousands of pounds when fully loaded; the maximum legal weight of a semi-truck is 80,000 pounds spread out over 18 wheels, according to Popular Mechanics. Compared to the average weight of a passenger vehicle (just over 4,000 pounds), there is a stark contrast between the two vehicles that must share the same space. Slow-moving trucks create clogged roads when traffic is dense, and force faster-moving passenger vehicles to change lanes and pass. Many accidents take place during lane changes, turns, and at other times when the vehicle is making a maneuver to negotiate around a truck. The slowing down of traffic is just one cause of accidents. Other reasons for collisions include the poor side and rear-view visibility of the truck driver, long hours on the road without sleep, distraction, and impatience. All of these factors lead to semi-trucks being a major cause of serious and fatal collisions, especially in relation to how many trucks there are on the road versus how many accidents they are involved in. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, one out of 10 deaths on the highway involves a large truck. What’s more, is that 97 percent of the fatalities that resulted from a two-vehicle collision involving a large truck were those of the passenger vehicles. Only three percent were from the driver of the truck. Due to their large size, poor maneuverability, and poor visibility, among other reasons, large trucks can be a hazard to everyone on the road. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact an experienced Louisiana State truck accident lawyer today.
Injuries Due To Truck Accidents Can Be Incredibly Severe
Not only are the injuries and fatalities usually one-sided in collisions with large trucks, but the injuries themselves are quite often very severe. While the damage to the truck may only be a slightly bent bumper, the passenger vehicle involved in the collision may be torn to shreds, with the rescue workers having to employ jaws of life to retrieve the trapped and injured victims. And, the larger the truck, often the greater the severity of the accident. In 2014, 72 percent of fatal accidents with trucks involved a two-trailer semi, while only 28 percent of fatal accidents involved a single trailer unit. Common injuries include severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord damage, multiple broken bones, multiple fractured ribs causing flail chest (a condition that causes full or partial collapse of the lungs), and permanent scarring caused by severe lacerations. Often, the lucky surviving victims of highly traumatic large truck collisions walk away with life-long lasting chronic pain and debilitations that follow them into their homes and place of work.
You Deserve to Be Compensated – a Louisiana State Lawyer Can Help
If you have been in a large truck crash in Louisiana, you deserve to be compensated. Our lawyers will advocate for your right to recover the full value of damages that you have suffered, including compensation for your economic and noneconomic losses. We work hard to determine the value of your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage losses, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and other losses. We are skilled negotiators and litigators who fight for our clients in order to maximize their settlement amounts.
Have You Been in a Wreck?
If you have been injured in a large truck collision, call the experienced team of Louisiana State truck accident lawyers with The Orgeron Law Firm today at 1-855-ORGERON. We will discuss your legal options and help to ensure that the negligence of another does not cause you and your family crippling financial ruin.
What To Do If Involved In A Louisiana State Truck Accident
What is the most dangerous vehicle on the road? This is not a trick question. The first answer that would likely come to mind is a large tractor-trailer, tanker, cement, long flatbed, or dump truck. In fact, the larger the vehicle, whether it is a city bus or a commercial logging truck, the more dangerous it is to every other road user. That is not only true for SUVs and large pickups, which pose more danger to those in smaller passenger vehicles but is especially relevant in regards to commercial vehicles weighing in the tens of thousands of pounds. Large commercial delivery trucks are often driven by drowsy or distracted drivers with poor visibility to the sides and rear, they are slow to react due to their poor maneuverability and slow braking, and are also prone to mechanical problems that cause dangerous issues for everyone on the road. Over the past few decades, driving has become safer and truck collisions have caused fewer and fewer fatalities. However, in recent years, namely, 2015, fatalities and injuries went on a drastic rise. And, even before 2015, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, from 2011 to 2012 there was an increase from 63,000 to 77,000 in large truck crashes that caused injury, representing a 22 percent increase. Contact our Louisiana State truck accident lawyers for more information.
The Most Important Step Is Proving Liability, Which Requires Determining The Cause of The Collision
Proving liability can be difficult in truck collisions due to their inherent complexity. First of all, many truck collisions involve multiple victims of various parties. Secondly, determining the cause of a truck collision can be more difficult than in a collision between two personal passenger vehicles. For one thing, a heavily loaded tractor-trailer can take up to as much as 40 percent farther to stop than a car due to weight alone, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. When poor or wet road conditions and faulty or worn-out brakes are included in the mix, it can take even longer for a truck to come to a stop. If the accident was caused by a slow-to-brake-truck, who is at fault.
If the driver was slow to react due to distraction, they, or the company they work for, would likely be found liable.
Additionally, if the driver was slow to react due to fatigue, they, or more likely their trucking company, will still be held liable. Truck drivers are only allowed to drive 11-hour shifts at a maximum, and up to 77 hours during a seven-day stretch, though many surveys have found that those federal standards are quite often violated.
If the truck’s brakes were not in proper working order, which would require analyzation post-crash, the manufacturer may be held liable, or the truck company would be held liable for not performing adequate maintenance.
Of course, these are not the only causes of truck accidents. Other acts of negligence or error committed by a truck driver, such as driving too fast for conditions, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, following too closely, failing to yield, or illegal lane changes can all cause trucking accidents, too. What’s more, truck accidents can also be the fault of other drivers on the road; the drivers of passenger cars often drive aggressively around larger vehicles, attempting to pass a truck to the right, driving in the truck’s blind spots, cutting off the truck, or following too closely. Sometimes, a trucking company is liable if it is discovered that the trucking company failed to service or maintain the truck. Other times, a shipper or loader of cargo is held liable if the cargo was improperly loaded or secured, and as a such shifted in transit and caused the crash. A thorough investigation is necessary to determine exactly who’s to blame and against whom you should file a claim if you have been harmed.
Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Claims in Louisiana
If you have been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a large truck collision, our lawyers strongly recommend that you act immediately to initiate the claims process by hiring a skilled Louisiana State truck accident lawyer. Things like preserving truck electronic control module data and a truck driver’s logs must be done immediately; if too much time passes, these evidence types could be destroyed, resulting in a much more difficult time in proving your claim and recovering damages.
In addition to physical evidence, talking to witnesses while the accident is fresh in their minds is important, and may have an effect on the outcome of your case. Further, you must report the accident to the police and your insurer within a timely manner – the failure to do so can have consequences.
Finally, if you wait too long to take action after being harmed in a truck accident, not only do you risk the destruction of evidence, but you also run the risk of breaching the statute of limitations for filing a truck accident claim in Louisiana. The law holds that you only have four years from the date of your accident to bring forth a civil action against the responsible party for damages; if you wait too long, a court will not agree to hear your case and you will be permanently barred from recovery. The sooner that you contact a Louisiana State lawyer, the sooner that your lawyer can get to work on your case.
Our Louisiana State Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You
No one wants to be held accountable for an expensive, traumatic collision, which is why finding out which party, exactly, should be held liable is important to any successful litigation. An experienced lawyer has the time and resources necessary to conduct an expert investigation to find the cause of the collision. We will use expert witnesses to determine the cause of the crash if necessary. The most important steps you can take in the aftermath of a collision include gathering photo evidence of the crash scene, gathering witness statements, seeking medical attention, and contacting an experienced Louisiana State injury lawyer. Call the Orgeron Law Firm as soon as possible at 1-855-ORGERON to talk to one of our experienced accident lawyers today.