Any road traffic accident is a terrible event, but the nature of trucks means that any accident involving them has the potential to be completely catastrophic. These are large, heavy vehicles, often carrying loads that have the potential to be hazardous, and crashes and accidents that feature a truck can be extremely serious.
The truck company and their insurance will often try to quickly settle with you. They want to entice you with what seems to be a good settlement before you realize the extent of your injuries before you realize the economic impact that this will have on you over time, and definitely before you "lawyer up."
What Injuries May Be Involved?
The nature of big rigs means that injuries sustained as the result of a crash have the potential to be catastrophic injuries, and are likely to be extremely severe.
The most common injuries include:
- Severe burns
- Fractures, crushed or broken bones
- Severe head trauma, such as TBI (traumatic brain injury), concussion, and other serious brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Paralysis and spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding or damage to organs
- Permanent disfigurement and scarring
- Permanent disability
What Type of Lawsuit Will My Truck Accident Attorney Pursue?
There are three main types of lawsuits that may be pursued by your truck accident lawyer:
Negligence is one of the main types of lawsuits that are associated with truck injuries and will be the case in the event that the accident was a result of the truck driver's behavior.
In this case, your attorney may advise you to sue for negligence; they will be required to demonstrate that the driver failed to act in an appropriate manner on the road - that is, they were negligent - and this directly caused your injuries.
Some of the common causes of negligence may include:
- A lack of experience on the part of the driver
- The truck was overloaded or oversized, or the load was not secured properly
- The driver was driving in a reckless fashion
- The driver was distracted
- The driver ignored traffic laws and regulations
It is an unfortunate reality that in some truck accidents, the responsible company puts inexperienced drivers on the road to help their bottom line.
In some cases, your lawsuit may focus on product liability - this will likely be the case if it can be proven that the driver's habits were in line with the industry expectations and that their behavior was not deemed to be negligent
In this case, the truck, or one of its components, may be deemed to be at fault, if it can be proven to have been a contributing factor in the accident.
If your lawyer chooses to go down this route, certain evidence will be required, and this includes:
- A defective part, which is deemed unreasonably dangerous, with no change in the performance since the truck was initially purchased.
- Evidence that there were no operational deficiencies on behalf of the driver
The larger size of trucks means that sadly, an accident may all too often result in death.
If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be in a position to file a wrongful death claim.
To succeed, the claim will need to be viable, meaning that the family submitting the claim must have evidence related to product failure or negligence, in the same way, a victim who survived would be required to provide.
In the event that the claim is successful, the family may be awarded compensation and punitive damages.
What Types of Damages Are Available?
As we have mentioned, there are certain types of damage compensation that you may be awarded in the event that your claim is successful.
These fall into two main categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are those directly intended to offer compensation to victims and their families for any monetary losses which have been incurred as a result of the incident. Examples include:
- Any wages lost if the victim has had to take time off work, or if they are unable to return to their previous employment as a result of the accident and their injuries.
- Loss of earning ability - both at present and in the future
- Medical expenses incurred as a result of injuries sustained in the accident - again, this applies to both the present time AND any future expenses.
Non-economic damages are a little trickier to prove.
The aim here is to win compensation and damages for losses that are intangible and not financial.
Examples may include:
- Pain and suffering, including mental health and distress following the accident
- Mental anguish, such as PTSD
- Loss of consortium
The Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can be caused by a number of potential incidents and events, and some of the most common examples include:
Poor Truck Maintenance
In some cases, the accident may have been caused by the driver, or the trucking company who are responsible for the van, failing to make any necessary repairs to the commercial truck, which directly resulted in the accident. In this case, one or both parties may be held responsible.
Regulations Were Broken
All trucking companies are, by law required to keep thorough, extensive driving logs and records. If it is proven that the driver who caused the accident failed to follow procedure correctly, they may be found liable for the accident.
Laws Were Ignored
In some cases, the driver is responsible if they failed to follow traffic laws and regulations, for example, if they were speeding, driving recklessly or carelessly, or failed to obey clear signs.
Do I Need A Louisiana Truck Accident Injury Attorney?
There is no denying that truck accidents can be devastating for those involved, and it is imperative that you have access to top quality, reliable legal advice, to help guide you through the process, collect all necessary evidence and documents - including evidence from the scene and witness statements - and to build you a case which awards you the compensation you deserve.
This can be a confusing and complex area of law - particularly if you are still in shock, or suffering the aftereffects of an accident.
It is not as simple as just filing a claim.
Insurance companies will fight back against paying the large compensation needed to cover the huge medical bills and possible long-term care needed for injuries resulting from an 18-wheeler crash.
Do not let the insurance or trucking company rush, bully, or intimidate you! That is the last thing you need to be dealing with at a time like this.
With an experienced, qualified personal injury attorney on your side, you can make sure that you are awarded the financial assistance you need to rebuild your life and help you get justice.
Get in touch today, and see how we can help you take those first steps forward. Call us at 985-240-9773.