Truck Accident Attorneys Serving the State of Louisiana
Due to the size and mass of a truck, these types of accidents are considerably more deadly than the others. In fact, every 15 minutes, a person is killed or seriously injured in an accident caused by a truck or 18-wheeler. Apart from the impact on the vehicles, victims of truck accidents sustain severe injuries that can change their lives forever.
Have you been a victim of a truck accident? If so, you understand the physical and emotional trauma that often comes along with it. However, you can recover with the help of an experienced injury attorney by your side.
At Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest, you’ll find a team of skilled lawyers who are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
What you do after a truck accident may affect your case. The information below covers a few things you should keep in mind whenever a truck accident occurs.
First, contact the police
You should always report a truck accident as quickly as possible. Under New Orleans law, you are required to report any accident that causes more than $500 in damage. The police report may be an important piece of evidence in any civil case.
Seek immediate medical care
You may have sustained severe injuries from the accident, even if they aren’t immediately apparent. You should see a doctor as soon as possible to ensure that all injuries are identified and documented.=
Get contact information from witnesses
You may need to rely on witness statements for any claim you make. Request the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. Your lawyer may be able to help you contact people who have already left the scene.
Collect the other driver’s information
You should make sure that you can contact the other driver. Collect the truck driver’s full name, contact details, insurance information, license plate number, and license number. If the other driver has fled the scene, provide as many details as you can remember to the police.
Contact an attorney as soon as possible
Working with experienced attorneys who understand New Orleans laws can help you build a robust personal jury case. You should not discuss the accident with anyone until you have met with your lawyer for a consultation. Do not discuss details with the insurance companies or trucking companies involved until you have been advised to do so.
Additional Truck Accident Resources
Helpful Truck Accident Articles
Truck Insurance and Settlements
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in New Orleans
From careless and distracted driving to mechanical failure, a truck accident can happen for many reasons.
A single factor may cause a truck accident. For example, it may happen because a driver was operating at unsafe speeds. It can also result from a combination of factors such as poor vehicle maintenance and inexperienced driving.
Some of the common causes of trucking accidents include:
Driving a truck is different from driving smaller vehicles, and accidents will happen if the driver is careless. Unlike smaller vehicles that can navigate sharper swerves and perform abrupt lane changes, tailgating and speeding can cause truck accidents.
Although the federal law stipulates the maximum number of hours a truck driver should spend on the road on a stretch, many drivers ignore this to clock more hours and make more money.
If a driver makes multiple trips without taking some time to rest, they’ll start to feel tired, which is very dangerous. For example, a driver can accidentally fall asleep at the wheel and run into other vehicles and pedestrians.
Use of Opiates, Alcohol, and Prescription Drugs
Truck drivers may take stimulants in order to drive for longer periods of time or depressives to manage stress. When a truck driver is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, an accident is very likely to happen.
Driving a truck requires 100% of your attention. If a truck driver is lost in thought while driving or responding to text messages from the trucking company, it can cause a fatal accident.
Overloading or shifting loads
Overloading a semi-truck with products can cause improper handling while on the road. Other drivers may be struck by falling objects, or by the truck itself if it loses control.
Some truck drivers ignore safety regulations and fail to conduct regular maintenance checks on their vehicles. Poor truck maintenance may result in mechanical failure, which is another leading cause of truck accidents in New Orleans.
Wear and tear of any of the vehicle’s tires can cause a tire explosion while the truck is in transit and cause the loss of lives and properties.
Accidents involving trucks involve different elements than those involving passenger vehicles. Often, truck drivers must keep driver logs that explain their work schedule in detail. These logs can present key evidence of negligence such as drowsy driving while on the road. Some semi-trucks are also equipped with data recorders that accurately record information about the operation of the vehicle.
Another different element is the insurance carried by most truck drivers and the company they drive for (Unless they are uninsured ). Often, this insurance is much greater than typical car insurance. Although this might result in greater compensation for you, trucking company attorneys are known to fight.
What Types of Injuries Can I Sustain After a Truck Accident?
Due to the truck’s sheer size, any collision that happens is likely to lead to severe injuries to the people involved. Another thing to consider here is the speed at which the truck was traveling when the accident occurred.
The degree of impact the 18-wheeler has with the other vehicles in the cause of the collision can lead to death. Some of the most common and catastrophic injuries caused by truck accidents include:
Broken and Fractured Bones
Fractures and dislocations are some of the most common injuries caused by truck accidents. The human bone isn’t well-prepared to withstand the heavy impact of a truck colliding with your vehicle.
Back and Neck Injuries
Truck accidents can strain the muscles and tendons around your back and neck, causing whiplash and other long-lasting injuries.
As your body gets thrown around in the wreck, you can hit your head against hard surfaces in the vehicle. The impact of this hard contact can cause a concussion, traumatic brain injury, and internal bleeding.
A fractured bone can puncture one of your organs, causing internal bleeding and lacerations.
Spinal Cord Injuries
If your vehicle tumbles due to the impact of the collision, the effect of the crash can cause some degree of damage to your spinal cord. When this happens, you can sustain spinal cord injuries that cause temporary or permanent paralysis.
Far too many times, truck accident victims die from the injuries sustained . They may be too far from a hospital to receive timely and adequate medical care. Some victims can die instantly due to the severe impact of the accident.
Victims of truck accidents may also sustain burns, seat belt injuries, and airbag injuries.
What Are the Common Types of Truck Accidents in New Orleans?
Truck accidents happen in different ways. For example, a truck may run into another vehicle or swerve off the road due to distracted driving.
Whatever the reason, you need the right attorneys to help you get the proper compensation if you’re injured in a truck wreck. Below, you’ll learn about some of the most common types of accidents and causes that have been implicated in other situations:
Mechanical Failure Accidents
Mechanical failure accidents include accidents caused by a failed braking system or a tire explosion while the truck is in motion.
Due to the truck’s size, it is not uncommon for rear-end collisions to happen. The truck driver may apply the brakes too late and end up ramming into a preceding vehicle.
If the driver applies the brakes too soon, the truck’s cab may fold against the trailer, causing the cab to look back at the trailer.
Rollovers happen just as the name suggests. If a truck driver goes around a curve too quickly the trailer can tip – due to the weight of contents shifting or an empty trailer – causing the truck to roll.
A sideswipe occurs when another vehicle collides with the blind spot of a truck. When this happens, the vehicle may go off the road.
A truck may need to make a wide turn, and in this process, can have a serious collision with vehicles in the other lanes being used to complete the turn.
How much can I recover for injuries or property damage?
To receive compensation as a truck accident victim, you need to file a personal jury claim consistent with the requirements of Louisiana law. Experienced lawyers can help you identify whether you have a case and help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Compensatory damages may be awarded to victims to help them recover what they have lost due to the accident. Here, the court may give monetary or nonmonetary compensation depending on the details of the case.
Successful claimants may be awarded compensation for:
- Property damages (if your vehicle was damaged from the collision)
- Wrongful deaths
- Present and future medical expenses
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Loss of present and future earnings
- Household services
While it is more challenging to calculate non-monetary damages, they are a possibility in many truck accident cases. The court can award non-monetary compensation for:
- Loss of enjoyment
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
A court will award punitive damages when there is a need to make an example of the offending truck driver and deter people from committing such acts in the future.
Your lawyer can help you understand the kind of compensation you may receive based on your injuries.
Proving Liability in a New Orleans Truck Crash Case
Typically, your attorney will use a theory of negligence to prove your jury case in a New Orleans trucking accident.
To do this successfully, you need to demonstrate that the person who injured you breached a legal duty of care. Furthermore, you need to be able to show that this breach of duty resulted in your injuries.
Sometimes, there are multiple parties liable for the victim’s injuries. When this happens, the personal jury case will include all third-party defendants like contractors, the employers of the driver, and the manufacturers of the truck.
To prove that a defendant is liable for a truck accident, you must provide evidence of your claim. Evidence for truck accident cases includes documentation of skid marks, the victim’s injuries, a photo or video of the accident, and eyewitness accounts.
It is helpful when the investigations by police and insurance companies can corroborate your evidence to prove that the defendants contributed to the accident.
The defendant’s investigation will likely bring evidence to reduce the settlement value as much as possible. For example, if you waited too long to document your injuries, they may attempt to claim your injuries happened after the accident. This is why it’s crucial to speak to a lawyer about the steps you should take as soon as possible.
How to Demand Full Compensation After Your Truck Accident Injuries
Obtaining the compensation you deserve after a truck accident isn’t easy. Most times, truck accident cases are complicated, and insurance settlements can drag for a long time because of the amount of money involved.
Typically, insurance companies will do all they can to reduce payouts, which is why you need a solid legal team on your side.
Things get more complicated when there are multiple defendants in the case. For example, if the truck driver, the loading company, and the truck owners share some blame in the accident, they will bring in their attorneys to help them get a soft landing.
If you want to get full compensation for your truck accident injuries, you should not be in a hurry to accept the first truck accident settlement you are offered. You should consider waiting even if you have medical expenses and other bills piling up.
The first offer you get from insurance companies is rarely the best compensation possible for your case, so it’s advisable to take things slow and allow your attorney to build a strong case for you.
Hiring an experienced New Orleans legal team can help you get the best compensation for your losses, including:
- Emotional trauma claims
- Claims for physical impairment
- Claims for medical bills
- Treatment-related expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life with your loved ones
How Much Can I Recover for Injuries or Property Damage?
Trucking operations are typically covered by commercial insurance policies mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Under New Orleans laws, you are entitled to compensation for all lost wages and bills caused by truck accidents where the truck driver is found to be at fault. As long as you can prove that a loss resulted from the truck accident directly, you may be able to recover that amount as part of the damages.
Sometimes, you may need to present copies of relevant documents like your tax returns, employment contract, business plan, and customer contracts.
Another thing to note is there is no fixed settlement value for truck accidents, and many times, the value of the settlement cannot be more than the value of the insurance policy.
In all, the compensation you get depends on the strength of your case, the degree of the damage, and the number of parties responsible for the incident.
Truck accident claims should be treated on a case-by-case basis as no two incidents are the same. This is why you need to hire experienced attorneys who understand the dynamics of the law and can help you get full compensation for your personal jury case.
What Makes Truck Accidents Claims More Complicated?
There are many laws and regulations concerning trucking in New Orleans, and this can make things complicated. Here are some of the complexities that may come up with a truck accident case:
Aggressive Insurance Defenses
Typically, insurance companies are not keen on paying out large settlements, so you need to prepare for aggressive defenses. You shouldn’t be surprised when the insurance companies and the defendants try to minimize their responsibility in the case as much as possible.
More often than not, several parties are liable for the damages caused by truck accidents. Apart from the truck driver, other people who may have contributed to the incident in one way or the other include:
- The truck driver
- The manufacturer of the truck
- The owner of the truck
- The loading company
- The trucking company that hired the driver
Dealing with all these people at the same time can be extremely intimidating if you are not supported by a lawyer.
How does Alvendia, Kelly , Demarest handle car accidents?
AKD Law is committed to providing experienced legal backing for truck accident victims. We will use the experience and resources at our disposal to fight for you.
We will help you seek compensation for your injuries so you and your loved ones can get your lives back after a truck accident. Our firm has gone against some of the largest insurance giants in Louisiana.
Specifically, we can help you:
- Understand all aspects of your case
- Work with accident reconstruction experts
- Manage and organize all the documents and filing deadlines you need to observe for your personal jury case to proceed
- Identify the different types of compensation that may be possible
- Gather supporting evidence to help you build a strong case
- Communicate with other parties involved in the case
- Thoroughly investigate the causes of your accident
- Negotiate for a full insurance settlement
- Argue for your best interests in court if all the parties in the case cannot reach a settlement
What is the Time Limit for Filing an 18-Wheeler Accident Claim?
The time limit for filing an 18-wheeler accident claim differs from one state to the other. In Louisiana, you typically have one year from the accident date to file a personal jury suit for compensation.
This means you do not necessarily have to file a lawsuit immediately. You can take some time to recover from your injuries and consult a robust legal team to file a case as soon as possible.
Who Is Responsible for Truck Accidents?
Anyone who contributes to a truck accident can be legally responsible for it. There are often multiple parties involved in a truck accident, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident.
In our experience, it’s not uncommon for one or more of the following parties to be held liable for truck accidents:
- A truck driver who drinks and drives
- A truck driver who engages in distracted or reckless driving
- A truck driver who violates traffic laws or commercial safety regulations
- Trucking companies that hire unfit or improperly licensed drivers
- Trucking companies that do not provide adequate training or supervision for their staff
- Trucking companies that fail to maintain their fleet regularly
- Cargo manufacturers who do not list hazardous materials in their safety regulations
- Loading companies that do not adhere to safety laws as they pile up materials into the truck
- Manufacturers of wholesalers who sell defective spare parts for mechanical repairs
Are You a Victim of a Truck Accident? Get in Touch With Us for a Free Case Evaluation Today
Being a truck accident victim can be devastating, but with the right legal help, you can get back on your feet in no time. Our lawyers will support you every step of the way, so you have a chance to claim the compensation you deserve.
Call to Receive Your Free Case Evaluation Today
Your case is important to us. We understand the physical and emotional pain you can suffer after a truck accident.