Louisiana Truck Accident Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A LOUISIANA TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TODAY
Trucking accidents often carry serious, life-changing consequences. Victims of trucking accidents must overcome many obstacles following a wreck. In addition to the physical challenges of recovery, trucking accident victims must overcome financial hurdles as well. In some cases, the victim of a trucking accident may pursue compensation against the at-fault party to recover monetary damages incurred as a result of the accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident and are interested in filing a claim, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Louisiana truck accident lawyers.
COMMON CAUSES OF LOUISIANA TRUCK ACCIDENTS
In 2019 in Louisiana, there were 108 fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses, and 2,747 injury crashes involving large trucks and buses. Some of the most common causes of trucking accidents include:
Truck drivers are just like regular motorists in that they too engage in distracted driving. Examples of distracted driving include texting, eating, talking, and otherwise not giving the road undivided attention. Taking your eyes off the road even for a brief moment can increase the risk of a devastating accident occurring.
One of the most common causes of trucking accidents is driver fatigue. In addition to working extensive hours, sometimes in violation of federal or state law, truck drivers must also deal with pressure to meet deadlines and stay in the good graces of their employer. Together, these stress factors may combine to lead to decreased concentration or even falling asleep at the wheel. When this happens, the chances of a trucking accident occurring skyrocket.
Poor Training and Maintenance
Trucking companies may try to increase profits by allowing employees to get behind the wheel of a truck before receiving full and proper training. Improperly trained employees may be ill-equipped to handle and operate a commercial vehicle. As a result, these inexperienced drivers may pose an increased risk of causing a trucking accident.
Trucking companies may also contribute to the prevalence of trucking accidents by neglecting to properly maintain company trucks. For example, insufficient maintenance on a vehicle can lead to faulty brakes or overly-dim headlights. Such mechanical issues, in turn, may be the primary cause of an automobile accident.
TYPES OF TRUCK ACCIDENT CLAIMS
Rear-end collisions may occur, for example, when a truck driver diverts his or her attention from the road. Unlike fender-benders between two non-commercial vehicles, a rear-end trucking accident may lead to a totaled vehicle.
Given the large size of tractor-trailers, truck drivers must deal with very large blind spots. Sometimes, truck drivers fail to see a fellow motorist driving in the blind spot. When this happens, a collision between the two automobiles, or even a multi-car accident, may occur.
If a truck driver somehow loses control of the vehicle, for instance, because of a sudden stop or swerve, the truck may roll over onto its side and slide into nearby traffic. This can lead to significant damage to nearby motorists.
Wide turn accidents most frequently occur when a truck driver is attempting to make a right-hand turn. In order to make the turn, the driver will often swing the truck to the left to create a better turning angle. However, this maneuver may result in the truck colliding with an unsuspecting vehicle on its left-hand side.
Lost Load Accidents
Lost load accidents occur when the freight on a truck is improperly loaded or secured. In these cases, objects may fly off of the truck’s cargo bed, putting nearby motorists at great risk.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT LOUISIANA TRUCK ACCIDENTS
How Much Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?
Personal injury cases, such as claims arising out of trucking accidents, are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means that a client will not have to pay for legal services unless the claim is settled or successfully litigated in court.
Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident in Louisiana?
In many trucking accident cases, the most obvious at-fault party is the truck driver. If the victim can show that the driver failed to exercise ordinary care in operating the vehicle, the driver may be subject to liability under Louisiana law. For example, the driver may be liable for a truck accident if the driver ran a red light and caused a wreck. The driver may also be negligent if he crashed into someone else as a result of texting while driving.
The trucking company
Under vicarious liability, an employer is responsible for the negligent or harmful actions of an employee if the acts were taken within the scope of employment. For this reason, trucking companies may also be subject to liability for trucking accidents. Trucking companies may also be subject to direct liability if the company negligently hired, supervised, or trained one of its employees. Trucking accident victims frequently sue trucking companies for trucking accidents because, unlike most truck drivers, trucking companies may have sufficient funds to compensate trucking accident victims following an accident.
A third party
Sometimes legal action may be pursued against a third party, such as an automobile parts manufacturer. For instance, if a tire manufacturer supplied a trucking company with a defective wheel, and the accident and injuries were caused by a blowout, the manufacturer who made or sold the defective wheel may be subject to liability.
How Can I Prove Negligence?
A critical part of a trucking accident claim is establishing that the truck driver or trucking company was negligent, and that such negligence caused the victim’s injuries. In trucking accident cases, establishing negligence requires proving four essential elements.
The first element of a negligence claim is duty. This means that the trucking accident victim must show that the trucking company or truck driver owed a duty to him or her. Practically speaking, the duty element may be established by asserting that the driver or trucking company owed the victim, and the general public, a duty to adhere to the safety standards of professional truck drivers by safely operating and maintaining the vehicles.
2. Breach of duty
The second element of a negligence claim is breach of duty. This means that the trucking accident victim must show that the truck driver or trucking company failed to act in a reasonably safe manner. A victim may establish breach of duty against a truck driver, for example, by proving that the driver was intoxicated, engaged in distracted driving, or violated a traffic law. A victim may establish breach of duty against a trucking company, for instance, by proving that the trucking company failed to maintain the vehicle or failed to conduct a background check on a person with a bad driving record.
The third element of a negligence claim is causation. This means that the trucking accident victim must show that his or her injuries were directly caused by the at-fault party’s unreasonable conduct. In trucking accident cases, this element is typically established by showing that the accident would not have happened had the responsible party not been behaving unreasonably, such as by texting while driving.
The fourth element of a negligence claim is damages. This means that the trucking accident victim must show that he or she was harmed in some way as a result of the accident. In trucking accident cases, the damages element is often established by medical records, photographs, and testimony from witnesses and experts.
LOUISIANA LEGAL TIME LIMITS
The law imposes legal time limits, referred to as a “statute of limitations,” within which a trucking accident victim must file a claim. Failure to file a proper and timely claim may lead to the victim being barred from litigating the claim in court.
Statutes of limitations vary from state to state. Most states have either a two or three-year statute of limitations for trucking accident claims. However, Louisiana is unique in that its statute of limitations for a trucking accident claim is only one year. Thus, for example, a trucking accident victim who was injured in a truck accident on June 1, 2020 must file a claim no later than June 1, 2021. Failure to do so may lead to the claim being dismissed.
In certain cases, the one-year statute of limitations may be extended or “tolled.” For example, under Louisiana law, the one-year statute of limitations does not run against individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time of the underlying accident. Thus, a minor who was injured in a truck accident may be given until he or she reaches the age of eighteen to file a claim. From there, the child will have one year to file a lawsuit.
Because a statute of limitations is a critical component of a trucking accident case, and because special rules such as tolling may apply, it is important that you consider discussing your case with an experienced trucking accident attorney. Consulting with an attorney may help you file your claim in a proper and timely fashion.
OUR TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS MAY HELP
Zinda Law Group’s team of trucking accident attorneys is ready and willing to offer years of experience handling truck accident claims to help you recover fair compensation for losses incurred as a result of a wreck. Our attorneys pride themselves on giving every case the attention to detail it deserves to help get trucking accident victims back on their feet. Let us work on protecting your legal rights while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Our attorneys also know how to deal with insurance companies. Our team of trucking accident lawyers will work tirelessly to negotiate with these multi-million-dollar entities so they do not take advantage of you while you are in a vulnerable state.
Our firm also believes that an injury victim should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case.
If you would like to discuss the details of your case with an experienced Louisiana truck accident lawyer, or to learn more about your rights and remedies following an accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free case evaluation.
Meetings with attorneys are by appointment only.