After you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a semi-truck, it’s important to turn to a Lafayette truck crash lawyer. They can offer aid and support in your situation, helping you get the fair compensation you’re entitled to, while also providing guidance through this troubling time with its confusion and pain.
Trucks can be incredibly hazardous on the highways and it’s important to be aware of their potential for danger. Learning about truck accidents and speaking with a qualified Lafayette truck accident lawyer is a smart way to protect yourself in the event of an unlikely collision.
Trucks are an incredibly common site on Lafayette road. Actively transporting items from the city to other parts of Louisiana and beyond, they are a key element in ensuring households receive necessary goods. From food to general products, trucks have become essential for distributing items across the state and country. Trucks may be extremely useful but they can also be quite hazardous due to their size and weight. Unfortunately, they pose a deadly risk if not driven with caution on the roads.
Louisiana is aware of how serious the results of truck collisions can be – which is why they put in place a fault-based compensation system that provides monetary compensation to victims who were involved in such accidents. This helps pay for medical bills, physical therapy, and other costs associated with their injuries. Obtaining fair reimbursement for injuries suffered in a trucking accident can be difficult, as there could be multiple entities liable.
Finding the right legal counsel can be critical in getting your claim for a truck accident compensation. At Wright and Gray, we have two decades worth of experience in helping victims pursue their rights. We can support you through the entire process and make sure that you get what is rightfully yours. For more information on how we can help you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.
We understand how difficult it can be to deal with such extensive destruction and want to help you get back on your feet. We are prepared to assist you in your efforts for justice, as well as guiding you through the process of reclaiming compensation.
What Are the Leading Causes of Truck Accidents?
As per Injury Facts, in 2019, 5,005 large trucks (having a gross weight of over 10,000 lbs.) were involved in fatal accidents in America. While all types of vehicles are included such as semi-trucks tractor-trailers, commercial buses and motor homes do not come under this category. The involvement of large trucks in road accidents has risen 2% since 2018 and spiked 43% since 2010. Moreover, the rate of such incidents per 100 million large-truck miles traveled has climbed 5% annually since 2018 and 37% over the last decade.
According to data from 2010, large trucks were involved in a significant proportion of total truck collisions in the U.S.
- 10% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes
- 4% of all registered vehicles
- 7% of total vehicle miles traveled
These figures highlight the widespread issue of commercial truck-involved accidents. We must ask ourselves, what could be the causes behind these collisions?
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
The long hours of truck driving can lead to drowsiness and exhaustion, so many drivers opt for drugs to stay alert. However, such drugs can also affect their cognitive functioning, making it risky and leading to unsafe outcomes while they’re on the road. If a truck driver operates while under the influence of alcohol, it can lead to serious car accidents in Lafayette. Commercial truck drivers must be aware of the legal blood alcohol concentration limit in Lafayette, which is 0.04 percent. Thus, a trucker under the influence of alcohol who drives can also be incriminated with criminal charges.
Speeding is one of the primary causes for truck crashes, just like it is for car and motorcycle accidents. If a vehicle weighing up to 80,000 pounds or more goes too fast, the results can be fatal. Safe driving should be practiced at all times to prevent such devastating consequences. Therefore, truck drivers should adhere to the speed limit indicated on interstate highways while they are driving.
Truck drivers operating outside the FMCSA regulations are prone to developing fatigue, which can be especially dangerous. Increased exhaustion and tiredness makes it more likely for them to be involved in an accident. To ensure safety on the road, truckers need to take breaks throughout their journey and make sure they’re getting enough rest. They should adhere to the legal hours of work specified stay away from driving while tired.
In the U.S. in 2018, over 2,800 people were killed and an estimated 400,000 were injured in traffic collisions due to distractions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that a majority of these collisions involved trucks. It is crucial to pay attention while driving to avoid any unnecessary accidents or fatalities. Distracted driving is a major cause of truck collisions and there are three main ways in which it can occur: cognitively, visually, and manually. It is especially important for truckers to stay focused behind the wheel as their vehicles are bigger than cars and pose more risks on the road.
Other common causes of such incidents include:
- Reckless driving
- Blind spots
- Inadequate training
- Poor truck maintenance
- Wheel blowout
- Different Types of Truck Accidents
Accidents involving trucks often occur due to a variety of reasons. Some of the most common types include collisions with other vehicles, roll-overs, jackknifing, and tire blowouts.
- Head-on Collisions: Head-on collisions between a truck and a vehicle coming in the opposite direction can lead to tragic consequences, often resulting in fatalities or major injuries for all involved.
- Rear-End Collisions: A rear-end collision typically occurs when a truck or smaller car hits another vehicle from behind. These types of accidents can be extremely deadly and have disastrous consequences.
- Under ride Accidents: Semi-truck accidents can be serious and even fatal in some cases. One of the most dangerous varieties is when a truck stops suddenly, leading an approaching vehicle to get stuck under its trailer.
- Rollover Accidents: If a truck driver is unable to retain control of their vehicle, then this might lead to a rollover crash and consequent goods spillage. Such accidents are dangerous and can cause significant damage.
Connect with a Lafayette Truck Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in a truck accident, our firm’s attorneys can help fight for your rights and use their know-how resources to investigate your injury case. With us on your side, you can be sure of desirable results.
What Are the Common Injuries in Truck Accidents?
After a truck accident, victims may sustain a variety of injuries such as:
Back and Neck Injuries
Accidents can cause various levels of injury – from minor like whiplash to major like dislocated discs. Furthermore, it is important to remember that back injuries are not always the same as spinal cord injuries, both can have a long-term impact on your ability to work and do everyday tasks.
Truck accidents often lead to broken bones due to the force of impact. The gravity of the injury depends on the severity of the crash – in extreme cases such as under ride collisions, victims may suffer from bone fractures or even severe crushing.
Head injuries can have a devastating effect on the quality of life after an accident. Even if there are no visible signs, any impact on the skull that penetrates to the brain is considered a traumatic brain injury and requires immediate attention from medical professionals. After automobile accidents it’s important to get checked out right away in case of any undetected head trauma.
Automobile accidents that involve blunt force trauma can often cause injury to your vital organs such as the liver, bladder, kidney, pancreas and spleen. Since internal injuries are hard to detect and their symptoms may be delayed, it is important to visit a doctor even if you feel alright after an accident. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis
After a car crash, you should seek medical attention immediately in order to minimize the risk of spinal cord injury and paralysis. Timely MRI tests and X-rays can give proper diagnosis for these types of injuries. Avoiding medical attention may result in permanent damage that could have otherwise been mitigated with proper treatment.
Besides lacerations and seat belt injuries, truck collisions can also lead to rib and torso injuries and demise. In such cases, the victim’s legal beneficiaries may file a wrongful death action to seek financial redress. In order for a wrongful death claim to be valid, the deceased must have had a legitimate legal entitlement prior to their passing.
What Should You Do After a Commercial Trucking Accident?
Taking the right steps after a truck accident can substantially increase your chances of receiving the optimum compensation. To make sure you don’t miss out on any opportunity, it is important to remember to:
- You should not leave the scene of an accident until you have reported it to the necessary authorities. Make sure to fill out an accident report and provide all pertinent information.
- Following an accident, it’s imperative that you seek medical attention immediately. Even if you don’t experience any symptoms in the first moments, getting a complete medical examination is key. The records from this appointment can be used to back up your case in pursuing legal action for personal injury recovery.
- When an accident occurs, it’s important to get in touch with all the parties involved. This would include obtaining their contact information, as well as their insurance company’s name, policy number, vehicle registration and license.
- If there are any witnesses to the event, make sure to get their statement as well as their contact information for potential legal use. This is necessary when you are working through the insurance claims process or filing a personal injury lawsuit.
- To properly document the accident, pictures of the scene and damaged vehicle parts should be taken. Additionally, it would be beneficial to ask for traffic CCTV footage that can provide further insight into the cause of the crash.
- If you’ve been involved in any kind of personal injury or accident, it’s advisable to hire a personal injury lawyer for guidance. An attorney can help ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your losses and provide expert advice to handle the situation better.
Who Can You Sue for a Truck Accident in Lafayette?
Trucking accidents are most often attributed to negligent driving, but there are instances when the truck driver may not be solely responsible. Other parties that can be accountable for these accidents include:
- The Truck Driver: Truckers are obliged to ensure safety of other drivers on the road. If they don’t fulfill this responsibility and cause an accident, they will have to reimburse the affected victim with monetary compensation.
- The Trucking Company: Trucking companies can be held liable under the legal principle of vicarious liability for the negligent acts of their drivers. This includes when they knowingly recruit a driver with a track record of reckless or drunken driving. Hence, employers in this industry must be extra vigilant in their hiring process to avoid such scenarios.
- Cargo Loaders: When the security of cargo is not ideal, resulting in a truck collision, it is the responsibility of the cargo loader to compensate the victim for their losses.
- Truck Manufacturer: If a faulty part of the truck was to blame for an accident, then the truck manufacturer must take responsibility for it.
- Third-Parties:If a driver on the road is not careful and causes an accident, they will be considered liable. In this case, the responsible party for compensating you may be a third party even if the truck driver directly hit your car. If you feel like you may have a third-party claim after an auto accident in Lafayette, our lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and options. Reach out to us to learn more.
What Compensation Can You Get in a Truck Accident Claim?
Victims of truck accidents may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including economic and non-economic damages. This form of redress covers both physical and psychological pain, as well as property losses. In particular, it includes:
- Cost of medical care
- Loss of income
- Vehicle repair
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Wrongful death claims allow the survivors to receive funeral burial expenses. If there is no success with an insurance claim, a personal injury lawsuit may provide punitive damages – when it can be proved that the negligence was so serious that a punishment should be imposed.