When you’ve been involved in a truck collision, you likely face serious injuries and confusion. Don’t postpone getting help from a reputable Lake Charles truck accident attorney who can assist you with seeking fair monetary damages.
Being aware of the risks of traveling via truck is crucial, as they are among st the most hazardous vehicles on freeways. For more information on semi-truck accident issues and services rendered by a Lake Charles truck accident attorney, do your research and educate yourself.
Trucks are a common sighting on Lake Charles roads and they are an indispensable part of the local economy. They transport not only products within Louisiana but also across the nation, helping to move necessary household items and food. Even though trucks serve many purposes, their presence on the road is far from safe. Their size and weight make them a hazard to other motorists, making them a potential cause of severe accidents.
Unfortunately, collisions between trucks and other vehicles in Louisiana are not uncommon, causing irreversible damage to the involved parties. That is why Louisiana has implemented a fault-based compensation system for such cases to help accident victims receive financial assistance for their injuries. Navigating the waters of financial compensation after a truck accident can be tricky, as there may be multiple people or organizations held responsible for the incident.
Securing the help of an attorney is crucial if you are looking to get compensation for truck accident claims. With more than 20 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Wright & Gray are in a perfect position to help you get the justice you deserve. Get in touch with us now!
We understand how overwhelming it can be when faced with serious damages, that’s why we are here to support you and guide you through the process of obtaining compensation. We stand ready to fight for your rights and help you get the justice you deserve.
What Are the Leading Causes of Truck Accidents?
Large trucks, as classified by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, are motorized vehicles with a gross weight of over 10,000 pounds. This includes semi-trucks, 18-wheeler tractor-trailers but excludes buses and recreational vehicles. As per Injury Facts’ report for 2019, 5,005 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents in the U.S alone. The rate of collisions involving large trucks has increased by 2% since 2018 and 43% since 2010. Similarly, the number of collisions per 100 million large-truck miles traveled is up 5% from 2018 and 37% from 2010.
Here is a summarized report based on truck accidents in the US in 2010 – Large Trucks accounted for:
- 10% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes
- 4% of all registered vehicles
- 7% of total vehicle miles traveled
These figures demonstrate how commonplace commercial truck accidents are. What prompts these crashes then? Investigating this could be the key to preventing them.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Truckers often rely on drugs to remain awake for long hours on the road, but this approach comes with a risk. These drugs could impair their cognitive functioning and potentially cause an accident.Driving a truck under the influence of alcohol can lead to disastrous accidents. In Lake Charles, it is illegal for commercial truck drivers to have a BAC level greater than 0.04%. A driver who does this is liable to face criminal charges.
Speeding is one of the leading causes of truck accidents, just like cars and motorcycles. In a heavy vehicle up to 80,000 pounds or more, this can be fatal if an accident occurs at high speed. It’s essential to take extra care when driving these huge vehicles so that everyone stays safe on the roads. It is therefore essential for truck drivers to keep to the speed limit signposted on the interstate highway they are navigating.
Owing to heavy workload, truck drivers are quite often exhausted, especially if they are going beyond FMCSA’s limits. When tired and fatigued, it is more likely for them to be involved in fatal accidents. To ensure the safety of all road users, truckers need to get ample sleep, strictly follow the legal driving hours, and always be alert when driving. Drowsy driving is never tolerated.
Distractions can prove to be extremely dangerous on the roads, particularly when trucks are involved. In 2018, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that over 2,800 fatalities 400,000 injuries were a result of distracted driving. Distraction while driving comes in three forms – cognitive, visual, and manual. It is essential for truckers to stay focused attentive when behind the wheel and look ahead. It is essential to be observant and mindful of potential risks on the road for optimal safety.
Other possible causes of truck collisions include:
- Reckless driving
- Blind spots
- Inadequate training
- Poor truck maintenance
- Wheel blowout
- Different Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can take many forms, some of the most common ones include rollovers, jackknifing and side collisions.
- Head-on Collisions: Head-on collisions often happen when a truck is driving in the wrong direction and hits another vehicle. Sadly, these crashes can be fatal or cause serious injuries to anyone involved.
- Rear-End Collisions: Rear-end collisions involving trucks are often fatal. This type of accident can happen when a truck strikes another vehicle from the back, or vice versa in cases of smaller vehicles tailgating larger ones. Such collisions can be extremely dangerous.
- Under ride Accidents: Semi-truck collisions can be particularly dangerous, especially when an approaching vehicle is unable to stop in time and ends up stuck under the truck’s trailer.
- Rollover Accidents: When a truck driver loses control of their vehicle, it can lead to a tractor-trailer rollover. This type of crash causes accidents and spills goods in the surrounding area.
Connect with a Lake Charles Truck Accident Attorney
Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to handle any truck accident cases. We use our resources and expertise to thoroughly investigate your injury claim so that you can get results. Let us fight for your case and ensure justice is served.
What Are the Common Injuries in Truck Accidents?
Victims of truck accidents may be subjected to any of the following injuries:
Back and Neck Injuries
Auto accidents can result in varying types of injuries, ranging from whiplash or bruises to severe injuries like dislocated discs in the spine. However, it is important to remember that back injuries and spinal cord injuries are different. Injuries affecting the neck and back can be so severe that they prevent a person from returning to their job or normal activities.
Truck accidents often result in broken bones due to the nature of the impact. Depending on the intensity of the crash, victims could suffer from extensive fractures, including those associated with under ride collisions which can lead to their bones being crushed.
Head injuries can cause long-term problems and significantly reduce a person’s quality of life. Traumatic brain injuries occur when the head is impacted hard enough to penetrate the skull and affect the brain. It is important to get medical attention right away in case of an automobile accident, as some head injuries may remain undetected at first glance.
After a collision, it is necessary to make sure you do not suffer from any internal injuries. Blunt force trauma can lead to harm in vital organs like your liver, bladder, kidney, pancreas and spleen. As the signs of such an injury are not always immediate, it is essential to visit a doctor regardless of how you feel immediately after an accident.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis
Spinal cord injuries can be particularly severe, sometimes leading to paralysis. To reduce the risks of lasting damage, it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible after an auto collision. Make sure to get MRI tests and X-rays done for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Other common truck accident injuries are lacerations, seat belt injuries, rib and torso injuries, and wrongful death. When a fatal accident occurs, the deceased’s victim’s legal beneficiaries file a wrongful death action to demand compensation. However, the decedent must have had a valid claim before they died for the wrongful death claim to stand.
What Should You Do After a Commercial Trucking Accident?
Following an accident involving a truck, certain steps taken immediately afterwards can have a huge impact on the outcome of your claim. To make sure you stand the best chance at receiving maximum compensation, take the following steps:
- If you are involved in an accident, it is important to stay at the scene and file a report with the relevant authorities. Doing so can help ensure that any damages or losses you experience due to the accident will be taken into consideration.
- Taking the necessary steps to get medical attention is essential after an accident. Even if you think you may be totally fine, it is critical that you get checked out by a healthcare professional. Your medical history will be a highly valuable piece of evidence for your personal injury case.
- It is essential to identify any other parties involved in the incident and exchange relevant information with them. Some of this information can include their contact details, insurer’s name, policy number, registration number and driver’s license. This will be helpful for filing a claim or getting the appropriate assistance.
- Gather all available witness accounts and their contact information, as they may need to be called upon in the insurance claims process or when initiating a personal injury lawsuit. Their testimonies can create clarity over the scenario and aid you in achieving a successful case outcome.
- Make sure you document the accident properly, by clicking pictures of the accident scene and any damaged vehicle parts. It’s also a good idea to check if there is any traffic CCTV footage of the crash available, which can help with further evaluation.
- If you have been injured in an accident, it is important to consult a personal injury lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected and you get the compensation you deserve. A personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate your case and provide legal advice and representation.
Who Can You Sue for a Truck Accident in Lake Charles?
Negligent driving is a leading factor in trucking incidents, but not always the only one. Sometimes other parties may be held responsible for these types of accidents. The following categories often fall under this accountability:
- The Truck Driver: In cases where truckers fail to maintain their duty of care, resulting in an accident, they must bear financial responsibility for any losses or damages caused to the victim.
- The Trucking Company: Under vicarious liability, trucking employers can be held responsible for the negligent actions of their drivers. This is particularly true when companies are aware that a driver has a history of being reckless or driving under the influence.
- Cargo Loaders: When cargo that has not been loaded correctly on a truck is the cause for an accident, it is the responsibility of the loader to reimburse any recoverable losses to the victim.
- Truck Manufacturer: If a crash resulted from a defective part, then the truck manufacturer would be held accountable for it.
- Third-Parties: If another road user breaches their duty of care and causes a collision, they will be held responsible. Regardless of whether the truck driver was directly involved in the incident, it is usually the third party who compensates you for losses incurred. If you were involved in an auto accident near Lake Charles and are looking at filing a third-party claim, our local auto accident lawyers can provide more information.
What Compensation Can You Get in a Truck Accident Claim?
Victims of truck accidents may be eligible for economic and non-economic compensation for their injuries, physical pain, emotional pain, and property damage. This payout covers the cost of medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs and more. In addition to these financial liabilities, it also compensates victims for anguish endured.
- Cost of medical care
- Loss of income
- Vehicle repair
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Out-of-pocket expenses
When pursuing a wrongful death claim, funeral and burial expenses of the victim would be covered. In case of no insurance coverage, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed, and victims may receive punitive damages if it is found that the incident was due to gross negligence.