74% percent of all big rig accidents involve a collision with another vehicle. In addition, when it comes to fatal truck accidents, in 97% of cases the casualties are the occupants of a smaller vehicle. There are more trucks on the road than ever before, and accidents are bound to happen.
Knowing what to do after a truck accident can mean the difference between suffering long-term financial loss or receiving compensation for your injuries. Keep reading to learn why you need a truck accident lawyer and what to expect during a truck accident lawsuit.
Types of Truck Accidents
Avoiding a semi-truck collision requires knowing what causes most accidents. Common truck accidents include:
- Jackknife: braking hard causes the trailer to skid at a 90-degree angle to the tractor
- Rear-end collision: vehicles cut in front of the semi then hit the brakes, not allowing for the extra stopping distance a semi requires
- Rollover: a truck brakes or swerves suddenly to avoid colliding with a vehicle
- T-bone collision: due to motorists violating traffic signals, texting while driving, and other driver distractions
- Underride accident: Small vehicle collides with a semi-trailer and is forced under the trailer
- Wide turn collision: a vehicle tries to cut the corner on the inside of a semi-truck making a wide turn
Semi drivers may be at fault due to distracted driving, weather conditions, or fatigue. Vehicle operators often underestimate the space a semi needs, causing collisions.
Cutting in front of a large truck, slamming on the brakes, failing to maintain a safe distance, and riding in a truck’s blind spot can result in a catastrophic accident. If you can’t see the truck driver in their side view mirror, they can’t see you beside them.
If you suffer injuries during a collision, contact a personal injury attorney about filing a truck accident lawsuit in Louisiana.
Lake Charles Truck Accident Lawsuit Process
Your attorney will work to negotiate a settlement with the truck driver’s insurance company. Your lawyer will file a lawsuit if they cannot settle. This must be done before the one-year statute of limitations expires, pursuant to Civ. Code §3492.
While negotiating with the insurance company or truck driver’s attorney, your lawyer will gather information for filing a lawsuit. This includes copies of the accident report, talking with witnesses, and copies of your medical records. The extent of your injuries and your long-term medical prognosis impacts the amount of your settlement.
If they cannot settle, your truck accident attorney will file a complaint against the truck driver for negligence. To prove a claim of negligence, the lawyer must show the four elements of the claim:
- That the driver had a duty to drive in a careful, prudent manner
- That the driver breached that duty when their driving caused the accident
- That the accident is the direct and proximate cause of your injuries
- That as a result of the driver’s breach of duty, you are suffering damages
Once the lawsuit is on file, it is served upon the defendant. The parties then undergo a period of discovery. This means an exchange of evidence supporting their positions in the case.
During the discovery period, there may be hearings before the court to advise the judge on the case status. There may be motions, depositions, settlement conferences, and mediation. The matter proceeds to trial if the parties cannot settle.
Finding a Truck Accident Lawsuit Attorney
Following a semi-truck collision, you likely suffer severe injuries and a lengthy medical recovery. Call Wright Gray Trial Lawyers as quickly as possible. We will file a truck accident lawsuit, so you get the compensation you deserve.
Call 888-912-4944 to schedule a free consultation. You may also use our online form and, while there, download our free How to Maximize the Value of Your Personal Injury Case guide.