Lake Charles Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck accidents can cause serious injuries or death. Trucks weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, while the average passenger car is much smaller. The impact of a truck crash can cause spinal cord damage, brain injury and other major damage and a truck collision can change your life forever. You may be able to obtain compensation for your losses after a crash, and an attorney who specializes in truck accident cases can help.
Our Lake Charles truck accident law firm has a strong reputation for representing clients in cases involving all types of commercial truck accidents. We provide free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis which means we don’t get paid unless money is recovered. Our truck accident lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for our clients who have been hurt in trucking accidents. See our case results and hear what our clients have to say. Contact us today to learn how we can put decades of collective legal experience to work on your case.
Steve Broussard, partner at Broussard & Hart, L.L.C., talks about the difference between trucking accidents and a typical motor vehicle accident.
Your Rights After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or for the wrongful death of a family member. The circumstances of your case dictate who you can make a claim against. You may be able to file a lawsuit against:
- A negligent or careless truck driver
- A trucking company
- A truck manufacturer
- A mechanic responsible for truck maintenance
A federal agency called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires trucking companies have a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance coverage. A trucking company responsible for transporting hazardous material must have between $1 million and $5 million in insurance. It often makes sense to sue the company that employs the driver because the company will have more insurance coverage. Our truck accident lawyers will help you identify defendants to take legal action against.
While you may need to go to court to obtain compensation, this is usually not the case. You can often negotiate a settlement with the trucking company or driver who hurt you. There is no guarantee that you will recover compensation in any truck accident claim, but an experienced truck accident law firm can vigorously represent you with the insurance company and work towards getting you a fair settlement offer.
Investigating a Truck Accident Injury Case
Although trucking accidents are fairly common, they do present some unique challenges for the personal injury law firm investigating the case. The trucking industry is covered by its own set of laws and regulations. A personal injury law firm and its investigators must be aware of these laws, and of the ways that truckers and trucking companies try to get around the law or cover up their activities after there has been a truck crash. The truck accident lawyers at Broussard & Hart, L.L.C., in Lake Charles, Louisiana, have a demonstrated track record of helping injured people achieve financial awards after trucking accidents. We have recovered more than $80 million dollars for injured clients and families who have lost a loved one.
Causes of Trucking Accidents
We see a number of different types of accidents occurring with big rigs or tractor-trailers. Each type of accident will have different causes and contributing factors. We work with experienced accident investigators to help us determine all of the factors that led up to the tragic truck collision.
Truck Driver Problems: Driver fatigue, driver drug or alcohol use, lack of proper training or lack of training altogether, no driver’s license or fake driver’s license. It’s particularly important to thoroughly review the driver’s log as soon as possible after an accident. Driver’s logs can be falsified.
Truck Loading Problems: If cargo is not loaded properly it can shift within the trailer, throwing the load off and causing the truck to jackknife. Cargo can also come lose from on top of a flatbed and fly off, striking motorists behind the truck. If a truck is overweight, it puts an extra load on the brakes that could contribute to brake failure.
Truck Maintenance Problems: Was the truck properly maintained on an established schedule? Were the brakes, tires, gears and steering in good working order?
Truck Operation Problems: Did the driver have a history of driving recklessly, over the speed limit, or aggressively? If the truck was on the side of the road, did it have proper lighting and markers? Did the trucker leave enough room in front and behind him for other cars? These can all contribute to tragic truck override and under ride accidents.
Aggressively Investigating Your Case
We are thorough in investigating your case and aggressive in representing your interests, in negotiations or in court. The sooner you contact our Lake Charles law office, the sooner we can begin our investigation. (Evidence can disappear or be altered, so it’s advisable to work with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.)
Who May Sue for Death or Injury from a Trucking Accident?
If you were injured in a trucking accident, or you are the surviving loved one of someone who was fatally injured in one, you need to know who may sue for death or injury from a trucking accident in the State of Louisiana. In the United States, we continue to rely heavily on tractor-trailers to move goods and supplies across the country. In fact, about 70 percent of all freight transported annually in the U.S. is done via tractor-trailers. With over 5 million semi-trucks registered throughout the U.S., it is no surprise that the roadways are full of 18 wheelers at any given time of the day or night. Though most truck drivers are respectful of both other motorists and traffic laws, it only takes a split second mistake or lapse in judgment for one of these giants of the roadway to cause a serious, even fatal, collision.
As a victim of a trucking accident, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury lawsuit if the truck involved in the collision caused, or contributed to, the crash. Because Louisiana uses the doctrine of comparative negligence, the truck driver does not have to be entirely at fault for you to potentially be entitled to compensation for your injuries. If you lost a loved one as a result of a fatal trucking accident you may also be entitled to file as a claimant in a wrongful death lawsuit. Only certain people, however, are entitled to pursue a wrongful death action in the State of Louisiana.
Survivors entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit, in order of priority, include:
- The surviving spouse or children of the decedent.
- The surviving siblings of the deceased person if there are no surviving parents.
- The surviving grandparents of the decedent if there are no surviving siblings.
The amount and type of damages that may be available to you will depend on a number of factors, starting with whether you are filing a personal injury lawsuit as a victim or a wrongful death lawsuit as a survivor. In either case, you may be entitled to a significant amount in damages if your injuries were severe or you lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Getting Compensation after a Trucking Accident
If you successfully settle or sue after a truck accident, you should receive damages for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death losses including lost companionship
You need to prove the defendant was responsible for harming you to be compensated. Proving your case may involve retaining experts like accident reconstruction specialists. Your attorney can also help you to interview witnesses, review driver logs and put together a good case.
If the truck driver or trucking company broke the law or did not follow federal regulations, making your claim may be easier. If you can show that a failure to follow safety rules caused your crash, this creates the presumption that the defendant is to blame. Semi-truck accident cases can be more complicated than car accident claims because of the special laws that apply to truck drivers. You need a Louisiana accident lawyer with experience representing clients in truck accident claims. Call us today to learn how Broussard & Hart can help you with your case.
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Our attorneys will review your case and represent you throughout your trucking accident claim. Contact Broussard & Hart L.L.C. today for help pursuing a trucking accident settlement. Your first consultation is free and we won’t charge fees unless money is recovered.
Learn More about Trucking Accident Lawsuits
Who May Sue for Death or Injury from a Trucking Accident?
Who May Be Sued In a Trucking Accident?
Are Trucks Required by Law to Carry Insurance?
What is the Deadline for Filing a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Case in Louisiana?
How Do I Negotiate With a Trucking Company After An Accident?