18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers
18-wheeler accidents on U.S. highways cause over 5,000 deaths and 115,000 injuries every year. A commercial tractor trailer can weigh up to 70 tons—as a result, a collision between a passenger car and a semi-truck is likely to result in serious injury or death for occupants of the smaller vehicle. At Broussard & Hart, L.L.C., our lawyers work to get just compensation for victims and their families.
18-Wheeler Accident Injury Claims
Injury claims resulting from 18-wheeler accidents present unique challenges. If an accident investigator does not get to the scene quickly, important evidence may disappear. An injured person is likely to suffer brain injury or spinal cord damage, resulting in permanent brain damage, paralysis, or chronic pain, and requiring a lifetime of medical care. Several insurance policies may cover the victim’s injuries, but they must first be identified.
We are prepared to meet those challenges. When assisting a client injured in a commercial truck wreck, our attorneys work with accident reconstructionists and experts on state and federal trucking regulations to identify the causes leading to an 18-wheeler accident, find insurance policies liable for our client’s injury, and work with medical, economic, and life care experts to establish the full extent of our client’s losses.
Causes of 18-wheeler accidents
Commercial truck drivers are usually paid for miles driven, and are not encouraged to get the rest required by law. Studies have shown that fatigued drivers are a leading cause of trucking accidents. In addition to driver fatigue, unsecured loads, poor driver training, and improper maintenance also lead to crashes, including underride accidents, collisions caused by brake failure, and jackknife accidents.
Our lawyers know what to look for and which experts to call on when determining the cause of an 18-wheeler accident. The attorneys have detailed knowledge of Louisiana and federal commercial trucking regulations that apply to the transportation industry, and have successfully handled many big rig accident claims.
Defensive Driving Tips Near 18-Wheeler Trucks
As personal injury attorneys we see the devastation that families have to face after losing loved ones or suffering catastrophic injuries as a result of tractor trailer accidents. When a big rig weighing 70 tons collides with a passenger vehicle, occupants of the smaller vehicle have little chance of avoiding serious injuries. We have identified some defensive driving measures, however that all drivers should take to avoid an accident.
- Avoid driving in the truck’s blind spots. Pass trucks quickly or drop back, but do not linger alongside a truck. There are blind spots on both sides of large trucks where your car may “disappear” from view and the trucker will not be able to see you. If possible, pass trucks on the left rather than the right, where the blind spot is smaller. A truck’s blind spot on the right is much larger than the blind spot on the left. Remember that many trucks also have blind spots on the right, just forward of the truck’s front and directly in front of the truck. These forward blind spots hold especially true if your car has a low profile.
- Don’t follow too close to a tractor trailer. If you are following a semi truck, leave ample following distance in front of you. The truck driver has a blind spot behind the trailer. As a rule, if you can’t see the driver’s side view mirrors, the driver can’t see you.
- Don’t be intimidated if a truck driver is tailgating. The law requires a tractor trailer to allow 400 feet between the truck and the vehicle it is following. That rarely happens, and as a result trucks run over cars or force them off the road. If a tractor trailer is following close behind you, slow down. By increasing the distance between you and the car in front of you, you are creating a buffer in the event any vehicle stops suddenly, has a blowout, or goes out of control.
- Use caution on entrance ramps. A 70 ton truck cannot stop or slow down quickly. When entering a roadway, be sure to allow plenty of space for an approaching commercial truck.
- Use extra caution at night and in poor weather. When visibility is poor, all drivers on the road should use extra caution, slow down, and increase alertness. To ensure your vehicle can be seen check your head lights and tail lights, and see that your windows and the lights are clean and clear.
- Regular vehicle maintenance: That is for your car, not the truck—if you need to swerve or stop suddenly to avoid an accident you need to know that your brakes won’t fail, your tires are properly inflated, and your seatbelts and airbags will perform properly.
- Report dangerous truck driver behavior. If you observe a commercial truck exceeding the speed limit, driving erratically, driving without proper equipment, or driving aggressively, and if it is safe to do so, note the registration numbers on the vehicle. A phone call or letter detailing the time, place, and behavior may prevent a future accident.
If, unfortunately, someone you know has been injured in an accident, or you have another question for one of our attorneys, please call 337-439-2450 (Toll Free: 866-281-4774) or e-mail our office to arrange a free and confidential consultation. We will respond quickly to your inquiry.
24 Hour Response
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?