18 Wheeler Accident Attorney in Baton Rouge
Truck accidents are incredibly life-threatening and often fatal. Even if a truck driver didn’t intentionally cause an accident, they are still held responsible for the vast amount of damages they may have caused. Truck drivers are expected to be safe drivers and are held to a higher standard because they are driving for a trucking company, and are required to be drug-free, take scheduled breaks, and drive under the speed limit. Despite this, they sometimes get into terrible accidents that can cost many lives. If you believe you are not at fault for your truck accident, you can work with personal injury lawyers in Baton Rouge, LA for help. They can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for truck-related accidents. Call Murray Law now for a free consultation.
Common Ways Accidents Occur
Truck accidents can happen for many reasons, ranging from poor driving habits to bad weather.
Drowsy Truck Drivers
According to the FMCSA, truck drivers must take frequent breaks to help reduce the amount of fatigue they experience while transporting goods. In Louisiana, truck drivers are required to take a 30-minute break after the first 8 hours of their shift. They are also not allowed to drive over 11 hours after ten consecutive hours while off-duty. In addition to this, 18-wheeler drivers can’t drive after being on duty for 14 hours. This remains true until they take ten consecutive off-duty hours. Drivers who don’t get enough sleep are prone to causing truck accidents because they are too tired to focus on what is happening on the road around them.
Poorly Maintained Vehicles
Truck drivers are required to have regular vehicle inspections. However, sometimes the truck inspectors don’t catch all the errors that happen after reviewing a vehicle. In some cases, the truck is sent to a mechanic, and the engineer causes an error. When there is a manufacturing issue or malfunctioning equipment, the company responsible may be held liable instead of the truck driving company.
Not Following the Speed Limit
In Louisiana, trucks have to drive at a speed limit of 75 mph on rural interstate roads. This goes down to 70 on urban interstate and limited access roads. Trucks that speed are putting themself at risk of a crash because they take twice as long to slow down compared to a car. This is because trucks weigh thousands of pounds, and the force of the weight makes it difficult for truck drivers to slow down unless they are given ample room and time.
Breaking Traffic Laws
Truck drivers can break the rules by driving in lanes that bar truck drivers, making improper lane changes, and not correctly yielding. There are additional traffic infractions caused by careless truck drivers that can be used to prove that the trucker is at fault for your injuries.
When it is raining badly, there is heavy fog or the road is covered with ice, the truck driver may cause an accident because of these weather hazards. Slippery and wet conditions make it even more difficult for the truck driver to slow down. The truck driver of a big rig, for example, may have stepped on the brake, but the truck is still spinning out of control.
Intoxicated Truck Drivers
Trucking companies typically test truck drivers for the presence of drugs to make sure they are driving clean. However, some truck drivers break the rules and abuse drugs or other substances while transporting goods. Alcohol usage or drug abuse can be the reasons why a truck driver crashed.
How Do You Know You’re Not At Fault?
If you were following the rules of the road, not speeding, and driving carefully, likely, you are not at fault for your truck accident. When the truck driver makes a fatal error that causes an accident, they are at fault for your crash. This is whether or not you know what that error was, though your lawyer should be able to identify how the truck accident was caused. Even if you are partially at fault, you can still be owed a settlement. In Louisiana, even if you are 99% at fault for your accident, you can still receive compensation for the remaining 1% you are not at fault for. You can recruit an attorney to help you calculate how much you are at fault for if you are confused about your recent accident.
What Can You Claim On Your Settlement?
Your settlement can include items such as economic and non-economic damages. Your truck accident attorney will help you estimate how much your damages are worth. The economic damages are based upon your medical bills, property damage, and lost wages for the present and future. Your non-economic damages are based upon the type of pain and suffering you endured. You can speak with your truck accident attorney to explore what this may be worth. More minor injuries will result in a lower settlement, while more severe injuries will allow you to claim a higher settlement amount.
How Long Until Your Settlement Can’t Be Claimed Anymore?
In Louisiana, you have exactly one year from the time of the accident up until the personal injury can no longer be claimed. This means that you must take action within the one-year limit before your rights to claim a settlement for your personal injury will expire.
How Do Lawyers Help?
Your truck accident lawyer is great at providing proof, representing you, and obtaining fair compensation.
Your truck accident lawyer will communicate on your behalf. They will reach out to other involved parties to help them come to terms with your settlement agreement. Because you will be busy recovering from your injuries, your attorney will be speaking to the other driver, their insurance company, witnesses, and third-party companies that may be a part of the investigation. The negotiation can take weeks or months before you receive a settlement, but your lawyer will continue to contact the other party until they agree to compensate you for your damages.
Personal injury lawyers will immediately review your case to see who is at fault and launch an investigation if they believe the evidence will prove you’re not at fault. They request video footage and police reports and will also perform other strategies that are proven methods of revealing who is at fault. Lawyers are intelligent investigators who know what it takes to obtain verifiable proof that shows who is responsible for the truck accident.
Truck accident lawyers are looking out for you and will represent you to other parties in a professional way. You can worry about healing your wounds while they contact any involved parties. If you have to file a lawsuit, your lawyer will represent you before the judge and jury and explain your side of the story to them. Professional representation is essential and helps other parties to take you seriously and not ignore your right to receive proper compensation for your damages.
What Can I Do to Get Started on My Truck Accident Settlement Claim
Once you’ve been in an accident, you can begin seeking the knowledge of a lawyer who can direct you on how to get started. They will provide excellent advice to help you navigate around common errors that most settlement claimants make. You can also let your attorney handle most of the work so that you can focus on getting better. Personal injury damages are painful and can be a significant distraction from your normal way of living. You may be struggling with financial damages in addition to emotional ones. Your attorney will support and direct you on what you should do after a truck accident, such as seeking medical treatments, taking pictures of your personal injuries, and getting a letter from your boss. Any evidence you collect will help your attorney prove your case. You should also only work with a lawyer with experience with truck accident settlements to be reliable in helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. You can call Murray Law today for a free consultation.