Skilled Lawyers Handling Semi-Truck, 18-Wheeler & Commercial Vehicle Collision Claims
Louisiana plays a prominent role in the trucking and oil/gas industries, which means there are numerous large trucks and commercial vehicles on our highways and roads. Sadly, the high number of semi-trucks, tanker trucks, big rigs, and 18-wheelers on our state’s highways has led to thousands of devastating truck accidents across Louisiana. These accidents are typically even more catastrophic than standard car crashes, leaving victims facing enormous medical bills and ongoing rehabilitation costs.
If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident in Louisiana, turn to the team at Jones & Hill. For over 35 years, our firm has been fighting on behalf of injured individuals and the families of those killed in commercial vehicle accidents in Lake Charles, Alexandria, Oakdale, Oberlin, and all of the surrounding areas. Our Louisiana truck accident attorneys are ready to fight for you and the justice you deserve.
For compassionate, personalized legal representation and aggressive advocacy, call Jones & Hill at 1-888-481-1333 today and request a free initial consultation today.
Louisiana Truck Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, Louisiana is home to numerous large truck and bus accidents every year. Many of these collisions result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities due, in large part, to the sheer size and weight of these massive commercial vehicles.
According to data compiled by the Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation Safety (CARTS):
- There were 2,514 large trucks and buses involved in traffic accidents in 2020
- Of these accidents 89 resulted in fatalities and 2,425 led to bodily injury
- The number of large trucks and buses involved in both fatal and injury-causing accidents dropped from 2019 and over the past five years
Although large truck and bus accidents are on the decline in Louisiana, the high number of injuries and fatalities seen every year in accidents with massive commercial vehicles is cause for alarm. At Jones & Hill, we believe that no one should have to suffer because a truck driver or trucking company was negligent. Unfortunately, we realize that this does happen, and when it does, our Louisiana truck accidents are ready to be the advocates victims need.
Who Is Liable for Truck Accidents?
Because Louisiana is an at-fault state when it comes to motor vehicle accident claims, you must typically prove that another person or party was to blame for the accident that caused your injuries to recover compensation. In most standard car accident claims, legally responsibility lays with the person who caused the accident, but in truck accidents, the issue of liability is more complex.
Even when a truck driver actually causes a crash, he or she may not be solely liable. If the truck driver is an employee of a trucking company, the trucking company may be legally responsible for your resulting damages. In some cases, another third party—such as the manufacturer of a defective truck or truck part, the entity responsible for loading cargo, or the party that conducted (or failed to conduct) truck maintenance—could be partially or wholly liable.
Determining who is liable for your truck accident requires an exhaustive investigation and in-depth analysis of the contributing factors that may have led to the accident. At Jones & Hill, we look at all available evidence when building our clients’ claims.
This evidence may include but is not limited to:
- The official police report of the accident
- Post-accident blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests, such as breathalyzer results
- The truck’s black box recorder and/or onboard cameras
- Cell phone records and call logs
- Hours-of-service and break period logs
- The trucker’s driving history, including past DUI/OWI arrests (if any)
- Background checks (if any) conducted by the trucking company on new drivers
- The trucking company’s hiring, training, and supervising practices, and policies
- Witness testimony
- Footage from nearby security cameras
Our attorneys, along with a team of experts, gather this evidence to establish liability and build powerful cases for our clients. In every instance, our goal is to maximize your recovery and help you secure every penny you deserve for your economic losses and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
How Long Do You Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Louisiana?
The immediate aftermath of a truck accident is often a blur, as emergency personnel race to help the injured victims. The next few days are also often fraught with hospital visits and ongoing medical care. However, it is important that you consider your options as soon as possible after the truck accident occurs.
In Louisiana, you only have one year after the accident to file your truck accident claim. This one-year statute of limitations applies regardless of the severity of your injuries or the complexity of your case, and if you fail to bring a lawsuit in time, you will almost certainly lose your right to recover compensation.
It is important to note that this time limit is much tighter for insurance claims. In most cases, you only have a few days to a few weeks to file an insurance claim after a truck accident to be eligible for coverage. For this reason, it is critical you get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible to guard your interests and ensure your compliance with all applicable deadlines.
Why You Shouldn’t Accept the Insurance Company’s First Offer
You should be aware that insurance companies will often attempt to coerce a settlement during this time. Insurance companies are businesses, and they often prey on injured victims. The trucking company’s insurance adjusters may attempt to contact you in the hours or days following the crash and will likely offer a settlement. While this settlement may seem like an attractive option—after all, you need to pay your medical bills, and you probably want to resolve your case as quickly and painlessly as possible—we strongly recommend that you do not accept the insurance company’s settlement offer. In fact, we encourage you to refrain from speaking to any adjusters from the trucking company’s insurance provider whatsoever, as you could accidentally say something that could ultimately jeopardize your recovery.
Louisiana requires all drivers to be insured up to $20,000 in case of extreme injuries. However, truck accidents can cause damages well in excess of $20,000 once you consider ongoing medical care, treatments, and potential lost wages. Injured victims who are forced to spend months recovering may not be able to return to work. Therefore, it is important to always consider the full economic impact of the accident. Insurance companies will often only address the immediate medical expenses and offer a stipend for good faith. Our attorneys can help you fight for maximum compensation for both your current and future damages, helping ensure that you are able to handle ongoing expenses, get the proper medical care you need, and, most importantly, heal.
What Damages Are Available in Truck Accident Claims?
Victims of truck accidents often suffer severe, life-altering injuries, ranging from traumatic brain injuries to spinal cord injuries. In the most tragic of cases, victims succumb to their injuries and pass away. At Jones & Hill, we know that no amount of financial compensation can undo the suffering you have experienced or bring your loved one back. However, we have seen firsthand how a fair recovery can help victims of these devastating accidents get back on their feet and secure the financial resources they need to move forward with their lives.
After a truck accident leaves you injured or struggling with the loss of a family member, you could be entitled to compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost income or inheritance
- Future earnings
- Future medical care costs
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral/burial expenses
- Loss of love, companionship, support, and guidance
Our firm will handle all aspects of a personal injury claim after a devastating truck accident, including a careful examination of the police report, eyewitness accounts, and consultation with trucking industry experts.
Claims involving truck drivers will also often involve the trucking company since the driver is often on company time during the accident. Trucking companies now offer unique technology which is often embedded within the truck itself and monitor the trucker’s speed, brakes, and route (among other things). This type of data can assist in establishing liability in a personal injury claim.