Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck Accident Lawyer Baton Rouge, LA
Reasons Why the Aftermath of Truck Accidents Tends to Be Very Complex
One of the primary reasons why it is so important to connect with an experienced Baton Rogue, LA truck accident lawyer as soon as you can after an injurious crash is that the legal and financial aftermath of collisions involving large commercial trucks tends to be very complicated. This is not a situation wherein you’ll want to save a few pennies initially by embracing a “DIY” approach. Failing to seek legal guidance immediately can cost you a great deal of time, money, and energy down the road due simply to how complex your case is likely to be.
When you meet with the reputable legal team at Cashio Injury Attorneys, LLC, we will seek to better understand the nuances of your case. In personal injury matters, cases often turn on the smallest details, so we will leave no stone unturned when researching the cause(s) of your crash, determining fault, and otherwise building your case up to be the strongest it can be under the circumstances.
As you prepare for your risk-free consultation session, take a moment to familiarize yourself with some of the most common reasons why truck cases tend to be so complicated. That way, you’ll be better prepared for what lies ahead.
One: Truck Machinery Is Complex
As our Baton Rogue truck accident lawyer team can attest, a thorough investigation of truck collisions involves not only dissecting the circumstances of the crash but the machinery involved as well. If defects in that machinery played a role in your crash, we’ll need to know. And that understanding can only be gained from thoroughly investigating the actual truck involved.
Two: Multiple Parties Are Usually Involved
You likely won’t just be trying to hold the driver that hit you accountable. You’ll also likely need to seek compensation from the trucking company that employed them and potentially a host of other parties as well, from freight loaders to parts manufacturers.
Three: Road Conditions Tend to Play a Role
Truck operators are not able to respond to road hazards as quickly as passenger drivers, simply because their vehicles are so large. If ill-maintained roads contributed to the cause(s) of your crash, you may need to sue the government agency responsible for maintenance of the road in question.
Four: The Insurance Situation Is Almost Always Layered
Your insurance company. The trucker’s personal insurance company. The insurance provider for the trucking company that employs the trucker. And on. And on. And on.
Five: The Legal Teams Employed by Trucking Companies Are Aggressive
When you’re navigating the aftermath of a crash, you need truly experienced and capable representation. The Baton Rogue truck accident lawyer team at Cashio Injury Attorneys, LLC understands how trucking companies will go to great lengths to limit their liability in a crash scenario. When their legal teams think that they can get away with tying up litigation and making it unnecessarily complicated to dissuade victims from seeking rightful compensation, they will. Thankfully, we know how to respond to such tactics.
REASONS WHY THE AFTERMATH OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS TENDS TO BE VERY COMPLEX
Why Do Trucking Accidents Occur?
A truck accident lawyer Baton Rouge, LA residents depend on from Cashio Injury Attorneys knows that there are many factors that can contribute to a truck accident happening. These types of collisions tend to be more dangerous compared to other auto accidents. Trucking companies and their drivers are expected to abide by state and federal regulations so that the commercial deliveries are safer for all involved. However, serious truck accidents still occur every day across the nation. Some factors that can contribute to truck accidents include texting, distracted driving, speeding, and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But aside from the truck driver themselves, there could be other reasons that these collisions happen.
Truck Size and Weight
Most semi-trucks weigh around 20,000 when not loaded, and upwards of 80,000 pounds when fully stocked. By comparison, consider the average passenger vehicle and how it weighs only 4,000 pounds. This vast difference in weight and size causes more impact with more force behind it than most other vehicles. The trucking company may be responsible for a crash if they breached the weight, height, and length requirements as described within federal trucking regulations. A truck that has exceeded its maximum capacity is more likely to cause an accident, and more likely to inflict severe damage.
Commercial trucks need more time to arrive at a complete stop compared to passenger cars. Truck drivers must provide enough space between them and whatever stop is up ahead, whether that be a street light, backed up traffic, or something else. As a Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer from Cashio Injury Attorneys may explain, the truck driver may become liable for a victim’s injuries, property damage, and other losses, if they failed to maintain a safe distance to stop when road conditions warranted doing so.
Cargo that doesn’t get properly secured onto the truck may shift unexpectedly during motion. Shifting cargo may make it harder for the trucker to remain in control of the vehicle, causing it to possibly turn over completely on its axis. If there was another car next to the truck when it tipped, they are likely to get crushed under its weight. The loading team for the trucking company may be responsible for not securing the cargo adequately prior to letting it depart.
Hazardous materials are particularly risky to travel with, and require extensive truck driver certification. If not loaded properly and in the event of a crash, these materials may spread across the roadway, furthering putting the health of the public nearby at risk of injury or illness. There are many parties who may be liable for an accident involving hazardous material. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the truck driver, loaders, trucking company, truck owners, and/or truck manufacturers may be held legally responsible for the victim’s injuries, loss, and other ways they have suffered.
Truck Driver Fatigue Statistics
As a truck accident lawyer Baton Rouge, LA victims depend on from Cashio Injury Attorneys know, there are thousands of truck accidents that occur nationwide, and a percentage of those likely involved a truck driver that was drowsy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that not only does lacking sleep behind the wheel raise the chances of falling asleep, it can slow reaction times, cause tunnel vision, lead to poor driving choices, cause drifting into another lane, and intensify forgetfulness. A truck driver that chooses to drive despite being fatigued may find themselves liable for a devastating accident where people are seriously injured or lose their lives.
Statistically, truck drivers on average are getting less than 5 hours of sleep each night, when the CDC recommends 7-9 hours for adults. Around 2 out of every 3 truck drivers experience fatigue on a regular basis while driving. And insomnia has been found in almost 1 out of every 3 truck drivers. About 18% of truckers have admitted to falling asleep while operating a commercial truck, with half of these accidents involving fatigue occurring between the hours of 12am and 8am. In addition to these numbers, consider the fact that driving while fatigued has the same effects as a person with a BAC level of 0.08%.
Drivers have a duty to only drive a truck when they are rested and of sound body and mind. Operating such a large vehicle without sufficient sleep should be avoided at all costs. As a Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer can review with clients, there are regulations in place that reduce the occurrence of truckers driving fatigued and there are serious penalties for causing an accident while tired. Truckers are strongly advised to get the recommended number of hours of sleep before their shift, to take long breaks when needed as signs of tiredness are felt, keep their body fueled with enough water and food, avoid having alcohol as it can increase fatigue, and drive at times when the body is normally alert. Using these tips can reduce the chances of a preventable truck accident from happening in the first place.
Over the past decade, there have been several updates to the regulations that truck drivers must follow, including hours of service aimed at decreasing the incident rate of trucker fatigue. These revisions entail requiring a 30 minute rest period during the first 8 hours driving, reducing the workweek maximum from 82 hours to 70, and allowing truckers to work more than 70 hours if they take 34 hours to rest beforehand, including two nights. But as a Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer knows, drivers may falsify log books and violate many regulations that they are supposed to strictly abide by. The truckers are often motivated by the pressures of the job, and may drive more hours than they should without rest as a way to get to their destination faster. Your lawyer can investigate the accident more in-depth and examine the trucker’s log books to see if falsification was a factor.
A Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer from Cashio Injury Attorneys can imagine the anguish that victims and their families experience after a truck accident, so if this is what you are going through, we urge you to contact us now.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Truck Driving Cases
When victims have a Baton Rouge, LA truck accident lawyer assist them, they have the opportunity to receive the representation they deserve after facing severe losses. Trucking accidents are often catastrophic, leaving victims and their families to experience financial loss, physical pain, grief, and more. Many unfortunate people’s lives will never be the same after an accident. While nothing can turn back the clock to prevent the accident from happening, taking legal action may be a way for the victim to receive compensation for their losses. Legal cases, especially those with significant damages, can be incredibly complicated to prepare and endure. Because of this, having assistance from Cashio Injury Attorneys can help to ensure victims receive the answers to their questions in addition to quality and strategic legal representation.
Why are truck accidents so severe?
While truck accidents can range from mild to severe, in many cases, they can seriously damage those involved. Large trucks are significantly larger than the average motor vehicle on the road today. Because of this, they can lack stability if improperly or are not operated with the utmost care. As our Baton Rouge, truck accident lawyer shares, the sheer size and force of these vehicles when faced with potential road hazards or when a mistake is made can cause devastating results when a truck collides with another vehicle.
What types of damages may a victim of a truck accident experience?
Truck accidents can cause significant losses for the victim. Damages are the legal remedy to compensate victims for all they have lost. While nothing can change the events that transpired, damages are in place to help make a victim “whole” after an accident in which a truck driver or company was liable. Common types of damages victims may request from the insurance company include:
- Medical Expenses
- Future Medical Care
- Property Damage
- Lost Wages (Past, Present, & Future)
- Legal Costs
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Consortium
- Permanent Disfigurement
- Burial Expenses
What steps should be taken after a truck accident?
Victims should take several steps following an accident; while some may occur when the accident occurs, others are taken later on, especially when taking legal action. The following steps are imperative to ensure the best possible recovery and case outcome:
- Contact Law Enforcement at the Scene
- Gather Driver Information
- Immediately Seek Medical Treatment
- Follow Through with All Treatment Recommendations
- Gather Evidence and Develop a Personal Account of the Accident
- Contact a Lawyer
What is the difference between a truck accident claim and a lawsuit?
While insurance claims and lawsuits are often used interchangeably, it’s essential to be aware that they are two different legal processes. Typically a lawyer will recommend first seeking compensation through the claims process, which involves submitting a demand letter to the insurance company. A lawyer will work with the other party to negotiate a fair and favorable settlement. This process can be advantageous because victims can recover damages faster, legal costs remain lower, and victims have a higher chance of walking away with compensation. However, when parties cannot reach agreements, a lawyer may suggest pursuing a lawsuit which is the process where the court oversees the case, and a judge and/or jury will make decisions over the outcome. While lawsuits can result in higher compensation levels, the process can be costlier and take longer to resolve. It’s important to note that pursuing a lawsuit can be riskier because if the court does not rule in favor of the plaintiff, they will walk away empty-handed.
While the trucking industry is highly regulated, it’s also highly competitive, and because of this, truck drivers and trucking companies may cut corners to deliver their loads on time. However, operating in this manner can come at a cost because it puts other drivers on the road at significant risk. Should an accident occur, several parties may be held liable: the truck driver, truck manufacturers, truck companies, and truck loading companies. It can be overwhelming to face several liable parties, so it’s essential to schedule a consultation with our Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer from Cashio Injury Attorneys as soon as possible.
Baton Rouge Truck Accident Lawyer FAQs
Do I need a lawyer to receive a settlement from the insurance company?
A victim doesn’t necessarily need a Baton Rouge, LA truck accident lawyer to receive a settlement from the insurance company. They can go through the claim process themselves, and the insurance company may provide a settlement. However, many victims won’t receive a settlement from the insurance company or if they do, the amount can be very low. Insurance companies understand that victims often don’t know how the law works or know how much they can receive in compensation. So while you don’t need an attorney, it’s often better to work with one from Cashio Injury Attorneys, LLC, especially if you’re involved in a major trucking accident.
What tactics can an insurance company use against you?
When your or the other party’s insurance company contacts you, you want to be very safe. To avoid issues, it’s best to let the insurance agent know that you don’t feel comfortable discussing the claim or lawsuit without your attorney present. Insurance companies can try tactics to force you into a settlement or make you drop a case. Tactics can include:
- Making you accidentally misrepresent yourself or the incident
- Claiming you had a prior medical condition or that you’re exaggerating your injuries
- Redirecting the fault onto you (fully or partially)
- Refusing to negotiate or refusing to take your calls
Will my attorney take my lawsuit to the court system?
While the courtroom is a common setting in legal dramas, for every case that ends up before a judge or jury, there are several more that are quietly settled outside the courtroom. Building a case for trial takes considerable time, effort, and money from both sides. Furthermore, the courtroom is unpredictable, meaning a Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer can enter with high hopes of winning the case only to lose it or receive a much smaller settlement. A professional attorney shouldn’t be afraid to go to court, but an experienced attorney understands that settling is often the better option.
What if I don’t have the money to hire a lawyer?
The idea of hiring an attorney for any legal matter makes many people sweat. While many legal areas require payments like an hourly fee or a retainer for truck accidents, attorneys often operate under a contingency fee. A contingency fee means that instead of paying your lawyer upfront, the lawyer receives a final percentage of your court award or settlement. This payment structure allows victims to not have to worry about another financial burden while they’re already dealing with expenses like medical bills.
How long does it take to settle a truck accident claim?
Several factors affect the timeframe for settling a truck accident claim or lawsuit. The severity of injuries alongside the other party’s willingness to cooperate are two factors. Paperwork can also slow down a case and having to gather the necessary evidence. Both claims and lawsuits can take a few months to a year or more to completely settle. However, when a victim is facing substantial medical bills and dealing with factors like pain and suffering, going through the legal process is recommended by a Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer, something families can learn more about by contacting Cashio Injury Attorneys, LLC.
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