Commercial trucks – already massive machines roughly the weight of a train car – travel down highways every day at speeds of 60 mph on average. Sharing the roadways might be just another day for most drivers, but trucking accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and cause catastrophic damage to multiple vehicles and serious injuries to drivers.
Truck accidents are not uncommon to Baton Rouge, which is a rich and vibrant hub of our beautiful state. With several interstates running right through the heart of the city, our residents are no strangers to commercial trucks. That also means we see a fair number of truck accidents in Baton Rouge. Trucking accidents cause more damage than the average collision. Your vehicle may be totalled and you and others in your vehicle may face severe injury.
For many victims, compensation is the only way to pay off massive bills for treatment. Unfortunately, many trucking companies will deny responsibility or try to trick you into accepting a lowball offer. Because it’s so hard to build a case while recovering, many victims end up settling for much less than they deserve.
Thankfully, you don’t have to fight this alone – let us help you get the best settlement for your injuries! If you were in a truck accident, please reach out to Babcock Injury Lawyers for a free consultation on your case. With the help of a Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer from our firm, you can rest easy while we prove your claim.
Proving Negligence In Truck Driver Accidents
In some accident cases, truck collisions were caused by unavoidable things such as bad weather or poor visibility. But in the majority of cases, it is much more likely that the accident was caused by a careless or distracted driver. This could be the truck driver, or it could be the operator of another vehicle on the road, whether involved in the resulting crash or not.
To prove negligence under Louisiana law, our lawyers look for these four factors.
- Duty. This means that someone has a responsibility to observe a certain standard of care towards you. This can be the duty of the truck drivers, the truck company, or a government agency.
- Breach of duty. The truck driver or company failed to meet that standard of care, either due to carelessness or deliberate acts.
- Proximate cause, or cause in fact. Without that carelessness or those actions, the truck driver never would have crashed into you, and you would not have been injured.
- Damages. Because of the truck accident, you suffered damage, whether through injuries or to your property.
If we find that all of these factors are present in your accident, we can successfully file your claim for compensation.
What If I Was Also Partially Responsible For An 18 Wheeler Accident?
It’s not uncommon for an accident to be caused by more than one issue. Even if every single driver on the road were to be safe and look out for one another – which does not always happen – there are still unavoidable circumstances that could cause a collision. There will also be times when a crash is the fault of more than one driver. If you were also careless or negligent on the road, resulting in a crash involving a tractor trailer, you might feel that you have no way to seek compensation for your own injuries, no matter how severe.
While your own actions may restrict the damages awarded in your case, they often will not prevent you from being awarded compensation entirely, so long as the accident is not proven to be wholly your fault. The best thing that you can do if you are not sure of your role in an accident in which you have suffered significant injury is to contact a truck accident lawyer in Baton Rouge to review your case. Attorneys like Stephen Babcock and Chase Tettleton have years of experience handling trucking accident claims and car crash injuries in the state of Louisiana. This allows us to bring your up to date legal advice and insight in easy to understand terms so that you can stay up to date on your own case without getting bogged down by messy legalese and forms while you should be focused on recovery.
What Are The Common Causes Of Truck Accidents?
During your consultation with the attorneys at Babcock Injury Lawyers, a Louisiana truck accident attorney will try to find out what caused your accident. By finding proof of fault, we can hold the correct parties accountable and negotiate with their insurance companies on your behalf in order to reach a fair and agreeable settlement.
Your trucking collision may have been caused by one or several of the following factors:
- Intoxication: Drugs and alcohol are common causes of a Baton Rouge truck accident. Being intoxicated can severely impair a drivers’ judgment and senses, increasing the chances that they collide with another vehicle. Drunk driving can make truck drivers liable for criminal charges, and make the trucking company accountable for damages.
- Distracted Driving: When any driver checks their phone, answers calls, reaches around the cab for something, or messes with the radio controls, their focus is no longer on the road. This raises the chances of an accident significantly, which is detrimental to a situation where an accident can occur at any time.
- Fatigue or Sleepiness: Although more mandates have been made in recent years to cut down on driver fatigue in truckers, there are still those drivers, often self employed, who go long hours on the road without stopping for rest. Log books or electronic logs can prove that fatigue was at fault for an accident.
- Road Construction: Road construction is a potential issue for any driver, but larger vehicles like trucks often have a worse time dealing with it. Change in terrain at high speeds, down signs, or narrowed lanes can all lead to a potential accident in the right circumstances. Carelessness of construction crew workers may also make them liable for a wreck.
- Poor Road Conditions: Roads can also be unsafe if they aren’t properly maintained or repaired by government authorities. Potholes, sudden inclines, and dangerous turns or descents without proper signs can all easily cause a truck accident.
- Defective Parts: There could be something mechanically wrong with the vehicle’s parts – this can be due to a manufacturing defect. If that is the case, the company producing the part in question could be held responsible for failing to ensure product safety.
- Mechanical Failure: Your collision with the truck driver could also be the fault of a company mechanic who failed to properly service the truck. If the mechanic failed to change a tire or secure a part, this lack of proper maintenance can hold them and the trucking company liable.
- Moving Cargo: Truck doors need to be secure in case their cargo falls out. If the truck isn’t enclosed with doors, there needs to be a proper restraint system to keep the cargo safely in place. In this case, the cargo loading team, the trucking company, or the truck driver may be deemed responsible by the courts.
Many Baton Rouge truck accidents have more than a single cause. It can be difficult to recall the specifics of an accident, or you may not know them completely. When you leave the deductive work to attorneys from Babcock Injury Lawyers, we’ll get to the bottom of what happened before, during, and immediately after your truck accident in order to prove the at fault party and seek compensation on your behalf.
Your Injuries From Big Truck Accidents Could Be Permanent
Like any accident, you face the possibility of permanent damage or death from a big truck accident in Baton Rouge. This risk is only increased by the size and possible travel speeds associated with tractor trailers. With any injury, you may also be subject to injuries that do not readily present themselves after the accident; injuries that could become much more life altering in the future when you are no longer able to seek compensation or properly prove that your injuries were a result of your collision.
While you will most likely receive some form of medical attention immediately after your accident, it is also advised that you receive a full physical and psychological exam as soon as you are able. This will help to assess whether or not you have any internal injuries that did not appear in your initial treatment, or if you have sustained damage that may reasonably lead to future injury or concern for your well being either physically or mentally.
Many truck accidents end in permanent damage, including the death of a driver or passengers. Many such damages happen to the truck driver themselves. While no one ever wants to be involved in a truck accident, it is important to understand the potential injuries that you may sustain which can be compensated.
- Brain Trauma: Traumatic brain injuries can severely impair cognitive and motor functions, memory, senses, and even your personality. They may take longer to become fully apparent, but these are some of the most serious injuries you can sustain in Baton Rouge accidents.
- Wrongful Death: Loss of a loved one in a truck accident is devastating for those left behind. We will help you recover from the shock by taking care of your legal needs and filing a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased.
- Head, Back, and Neck Injuries: Ranging from whiplash to partial or total paralysis, damage to your spinal cord, head, and neck can drastically affect your mobility. Paralysis may be permanent and can keep you from living your life to the fullest. You may even need to hire a caretaker indefinitely.
- Fractures, Broken Bones, and Sprains: While these injuries are temporary, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take them seriously. They can take months or even years of therapy to regain mobility. In some cases, limbs with broken bones never regain full functionality. During your recovery, you may not be able to work, resulting in loss of income.
- Amputation: One of the most devastating consequences of a truck wreck is the permanent loss of a limb. This will cause a lot of emotional trauma and may incur massive costs for physical therapy and prosthetics.
- Organ Damage: Internal bleeding and organ damage can require multiple surgeries and long periods of recovery. You may even need to undergo organ transplants, which can be expensive with long waiting lists for donors. Even if you do find a suitable donor, you still run the risk of organ rejection.
- PTSD and Mental Health Concerns: Any accident can leave permanent scars that aren’t visible. The more catastrophic or life altering an event is, the more likely you will need to invest in some type of therapy or mental health treatment in order to process and move on from the event.
Even an injury considered trivial and expected to heal in no time can be a concern when you have been injured in an accident. Getting proper medical treatment is the first step you need to take, not only to ensure your own wellbeing, but to document your injuries in order to begin the process of filing a claim for compensation with the at fault parties.
This is where things get a bit tricky. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be unable to file a claim on your own. Or you simply may not be sure that you have a case at all thanks to the burden of proof or your own financial hardship. No matter what situation you find yourself in, you deserve the help of a skilled attorney who can advocate for you while you’re working on recovering.
What To Expect From Car Accident Attorneys: Baton Rouge Legal Assistance
Building a legal case is difficult, even when you aren’t completely focused on healing and struggling to find a way to pay your medical bills. Babcock Injury Lawyers is here to support you throughout the claim filing process, even representing you in court if needed to settle your case. By taking advantage of our years of legal expertise with Louisiana trucking accidents and our team of award winning personal injury attorneys, you’re setting yourself up for a successful compensation claim. We’ll meet with you in an environment in which you feel comfortable to discuss as much of your case as possible. We’ll also work closely with your doctors in order to make sure that you file for every bit of compensation you could be owed for your injuries sustained in a truck accident.
Some of the ways in which having an accident attorney in your corner help you include:
- Talking to the responsible government agencies, including police officers and the DMV.
- Obtaining eyewitness testimonies to establish events and driving conditions.
- Getting police reports, truck drivers’ logs, medical examination records, mechanic reports, and post-accident psychological evaluations.
- Finding expert witnesses for your case.
- Communicating with truck drivers, trucking companies, and insurance companies to negotiate your claim.
- Taking photos of the collision site and the vehicles to document damage.
- Obtaining surveillance footage and photos of the wreck from traffic cameras and private entities.
- Keeping records of your injuries and the progress of your recovery and treatment.
- Logging proof of missed work hours after the collision as proof of lost wages
- Identifying and quantifying additional losses sustained as a result of your accident
Choosing an attorney in a trucking accident case is difficult, but it’s also crucial to your case. The sooner we are able to start taking action on your behalf, the sooner you can stop worrying about how you’re going to keep up with the piling bills from your medical treatments.
Get In Touch With Your 18 Wheeler Collision Lawyer
Being a victim of a Baton Rouge truck accident comes with life changing injuries and medical bills that you, unfortunately, may not be prepared to pay. Consultations from Babcock Injury Lawyers are always free. Call (225)500-5000 today to speak to an attorney with your interests at heart. We’re confident you’ll be best represented by one of our lawyers, but we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee if you are unhappy with any aspect of your representation. Getting compensation for your Louisiana truck accident injuries starts here.