Lake Charles Truck Accident Lawyer

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Lake Charles Truck Accident Attorney

Large trucks, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and commercial motor vehicles weigh 20 to 30 times more than a passenger vehicle, and accidents involving these vehicles often result in serious injury and sometimes death. When you or a loved one is in a trucking accident, you need a Lake Charles truck accident lawyer to protect your legal rights and get the compensation you need.

In 2018 there were 121,000 accidents involving injury as a result of large buses and trucks in the United States, and 4,862 of those vehicles were involved in fatal accidents in the same year.

When you are not at fault for an accident, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance or with the trucking company’s insurance provider. This can provide you with essential financial support to cover your lost wages and the cost of your medical treatment. Unfortunately, insurance companies often refuse to give you the coverage you deserve. Trucking company providers have even more resources to deploy as they work to deny your claim.

Trucking accidents result in more significant injuries and damages than other collisions. Another driver’s personal insurance coverage may not be enough to cover total losses from a crash involving a large truck, semi, or other commercial vehicle.

At the Cox Law Firm, we understand how truck accidents are different and work meticulously to expedite an investigation into what went wrong. This includes gathering critical information from onboard computer systems inside commercial vehicles; contacting eyewitnesses for testimony, and making sure victims receive professional medical care.

Truck Accident Attorneys Committed to Lake Charles

If you’ve been injured by a large truck in Louisiana, don’t let insurance companies push you around. Don’t gamble you or your family’s financial future. With aggressive representation and compassionate advocacy, you can focus on recovery and leave the rest to us. The truck accident lawyers at the Cox Law Firm will handle each insurance company directly to maximize available compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.

Our attorneys have 135 years of combined legal experience, and we have negotiated and litigated many types of motor vehicle accident claims. We understand the stress, pain, and exhaustion you are likely feeling after a trucking accident. Our attorneys collaborate and use their years of experience to your benefit as they guide you through each step of the process. We know how important compensation is to your recovery.

What Compensation Can I Receive for My Accident?

The truck accident attorneys at the Cox Law Firm have the experience it takes to maximize compensation for victims of truck accidents. Once another party or multiple parties are proven to be at fault for the accident, you have the right to recover compensation for all the economic and noneconomic damages you sustained from the accident. Our Lake Charles, Louisiana injury attorneys can pursue compensation for:

  • Emergency Services
  • Medical Treatment and Surgeries
  • Medication
  • Physical Therapy and Long-Term Care
  • Mobility Aids and Medical Devices
  • Lost Wages and/or Earning Potential
  • Mental Health Therapy
  • Pain & Suffering
  • Loss of Quality of Life
  • Emotional Anguish
  • Disfigurement and Disability
  • Property Damage
  • Funeral Expenses in the Event of Wrongful Death

An attorney is essential to calculating your damages after a truck accident. Many injured individuals fail to properly account for the long-term damage of being unable to work, the potential complications of their injury, and their long-term psychological losses. An attorney also has the knowledge and resources to effectively calculate noneconomic damages, which have subjective values.

It’s common to have multiple insurance companies negotiating settlements after a large truck accident. There are many parties who may be responsible for the accident and, therefore, liable for the resulting damages. In addition to a driver’s personal or commercial insurance, a driver’s employer may also have insurance available to cover damages.

Furthermore, large trucks have unique features that require regular maintenance to ensure safe operation. Tires, air brakes, and other transportation equipment can cause injury or an accident if not maintained by the driver, his employer, or the maintenance company assigned to the truck.

In some accidents, the at-fault party acts in a way that is considered grossly negligent, and the court may assign punitive damages. These damages are to punish the at-fault party for their actions and discourage future similar misconduct.

Why Are Large Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?

Unlike passenger vehicle crashes, large truck accidents usually involve more property damage, extensive injuries, and complicated legal disputes. This is because large truck accidents frequently include multiple vehicles, drivers, and several insurance companies.

Commercial motor vehicles, or CMVs, include any company-registered motor vehicle used for transporting goods or passengers. Large trucks, while called different names (18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, delivery trucks, semis, freight trucks, and buses), are also categorized by gross vehicle weight rating. Large trucks that weigh more than 10,000 pounds are considered CMVs. Commercial motor vehicles can also include:

  • Hotel Buses/Vans
  • School Buses
  • Charter Vehicles
  • Delivery Trucks
  • Airport Shuttles
  • Construction Vehicles

Large trucks and CMVs include special features that make them effective at transporting goods or passengers but are particularly dangerous in an accident. Large trucks require longer stopping distances, they may carry hazardous cargo, and use air brakes (as opposed to hydraulic) which can become extremely dangerous if not properly maintained.

What Factors Make Truck Accidents Different?

There are several factors that make truck accident claims more complicated than most car accident claims:

  • Commercial Driver’s License Regulations: All commercial vehicle drivers are required to carry a current and valid commercial driver’s license (CDL). Trucking companies are responsible for vetting their employees and ensuring that they meet the requirements to hold a CDL. If a driver does not have a valid or current license, they and their employer may be liable.
  • Federal Trucking Regulations: Truck drivers often drive long distances under tight deadlines and may push through fatigue to get the job done. Federal regulations have been established to ensure truck drivers don’t drive under such conditions. If a driver did not follow these regulations, or an employer encouraged or incentivized drivers to ignore them, this is a form of negligence and misconduct. A truck accident attorney has knowledge and experience with these regulations, so they can investigate to determine if regulations were properly followed.
  • Drug & Alcohol Abuse: Truck drivers that drink alcohol before driving or use drugs to stay alert put themselves and others at great risk. Driving under the influence is illegal, and CDL drivers have a much lower legal limit than other drivers. A driver may be at fault, or their employer may be vicariously liable.
  • Hazardous Materials: Some trucks carry hazardous materials that can quickly exacerbate the severity of a large truck accident. This can result in fires, chemical exposure and burns, and other severe injuries.

It can also be incredibly complicated and frustrating to deal with a trucking company’s insurance provider after an accident. You may have significant and even debilitating injuries, but an insurance provider’s only goal is to limit their liability and financial losses. When you have a good faith claim, you deserve compensation for your injuries. An attorney is essential for this, as they can negotiate with the insurance provider for you and work to obtain the compensation you need.

Causes of Trucking Accidents in Calcasieu Parish

To determine the party that is at fault for an accident, it is important to determine the cause of the accident. Every accident is different and may have several factors contributing to it. Some common causes of truck accidents include:

  • Distracted Driving: When any driver on the road takes their eyes or focus off the road for any reason, this is considered distracted driving. Truck drivers often drive for many hours a day and may become distracted for many reasons. This can be very dangerous and increase the chances of a severe accident.
  • Inadequately Trained Drivers: Driving large commercial vehicles requires sufficient training. Simply turning and braking safely requires more experience and understanding than other vehicles. If employers do not train or ensure the skills of their drivers, inexperienced drivers can cause serious accidents.
  • Reckless Driving: One of the most common forms of reckless driving is speeding, but reckless driving also includes failing to react to road conditions, ignoring road signs and signals, or failing to use turn signals when merging or switching lanes. Commercial trucks have significant blind spots, and truck drivers who do not take care when changing lanes, turning, or taking other actions can cause an accident.
  • Incorrectly Loaded Trailer: The trailers on large commercial trucks have weight limits, and they must be loaded properly to be secure and balanced. Imbalanced or loose cargo can cause a truck to roll over or jackknife, or it can otherwise cause the driver to lose control. Overloaded trailers increase the chances of brakes, tires, or other vehicle components giving out.
  • Vehicle Malfunction: When an essential component of a truck gives out, the effects can be devastating. A vehicle malfunction may be due to a product defect, an improperly loaded trailer, a lack of maintenance, or improper repairs. If the trucking company fails to do proper maintenance on vehicles before putting them on the road, this is negligence.
  • Poor Road Conditions: Drivers must react appropriately to changing road conditions, including bad roads, inclement weather, and congestion. Failing to do so can make them at fault for an accident. When the road’s poor maintenance is the cause of the accident, the public or private agency responsible for its upkeep may also be partially liable.

The Role of Fatigued Driving in Trucking Accidents

This is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. Driving fatigue is incredibly dangerous, yet it is often not considered as dangerous as it is. Being fatigued can lower reaction speeds, make it harder for drivers to make rational decisions, and make accidents more likely.

There are state and federal guidelines that are meant to prevent truck drivers from driving fatigued. Even within these regulations, truck drivers may work long nights, be up early, or work for many consecutive hours. Additionally, some trucking companies set unrealistic deadlines or incentivize drivers to ignore these regulations, which is incredibly dangerous.

Who Is Liable in a Commercial Vehicle Accident?

In the event of a large truck accident, several parties could potentially be held responsible including the driver, employer, maintenance contractor, or truck manufacturer. When you hire an experienced truck accident attorney, he or she will be able to help you determine liability based on the physical evidence, eyewitness testimony, and more.

Protecting Your Interests After a Truck Accident

The truck accident lawyers at the Cox Law Firm understand the critical factors that inform a truck or commercial vehicle accident injury case. Our attorneys work on a contingent-fee basis, which means we don’t get paid until your case is settled. This makes it easy for anyone to access legal representation in a serious truck accident case. If you or a loved one has suffered a truck-related injury, we want to hear your story. Call 337-436-6611 to schedule an initial consultation today.

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