Truck accidents can have catastrophic repercussions on the occupants of passenger vehicles. Because commercial trucks often weigh 20 times as much as smaller cars and are much taller with greater ground clearance, the occupants in cars are at a much higher risk for severe injuries and fatalities. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that 4,136 people died in collisions with large trucks in 2018 with 16% of the deaths being the truck occupants and 67% being the occupants of the passenger vehicles. The remaining 15% included motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. If you suffered injuries or a loved one died in a Lafayette truck accident, you have the right to hold the negligent driver responsible. A Lafayette truck accident lawyer at the Morris Bart law firm is here to help. For a free, no-risk review of your case, contact us today at (337) 446-4571.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Some of the major causes of truck accidents include:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving doubles the likelihood of a driver making performance mistakes compared to those who are rested. Drowsy drivers are less able to pay attention to the road and have a slower reaction time if they need to brake or avoid a road hazard. Truck drivers are allowed to be on the road for as long as 11 hours at a time, which makes driver fatigue a very real possibility. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that commercial drivers who operate tractor-trailers are among the most likely to practice drowsy driving.
Improper maintenance, particularly for brake systems, is also a known factor in crashes. Trucks require a much longer stopping distance compared to passenger cars. This stopping distance is especially true in adverse weather conditions when the road may be wet or slippery. According to the IIHS, investigators found brake defects in 42% of crash-involved large trucks in a study that focuses on data between 2010 and 2012 study. In fact, any vehicle defect in a truck was associated with a 200% increase in crash risk.
Distracted driving is a problem for all drivers across the United States (U.S.), and cell phones remain the greatest cause of distraction. Cell phone use is also the worst kind of distraction, as it takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off their driving. Because truck drivers spend up to 11 hours of their day behind the wheel, they are more susceptible to distraction in order to pass the time. Even if a driver is not handling a cell phone directly just using a hands-free cell phone for texting can slow down their reaction time significantly. Cell phones are not the only distraction that can take a driver’s attention from the road. Eating, using a navigation system, drinking, or even changing the radio can take a driver’s attention off the road long enough to cause a distraction and result in an accident. If you have suffered injuries and losses due to the negligent actions of a driver in a Lafayette truck accident, call Morris Bart, LLC at (337) 446-4571 for a free case review.
For a free legal consultation with a Truck Accident lawyer serving Lafayette, call 800-537-8185
Types of Injuries That Can Occur in Truck Accidents
Some types of injuries that can occur in truck accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries: spinal cord injuries occur when there is damage to the spinal cord and often results in a complete or total loss of mobility or sensation below the site of the injury. These types of injuries are often the result of trauma during a collision like a truck accident, particularly trauma to the back, chest, head, neck, and face.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): TBI’s and other head injuries often occur in collisions. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are, according to the CDC, responsible for 20% of all TBI-related hospitalizations. These injuries can lead to impairments in movement, emotional functioning, vision or heading, or memory.
- Broken bones: broken bones can occur as a result of direct trauma in vehicle collisions. The seriousness of the injury depends on the type of break, such as if the bone breaks through the skin or the bone shatters in the crash.
- Internal bleeding: this type of injury is particularly dangerous because it is not always apparent that the victim is experiencing internal bleeding. In some cases, the bleed does not become apparent until the condition becomes life-threatening. Trauma to the body, such as the trauma someone experiences in a truck accident, can damage the organs, bones, and blood vessels.
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Laws That Could Impact Your Lafayette Truck Accident Claim
Some laws you should be aware of include Louisiana’s statute of limitations and comparative fault. Per the Louisiana State Legislature, section CC 3492, you must file a claim within one year of the date of the accident, or you are, generally, barred from recovering compensation. This time period is far shorter than the two to five years that most states provide and means you must act much sooner after your accident if you intend to file a lawsuit.
Types of Recoverable Damages After a Lafayette Truck Accident Claim
Some common types of recoverable damages after a truck accident include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Future wages, if you have lost your earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or dismemberment
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- And possibly more
If your family is pursuing a claim for wrongful death after a loved one passed away from a Lafayette truck accident, you may be entitled to:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical costs left to your family
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of benefits and wages previously provided by the deceased
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Call Today for a Free Consultation
To find out what options you have for recovering damages after your Lafayette truck accident, call the team at the Morris Bart law firm. We have worked on many cases like yours and are proud of the results we achieved in those cases. Learn more about how a Lafayette truck accident lawyer may be able to help by calling our office today at (337) 446-4571.
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