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Trucking accident consequences can be devastating

Posted in Our Blog on April 1, 2018

If you and your family frequently share the busy Louisiana roads around Gretna with 18-wheelers, you are likely aware of your vulnerability. The truth is that even the most law-abiding, vigilant passenger vehicle driver can be the victim of a big-rig accident if the trucker is distracted, impaired or reckless in any form or fashion. Due to the massive weight and size difference, semi-truck crashes frequently lead to catastrophic injuries or death to occupants of cars.

There are millions of commercial trucks on the country’s roads, carrying a significant percentage of the merchandise that you expect to see on the shelves of your local stores. For that reason, drivers of cars, SUV’s and minivans must take extra care when they travel near tractor-trailers.

Safety issues for truck operators

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets control measures for quality and it regulates mandatory rest periods, weight limits and other federal laws. Only truckers with valid commercial driver’s licenses may operate large trucks. They have an extra duty to operate within the rules of the road and to be aware of the following safety issues that could lead to crashes:

  • Weather conditions
  • Debris or obstacles on the road
  • Their own health
  • Becoming fatigued and drowsy
  • Extended driving hours
  • Distractions like eating and texting
  • Truck mechanics

Truck accident injuries

Occupants of passenger vehicles who survive accidents involving commercial trucks often end up with life-changing injuries. Even if no harm is evident immediately after the crash, you shouldn’t deny a medical evaluation because some injuries manifest over time and could potentially leave you with health problems for life. A proper examination and diagnosis of any injuries are vital if you seek recovery of damages later because long-term medical care and loss of income can seriously threaten anybody’s financial stability. The following are typical injuries resulting from truck accidents:

  • Concussion, brain damage, cranial swelling or other head trauma
  • Dislocated joints and bone fractures
  • Damage to the nervous system, spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Organ damage and internal bleeding
  • Abrasions, lacerations and puncture wounds

Truck accident lawsuits

If you want to recover losses after a truck accident, you may need to determine if the negligence of other parties beyond just the truck driver played a role in your crash. Because the company is ultimately responsible for the driver and the way in which he or she operates the vehicle, the trucking company and even the firm that handles the mechanical maintenance of the truck could be named as defendants. The following negligent acts could give rise to a lawsuit:

  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Noncompliance with hours of service rules by extending driving hours
  • Moving violations such as exceeding the speed limit, following too closely or lane switching without signaling
  • Mechanical malfunctions due to inadequate maintenance
  • Unstable, unbalanced cargo due to overloading
  • Negligent hiring of inexperienced drivers and not providing adequate training

What damages can you recover?

Depending on the circumstances and the consequences of the truck accident, the following damages might form part of your documented losses that you can file for the court to adjudicate after the establishment of negligence:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of potential future income
  • Pain and suffering — both mental and physical
  • Loss of companionship
  • Property damage

You can seek recovery of these and other quantifiable losses sustained in a trucking accident through the Louisiana civil justice system by filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in a civil court.