Trucks on Louisiana’s roads cause many drivers anxiety due to their large size and heavy weight. This is understandable, since an accident with a large truck can result in serious injuries or even death.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the most common types of truck accidents in Louisiana and nationwide are from rear-end collisions or a truck driver losing control.
Other types of truck accidents that cause catastrophic accidents come from head-on collisions, jackknife crashes, rollover accidents or accidents from hazardous materials.
How truck drivers lose control of their vehicles
Truck drivers can lose control of their vehicles for many different reasons. A truck is a huge, complex piece of machinery traveling at a high rate of speed while carrying heavy equipment.
Cargo shifting or an improperly maintained truck can cause a truck driver to lose control. The loss of control may also be due to the truck driver’s own negligence if they are speeding, drowsy or distracted.
Pinpointing the exact cause of a truck accident can be difficult, but it must be done if you are pursuing a personal injury action, so you know the right party to hold accountable.
Finding the responsible party
You can file a personal injury accident against the truck driver, the trucking company, the trucking manufacturer or even the party who packed the cargo.
When speeding drowsy or distracted driving is involved, as in the example above, the truck driver might be the right party to file against. However, the situation becomes trickier if the cause of the accident was due to a truck that was not properly maintained.
The truck driver might have been responsible for maintaining their truck and failed to do so or the responsibility could be that of the trucking company.
Trucking companies have a duty to make sure their drivers are properly trained on how to operate large trucks. Accidents that are caused by drivers who do not possess the required skills to drive the truck could be the fault of the trucking company for not providing adequate training.
If the truck accident was caused by shifting of cargo, the party responsible for loading the cargo could be the one at fault. The cargo may have been loaded in a way that increased the chance of a dangerous accident.
Asserting your rights after a truck accident
Receiving compensation for your injuries after a truck accident requires proving negligence. This is the legal theory that personal injury actions in Louisiana are based on.
Establishing negligence means proving that a breach of a legal duty caused the accident and resulted in your damages. The amount of compensation you receive depends on many factors, including whether you can prove your damages.
Damages include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and psychological distress. The aftermath of a truck accident can be extremely traumatizing, and you might seek counseling or therapy. The cost of this treatment could be part of your compensation.
Knowing the most common types of truck accidents can be helpful when you are driving near a large truck. Do your best to avoid them and always drive safely yourself to reduce your chance of a truck accident.