18-Wheeler Crashes On Louisiana Roads
Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) estimate that in 2019, approximately 5200 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in the United States, leading to thousands of deaths across the country. Approximately 650 of those crashes occurred in Louisiana, but it is unknown how many were caused due to the negligence of the truck driver (or of the company that employs them).
If you have been through a wreck caused by a trucker’s negligence, a Shreveport 18-wheeler crash attorney can help you get the damages you deserve for the injuries you have sustained. Not every 18-wheeler wreck happens because of the driver’s negligence, but those that do should be compensated appropriately.
It is very common for people who have been injured in an 18-wheeler wreck to not want to file suit against the (allegedly) negligent driver, given the potential severity of the injuries they have sustained. Because 18-wheelers are so much heavier than the average car or pickup truck (even without a cargo in their trailer), the injuries they cause are more likely to be severe. Some of the more common injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal injuries, and whiplash. However, without filing suit, many of these crash victims will not receive the closure they deserve.
Many Causes – Many Defendants?
If you do decide to file suit against the 18-wheeler driver who allegedly caused your injuries, be aware that you must be able to show that their actions were the direct cause, with no other intervening factors. While each collision case is different, there are some potential causes of 18-wheeler crashes that tend to repeat themselves. For example, FMCSA hours-of-service regulations set a maximum number of hours that a driver can operate their vehicle in one day – but for many years, there has been a pattern of drivers routinely ignoring that rule and driving fatigued.
Other driver-related causes include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, or road rage.
Another common cause of 18-wheeler crashes is a defect in the truck or in the driver. In these types of cases, it is sometimes possible to file suit against not only the driver, but also against their employer, if you can demonstrate that negligence on the part of the trucking company played a role in causing your wreck. For example, if maintenance on the truck is considered the company’s responsibility, but maintenance was never performed, the company (rather than the driver) might be liable.
Truck companies are most often brought into lawsuits if an issue of potentially negligent hiring exists. Under Louisiana law, a trucking company can be held liable for negligent hiring if its drivers do not conduct themselves as they should, or lack the credentials that they are required to have – for example, if a truck driver lacks a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), they are not permitted to operate an 18-wheeler in Louisiana. If the company allowed that person to drive anyway, they would be on the proverbial hook for negligence.
Providing Knowledgeable Representation
Filing suit can feel overwhelming, but an experienced and compassionate attorney on your side can help to lighten the load. The firm of Rice & Kendig will do the legwork, obtaining medical records and police reports for our clients where necessary, and keeping you in the loop instead of making you feel like a number.
If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler crash, your injuries are likely severe and your bills are adding up. A Shreveport large truck collision attorney from Rice & Kendig will work hard for you, and ensure that you have the best chance to recover financially (while you work on recovering physically). Contact our offices today at 318-222-2772 for a free consultation.