What You Should Know About Comparative Fault And Truck Crashes
Many large truck wrecks in the Shreveport area cause serious injuries to motor vehicle occupants, especially when people in smaller cars or SUVs are involved in the crash. Big-rigs and semi-trucks are significantly heavier than passenger vehicles, which means that they can cause devastating damage to those vehicles and to the occupants within them. In many truck crash cases in Louisiana, the truck driver or another party connected to the large truck — such as the company that loaded the truck or the employer of the truck driver — may be at fault for the collision and for any resulting injuries. However, in some cases, the driver of the smaller passenger vehicle involved in the wreck may bear some responsibility. What happens in these kinds of cases? In short, the injured car occupant may still be able to seek compensation if the truck driver or another party is still partially at fault. Our Shreveport truck injury attorneys can explain in more detail.
How Comparative Fault Works in Louisiana Trucking Wrecks
If a car or SUV driver files a lawsuit against a negligent truck driver (or another party) for causing injuries in a trucking crash, the truck driver may believe that the car or SUV driver was also partially at fault for the collision. For example, the truck driver might say that the car or SUV driver was texting while driving, or speeding, at the time of the wreck. As such, the truck driver might raise the issue of comparative fault: that the car or SUV driver is also partially at fault, and therefore the truck driver should not be responsible for paying the full amount of damages. To be clear, comparative fault is a defense strategy for a defendant who has been sued in a civil injury lawsuit.
Louisiana uses a “pure” comparative fault model, which means that a plaintiff will not be barred from recovery simply because their own negligence played a role in the crash. Here is what Louisiana law says: “If a person suffers injury, death, or loss as the result partly of his own negligence and partly as a result of the fault of another person or persons, the amount of damages recoverable shall be reduced in proportion to the degree or percentage of negligence attributable to the person suffering the injury, death, or loss.” In other words, if a plaintiff is determined to be partially at fault, they can recover damages, but their total damages award will be diminished by their percentage of fault.
Circumstances Where Comparative Fault Might Be an Issue in a Truck Crash
When might a plaintiff in a truck crash case face the possibility that their damages award could be reduced due to comparative fault? The following are some common ways that car and SUV drivers can play a role in causing truck wrecks:
- Distracted driving;
- Passing a large truck on the right;
- Driving in a large truck’s blind spot;
- Trying to prevent a large truck from passing; and
- Intoxicated driving.
Contact a Shreveport Truck Crash Attorney
If you were injured in a truck crash, our Shreveport trucking injury attorneys at Rice & Kendig, LLC can help you to seek financial compensation for your losses.