Negligence is one of the most common causes of trucking accidents in Louisiana. In many cases, truck drivers don’t pay attention to what’s going on while driving, largely because they’re on the road for long periods of time. The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is one of the longest two-way bridges in the United States where there are a significant number of accidents involving 18-wheelers.
In fact, I am currently working on a case involving a client who was rear-ended by the inattentive driver of an 18-wheeler. We have retained an accident reconstructionist, which is an expert who reconstructs accidents based upon the facts, and draws conclusions about what occurred. This is important for plaintiffs, since they have the burden of proving to the court that the other driver was at fault for the accident; failing to do this means that the plaintiff will not recover.
Other common causes include improperly loaded cargo, faulty brakes and not following at the required distance. Many causes of trucking accidents are the same as passenger vehicle accidents; the difference is that the damage is usually much worse due to the large size and weight of 18-wheelers.
What Are Some Of The Severe Injuries That You See Resulting From Accidents Involving Large Trucks And 18-Wheelers?
Some people suffer only minor injuries, while others suffer fatal injuries. Ruptured discs, back, and neck injuries are very common. The severity of each accident depends on the facts of the case.
What Evidence Should Be Gathered At The Scene Of An 18-Wheeler Accident? Does Your Firm Have Investigators Who Can Go To The Site Of The Accident To Investigate And Collect Evidence, If Necessary?
We do have investigators who can conduct an investigation at the scene of an accident. In some situations, Louisiana law dictates that vehicles be removed from the scene of the accident to allow traffic to flow. For this reason, it is very helpful if the injured party is able to take pictures or capture video of the scene of the accident (including any debris near the roadway, the other vehicles involved, damage to vehicles, and the at-fault driver). The license plate number of any witnesses should also be recorded if possible. In addition, a copy of the at-fault party’s driver’s license should be obtained. Most importantly always call the police.
Once the police arrive, they will typically take pictures of the scene. However, evidence may have already been moved by the time the police arrive. Once an attorney gets involved, they will hire an accident reconstructionist expert. The attorney may contact the insurance company and notify them that they would like to inspect the at-fault party’s vehicle, as this will allow the reconstructionist to obtain all of the information they need. This may include data from the vehicle’s black box, which is a data-capturing computer that is in most cars and trucks.
Is It Difficult To Work Against The Big Insurance Companies That Work For Trucking Companies? What Are Some Of The Biggest Hurdles Or Challenges That Clients And Attorneys Face?
The plaintiff and their attorney have the burden of proof, which means the insurance company just has to poke holes in the plaintiff’s theory. This is why it is so important to gather data from the scene of the accident.
I am currently handling a case wherein the defendant claimed that what he stated in the police report was inaccurate and that the injured party stopped too soon, thereby causing the accident. Fortunately, we were able to immediately have our reconstructionist go to the scene and take several pictures, which proved incredibly valuable to us. Trucking companies and the insurance companies that defend them, have massive amounts of funds to fight these cases, and their job is always to pick apart the plaintiff’s theory.
Most people don’t realize that insurance companies and trucking companies have a right to obtain the injured party’s medical records. If the records show that the plaintiff is treating consistently, then they are going to say that they are over-treating; if the records show that the plaintiff is not treating consistently, then they will say that the party isn’t treating enough and therefore is not hurt.
A lawyer is necessary in order to help direct plaintiffs on how to deal with these claims. It is always best to follow the healthcare provider’s recommendations and ensure that treatment is accurately documented in the medical record. This is because at some point or another, the trucking company will retain a doctor of their choice who will be paid by their insurance company to provide an opinion and determine the seriousness of the plaintiff’s injuries.
How Complex Are Trucking Accident Cases, And Why Does Someone Need An Attorney Who Has Specific Experience Handling These Types Of Cases?
Trucking companies are fully aware that trucking accidents can result in severe injuries, which is why their team of attorneys and adjusters are prepared from day one to fight a claim. The plaintiff must hire an attorney who is familiar with the dynamics of the trucking industry and will go the distance to fight without feeling intimidated. One of the most important things to be aware of when dealing with an 18-wheeler company is that it could be very costly and time-consuming. An attorney used to handling this type of case can be invaluable.