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The interstate highway system in the State of Louisiana makes up 933.84 miles of freeway, made up primarily of six interstates. Large trucks and tractor-trailers traverse these interstates and most other roads in Louisiana on a daily basis. However, truck drivers are not always careful about the way in which they operate their vehicles and are just trying to speed their way through our state. When truck drivers drive in careless or reckless ways, they can cause serious accidents. When truck accidents do occur, they are oftentimes accompanied by serious and debilitating injuries.
If you were injured in a truck accident that occurred because of someone else’s negligence, you must obtain legal representation. The team of experienced Louisiana truck accident attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers understand the pain, suffering, and inconvenience that often accompanies the injuries sustained in a truck accident. Our team has settled thousands of truck accident cases in and around Louisiana and are ready to assist you with your case today. Our office is available for your free consultation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or you may contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
National Trucking Accident Attorney Stewart J. Guss discusses trucking safety on national news with Mike Papantonio on America’s Lawyer
Truck Accidents are Different from Car Accidents
Trucks and tractor trailers are large and fast vehicles. When an 18-wheeler strikes a small car or SUV at a high rate of speed, serious injuries and accidents can (and likely will) result. Truck accidents usually result in more extensive damages than regular car accidents. Some of the reasons for this include the following:
Truck accidents involve a heavier vehicle – Large trucks, big rigs, and tractor-trailers, themselves, weigh many tons. When accounting for the cargo that these vehicles carry, the weight increases even more. In a high-speed truck accident, the sheer force of the collision can result in extensive property damage, as well as significant personal injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
Trucks are harder to stop – Because of their large size and weight, it can take a long time to stop or slow down a large truck or tractor-trailer. This is especially true if the route on which the truck is traveling is mountainous. When truck drivers fail to account for these long stopping distances, they increase their chances of a collision with a smaller motor vehicle. The same can happen when truck drivers do not take cyclamate weather into account and drive too fast regardless of these weather conditions.
Trucks make wide turns – In addition to being fast and heavy, trucks and tractor-trailers are also very long vehicles. Consequently, they require a large turning radius and need a lot of room to negotiate a turn. When a truck driver miscalculates a trailer’s turn radius, it is easy for the trailer to sideswipe a smaller vehicle. This type of occurrence is especially common at traffic intersections.
Truck drivers have limited visibility – Drivers of large trucks and tractor-trailers have limited visibility. Unlike the driver of a small motor vehicle, a truck driver cannot simply look out of a rear-view mirror and see what is behind them. Instead, the truck driver must rely solely on large side-view mirrors. Due to this limited visibility, truck drivers have a wider range of blind spots. When a truck driver tries to switch lanes too quickly or does not use the proper turn signal, an accident can occur.
Truck accidents can lead to serious injuries, many of which are compensable under the law. The team of Louisiana truck accident attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers can take the necessary legal steps to pursue monetary compensation for your injuries on your behalf.
Types of Louisiana Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can occur in a variety of ways. Some accidents occur when drivers are not giving proper care and attention to the road. In other instances, drivers are speeding or otherwise driving carelessly or recklessly. In still other cases, truck drivers are fatigued while behind the wheel or operating their vehicles due to lack of sleep, or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In any of these circumstances, a serious truck accident can result. Some of the most common types of truck accidents include the following:
- Rear-end accidents – A rear-end accident occurs when a truck or tractor-trailer collides with another vehicle in the rear. While these types of accidents sometimes occur at highway speeds, they are more common at intersections as a result of driver carelessness. When a truck collides with the rear of a smaller vehicle at a high rate of speed, it can cause the occupants of the smaller vehicle to sustain mild to severe injuries, along with other damages.
- Head-on collisions – A head-on collision is common on a dual-lane highway or other roadway that does not have a concrete median or barrier separating the lanes of traffic. A head-on truck accident collision occurs when the front of a truck collides with the front of an oncoming vehicle. In order for this to happen, the truck must encroach over the center line and into the oncoming lane of traffic. A head-on collision—especially one that occurs at a high rate of speed—can result in serious injuries or fatalities to the occupants of either vehicle. These collisions can result from truck driver fatigue, inattentive driving, or alcohol or drug use while behind the wheel.
- T-bone accidents – A T-bone accident, or side-impact collision, is common at an intersection where a truck driver disregards a stop sign, yield sign, or other traffic control device. When a large truck impacts the side of a smaller vehicle, it can cause the smaller vehicle to spin around or overturn, causing the vehicle occupants to sustain serious injuries.
- Rollover accidents – A truck rollover accident can occur when a large truck tries to negotiate a sharp turn at a high rate of speed, causing the trailer to overturn in the middle of the roadway. Rollover accidents are also common when a large truck or tractor-trailer jackknifes. A truck rollover accident can lead to a massive car pileup or other large-scale motor vehicle accident.
- Chemical spills – Some tractor trailers carry highly flammable materials, like petroleum or other hazardous chemicals. When the tractor or trailer is involved in a serious accident, the contents of the trailer could spill onto the roadway, or a vehicle fire at the scene could lead to an explosion. It goes without saying that serious injuries or loss of life could occur as a result of such an incident.
The skilled team of Louisiana truck accident attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers can investigate how your accident occurred, and, if necessary, can retain an accident reconstructionist or another expert to assist with fortifying your case.
Federal and State Motor Carrier Regulations
Federal and state motor carrier regulations are in place to ensure the safe operation of large trucks and other motor carriers on highways and roadways. Motor carrier regulations ensure that vehicles are not too heavy and that proper safety protocols are in place at all times. When truck drivers and trucking companies fail to abide by state and federal motor carrier regulations, they can be fined and subject to other penalties. Motor carrier regulations establish the following:
- Tractor-trailer weight and load limits
- Requirements for oversize load vehicles (including the need for signs and escort vehicles)
- Methods for securing otherwise loose cargo, such as logs, to trailers
- Safety devices that must be in place on tractor-trailers (including warning lights on top of the vehicles and undercarriage lights)
When truck drivers and trucking companies fail to abide by the guidelines set forth in the state and federal motor carrier regulations, serious accidents can occur. When this happens, the accident victim may be able to file a claim or lawsuit against both the truck driver and the trucking company for negligence.
The team at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers can determine whether or not a motor carrier likely violated one or more of these commercial trucking regulations. In the event a violation occurred, our experienced law firm can take the necessary and appropriate legal action against the responsible party.
Injuries Sustained in Louisiana Truck Accidents
Injuries suffered in a Louisiana truck accident can range from relatively minor cuts and bruises to death, in the most serious of cases. The extent of the injuries sustained in a truck accident depends upon several factors which include the following:
- The type of truck accident that occurred (e.g., rear-end collision, head-on collision, etc.)
- The force of the accident and the speeds of the respective vehicles
- The number of vehicles involved the collision
- The size, weight, and type of the truck or tractor-trailer that caused the collision
- The extent to which the accident victim’s body moved around inside the vehicle or struck something inside the vehicle (e.g., striking one’s head on the headrest or steering wheel)
- The respective speeds of the vehicles involved in the collision
Potential injuries sustained in Louisiana truck accidents can include some or all of the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken bones and fractures
- Facial contusions and scarring
- Soft tissue neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries or paralysis
In the event the accident victim dies in a truck accident, the decedent’s survivors may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against the negligent truck driver, the employer trucking company, or both. If the decedent’s survivors prevail in the wrongful death claim, they may be able to recover monetary compensation to cover the decedent’s funeral expenses, pain and suffering damages (i.e. representing the decedent’s pain and suffering up until the time of his or her death), and survivor damages for loss of the decedent’s companionship.
The team of Louisiana attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers can review all injuries and damages with you in order to formulate a plan for obtaining the most compensation possible for your personal injury case.
Statute of Limitations Concerns
If you are on the fence about whether to file a claim or lawsuit arising out of a Louisiana truck accident case, you should not delay in your decision. Under Louisiana law, the statute of limitations in personal injury cases is only one year from the date of the accident. Therefore, if you sustained injuries in a truck accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, you should seek legal representation ASAP. Absent extenuating circumstances, if you do not file a claim or lawsuit arising out of a truck accident case within one year of the accident date, you will be precluded from ever seeking any recovery for your injuries or damages.
The team of Louisiana truck accident attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers are well aware of the statute of limitations deadlines applicable to truck accident cases. Our law firm can ensure that any claim or lawsuit arising out of a truck accident is filed long before the expiration of the one-year limitations period.
Contact a Louisiana Truck Accident Law Firm Today for a Free Case Evaluation and Legal Consultation
Louisiana truck accidents can occur anytime, anywhere. These accidents may also result in serious and permanent injuries which can place a damper on your personal and professional life. Serious injuries often mean medical procedures (e.g., surgeries and injections), missed time from work, an inability to function, causing lost quality of life. All of those damages are compensable under the law.
The team of Louisiana truck accident attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers make it their practice to champion the legal rights of seriously injured accident victims. No one asks to be injured in a truck accident, and trucking companies and their employees must be held financially accountable for their carelessness, recklessness, and negligence. Let our legal team help you recover the financial compensation you deserve to get back to living your life.
Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
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“I was very pleased with how Stewart handled my case. He acted professionally at all times and really had my best interests at heart. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome too! I would definitely recommend my friends and family to use him as their lawyer.”
Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.