Truck accidents differ sharply from automobile accidents in both their consequences and the way they are litigated.
Commercial vehicles that weigh 10,000 pounds or more cause massive damage to passenger vehicles when the two collide. Truck accidents occur for a variety of reasons, but many are preventable.
Despite extensive federal and state trucking industry regulations, drivers and companies regularly cut corners to increase their bottom line. The result, too often, is tragedy for truck accident victims and their families.
The Bart Bernard Personal Injury Law Firm has the experience to handle all types of truck accidents while you are recovering from your injuries. We maintain the most clients in Louisiana who have been injured in 18 wheeler accidents. As a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multimillion Dollar Advocates Forum, Bart Bernard Personal Injury Law Firm has a history of obtaining top results for truck accident victims. We won’t stop fighting for you. You will get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to receive a free case evaluation from one of Louisiana’s top truck accident attorneys.
Very common. In Lafayette, LA & Baton Rouge, LA in 2012, large trucks were involved in 92 fatal crashes and 2,353 injury crashes. Overall, 2.8% of the vehicles in injury crashes were large trucks or busses and 9.3% of the vehicles in fatal crashes were large trucks or busses. If the percentage of crashes (rather than the percentage of vehicles) is considered, 14% of fatal crashes involved large trucks or busses. Pick-up trucks also feature prominently in Louisiana crashes. In 2012, 21.5% of all vehicles involved in injury crashes were pick-up trucks; 22.5% of the vehicles in fatal crashes were pick-up trucks.
There are many possible defendants in a truck accident case. They include the truck driver, the company that employs the driver, the owner of the truck, the owner of the trailer, the company leasing the truck or trailer, the facility that loaded the truck’s cargo, and a company that performed repairs/maintenance on a truck. Truck accident liability is not always straightforward, and often requires a thorough investigation. Bart Bernard and his staff of experts will determine which party—or parties—made a mistake that led to the truck accident.
Damages in a truck accident are broadly divided into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic losses are things like medical expenses (past and future), lost wages (past and future), and property damage. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify. They include things like mental anguish, emotional distress, the effects of disfigurement and scarring, and other psychological harm that a serious truck accident might cause. The spouse of a truck accident victim may also be able to obtain non-economic damages based on their loss of marital benefits. Contact Bart Bernard to learn more about the types of truck accident compensation you may be entitled to.
Yes. In Louisiana, a fatal accident victim’s relatives—usually the surviving spouse and children—can pursue what’s known as a “wrongful death” lawsuit. The types of compensation available in a truck accident wrongful death lawsuit are financial losses (including medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost future wages) and non-financial losses (loss of companionship and other emotional distress the wrongful death causes to the victim’s surviving relatives). If there is no surviving spouse or children, surviving parents, brothers and sisters, and grandparents may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Whether or not your case reaches out-of-court settlement or goes to trial depends on the willingness of the other party’s insurance company to offer you a fair amount of compensation. You have the final say in deciding whether a settlement offer is fair or not, although your lawyer will advise you on this matter. If an insurer offers a “lowball” settlement, going to court may be the only way to ensure adequate compensation for your losses. The Bart Bernard Personal Injury Law Firm, will not hesitate to litigate should it prove necessary.
Evidence begins to disappear quickly after a truck accident, especially on interstates and other busy roadways. Having our own investigator on the scene ensures that crucial evidence in your case is preserved. In addition, the trucking or insurance company will probably dispatch their own investigator soon after the accident. If your attorney doesn’t have his own investigator at the accident site, it increases the likelihood that evidence will be tampered with or the investigation performed dishonestly.
Under no circumstances should you speak to an insurance company other than your own. An adjuster may try to get you to make statements or sign documents that paint you as the liable party. When you retain Bart Bernard, our team will handle all communications with the other party’s insurer.
Laws known as “statutes of limitations” set the time limit for how soon legal action must be taken after a personal injury occurs. Louisiana has some of the country’s strictest statutes of limitations. From the date you are injured in a truck accident, you have only 1 year to file a lawsuit. It is therefore important to contact Bert Bernard as soon as possible after your accident.
Once the police and other emergency responders have been notified, you should, if you are feeling up to it, take pictures of the accident scene. Also get pictures of yourself, your passengers, and your property. Discuss the facts surrounding the accident with the police, but do not say anything that makes you appear responsible for the crash. Certainly don’t speak with an insurance company from another party. You may be taken from the scene in an ambulance and treated for injuries immediately. If not, see your doctor right away and get checked out. Some injuries aren’t immediately apparent, and you’ll need to document the harm you suffer. This includes taking photos of your bruises and other injuries.
Bart Bernard understands that you have many options when it comes to choosing a legal representative. Not all personal injury firms, however, are the same. The “resume” of a firm speaks to its success in handling cases like yours, and our resume is strong. We maintain more clients who have been injured in 18 wheeler accidents than any other firm in Lafayette, LA. We have gained entry into the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, a very prestigious group that admits only 1% of U.S. trial lawyers. The bottom line is that we’ve been very successful in 18 wheeler accident cases. But don’t take our word for it—listen to what past clients have to say.
The unique variables in a truck accident case and the severe injuries they often cause make it important to seek professional legal assistance. Whether your accident was with an 18 wheeler or any other type of truck, Bart Bernard Personal Injury Law Firm will make sure you get what you deserve from the insurance company, trucking company, and any other liable party. Call us from anywhere in Louisiana to schedule a free case evaluation.