Call an attorney if you have been in an accident with a truck and suffered injury or property damage.

Jackknife tractor trailers in Lake Charles.

Tractor trailers who have shifting of cargo loads that are not secured properly can end up in rollover or jackknife situations on Louisiana roadways, specifically on Interstate 10 where multiple tractor trailer trucks jackknifed in the same spot over the Summer months in Lake Charles. Professionals will have to perform due diligence and find out what percentage of fault lies with the drivers, or if the accidents were caused by roadway conditions.  All three vehicles received damage and the accidents were not life-threatening.  Truck accidents account for a large percentage of highway fatalities where thousands of lives are still taken every day.

Post-accident actions.

If you are involved in an accident with a tractor trailer, it is important to know what action to take directly afterward to make sure your damages and injuries are addressed.

  • Check on the condition of the people involved in the accident;
  • Call the police or emergency responders if needed;
  • Get a written accident report;
  • Remain at the accident scene;
  • Exchange driver and insurance information;
  • Get witness contact information;
  • Call your insurance company to set up a claim;
  • Seek out medical treatment if necessary;
  • Take pictures of the scene, and the vehicle damages;
  • If the truck is a Commercial Vehicle, get a State Trooper report;
  • Do not make any statements regarding the fault or liability at the scene or when making a complaint;
  • Call an accident attorney to determine “fault” and actions toward a proceeding to address damages and injuries sustained.

Insurance and legal claims.

Settlements will be based on the information obtained by the victims, witnesses and professionals who arrive at the scene.  Multiple factors will assist in the determination of fault.  The size and weight of a large truck may result in extensive damage and serious injury compared to an accident with a passenger vehicle.  A truck’s heavy weight and length can compromise maneuverability and braking distances leading to crash, jackknife and rollover scenarios where multi-vehicle involvement may occur.

Cargo is an important safety consideration for trucking companies, and is often dependent solely on the people who load and/or drive these large trucks that already have limited maneuverability in certain traffic patterns.  A trucking company may do this to avoid making more than one trip that would cost more road time and fuel.  An overloaded truck can cause an accident because:

  1. the added weight requires longer stopping distances;
  2. tires may not be able to support the extra weight and cause blowout situations;
  3. mechanical components may not be able to bear the weight increasing downhill speeds and decreasing uphill speed of a truck, and most importantly a shift in cargo weight could cause an overturn or jackknife situation.

An accident victim may receive both compensatory damages, which are those damages that caused economic loss (loss of wages, medical bills, legal fees and property damage) and non-economic loss to victim (pain and suffering).

Louisiana Civil Code 2323 regarding comparative fault addresses limitations in insurance and damages claims. The rule affects personal injury claims to the effect of reducing an accident victim’s claim in proportion to the percentage of his or her fault.

Hire an accident lawyer.

An attorney at the Colonna Law Firm will be able to assist you with your claim for damages resulting from a tractor trailer accident, where complex legal interaction requiring specific knowledge of the trucking industry, insurance law and civil injury law.

Colonna Law Firm

900 Ryan Street, Suite 402

Lake Charles, LA 70601

Tel: 337-656-3212

Fax: 337-385-5858

Email: [email protected]

 

Sources:

http://web01.dps.louisiana.gov/Omv1.nsf/$print/47F371A94524B74A862564B40052E5DA

https://www.truckinfo.net/trucking/stats.htm

http://www.ldi.la.gov/industry/laws-and-bulletins/insurance-law-(title-22)

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/b/5/3/list

https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Vehicles/VehiclesAllVehicles.aspx