Trucking Accident FAQs

Q. Are personal injury cases resulting from truck accidents different than car accidents?

A. Yes. Although both may involve negligence, certain laws only apply to commercial truck drivers and truck companies. Also, truck drivers are required to meet special licensing and training requirements.

Q. Who may sue in a truck accident injury or death case?

A. Anyone injured or anyone who has a loved one killed in a truck accident can sue as long as some other person or entity is at fault for the accident.

Q. Who may be sued in a truck accident case?

A. Any person or entity at fault for causing the accident may be sued including the following: the truck driver; the trucking company; and any other driver, person or entity who in any way contributed to the accident such as the manufacturer of one of the vehicles involved in the accident, the manufacturer of a tire that contributed to the accident or the owner of any public or private property whose negligence contributed to the accident.

Q. May I still sue even if I was partially at fault for causing my own injuries in the accident?

A. Louisiana is a comparative fault state. A person may sue for personal injury even if they are partially at fault, as long as they can prove that one or more other persons are also at fault. The amount of a person's recovery will be reduced by the amount of their fault. If someone is awarded $1 million dollars in a personal injury matter, but they are found to be fifty percent (50%) at fault, their compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault to $500,000 dollars.

Q. Is an immediate investigation important in a truck accident case?

A. Yes. Immediately investigating the accident is crucial in all cases, especially those involving commercially owned trucks. In most cases trucking companies will perform their own investigation immediately after the accident. This puts you at a disadvantage in determining fault if you wait too long to begin your investigation.

Q. Do you use expert witnesses to show fault in truck accident cases?

A. Unless liability is clear-cut, expert witnesses are usually needed to establish fault in trucking cases and to download and read the data on the "black box."

Q. What damages are available as the result of a truck accident injury or death?

A. An injured person is entitled to recover all of his or her past and future medical expenses; past and future loss of income and loss of earning capacity; past and future pain, suffering and emotional distress, and in cases in which the truck driver was impaired by the use of alcohol, increased punitive damages may be awarded to punish the driver for his actions.

If a person dies in an accident with an 18-wheeler, survivors are entitled to monetary damages for their economic losses and emotional distress damages for loss of love and affection. See Wrongful Death.

Q. How long after the injury or death from a truck accident do I have to file my case?

A. Typically, a truck accident victim has one year from the date of accident to bring a lawsuit. If someone has been injured or a loved one has died as the result of a trucking accident, he or she should talk to an attorney as soon as possible.

Q. Will my case settle out of court?

A. It depends on the nature of the case, the complexity of the issues and the willingness of both parties to reach a resolution.

Q. Do I need an attorney for my truck accident case?

A. Unless it is a minor injury, you should get an attorney to investigate that accident and establish the liability or fault of any of the parties.

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