You might not think that there are any big differences between a collision with a car and a collision with a commercial truck. But in reality, there are two very important differences that you should know about, especially if you have been involved in a crash with an 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, box truck, or commercial vehicle:
Truck accidents result in more damage and injury. Trucks are significantly bigger and heavier than other vehicles on the road. In fact, a large truck with cargo can legally weigh 80,000 pounds. When 80,000 pounds crash into your vehicle at any speed, the damage can be significant, and the injuries could be permanent.
Truck accidents are more complex legally. Non-commercial drivers are responsible for their actions behind the wheel, and only rarely are other parties involved in a wreck (such as a municipality or an auto manufacturer). But when you are struck by a commercial vehicle, a number of parties may be to blame, including the driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, the owner of the trailer, the truck’s mechanic, etc.
Because truck accidents are more serious and more complex than most traffic accidents, it is all the more important that you speak with an experienced, knowledgeable Louisiana truck accident attorney after your crash. At Big River Trial Attorneys, we are extremely familiar with these accidents and can help you secure the justice and compensation that you and your family deserve.
The trucking industry is a significant part of the both the U.S. and the Louisiana economy. Because of our reliance on trucks for shipping goods, each year the number of large trucks on the road grows.
While trucking companies bring a lot of good with them to our state, there are also a number of problems and concerns with the industry. Trucking companies who violate federal and state commercial vehicle regulations endanger others on the roads, and far too many companies cut corners and break laws in order to increase their profits. For every great trucking company making the world better, there is one who might be negligent or grossly negligent – an issue that leads to loss of life during highway and interstate truck accidents.
Stretching East to West from Santa Monica, California to Jacksonville, Florida, Interstate 10 is a popular throughway for both truckers and non-commercial drivers. Companies, travelers, and long-haul truckers use the road as they pass through the state.
Because the road is crowded with a mix of traffic, and also because the road connects the major cities in Southeast Louisiana, it is a hotbed of trucking accidents year-round. The causes of these accidents vary, but you should speak with a truck accident lawyer if you have been involved in a I-10 trucking crash.
Just how often are there commercial truck and tractor-trailer accidents in Baton Rouge and Louisiana? According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2013 there were 74 trucks involved in fatal accidents in Louisiana. Of course, truck accidents are not just a phenomenon of Baton Rouge and Louisiana.
Each year in the United States:
There are about 400,000 large truck accidents across the country.
Between 4,000 and 5,000 Americans lose their lives in truck accidents each year – about 10 percent of all fatal crashes.
An astonishing 75 percent of truck accident fatalities involves passengers in non-truck vehicle.
Between 400 and 500 bicycle riders are killed by large trucks each year in the U.S., and about 2,000 are injured.
Unlike passenger car accidents and pick-up truck accidents, commercial truck and 18-wheeler accidents can have causes that aren’t obvious at first. Here are just a few more common causes of truck accidents in Louisiana and the United States:
Because truckers are in their vehicle for many hours each week, they may fall victim to distracted driving. This could include anything from using a mobile device to watching television to eating a meal to using an on-board computer for work.
There are strict regulations regarding commercial drivers drinking or using drugs, and incidents have fallen greatly in the past two decades. Yet a surprising number of truckers are still found to be drinking or using drugs while on the job.
There are several entities that could be liable after a tractor-trailer accident in Louisiana. In some cases, more than one party will be liable, and damages should be divided between all responsible parties in a proportional manner. These liable parties could include: