If you leave it to the insurance adjusters, the value of your claim might be vastly reduced.
The highways in the New Orleans area are teeming with trucks rushing to deliver their cargo which is a sign of a strong economy, but also a great risk for other cars and their occupants. A collision with a large truck can land you in the hospital, if you make it out alive that is. If you are left with severe injuries, you’ll be wondering how much your claim might be worth as you will certainly need a lot of money to pay your medical bills and provide for your family. There is no quick answer to this type of question and the best qualified to tell you how much money you should be seeking in damages is a New Orleans truck accident lawyer with many years of practice in this area of the law.
How are damages calculated in New Orleans?
Louisiana uses a modified comparative fault rule. When you file a personal injury claim, you can recover some damages even if you were mostly to blame for the crash. Many truck accidents are caused by the trucker’s error, distracted driving or speeding. However, there are also cases when the driver in the other car fails to give the truck enough space or engages in a dangerous left turn. Under the modified comparative fault rule, even if you are 75% to blame for what happened, you can still recover 25% of the damages you suffered.
While such provisions are most generous, they can also be very dangerous. If you leave it to the insurance adjusters, the value of your claim might be vastly reduced as they will find pretexts to maximize your percentage of fault, while minimizing the wrongdoings of the trucker or of their employer.
This is actually the main reason why you should always talk to an experienced Louisiana truck accident lawyer before accepting any settlement offered by the insurance company.
When can I sue the trucking company?
Large interstate trucking companies make a lot of money and they can afford good lawyers and all sorts of experts very skilled at twisting facts and hiding any involvement their employer might have had in the crash. If you want to get a just settlement, you will need a skilled truck accident lawyer to conduct an independent investigation into the case.
For instance, if the trucker did not have a valid commercial driver’s license or had not received adequate training, you may have a case against the company Also, if the company failed to enforce federal road safety regulations meant to prevent driver fatigue or encouraged the driver to work more than he should have, his employer can be held accountable for any error caused by driver fatigue.
What sort of damages can I get after a truck accident?
You are entitled to economic damages, which are calculated by adding up all your medical bills and the value of your lost wages. Keep in mind that if you are left with a disability you may also seek compensation for future lost wages.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for your pain and suffering and you’ll need a seasoned lawyer to help you put a value on that. In Louisiana there is no cap on pain and suffering damages in truck accident cases. However, non-economic damages should be proportional with the severity of your injuries.
Non-economic damages are calculated using a formula that multiplies the value of your emotional and physical suffering per day with the number of days you’ll have to live with that pain. If you are left with a serious disability, disfigurement or a missing limb, the damages will be calculated taking into consideration the number of years you might reasonably be expected to live.