Recoverable damages usually address economic loss including lost wages, medical bills, and damage to property.
Louisiana – August 8, 2022 – A big rig driver hauling building supplies lost control of his vehicle causing sheets of plywood to fly into two cars in Baton Rouge. One of the vehicles had the windows shattered, body crunched up and the roof caved in, and the other sustained less destruction. The big rig had to be towed away with notable damage as well. Good Samaritans on the scene assisted the driver out of the crushed car. Four individuals from the two cars were transported to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. A Baton Rouge Police Department representative noted that lives are often not spared in these kinds of crashes, and with this type of cargo load the injuries could have been catastrophic. Accident victims should consult with a Baton Rouge car accident attorney to determine next actions toward property replacement and medical costs incurred due to car crash injuries.
Car vs. tractor trailer
Big rigs can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, and span about 65 feet in length increasing the risk of catastrophic damage to a car. Louisiana laws follows federal guidelines for all commercial motor vehicles subject to regulations of the United States Department of Transportation, assuring insurance coverage in an amount equivalent to the minimum levels of financial responsibility as set forth in those regulations. As a means of reducing roadway dangers caused by a big truck’s size, braking distance, and cargo loads, commercial motor vehicle operators have imposed restrictions on their driving hours, roadway access, and types of cargo loads carried.
Commercial driver penalties for offenses that may support a car accident injury case include:
- Overweight. Vehicles must have specific permits if they carry an oversized load.
- Logbooks. CDL drivers must have a logbook that is up to date and that reflects hours driven. Falsifying or failing to keep a logbook can result in federal penalties and is punishable by up to six months in jail.
- Speeding while towing a trailer. If driving above 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, this can result in suspension of a license.
- Grade restrictions. A commercial driver who drives on a road where he or she is not permitted due to its grade (steepness) can be subject to penalties up to a 60-day license suspension for a first offense.
Additional evidence that may help to support a claim for damages and determinations of fault includes:
- Testimony of witnesses and injured party,
- Trucking company or driver’s admissions of fault directly after the accident or sometime later,
- Safety reports on vehicles involved in the accident completed before and after the accident,
- Blood alcohol tests for drivers, or hospital blood tests that reveal intoxication,
- Cell phone records to make sure drivers were not texting or using phone causing accident.
Under Louisiana’s comparative fault law — Louisiana Civil Code 2323, an award for damages can be reduced in proportion to the driver(s) percentage of his or her fault. This means that if you were 75% at fault, you could still recover 25% of your damages. The rule affects any type of personal injury claim including truck accidents. A Louisiana accident lawyer may help victims file insurance claims and provide guidance on state thresholds, time limitations to file legal action, and information from insurance carriers that they communicate with on behalf of the accident victims.
Recoverable damages usually address economic loss including lost wages, medical bills, and damage to property. In some cases, punitive damages may be garnered. A financial award will be based on a review of injuries, property damage, pain and suffering and wrongful death claims.
Seek legal counsel
Car accident victims who have suffered injury and property damage in Baton Rouge Louisiana should contact a knowledgeable attorney at Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf. Accidents between cars and 18 wheelers may involve multiple complex factors that require specific knowledge of the commercial trucking industry, experience in civil injury laws, and sophisticated investigative capabilities to collect evidence and analyze it to support a negligence claim most strongly.