18-Wheeler Injury Lawyer
Semi Truck Accident Lawyers in Shreveport, Bossier, and Mansfield, LA
Helping those who have been injured due to the fault of another in an 18-wheeler accident.
Accidents happen on roads and highways every day, an all can be a terrifying experience for those involved. However, perhaps the scariest accidents that occur on the roadways are those involving 18-wheeler trucks. Just like any other car accident, these wrecks happen at any hour and day of the week and claim thousands of lives each year. There could be thousands of dollars in expenses for car repairs, lost wages, medical treatment, physical therapy, and more. You deserve proper compensation if a truck driver’s negligence injures you. The Shreveport 18-wheeler accident attorneys at Gordon & Gordon fight for your rights as a victim.
You can’t treat a crash with an 18-wheeler like any typical car collision. So much more is at stake, and multiple parties may be responsible for your damages. The parties involved in the wreck may include the truck driver, the trucking company, the company that owned the cargo, and more. In this case, you’ll likely be up against experienced attorneys and insurance adjusters with unlimited resources. That’s where we come in.
When you hire personal injury attorneys Gordon & Gordon for your Shreveport personal injury claim, we will thoroughly investigate your claim, looking for regulation violations and other evidence of negligence until we determine every party that may hold fault. Give us a call at 318-716-HELP to schedule a free consultation with our firm today about your truck accident claim.
Insurance Requirement for Commercial Drivers
Commercial vehicles are usually much larger than private vehicles, and most accidents are severe. A typical, fully loaded commercial truck (such as an 18-wheeler, big rig, or dump truck) can weigh 25 times as much as a standard car. Due to the fundamental laws of physics, big rig accidents often result in serious or even fatal injuries. These accidents can be worsened by hazardous or flammable freight often carried by these commercial vehicles.
In recognition of the seriousness of an 18-wheeler or commercial truck accident in Louisiana, trucking companies must follow federal and state regulations. State law requires that commercial vehicles like semi-trucks carry much larger insurance policies than private vehicles. The minimum liability coverage allowed in Louisiana is $15,000 for non-commercial vehicles. Meanwhile, state and federal laws require $300,000 in insurance for trucks weighing less than 10,000 pounds and transporting non-hazardous freight. However, most big rigs weigh more than 10,000 pounds, and these must carry at least $750,000 in insurance. If the truck has certain hazardous cargoes aboard, that minimum requirement can rise to as much as $5 million.
In case of a collision, these larger policies allow truck accident victims to pay for needed medical care and receive proper compensation for their loss.
Why Are 18-Wheelers More Dangerous Than Passenger Vehicles?
18-wheelers are more dangerous than passenger vehicles for many reasons. Perhaps the most obvious reason is their size. Tractor-trailers weigh between 20 and 30 times more than the average passenger vehicle. That means they can wreak catastrophic damage on these much smaller motor vehicles. While the property damage is certainly extensive, the physical injuries are also life-changing and can often cause wrongful death.
Additional reasons semi-truck wrecks are more dangerous than collisions with a passenger car include:
- Sheer Size – Even without the weight of their cargo, large commercial trucks weigh thousands of pounds. In addition to that, it’s common for some trucks to carry as much as 80,000 pounds of cargo. The size and weight of these trucks make it hard for drivers to stop or slow down quickly. In fact, it can take an 18-wheeler nearly the length of two football fields to make a complete stop.
- Hazardous Cargo – In addition to carrying thousands of pounds of cargo, big rigs also carry loads that include hazardous materials. If a crash occurs and these materials spill, dozens of people can be injured as a result.
- Blind Spots – Blind spots exist in any vehicle you drive. However, a tractor trailer’s blind spots pose a more significant threat because they’re located on each side of the truck and on the front and back. This increases the probability of a sideswipe accident when truck drivers can’t see the cars next to them.
- Truck Driver Mistakes – Many truckers are paid by the mile, meaning they make more money when they can travel the distance in less time. Because of this, many drivers endure sleep deprivation or don’t stop for vehicle maintenance or safety reasons. Truck drivers may also break the law and exceed the speed limit since it affects their pocketbooks. These actions increase the risk of an 18-wheeler accident and thus, devastating injuries.
What Causes an 18-Wheeler Accident?
Accidents may happen at any time and for any reason. However, some things may contribute more frequently to 18-wheeler wrecks. These include:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Intoxication, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Road rage, driving dangerously on purpose, or recklessness
- Inexperienced or young driver
- Mechanical or manufacturing flaws in a vehicle or any of its parts
- Poor truck maintenance
- Violation of traffic laws
- Dangerous or poorly-designed roads
- Inclement weather causing poor visibility or wet, slippery roads
Whatever the cause, if you’ve been injured in a big truck wreck, your personal injury case needs to be handled by a knowledgeable and skilled Shreveport 18-wheeler injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your legal representation ensures you receive the maximum compensation you deserve for your personal injury claim.
Why are 18-Wheeler Accident Cases More Complicated Than Average Car Accident Cases?
Large truck crashes are more complicated than regular car accidents for several reasons, including the number of parties involved, significant insurance policies and payouts, the extent of the personal injuries, and the available evidence. We’ll go into more detail below:
Multiple parties are usually involved in trucking accidents. This doesn’t just include vehicle drivers. It may also include trucking companies, big rig owners, freight owners, truck manufacturer, cargo loaders, maintenance companies, local or state governments, other drivers on the road, and more. Depending on the circumstances of the case, other involved parties may be included in the suit if an injured driver sues a semi-truck driver.
Large Insurance Policies
Commercial trucks have ample insurance policies with high coverage amounts. This can be good in many ways, but it also makes truck collisions more complicated. Trucking companies know their rigs are hazardous and will fight hard to defend themselves in a personal injury suit.
Truck Wreck Evidence
The amount of evidence needed for a successful trucking accident case is substantial. A truck accident victim needs more than just photos of the accident scene and a police report.
After an accident involving a tractor-trailer, an experienced attorney from our law firm will work to gather additional evidence such as:
- Truck maintenance records
- Inspection records
- Cargo weight tickets
- Commercial driver’s training records
- The truck driver’s service log
- A drug test for the big rig driver
If you’ve been in a traffic accident with a big rig, you need the guidance of a seasoned Shreveport 18-wheeler accident lawyer from Gordon & Gordon. With years of experience litigating truck accident cases, we know how stressful it can be for an injured victim to fight against the trucking industry. Allow your personal injury attorney to fight for your fair compensation while you recover from your serious injuries.
Common Injuries After an 18-Wheeler Accident
Another reason motor vehicle accidents involving semi-trucks are so terrifying is because of the potential of suffering serious and catastrophic injuries. Typical car accident injuries include:
- Accidental amputations
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord and back injuries and paralysis
- Whiplash, vertebrae fractures, and other neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Damaged internal organs
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Accident amputation injury
- Burns, bruises, scrapes, and cuts
- Mental distress (PTSD and anxiety)
- Fatal accidents and wrongful death
Our legal team at Gordon & Gordon has experience handling both injurious and fatal large truck accidents and earning financial compensation for accident victims and their families. If you’ve been injured in such an accident, seek medical attention first and then reach out to us right away.
Types of Damages for 18-Wheeler Accidents
The semi-truck accident claims process includes determining which parties played a part in and hold fault for the car wreck. It is the at-fault driver’s responsibility (and their insurance company) to reimburse for your damages financially.
Your Shreveport truck accident lawyer will work to demonstrate that the at-fault parties directly contributed to your injuries with their negligence. Damages that may be recovered from a big rig accident include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lowered earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Permanent disability or scarring
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages
The most heartbreaking accidents include the loss of life. You may be able to recover compensation for wrongful death damages if a loved one succumbed to their truck accident injuries.
Why Should You Hire 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers?
The possible payouts in a truck accident case are high. As a result, commercial trucking companies and their insurance company use expert witnesses, investigators, and attorneys who can significantly reduce a victim’s chances of a successful outcome.
If any involved parties are from another state, the case gets even more complicated and could go to federal court. That’s why it’s imperative that you hire a Shreveport personal injury attorney with the right experience and qualifications to represent your case. The truck accident attorneys at Gordon & Gordon handle big rig wreck cases regularly and are familiar with the average semi-truck accident settlement. Fortunately, they are also familiar with obtaining such a settlement for their injured clients. To Gordon & Gordon, you are not just a client. You are a victim of a terrible accident and you deserve justice for the pain and suffering you’ve endured.
In addition to big truck accidents, our law firm also handles a variety of other automobile accidents, including Shreveport motorcycle accidents, Shreveport pedestrian accidents, Shreveport hit and run accidents, and more.