There is a lot of traffic, for one thing. It’s difficult for those big rigs to stop, and sometimes the drivers continue to drive when they’re really tired. Other accidents are caused by distracted drivers. All of those factors come into consideration.

What Are Some Common Injuries Sustained In Trucking Or Commercial Vehicle Accidents?

These injuries are usually more significant. Mass times velocity equals energy. That means the mass of an 18-wheeler is a whole lot more than the mass of a Prius, so when a commercial truck hits you, it’s a significant mass coming into contact with a much smaller mass. That’s why the damages and injuries are usually more significant.

Who Could Potentially Be Liable For Injuries Suffered From A Commercial Vehicle Accident?

You have the driver, of course. You also generally have the person they’re working for, because respondeat superior means whichever employer hired that employee is responsible for them. Additionally, 18-wheelers are required to be insured under federal and state law, and usually there are pretty significant limits. That’s why so many lawyers are advertising for truck accidents because the limits are high. The basic limits on automobile in Louisiana is $15,000.00 to $30,000.00 but for big trucks like that, I think it’s $750 or $1 million.

How Does It Impact My Personal Injury Case If The Truck Driver Is An Independent Contractor?

If their status were held up, it could theoretically impact your case. However, independent contractor status is usually not awarded. You can’t just call yourself an independent contractor to avoid liability, so that usually is not an issue. Otherwise, these trucking companies would label every driver an independent contractor. Of course, the insurance would still be there, but you have more insurance if you have that extra layer of insurance. The trucking company usually has an umbrella policy on top of what they have in that particular vehicle.

I Was Hit By A Semi-Truck In Louisiana And Was Severely Injured. If The Trucking Company Is Based In Another State, Would That Make Filing My Personal Injury Claim More Complicated?

Getting hit by an out-of-state driver is not a problem at all. In that particular situation, you would file in federal court. You could alternatively file in whatever jurisdiction the accident actually happened, and then federal court would have jurisdiction over that other vehicle because of the diversity of citizenship, so you would still try your case in federal court. Trying it in state court would probably get you removed to federal court, and most insurance companies would rather be in federal court than state court.

If Someone Is Killed In A Trucking Accident, Does That Automatically Change A Personal Injury Lawsuit Into A Wrongful Death Suit?

In Louisiana, it would become what’s called a wrongful death and survival suit. The heirs who are able to bring the suit on behalf of the deceased are set forth in a certain ranking. They can recover their damages (their pain and suffering from losing a loved one and the economic support), and they are also entitled to recover whatever the pain and suffering the deceased incurred before they died. That’s the survival action.

For more information on Trucking Accident Injury Claims in Louisiana, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (985) 200-8466 today.

Jesse L. Wimberly III

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