18 Wheeler Accidents
Over 30 Years of Dedicated Experience
New Orleans Truck Accident Lawyers
Put Decades of Experience in Your Corner
Being injured in an 18-wheeler accident can be devastating. A truck of that size can cause serious injuries to drivers and passengers of both vehicles. If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler accident, the The Womac Law Firm is ready to hear your case.
We are committed to helping injured clients fight for the fair and just compensation they deserve. You shouldn't have to pay anything for the injuries caused by another party. Have a team of aggressive New Orleans 18-wheeler attorneys stand up for your rights.
On This Page
- How Many Accidents Are Caused by Semi-Trucks?
- Common Causes
- How Our Attorneys Can Help
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Accidents Are Caused by Semi-Trucks?
Unfortunately, large truck accidents are much more common than many people realize. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 4,761 deaths resulting from large truck collisions throughout the United States in 2017 (the latest year for which data is available). Of these fatalities, a staggering 72 percent were the occupants of other vehicles, while 18 percent were occupants of the trucks involved and another 10 percent were not occupants of a vehicle (bicyclists, pedestrians, etc.).
Perhaps most disturbing, however, is the 9 percent increase in truck accident-related fatalities between 2016 and 2017, as well as the 12 percent increase in large truck accident fatalities over the 10-year period leading up to 2017. In short: the frequency of truck accident fatalities on a national scale is increasing.
According to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, there were 103 fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses in Louisiana alone in 2019, as well as another 2,714 bus and truck accidents resulting in injury. Buses and trucks were involved in 15.7% of all fatal collisions and 6.2% of all injury crashes in the state last year.
As these truck accident statistics reveal, motorists are at risk any time they get on the road with large vehicles, like semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and buses. If you or someone you love was involved in a collision with a large truck or similar commercial vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact The Womac Law Firm.
We offer free consultations, so call today to speak with one of our skilled and experienced attorneys. Remember: you are not alone; our firm can help you seek fair financial recovery for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The trucking industry is highly regulated by the federal government because of the danger that it poses to other cars and pedestrians on the road. Everything from the maximum driving time and required truck maintenance to the weight of a truck is regulated. Parties who fail to abide by these rules can be held liable for injuries.
Common causes of 18-wheeler truck accidents include:
- Speeding - Truck drivers are often expected to complete their route in a specific amount of time, which isn't always possible due to weather, technical issues, traffic, and a host of other factors. When a driver falls behind schedule, there is always the temptation to simply pick up the speed.
- Tire Failure - Things like tire underinflation, tire over inflation, potholes, and debris are all common causes of tire failure.
- Brake Failure - "Riding the brakes" is a common cause of brake failure in trucks. If a driver uses the brakes while going down a long hill, it can cause the brakes to overheat and fail.
- Driver Fatigue - Again, because truck drivers are on a tight schedule, they will often push themselves to drive to the point of fatigue. This behavior is extremely dangerous as fatigue driving results in micro-sleeping, loss of concentration, and impaired motor skills.
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and/or Alcohol - Truck drivers driving under the influence is unfortunately fairly common. The dangers of drunk driving are amplified in truck accident claims when you consider the sheer size and weight of semi-trucks.
- Distracted Driving - Truck drivers are human and fall prey to the boredom and the monotony of driving, which often results in texting while driving, making phone calls, perusing social media, changing the radio, and a host of other distractions.
- Overweight Cargo or Freight - Both state and federal laws regulate the cargo weight a truck is permitted to haul, and drivers are expected to regularly use weight stations along their route. An overweight truck is harder to control and stop, which makes it more likely to be involved in an accident.
Our experienced team can look into your case and investigate the causes of your accident. Whether it was a careless truck driver, a negligent trucking company, or a defective trucking part that was to blame, we work hard to research and prepare each claim.
Liability in 18-Wheeler Accidents
Knowing the cause of an 18-wheeler accident is only part of the claims process. We also need to use that cause to determine liability or fault. In Louisiana, the pure comparative negligence rule will reduce the compensation amount that you can receive based on your percentage of liability. Our truck accident attorneys can work to keep your liability as low as possible, hopefully down to 0%, so you can get the most compensation possible.
Liable parties in an 18-wheeler accident might include:
- Truck driver who caused the crash
- Trucking company that employed the trucker
- Truck part manufacturer
- Third-party like a load or maintenance crew
When there are multiple liable parties in a trucking accident claim, we can file against multiple insurance policies in pursuit of the compensation owed to you. While this can add complications to the case, the Womac Law Firm is always ready to put the Womac On ‘em, no matter how many parties we have to go up against for our clients.
Do Commercial Trucks Have “Black Box” Devices?Some 18-wheelers and semis are equipped with an electronic on-board recorder (EOBR), which is sometimes called a “black box” device like those on airplanes. EOBRs track the amount of time that the vehicle is in operation. This information can be used to see if the truck driver was violating break schedules and possibly driving while exhausted. A few EOBR models can even track the truck’s speed, which could show that the trucker was breaking the speed limit at the time of the collision.
What Happens During a Truck Accident Investigation?
The steps of a truck accident investigation will vary depending on the details of the crash. Typically, we will begin by surveying the accident site ourselves and comparing our findings with evidence that we have already been provided by our client or an insurance company investigator.
For complicated cases, we can call in a crash reconstruction expert to assist with the investigation. Next, our attorneys will want to check the crash history of the truck driver and the trucking company’s safety records. We might be able to find a pattern of negligence that could help prove that the 18-wheeler caused the crash, not you.
How Long Will My Truck Accident Case Take?As with any legal matter, every personal injury case is different. Truck accident cases are time-sensitive due to the lengthy investigation involved. Evidence must be quickly preserved in order to accurately determine fault, as blame may not necessarily be placed on the driver of the truck. In a situation like this, the trucking company, manufacturer, truck owner, leasing company, or truck loader may be held responsible for your injuries or damages.
Common Injuries Suffered in Truck Accidents
We dial up the intensity in our representation for truck accident clients because we know the stakes are so high. The average truck accident has the potential to cause life-changing injuries. The costs and losses associated with such injuries can be life-changing, too. Let us fight for you to ensure that you are compensated fully based on the severity of your injuries and how they will impact your day-to-day life for years to come.
Severe injuries that can happen in an 18-wheeler accident include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Third-degree burns
- Permanent disfigurement
How Our Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help
Truck accidents can spark a complicated legal process, which is why it is vital you enlist the help of the legal team at The Womac Law Firm. When you rely on the help of our trucking accident attorneys, you will be the recipient of top-rated, trusted, and thorough legal services. We will do everything in our power to ensure your rights are protected and your needs are met.
Our law office employs some of the most determined truck injury attorneys New Orleans has to offer. At our firm, we work aggressively and efficiently to help our clients get the compensation they deserve. We can work with you to prepare a thorough claim that takes into account:
- All present and future costs for medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- And more
The Womac Law Firm will work hard for you, so you can concentrate on recovering. You don't pay us legal fees unless our New Orleans truck accident lawyers obtain money for you.