Truck accident cases often involve severe injuries and quickly become complicated. Talking to a licensed attorney can be an important step during this difficult time.
Founding partners Rusty Galloway and John Jefcoat have decades of experience representing injury victims in Lake Charles and throughout the state of Louisiana. John is also a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association Top 100.
At Galloway Jefcoat, the consultation is free and there are no upfront fees for our services. Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning we do not get paid until you do. At Galloway Jefcoat, we provide personalized, aggressive representation to help victims recover the compensation they need.
Call us today at (337) 984-8020 to schedule a free consultation.
Am I Eligible to File a Claim?
If you were injured in a truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a truck accident injury claim. However, proving negligence occurred can be a challenge. Your lawyer must establish:
- There was a duty of care
- That duty was breached
- The breach of the duty of care directly resulted in your injuries and damages
There are many factors to consider when attempting to validate a claim for negligence. For example, how and why did the accident happen? What could the driver or other parties have done differently to prevent a crash? Would those alternative actions have been reasonable?
These are all questions our licensed Lake Charles truck accident lawyers may need to consider in a free legal consultation.
Our licensed attorneys are prepared to manage truck accident claims involving:
- Tractor-trailer accidents
- 18-wheeler accidents
- Semi-truck accidents
- Dump truck accidents
- Delivery truck accidents
- Bus accidents
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer?
An experienced lawyer should know how to investigate your case to make a strong argument for why you should receive compensation. The attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat have the resources and legal knowledge to conduct the thorough investigation your case deserves. We also have many years of combined experience negotiating for compensation.
The insurance company would prefer that you do not hire a lawyer. Victims who negotiate on their own often recover less than attorneys who negotiate on behalf of their clients. This is because attorneys know the law, how to build cases, how to evaluate damages, and how to file a lawsuit if necessary. The potential for a lawsuit often motivates insurance companies to offer more compensation.
Trying to investigate a case is a lot to ask of an injury victim. They often do not know where to begin and do not have the time, as they need medical treatment, or they must work or take care of their children.
An attorney from Galloway Jefcoat is prepared to manage the legal process on your behalf at no upfront cost.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
Every truck accident case is different, so it is difficult to say whether you may need to go to court. However, most cases settle and insurance companies would rather not deal with the additional costs of going to court or the possibility of having to pay out more compensation than they would need to pay in a settlement.
Despite the odds being against a lawsuit, our attorneys are always prepared for it. It is important to have an attorney who is ready for court to help keep the insurance company on its toes.
Even if a lawsuit is filed, there is still a chance to settle out of court. Our attorneys are always ready to continue negotiations with the insurance company, even while we prepare for a trial.
At Galloway Jefcoat, we understand the anxiety and stress that come with the thought of having to go to court. That is why our attorneys make sure to keep our clients informed every step of the way and are available to answer questions. This helps give victims peace of mind during an uncertain time.
Call Galloway Jefcoat today for a free consultation: (337) 984-8020.
What Damages May Be Available?
The cost of treating a truck accident case can be astronomical, and most people do not have the means to pay for it out of their own pocket. This can leave truck accident victims and their families in dire financial situations.
Our Lake Charles truck accident lawyers understand how difficult the aftermath of a truck crash can be and we are prepared to pursue full compensation for medical costs and other economic and non-economic damages. We can bring in medical experts to determine the ongoing effects of your injuries to determine how they may affect you physically, financially and emotionally.
These are the financial losses incurred from your injuries, including:
- Ambulatory services
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Surgical procedures
- Lost wages
- Damage to personal property
- Lost earning capacity
- And more
Emotional damages may also be included in a truck accident claim:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
An attorney from our firm can help you document your non-economic damages, as this is more complicated than document economic damages, which is often done with bills and receipts.
How is Liability Determined in a Truck Accident Case?
While truck drivers are often liable for truck accidents, their employers and other entities responsible for the truck may also bear fault.
When assessing the driver’s liability and the liability of other parties, it is important to determine if the driver owns the truck. Commercial truck drivers typically fall into one of three categories:
- Owner-operators – The driver owns the commercial vehicle but may lease it out to a trucking company or work as an independent contractor for a trucking company.
- Company driver – The driver is employed by a company with a fleet of trucks and he or she drives one or more of the company-owned commercial vehicles.
- Independent owner-operator – The driver owns the truck and uses it to move goods for one or more companies. Sometimes these types of drivers own a fleet of trucks.
Who Is Responsible for Maintenance?
The owner of the truck is typically responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of a commercial vehicle. The owner needs to make sure the vehicle is routinely inspected for any mechanical issues. If a problem is detected, it is the commercial vehicle owner’s responsibility to get it fixed and make sure the vehicle is safe to drive.
If a truck accident is the result of negligent vehicle upkeep, the owner of the truck could be held liable for damages. If the repair shop did bad work, it may also be held liable.
Who Loaded the Cargo?
Sometimes, commercial truck drivers may be responsible for loading and unloading their own cargo. In cases like these, the owner of the truck may be liable for your damages if an accident is caused by unsecured cargo.
However, there may be times when another party is responsible for cargo loading. If unsecured cargo falls from a commercial vehicle and causes an accident, the party responsible for properly loading and securing the cargo may also be liable for your damages.
There are various regulations on securing cargo that must be followed. This is one of many issues our Lake Charles truck accident lawyers are ready to research when investigating your case. We have the resources and legal knowledge to take these and other steps as we work to build a strong case on your behalf.
How is the Commercial Trucking Industry Regulated?
Just like many other commercial industries, the federal government and state governments have set guidelines to protect commercial drivers and others on U.S. roadways from preventable truck accidents. These regulations are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) at the federal level. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development also has state guidelines commercial vehicle companies and drivers must abide by.
There are several safety guidelines commercial vehicle drivers and companies must adhere to, including:
- Height, size and weight limits
- Hours of operation
- Drug and alcohol testing
Generally, truck accidents are a result of safety regulation violations by the trucking company or the driver. Proving those violations may be challenging, which is why you should strongly consider experienced legal representation.
Commercial vehicles are required to carry a minimum of $750,000 in general liability for vehicles transporting non-hazardous materials. That minimum increases to $5 million if the goods being transported are toxic chemicals or other hazardous materials.
With such high policy limits, it is easy to see why truck companies fight hard to avoid responsibility for preventable accidents.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
In Louisiana, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit for a personal injury is one year from the date of the accident. Once a year passes, victims are generally prohibited from filing a lawsuit. Those who do are likely to see the case dismissed in court after the defense files a motion.
It is important to speak to an attorney as soon after an accident as possible. That way he or she can determine if you may have a case and get to work gathering evidence and evaluating your damages. Investigating takes time, and the more time your attorney gets with which to investigate, the better.
A licensed attorney from Galloway Jefcoat can review your claim during a free consultation to discuss what your legal options may be.
Call Our Lake Charles Truck Accident Lawyers Today
Truck accident cases often have many layers, and the insurance company may fight hard to avoid accountability because these claims are often worth a lot of money.
That is why you need an attorney who is ready to take on the insurance company, including in negotiations and in the courtroom if a lawsuit becomes necessary.
For over 25 years the law firm of Galloway Jefcoat has helped injury victims in Louisiana recover the compensation they need for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.
The initial consultation is free with no obligation to take legal action. We do not charge you anything up front and only get paid if you do.
Our office in Lake Charles is just a few minutes from the Lake Charles City Court, which is located at 118 W Mill Street.
Call us today at (337) 984-8020.