Truck accidents involving passenger vehicles are dangerous and frequently end in catastrophic injuries or death. If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, you may be eligible to seek compensation.
For more than 25 years, the law firm of Galloway Jefcoat has fought hard on behalf of injury victims throughout Louisiana, and we have successfully recovered millions in compensation on behalf of our clients.
Partner John Jefcoat is a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 and a native of Lafayette.
There are no upfront fees for our services, and we only get paid if you receive compensation. Your consultation is free and there is no obligation to take legal action.
Call today to discuss your claim: (337) 984-8020
Do I Have a Valid Case?
The answer depends on several factors, one of the most important is whether someone else’s negligence caused the accident that resulted in your injuries.
Negligence means another party failed to act reasonably to prevent people from being harmed. For example, a truck driver who fails to maintain an appropriate following distance between his or her truck and your vehicle is engaging in negligence.
An injury victim must prove four things when pursuing a negligence case:
- The at-fault party owed a duty of care to the victim.
- That duty of care was breached by the action or inaction of the at-fault party.
- The injuries the victim suffered were a direct result of the at-fault party’s actions.
- You have damages that resulted from your injuries.
No two cases are the same and many things must be considered to determine if a truck crash claim is valid. The licensed Louisiana truck accident lawyers at Galloway Jefcoat have the legal knowledge and experience to determine if you may have a valid case. If you do, we have the resources to take on large trucking companies looking to avoid liability.
We are prepared to take on cases involving many types of commercial trucks, including:
- Garbage/recycling trucks
- Delivery trucks
- Dump trucks
How Can Galloway Jefcoat Help Me?
Proving that someone else is liable for your injuries, particularly if those injuries were caused by a crash with a commercial truck, requires a thorough investigation. The attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat know what to look for to determine if there may be a case. They also have the resources to carry out an investigation and gather strong evidence in support of a claim.
For instance, we can bring in experts if necessary. Experts may help us prove the cause of the crash, the severity of your injuries, and/or how those injuries resulted from the accident. We can investigate the truck driver to determine if he or she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or had a record of dangerous driving. It may also be necessary to investigate the trucking company to see if the truck was properly maintained.
Hiring an experienced lawyer helps give crash victims peace of mind. At Galloway Jefcoat, we want you to stay focused on the treatment of your injuries. We are prepared to manage the legal process on your behalf, always looking out for your best interests.
Will I Have to go to Court?
We know this is one of the biggest concerns for injury victims, as the thought of going to trial can cause victims a lot of stress. Fortunately, most injury claims never make it to court. A settlement is usually negotiated between the two parties to avoid a trial.
However, it is important to understand that while your case may never see the inside of the courtroom, you should still have someone on your side who is prepared to go to court. Insurance companies know the attorneys who always settle. Hiring an attorney who regularly takes cases to court may help motivate the insurance company to offer full compensation.
At Galloway Jefcoat, our attorneys are ready to manage every step of the process, including a courtroom trial. Our goal is to secure maximum compensation on your behalf.
Call Galloway Jefcoat today: (337) 984-8020
What is a Truck Accident Case Worth?
Truck accidents often lead to severe injuries and even death. Some of the most common injuries associated with truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- And more
When these injuries occur, the physical, financial and emotional damage can be substantial. Our truck accident lawyers know how devastating a severe injury can be and we are committed to seeking maximum compensation if your hire our firm to represent you.
These are the financial losses that may result from your injuries, including the cost of treating your injuries. Examples of economic damages include:
- Ambulatory services
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Prescription medications
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of personal property
Emotional or psychological damage you suffer from your injuries may also be included in a truck accident claim. This could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- And more
Have questions about the value of your claim? Our attorneys are ready to assess the damages associated with your claim to help determine what your unique case may be worth.
We are here to help. Call us today at (337) 984-8020
Liability in a Truck Accident
Many factors play a role in determining who may be liable for a truck accident.
Commercial vehicle drivers fall into one of three general classifications:
- Owner-operator – The commercial vehicle driver is the owner but may lease it out to a trucking company. He or she may also be an independent driver who works as a contractor for a trucking company.
- Company driver – The commercial vehicle driver works for a company and drives one or more of the company’s trucks.
- Independent owner-operator – The commercial vehicle driver is the owner and uses it to move goods for companies and sometimes owns a fleet.
While a commercial vehicle driver may be at fault for an accident, liability for damages usually falls to the owner of the vehicle and the company that insures it.
Responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of a commercial vehicle typically falls to whoever owns it. If an accident occurs because of poor vehicle maintenance, the owner could be held liable for the damages caused.
However, if the accident is caused by a mechanical failure that has nothing to do with poor upkeep, the vehicle or parts manufacturer could be held liable for damages.
When cargo is loaded onto a commercial transport vehicle, there are certain ways to do it to prevent it flying off while on the interstate or other roadways. If the party responsible for loading the cargo did not follow protocol to secure the load, that party could be held liable for damages if an accident occurs.
Commercial Vehicle Regulations in Louisiana
Regulations at the federal level are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) while the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD) implements state regulations.
There are numerous regulations meant to ensure trucks are safe to operate and drivers can keep them under control on the road. For example, there are regulations on the amount of weight a truck can carry, how cargo must be loaded, the length and width of the truck, and when it must be inspected.
The trucking industry also has safety protocols when it comes to the number of consecutive hours and days a person may drive to avoid fatigue.
When assessing negligence and liability for a truck accident, it is important to determine if any federal or state regulations were violated, either by the driver or the company that employs the driver.
Commercial vehicles are required to have a general liability insurance policy with a minimum of $750,000 in coverage. The minimum limit goes up to five million if the vehicle is transporting hazardous materials, such as toxic chemicals.
There are some insurance add-ons a company or driver may also purchase, such as extended liability or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Lawsuit?
Louisiana has a time limit of one year from the date of the accident to file a truck accident lawsuit. If you do not file before the deadline passes, your case is likely to be dismissed.
That is why you should contact a lawyer right away. He or she needs time to investigate and build a case. Even if you are unsure if you have a case, give our firm a call to schedule a free initial consultation. We can explain whether you may have a case and what to do next.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Commercial truck companies operate on tight deadlines, which often puts pressure on the drivers to work longer than they should, resulting in fatigued or drowsy driving. This is just one of the common causes of truck crashes. Others include:
- Lack of proper training
- Poor truck or trailer maintenance
- Reckless driving
- Following too closely
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Improperly loaded/unsecured cargo
- Distracted driving
Call a Louisiana Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Since 1996, the law firm of Galloway Jefcoat has fought for the rights of injury victims in Lafayette and throughout the state of Louisiana.
Our attorneys take a hands-on approach to provide personalized service and take an aggressive stance when dealing with the insurance companies to try to maximize your recovery.
We have a proven record of success in recovering compensation for injury victims and their loved ones by both negotiating settlements and reaching favorable jury verdicts.
There are no upfront costs for our services, so there is no risk to you. We take truck crash cases on contingency, which means we do not get paid unless you receive compensation.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation: (337) 984-8020