March 25, 2024

Should You Settle After an Accident with an 18-Wheeler?


Driving alongside 18-wheelers on a daily basis is common for most motorists. If you’re like most people, you probably don’t put much thought into sharing roads with these large trucks. Usually, the only time you will notice these trucks is when you are involved in a collision with them. If this 18-wheeler accident is caused by neglect on the other driver’s behalf, you need to call a personal injury attorney in Louisiana for help. 

A New Orleans truck accident attorney from Cueria Law Firm, LLC can employ various strategies to strengthen your case. When the evidence is strong, the negligent party will typically want to settle. Explore the methods below to discover some of the tools utilized by lawyers to secure fair compensation for their clients. To schedule a consultation, please contact us at (504) 525-5211.

18-Wheelers and Their “Black Box”

Surely you have heard about the “black box” in regard to airplane crashes. Most people fail to realize these same recording devices are used in semi-trucks as well. Once a crash happens, your personal injury lawyer will want to get access to the date on the truck’s “black box.” 

The “black box” on the truck will record data regarding the speed the vehicle was going and the braking power used to bring it to a stop. If the records show the truck driver was traveling above the speed limit, this evidence will usually lead to a settlement offer. The fact the driver was traveling at high speeds only shows they were neglectful and that their actions caused the accident in question.

18-Wheelers and Dashboard Cameras

In most states, the law requires trucking companies to outfit all of their rigs with dashboard cameras. These types of cameras will tell the story of a wreck without bias. A personal injury lawyer will be able to take the footage from the dashboard camera and use it to build their case.

If the footage shows the accident was caused by the negligent actions of the truck driver, a lawyer will have no problem getting their client the compensation they are owed. This type of evidence is admissible in court, which is why most trucking companies will prefer to settle and stay away from the bad publicity a jury trial could present.

Alcohol and Drug Testing

Following a collision, truck drivers will usually be subjected to a number of alcohol and drug tests. If the truck driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will be held liable for any damage and injuries caused by the wreck. A personal injury lawyer will be able to take the results of these tests and use them in court if needed.

Records and Logbooks

The law requires that truck drivers, as well as other company employees, make and maintain careful records regarding a number of important issues. Some records that may prove to be helpful to the New Orleans law firm handling your injury case include:

  • Delivery schedules
  • Inspection and maintenance records
  • Logbooks showing the days and hours the driver worked
  • Accident history and driving records of the 18-wheeler drivers
  • Records from dispatchers

Your attorney will be able to use the information recorded in these documents to prove the driver was at fault, which can help you recover a fair amount of compensation.

Records and Logbooks Description
Delivery Schedules Documentation detailing the schedules and timelines for deliveries made by the truck driver or company employees.
Inspection and Maintenance Records Records indicating the inspection and maintenance history of the vehicle, ensuring compliance with safety regulations.
Logbooks Detailed logs showing the working hours and days of the truck driver, crucial for monitoring compliance with regulations.
Accident History and Driving Records Documentation of any past accidents involving the 18-wheeler drivers, providing insights into their driving history.
Dispatch Records Records maintained by dispatchers, potentially containing valuable information related to the driver’s assignments.

Should I file a claim after an 18-wheeler accident?

Having a crash with an 18-wheeler can cause a lot of damage to your body and vehicle. Contacting an 18-wheeler accident attorney following one of these collisions is vital and can help you get the compensation you need. Here are how cases involving 18-wheeler crashes are helping to keep drivers safe.

Shining a Spotlight on 18-Wheeler Hiring Procedures

For owners of 18-wheeler trucking companies, finding the right drivers is a top priority. Without the proper hiring procedures in place, finding great drivers will be nearly impossible. A variety of 18-wheeler accidents involve a driver being under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. By pursuing these types of cases, a Louisiana car accident lawyer is able to shine a spotlight on the hiring procedures in place within the trucking industry. Doing this helps to force trucking company owners into hiring credible drivers and also providing routine drug tests.

Problematic 18-Wheeler Maintenance

Without the proper amount of maintenance, it will be very hard for an 18-wheeler to run safely and efficiently. When accidents eventually occur due to this lack of maintenance, the owners of a trucking company will be held accountable. Trying to cut corners by not maintaining the trucks in a fleet can lead to injuries and, in some cases, death when the truck malfunctions and causes an accident.

The Louisiana 18-wheeler accident attorney firms who take on cases involving truck maintenance negligence help to make roadways safer. Drawing attention to the subject of truck maintenance will put more pressure on trucking companies to take this issue seriously and to invest in the upkeep of their trucks.

Addressing 18-Wheeler Driver Fatigue

Another common cause of 18-wheeler accidents is driver fatigue. If a semi-truck driver fails to keep up driver logs and take the rest breaks required by law, they will be at higher risk of causing an accident. When a trucking company puts unrealistic expectations on a driver in regard to the time it takes them to deliver a haul, it can create some very unsafe work conditions. In cases involving fatigue, a Louisiana car accident lawyer will draw attention to unsafe practices putting other motorists in danger. The focus put on driver logs can help to prevent accidents caused by fatigue.

Average Payout for 18-Wheeler Accident in Louisiana

Determining the average payout for an 18-wheeler accident in Louisiana can be complex due to the unique nature of each incident. Settlement amounts can vary significantly, ranging from tens of thousands to potentially millions of dollars, depending on the extent of the damage incurred.

If you’ve been involved in an 18-wheeler accident, it’s crucial to understand that settlement amounts are directly linked to the specific damages you’ve experienced. Your compensation will be calculated based on direct costs such as vehicle repair or replacement, medical expenses, lost wages due to missed work, pain and suffering, and attorney’s fees.

The approach you take in handling your claim can also greatly impact the settlement amount. Many accident victims attempt to navigate their claims independently, often due to misconceptions about legal costs. However, most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, meaning no upfront fees are required, and lawyer fees are only paid if compensation is awarded.

Engaging an experienced attorney is crucial, as they have the negotiation skills to deal effectively with insurance companies, potentially increasing your settlement. Seeking professional legal advice involves no financial risk, simplifying your claim process, and possibly enhancing the outcome of your insurance claim. Contact Cueria Law Firm, LLC today to schedule a consultation.

Contact Us Today

Finding the right New Orleans auto accident attorney is easy when calling on the team at Cueria Law Firm. The team at Cueria Law Firm is compassionate and determined to get you the compensation for which you are entitled. You can contact us for a free consultation when in need of advice on how to get paid for the injuries you have sustained from an 18-wheeler collision.

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