COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer in Bossier City and Shreveport
No matter how safe of a driver you are, the truth is that accidents are going to occur wherever there is traffic. Sometimes these accidents may involve commercial vehicles, which can add a whole new set of complications to any accident case. Because they operate commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks, passenger buses, and hazardous-materials-hauling tanker trucks, commercial drivers must adhere to greater safety standards than ordinary drivers.
Commercial drivers are subject to stringent government safety regulations for good reason. Their size, weight, and loads make them among the most dangerous vehicles on our roads. As a result, severe injury and even fatalities are common in accidents involving commercial vehicles.
If you are hurt in a traffic collision due to the negligence of a commercial vehicle, you need an experienced Bossier City personal injury lawyer for help with your claim. At the Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis, we work aggressively to defend your claim and pursue your right to fair compensation for your injuries.
What is a Commercial Vehicle?
A vehicle titled or registered to a business entity in the United States is what is considered a commercial vehicle. “Commercial vehicle” encompasses a broad range of automobiles, including fleet vehicles, company cars, semi-trucks, or other vehicles utilized for business.
In addition, a vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more is always considered a commercial vehicle. Box trucks, semis, pickups, vans, buses, taxicabs, trailers, and RVs are all examples of commercial vehicles.
Louisiana Commercial Vehicle Rules and Regulations
Commercial drivers spend a lot of time behind the wheel of large vehicles. As professional drivers, they abide by stringent safety laws and regulations. In charge of enforcing these standards nationwide are the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). In addition, each state, including Louisiana, has its own set of safety regulations. You can find these rules and regulations under LA Rev Stat § 32:414.2.
What Causes Commercial Vehicle Accidents?
Consumer demand continues to grow, and this drives the transportation industry. This places harsh demands on truckers and trucking companies. As a result, it’s not uncommon for safety requirements and precautions to be lost in the shuffle. This doesn’t change the fact that both truckers and trucking companies share responsibilities for safe trucking.
Trucker negligence comes in many forms. However, the following are the most common types of commercial vehicle accidents on our roads:
- Fatigue – Truck drivers and other commercial drivers confront tremendous time schedules. As such, fatigue is a common factor behind many truck accidents. Tired commercial drivers are more prone to have lower attentiveness, longer reaction times, diminished concentration, and a higher likelihood of making unsafe decisions. Hours of service laws at the federal and state levels attempt to tackle this problem by addressing things like consecutive driving hours, hours driven within a given period, obligatory rest breaks, and more.
- Distraction – When commercial drivers sit behind the wheel of their trucks, they must focus solely on driving safely. Distraction is defined by the FMCSA as any activity that diverts a driver’s attention away from activities that are vital to safe driving. Texting is the most dangerous distraction for a commercial driver, according to the FMCSA.
- Unhealthy lifestyles – Truckers’ lives are generally isolated, as they spend a lot of time sitting alone. Additionally, truckers—and many other types of commercial drivers—spend long hours on the road under tight schedules and stress with few good food options, little time for exercise, and a lot of boredom. These factors often lead to commercial drivers developing alcohol and drug problems and increasing the likelihood of a wreck.
Other Causes of Trucking Accidents
Although driver error is a factor in many commercial vehicle accidents, it is not the only culprit.
Commercial vehicle accidents are more intricate than normal car accidents because more people are usually involved. In a typical vehicle accident, the at-fault motorist is held accountable, and the claim goes from there. In contrast, while a truck collision may entail driver carelessness, a competent Bossier City truck accident attorney analyzes the following factors: the culpability of the trucking company, whether the truck manufacturer provided a safe product, and if the mechanics working on the truck are qualified.
Who is At Fault in a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
It’s not always clear who is liable in a truck accident. In commercial vehicle accident proceedings, a variety of parties can be held liable for compensation, including the driver, truck manufacturer, and the firm that owns the truck. So, if you’re ever in a truck accident, make sure you employ a commercial vehicle accident lawyer with the necessary skills and experience to help you determine and prove fault.
How Much Compensation Can I Get From a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
A commercial accident is usually higher than a settlement for any other type of Bossier auto accident, especially if it includes a larger vehicle like an 18-wheeler. Settlements for commercial vehicle accidents can range from tens of thousands to even tens of millions of dollars.
The truth is that there is no such thing as a precise average commercial vehicle settlement because there are so many variables that influence that figure. Your commercial vehicle accident lawyers considers these factors in order to arrive at a reasonable figure:
- Incidental Culpability: Was the other driver inebriated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving? If this is the case, there is a greater share of blame than, for example, an accident caused by wet or snowy conditions.
- Cost of Medical Bills: How bad your injuries are, as well as the costs associated with them, have a big impact on your settlement. This is especially true if surgeries, hospitalization, or rehabilitation are needed.
- Property Damage: Another important consideration in deciding your compensation is the damage to your vehicle. If your vehicle requires major repairs or replacement, your settlement reflects this. The cost of a rental car, if needed, is also included.
- Loss of Wages: You may need to take time off work to recover from some injuries. Your capacity to earn current and future pay is impacted while you recuperate following the accident.
What Damages are Recoverable From a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
Truck accidents are among the worst kinds of accidents occurring on our highways. Semi-trucks, for example, are many times the size and weight of the average car on the road and pose significant safety risks. If you are hurt in a wreck with a commercial vehicle, get medical help immediately and then talk to a commercial vehicle accident lawyer.
Each truck collision is unique. However, the following types of damages are frequently linked with these types of accidents:
- Medical Expenses – Emergency transportation and care, surgery and aftercare, treatment and care from doctors and specialists, follow-up care and aftercare, prescription medications, adaptive physical devices, home adaptations, and home healthcare are just a few of the physical injuries and medical expenses that truck accidents can cause. Furthermore, major injuries from a commercial vehicle accident may have long-term implications that aren’t immediately obvious. In your accident claim, your knowledgeable commercial vehicle accident lawyer will help determine the extent of your injuries.
- Lost Wages – Because of the seriousness of commercial vehicle accidents, you are almost certain to lose both hours and money on the job. Furthermore, the injuries you sustain may result in a shaky professional path and a loss of earning potential. Such events can destroy not just your finances, but also your sense of self. Because our jobs are so tightly linked to our physical locations, job disruptions like those caused by a truck accident can be exceptionally painful. You worked hard to place your career path on a certain course, and everything changed in the blink of an eye due to someone else’s negligence.
- Pain and Suffering – Accidents involving large commercial vehicles, like semi trucks, often leave victims traumatized. In fact, many victims of these accidents suffer PTSD that haunt them for months or years to come. These accidents can lead to severe, difficult to overcome emotional repercussions. Let your knowledgeable commercial vehicle accident attorney assess all of your damages and aggressively advocate for the compensation you deserve.
Were You the Victim of a Commercial Vehicle Accident? Call Attorney at Law Michael J. Vergis Today
A commercial vehicle accident is far more complicated than a general car accident claim in Bossier City, especially if it involves a huge corporation. Commercial carriers often have substantial legal teams representing them. These firms fight tooth and nail to avoid paying large compensation amounts. You’ll need a competent commercial vehicle accident lawyer in your corner fighting for the damages you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call the Bossier City Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis at 318-698-3724 today. We take on personal injury cases on a contingency basis, so you owe us nothing unless we win your case and you receive compensation.