When Louisiana motorists take to the road, they are counting on their fellow drivers to be responsible. After all, accidents can result in vehicle damage, life-changing injuries, and even death. Truck accidents in particular can be particularly damaging due to the weight and size of these vehicles.
Unfortunately, fatal semi truck accidents have been on the rise. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced that the number of trucks weighing in excess of 10,000 that were involved in fatal accidents around the country rose by 8 percent between 2014 and 2015. Most of the 2015 accidents occurred on rural roads while only 25 percent were on interstate highways. There was an 8 percent increase as well in the rate of involvement of large trucks in fatal accidents per 100 million miles traveled from 2014 to 2015.
The FMCSA report indicated that slightly under 4,000 truck drivers were involved in fatal accidents in 2015. In those accidents, 667 occupants of trucks perished, representing a 2 percent increase over the prior year. Not surprisingly, the great majority of them were the truck drivers themselves.
There can be a variety of causes of fatal accidents involving large trucks. In some cases, defective brakes resulting from inadequate truck maintenance are to blame. In other cases, they are the fault of a truck driver who was speeding, impaired by alcohol or drugs, distracted by a cellphone, or negligent in some other matter. Regardless of the cause, the surviving family members of an occupant of another vehicle who was killed in the crash often have to deal with financial worries in addition to their grief. When it can be demonstrated that the fault lies with the truck driver or the trucking company, an attorney could assist the family in seeking appropriate compensation for their losses through a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the at-fault party.