Truck drivers in Louisiana can be just as negligent as any other drivers, and with their heavy weight and longer stopping distance, 18-wheelers can be a danger on the road. Below are five of the most common ways that truck accidents happen.
First, most accidents are due to driver error. However, studies show that most (81%) collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles are the fault of passenger vehicle drivers. Errors can include drunk, distracted and drowsy driving as well as speeding and running red lights.
Other accidents are the result of poor vehicle maintenance. Truckers are required to inspect their rig and file a maintenance report before every shift. If they fail to do this, they will not see that, for example, the brake pads are worn, or the wheels poorly aligned. Third, crashes can arise because of defective equipment, in which case the manufacturer of the part, the truck manufacturer or the one who installed it may all be held liable.
Fourth, unsafe driving in inclement weather contributes to many crashes. Truckers may unwisely speed on icy, wet or snowy roads or brake too hard, causing hydroplaning or jackknifing. The last factor is improperly loaded cargo. There are industry-specific rules for loading cargo, and a failure to follow them can lead to tip-overs or cargo falling out of the rig.
Truck accidents can leave occupants of passenger vehicles with catastrophic injuries to the brain and spine. Victims may not be able to work again and may require lifelong medical care. If they were not at fault, though, victims may pursue compensation from the trucking company. This means filing a personal injury claim, a process that may become a lot easier with legal representation. A lawyer may start by evaluating the case in light of Louisiana’s comparative fault rule.