Truck Accidents

Recovering After an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident

There is so much at stake with a truck accident case. The injuries are often catastrophic, federal and state truck laws play a large part in determining fault, and trucking companies and their insurers often have high-powered lawyers on their side.

Hoffoss Devall has the experience and the resources to obtain justice in 18-wheeler and commercial trucking crashes. Our Lake Charles truck accident attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for clients in hundreds of accidents in Southwest Louisiana and throughout the state.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent trucker, do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a free initial consultation. We encourage you to seek help as soon as possible after the accident — our attorneys will need to have immediate access to driver’s logbooks, Department of Transportation (DOT) reports, and other evidence vital to your claim.

How do truck accident cases differ from other types of auto accidents?

Truck accident cases are generally much more complex other types of auto accident cases. Below are just some of the issues unique to truck accidents:

  • Severity of injuries: Given the massive size of a commercial truck, the results are usually devastating when it collides with a passenger car. Fatalities and catastrophic injuries are quite common.
  • Federal regulations: The commercial trucking industry is highly regulated. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) creates and enforces various rules and regulations carriers and drivers must abide by. When they break the rules, not only does it endanger everyone on the road, but if they cause an accident, the trucking company can be liable for damages. The lawyer you choose should have in-depth knowledge of these laws.
  • Heavily disputed: Given that truck accident cases involve substantial damages, truck accident companies and their insurers often dispute or discredit victims’ claims to avoid large payouts. They hire a team of attorneys to fight the cases; victims rarely stand a chance unless they hire an attorney of their own.

 
Difficult to ascertain liability: With a truck accident, determining who is at fault is not always cut-and-dry. For example, a tire manufacturer may be liable if a defect caused the accident. Similarly, if a third-party cargo loader failed to secure the shipment properly, then that company may actually be the liable party. Hoffoss Devall will investigate the facts of the accident and determine which party or parties you should pursue compensation from.

Do I have a valid truck accident case I can pursue?

When the truck driver or trucking company causes or contributes to an accident, then the victims (or their family members in fatal cases) have the right to pursue compensation for their losses from the trucking company. In order to win your case, you and your lawyer must be able to prove that:

  • The driver or carrier was negligent in some way;
  • The at-fault party’s negligence caused your accident/injuries; and
  • You sustained actual injuries as a result of the accident.

 
Negligence can come in many forms. For instance, if the driver breaks FMCSA hours of service regulations, was speeding at the time of the accident, or was texting while driving, the insurers or courts will likely deem that negligence.

NOTE: You can still be partly at fault for an accident and recover damages. Louisiana’s pure comparative fault rule, found in LA Civ. Code § 2323, provides that you can still obtain recovery even if you are partly at fault — but your degree of fault will reduce your damage award.

For the best chances of securing a sizable settlement for your losses, enlist the help of an attorney who can help you establish the other party’s fault and protect your best interests.

Why should I consider Hoffoss Devall for my truck accident case?

Our team at Hoffoss Devall has an extensive background in truck accident cases. We understand trucking regulations and how to uphold victims’ rights during the claims process. Our lawyers are members of the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America, an affiliation that gives us additional resources and knowledge to provide the best representation possible to our clients.

Truck accident cases often hinge on whether the driver or carrier violated the federal regulations governing motor carriers. When you work with Hoffoss Devall, we uncover evidence of the causes of the accident, which may include items such as:

  • Overloaded trucks
  • Truck driver fatigue
  • Falsified logbooks
  • Improper truck maintenance

 
We also hold employers accountable for negligent hiring, safety practices, training and supervision of drivers. While these cases are winnable, much of the evidence we need is in the hands of the trucking company. To ensure the trucking company does not “lose” to evidence, we send the trucking company a spoliation letter as soon as possible to ensure preservation.

Our truck accident lawyers are passionate about helping victims seek justice for the harms they have suffered. We fight diligently on your behalf at all stages of the insurance or legal process.

What kinds of damages can I recover?

Hoffoss Devall can help you obtain compensation for your monetary and non-monetary losses. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a truck wreck, we will work closely with you, your family members, and doctors to determine future care needs and lost income, and demand full damages from the insurance company for the economic impact and the pain and suffering in the aftermath of a truck accident.

Call our office at 337-433-2053 today for a free consultation and see how we can help you and your family through this difficult time.