Dual 18-Wheeler Crash Injures Two

Motorists experienced delays of up to three hours as first responders cleared a serious truck crash on Interstate 10.

Details are sketchy concerning the wreck which occurred close to the Whiskey Bay Bridge and Ramah. Authorities state that the two trucks collided just west of the Atachafalaya Basin Bridge and caused traffic delays that stretched up to thirty miles. Before the injured semi-truck drivers could be rushed to local hospitals, they had to be extricated from the wreckage of their vehicles.

Investigators declined to state what the trucks were hauling but they said no hazardous materials were released.

Truck Crashes

Fully-loaded tractor-trailers usually weigh about 80,000 pounds, and even more than that in some cases. A vehicle of that size is almost impossible for even experienced drivers to maneuver safely in an emergency, because the stopping distance is nearly two football fields. Empty tractor-trailers, or trucks that are “bobtailing” without trailers, are also difficult to operate, because the weight is distributed unevenly.

Truck driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck crashes. Many shipping companies do not reimburse drivers by the mile, so they do not feel as rushed. Instead, some companies pay drivers by the load, which encourages them to cut corners on rest breaks and push themselves physically to drive more miles in less time. Other common causes include:

  • Speed: If the trailer and the cab form at least a 45-degree angle, a rollover jackknife truck crash is practically unavoidable. These wrecks often happen when the driver overcompensates after over-steering.
  • Alcohol: As little as one drink causes sensory and motor skill impairment that makes it impossible to safely operate any vehicle or large machine.
  • Distraction: At this moment, hundreds of thousands of Louisiana drivers are paying attention to something other than the road.

Even if the driver is classified as an “independent contractor” or an independent owner-operator, respondeat superior usually applies in these cases. Under this theory, the shipping company is responsible for at least part of the victim’s damages. These damages include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Truck crashes often cause catastrophic injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced Lake Charles personal injury attorney, contact Hoffoss Devall. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.