If you spend any amount of time on the road in Louisiana and/or Texas, you’re well aware that there are 18-wheelers everywhere. While these trucks are critical to the nation’s success, they’re also a risk to everyone on the road.
If you’re part of an accident with an 18-wheeler, the first thing you should do is call 911. This will lead you to obtain medical treatment, receive a diagnosis and implement a treatment plan.
From there, turn your focus to the cause of the accident and your legal rights for holding the negligent party responsible. Common causes include but are not limited to:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or prescription medication
- Reckless driving, such as excessive speeding
- Following too closely
- Illegal passing
- Improper loading
- Faulty equipment
- Improper training by the trucking company
What damages can you recover?
There’s no one size fits all answer to this question, as it depends largely on the circumstances surrounding your accident. However, you should pursue every last dollar that you’re entitled to.
For example, if you were injured in an 18-wheeler accident in Texas, you can seek both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are the easier of the two to calculate, as this includes things such as lost wages, medical expenses, physical therapy and damage to your vehicle and other personal property.
Non-economic damages are losses that don’t have a specific value, such as pain and suffering.
Also, the state of Texas allows you to seek punitive damages in the event that the negligent party acted with gross negligence. An example would be someone who caused an accident after consuming alcohol or taking drugs.
The state of Louisiana has laws that are similar to Texas, with the ability to seek economic and non-economic damages.
It goes without saying that passenger vehicles are smaller than 18-wheelers. And for that reason alone, you’re at a disadvantage in the event of an accident.
While your health and long-term well-being are top priority, don’t overlook the importance of understanding your legal rights and taking steps to recover damages.