More than 40 years of combined experience

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Skilled And Tenacious Representation For Louisiana Truck Accident Victims

18-wheelers and other large commercial vehicles are an important part of Louisiana’s economy. They deliver the goods we use every single day. Sadly, though, the way in which these vehicles are operated result in an unreasonably high number of serious traffic accidents. Each year, approximately 4,000 people in the United States are killed in 18-wheeler accidents, with thousands more suffering serious and life-changing injuries. In the vast majority of cases, the victims who are injured and killed are occupants of the smaller vehicle.

At Smith Shanklin Sosa, LLC, we have seen many times just how consequential trucking accidents can be. If you’ve suffered catastrophic injuries or lost someone you love, our attorneys will fight to hold the at-fault parties financially accountable in a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Why Are Trucking Accidents So Common, And Who Is At Fault?

There are times when trucking accidents are caused by drivers in smaller vehicles. However, in many cases, these crashes are the result of negligence on the part of the truck driver, the trucking company or both. Common causes of 18-wheeler accidents include:

  • Fatigued or drowsy driving by truckers who have spent too many hours behind the wheel or suffer from an untreated condition like sleep apnea
  • Distracted driving
  • Trucking companies with unreasonable delivery deadlines that force truckers to speed and drive aggressively
  • Truck drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Cargo that is improperly loaded, unbalanced, unsecured or too heavy
  • Vehicle problems like worn-out brakes and blown tires due to inadequate inspection and maintenance practices
  • Failure to respond to changing traffic and weather conditions

If the truck driver was to blame for causing your accident, the driver’s employer will also likely be held liable for negligent hiring, training and monitoring of the employee. Trucking companies are required to carry commercial insurance policies, which means that the insurer underwriting the policy will also be a party to the litigation.

How Long Do You Have To File A Claim In Louisiana, And How Long Does It Take?

The statute of limitations, which controls how long victims of 18-wheeler accidents have to file a lawsuit, is very short in Louisiana. You generally only have one year from the date of the crash to act.

However, it is critically important to understand that your claim may not be settled within a year – or even two years. 18-wheeler accident lawsuits require a lot of investigation, a lot of discovery and a lot of expert evaluations. Even if the case is ultimately settled through negotiations, it can take a long time, and cases that go to trial take even longer.

You may not be remotely ready to handle the pressure of negotiations or a lawsuit right after the crash, but it is critical to act quickly. Our experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyers know how to carry that burden on your behalf.

Who Can You Sue After A Truck Accident, And What Damages Can You Claim?

Naturally, the truck’s driver and the trucking company may both be liable for an 18-wheeler accident. If the accident was caused by improperly secured or badly loaded cargo, the loading company may also be at fault. Similarly, if a defect in the truck itself contributed to the wreck, then the part’s manufacturer or the company’s maintenance provider could also be responsible.

The damages you can claim after an 18-wheeler accident are directly related to your losses. You can ask for compensation for things like:

  • Medical expenses: This includes current and future medical costs, including hospital bills, surgeries, rehab stays, medications and medical equipment.
  • Lost wages: You may be entitled to both your actual lost wages and, if you are unable to return to work, future lost wages.
  • Property damage: Your vehicle, laptop, phone and other personal items that were destroyed in the wreck can be part of your claim.
  • Noneconomic damages: These include your pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of companionship, intimacy or support. In rare cases, including when an intoxicated driver causes a wreck, punitive damages – which are designed solely to punish the wrongdoer – may also be possible.

We Are Ready To Fight For The Compensation You Need And Deserve

Truck accidents commonly result in catastrophic injuries or death for victims in smaller vehicles. Our attorneys are prepared to aggressively represent your interests in court to ensure you have the money to cover medical bills, permanent disability, the loss of a loved one, scarring and disfigurement, pain and suffering, and any other damages you have incurred.

We will not accept a lowball settlement offer from the insurance company, nor will we be intimidated by the expensive legal teams insurers hire to defend these high-value claims. No matter which of our three attorneys officially represents you, we collaborate on all cases. That means your case will benefit from more than 40 years of combined legal experience, not to mention our collective creativity and productivity.

Contact Us Today For Experienced Legal Help

Based in Baton Rouge, Smith Shanklin Sosa serves clients throughout Louisiana. To tell us your story and learn how we can help, contact us to schedule a free initial consultation. You can reach out online or call 225-424-6094. We take all injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t charge any legal fees if we don’t help you recover money.