Among traffic accidents, large trucks and 18-wheelers often cause the most damage due to the vehicle's sheer size and weight. In addition, trucking companies usually have unlimited legal resources at their disposal to dispute their fault.
Despite this, liability in an accident involving an 18-wheeler or large truck is similar to an accident involving ordinary cars. Louisiana courts have adopted a duty-risk analysis in determining whether liability exists under the facts of a particular case. Under this analysis, a plaintiff must prove five separate elements: (1) the defendant had a duty to conform his or her conduct to a specific standard of care; (2) the defendant failed to conform his or her conduct to the appropriate standard of care; (3) the defendant's substandard conduct was a cause-in-fact of the plaintiff's injuries; (4) the defendant's substandard conduct was a legal cause of the plaintiff's injuries; and (5) actual damages.
Drivers generally owe a duty of care to all other drivers on the road, as well as pedestrians nearby, to drive in a reasonably safe manner. However, in addition to the general duty of care, commercial truck drivers must undergo additional training and have an additional set of regulations governing how they operate their vehicles. Proof of a truck driver's negligence may be demonstrated by proving a violation of a safety regulation.
At Koch & Schmidt we are committed to helping drivers and passengers injured by 18 wheelers and other large trucks obtain justice and the compensation to which they are entitled.
Call us. We can help.