Some truck accidents are the fault of truck drivers while others are the fault of the driver or both parties. In some situations, the truck mechanic or parts manufacturer is liable for damages stemming from an accident. Even if you bear some of the blame for the accident, there is no reason to admit it. If opposing counsel is worth its keep, it will make an attempt to piece together this puzzle to prove your partial fault.
Comparative Negligence in the State of Louisiana
Louisiana abides by the doctrine of comparative fault in negligence cases. The details of Louisiana’s comparative fault laws are spelled out in Louisiana’s Civil Code 2323. It is usually difficult to pin the entirety of the blame for the accident on the truck driver or another party. In many situations, the truck driver and the car driver are partially at fault for the accident. However, the mere fact that you are partially at fault does not mean it is impossible to obtain compensation. Your eligibility to recover damages is determined by the percentage of fault you bear for the accident. According to comparative negligence, the responsibility to pay damages is divided according to percentage of fault. Your recovery for damages is decreased by your percentage of fault.
As an example, if you make a claim stating you suffered $150,000 worth of damages in a truck crash yet it is later determined you are 50% responsible for the accident, you will not receive the full $150,000. The judge and jury will determine whether your request for this amount of money is justified. If these groups determine the damages are really worth $150,000, you will only be able to recover $75,000 as you are 50% at fault.
The Challenge of Determining Fault in Truck Accidents
It is awfully difficult to determine each driver’s exact percentage of fault in a truck accident. There is no guarantee the outcome of your truck accident will be fair unless you hire a truck accident attorney worth his or her keep and file a police report. Be sure to meet with a doctor for a physical evaluation and a detailed medical report after the accident. You will need copies of your medical report as well as the police report to prove you were not fully responsible for the accident and your injures are causally related.
A witness’s firsthand account of the crash can help prove the truck driver is primarily at fault. Even if your attorney does not attempt to prove the truck driver is solely responsible for the crash, any evidence provided to show you are only partially at fault will help you in your quest to obtain financial compensation for your losses, pain and suffering.
Damages to Claim Even if You are Partially At Fault
Those who bear partial liability for truck accidents can claim a number of damages. Examples of common damages in truck accidents include medical expenses resulting from the crash, property damage from the crash, lost wages, lost affection and beyond. Even the physical, emotional and mental stress that results from these injuries should trigger compensation. The challenge lies in proving the truck driver is primarily at fault and his or her negligence is causally related to your injuries, pain and other losses.
Lean on a seasoned truck accident attorney during this legal predicament and you will maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation you need and deserve. Your attorney will compile evidence, interview witnesses, develop a legal strategy and represent you in and out of a court of law. If necessary, your attorney will spearhead the reconstruction of the crash with the assistance of an experienced reconstruction team.