Commercial vehicles may be delivery trucks, vans, buses, or taxis, among other vehicles. Generally, a commercial vehicle is defined as any mode of transportation that is used for commercial purposes. You may not be able to distinguish them from other forms of transportation until you encounter one in an accident. These types of accidents can range from being any of the following types of accidents: Truck accidents, bus accidents, taxi cab accidents, and more. These forms of accidents may be more violent due to cargo, size, or circumstances and often involve a 3rd party, usually an employer. If you think you or someone you love may have been the victim of this type of accident, don’t hesitate to contact one of an experienced Lafayette commercial vehicle accident attorney for legal help.
To highlight the potential for these accidents, in 2013 commercial vehicles were cited for:
- Missing lamps in lighting systems – 503,614
- Malfunctioning or poorly maintained braking systems – 204,911
- Tire disrepair – 209,600
While those numbers don’t directly correspond with a higher accident rate, they are negligent actions that may contribute to an accident. A case that involves commercial vehicles that have been improperly maintained in any of the above ways may be successfully associated with negligence in a personal injury case.
Commercial vehicles often carry combustible, toxic, or otherwise dangerous materials that also affect the outcome of an accident. Even a minor accident with a commercial vehicle carrying harmful cargo may affect you in life altering ways.
Who’s Liable for Commercial Vehicle Accidents?
Proving liability in a commercial vehicle accident case may be complex due to the high levels of liability insurance and legal support the owning companies maintain. In many cases involving commercial vehicles, a legal theory called respondeat superior (meaning, “let the master answer”) will be employed, requiring the company to answer for the negligence of the vehicle operator. For this rule to be upheld, however, a case must prove that the driver at the time of the accident was an employee and not an independent contractor.
Another provision that must be proved under respondeat superior is that the employee was behaving within the normal course of his work. Anything that suggests that the employee was on his own time, had poor intentions, or was acting outside of his range of duties may render the argument null, and the employee will be responsible for any damages.
Pursuing a Case After Your Injury
If you suspect that an accident was caused by the negligence of a commercial vehicle operator, your best course of action is to schedule a consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable Lafayette commercial vehicle accident attorney. Our Lafayette accident attorneys at Brandt & Sherman, LLP understand the laws and courts in Louisiana and will be able to help you plan a course of action if there is an action you can file in court.
Immediately after your accident, it is imperative that you gather as much evidence as possible. The professional information of the commercial vehicle driver, license plate numbers, and insurance information are all important to secure. Take pictures of the accident scene immediately after, if possible. Cooperate with the police, but don’t discuss any non-essential information until you have consulted your attorney.
Always seek medical attention after your accident. If you pursue a personal injury claim, the records will play a significant part in proving your injuries. It is best to contact a commercial vehicle accident attorney in Lafayette, LA as soon as possible since evidence in vehicular accidents will become harder to obtain as time passes. You may also want to pursue action quickly to prevent the liable party from developing a case against you. Every case is unique, if you believe you have been the victim of this type of accident at work, contacting a workers comp attorney is the first step in ensuring that your rights are protected.
Brandt & Sherman, LLP | Lafayette Commercial Accident Attorney
The Lafayette, LA personal injury attorneys at Brandt & Sherman, LLP, are committed to providing clients with personalized, efficient, and experienced counsel. With 50 years of experience and a dedication to discovering the truth and fighting for individuals’ rights, our convictions and knowledge of local and federal laws enable us to provide you, the client, with the optimal outcome for your case.
Securing damages that meet the needs of our clients is what we do best, and why we have a reputation in Louisiana for success. Let a Lafayette commercial vehicle accident attorney help you receive the compensation you need to get back to your life. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.