Posted On: January 5, 2009 by Thornhill Law Firm, APLC

Motor Vehicle Accidents

In 2007, 597 people were killed on Louisiana roadways and another 21,075 people were injured. Injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident can be expensive and time consuming to treat, not to mention requiring time off from work, resulting in lost wages and any future ramifications.

Motor vehicle accidents occur when a driver fails to use care when driving, and through their negligence or recklessness, causes an accident. This can range from failing to observe their surroundings to driving while under the influence of alcohol. Regardless of the reason, when a person is injured due to another’s negligence, the party responsible for causing the accident is also responsible the costs incurred by the injured in attempting to return to their pre-accident state and any perceived future cost of the injury. This is done through damages, which take into consideration many factors, such as the present and future cost of treatment, pain and suffering, and money lost due to the injury, such as wages.

Roadways are traveled by numerous types of vehicles, from small cars to large eighteen wheelers. Accidents caused by eighteen wheelers can invoke especially horrific damage, causing greater injury. Our firm has represented clients who were obvious victims of an eighteen wheeler driver’s negligence as well as those whose accidents were less obviously caused the driver’s negligence. In one instance a man was driving on the interstate in the left lane when an eighteen wheel truck suddenly and without warning shifted from the right lane to the left lane, striking the plaintiff’s car, forcing it into the median. The man suffered debilitating injuries to his spine, which incurred medical costs not only for the treatment at the time of accident, but also for the future treatment of the injuries. Furthermore, he suffered losses of consortium, enjoyment of life, wages, and future earning capacity, not to mention his pain and suffering from the time of the accident to the future. If the truck driver had used more care when changing lanes, the plaintiff would have been able to lead a completely different life. It was only fair for the cause of the negligence, in this case the driver who did not show care or warning when changing lanes, to pay for the consequences of his actions. While it may have been obvious that the truck driver was the cause of the accident, for the plaintiff to fully recover he needed the assistance of an attorney to help prove the true amount of loss sustained.

At other times the cause of negligence is less obvious. Our firm has represented plaintiffs that collided with an eighteen wheeler truck that was stopped in the left lane of traffic. The driving conditions were not good, as logging debris was burned in the area, causing excessive smoke which greatly obscured visibility. The large truck had stopped on the roadway, and not placed flares or any signal as to warn other motorists that it was stopped there. Plaintiffs hit the truck at a moderate speed, and sustained injuries. The driver of the truck was at fault in addition to those burning the logging debris which caused the initial obstruction. Legal representation can help determine all the factors of the accident and determine the true negligence of the parties involved, helping plaintiffs recover from all sources at fault.

There may be other contributing factors in addition to the negligence of the driver, such as lack of maintenance to the roadway. Recently Tom W. Thornhill tried a case for a family injured in an intersectional collision. The family had the right of way, but the party that collided with their car could not see a stop sign governing the road she was on due to its improper size and the fact the sign was bent towards the ground. The state of the sign had been reported to officials, but no action had been taken. Had the sign been maintained as it ought to have been, the collision, which caused substantial injuries, could have been avoided. Therefore, not only was the driver who ran the stop sign at fault, but also the Louisiana Department of Transportation for its negligence in failing to properly maintain the stop sign.

Louisiana law only allows personal injury victims one year to file their claim, so it is important to obtain the proper legal representation as soon as possible to ensure your case is pursued. Thornhill Law Firm is dedicated to seeking justice in personal injury matters. To learn more about representation by Thornhill Law Firm with regards to personal injury, please visit our website at http://www.thornhilllawfirm.com or call us, toll-free, at 1-800-989-2707.

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