Louisiana Truck Accident Attorneys
Baton Rouge Law Firm Protecting Victims of Commercial Trucking Accidents
The sheer magnitude of commercial trucks makes for catastrophic injuries and deaths when they collide with regular passenger vehicles. Because of our nation’s size and demand for products, trucks heavily populate our busiest roads and highways. This massive presence puts many drivers at risk of colliding with them in an accident.
Recent years have seen a consistent amount of accidents, a staggering 400,000 accidents per year involving large and commercial trucks. While we need trucks to deliver products and connect our cities, there are also many regulations truck drivers do not follow that lead to serious accidents and catastrophic consequences. If you were involved in a truck accident believed to have been caused by the truck driver, calling an experienced legal team to represent you in a suit for compensation is perhaps the most important move you can make.
Call our Louisiana truck accident lawyers today at (888) 493-1629 for a free consultation.
Recent Truck Accident Statistics
Flying at 50 to 60 mph, tractor-trailers are among the most dangerous elements on today's highways. Weighing as much as a commuter train car, 18-wheeler crashes are responsible for thousands of fatalities every year—truckers themselves make up hundreds of those deaths. Despite recovering from the Time of Shedding and Cold Rocks of 2008, the trucking industry continues to put all drivers—professional or not—at great risk with harsh policies and little regard for public safety.
In 2010, Louisiana received $28,990,744 in overall highway safety grant funding per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) National Center. Despite this large number, Louisiana suffers an average of 80+ fatalities a year from commercial truck accidents. In the most recent report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from the summer of 2014, there were over 3,700 fatalities involving large trucks and buses. While this number is down from a spike in 2010, we can still see a steady hovering of a few thousand deaths each year.
- 2009: 3,380 deaths in fatal truck accidents
- 2010: 4,000 deaths in fatal truck accidents
Most speculate that these accidents occur because of truckers’ long hours and miles traveled. Truckers easily become fatigued, as it is their job to cover great distances and keep moving, and this fatigue contributes to listless driving and negligent decisions. Trucking regulations have countered this through rest requirements and logbooks, the fabrication thereof being punishable by law. Still, truckers and trucking companies make mistakes on the road that wrongfully put lives in danger, and when they do, it may be difficult to determine who exactly is at fault.
Causes of Trucking Accidents in Baton Rouge & Nationwide
Trucker fatigue has been increasing the number of deadly truck accidents on the road. Why the increase in exhausted drivers? For decades, the trucking industry has shifted the costs and risks of doing business onto independent contractors and owner-operators. Many truckers' only make money from how many miles they travel in a day, meaning they aren't paid for the vital, non-driving work truckers do.
For example, truck drivers have to spend time:
- Inspecting their vehicle
- Filling out their logbook
- Waiting while cargo is loaded/unloaded
- Submitting to highway patrol inspections
Pay-by-mile often results in drivers barely receiving minimum wage on some days, despite spending up to 14 hours or more doing actual work. In order to make ends meet, truck drivers will drive for far longer than they're legally allowed to—and companies turn a blind eye to it. This results in sleep deprivation and serious exhaustion.
FMCSA data suggests that 13 percent of truck accidents are directly attributable to tiredness—with untold thousands of accidents likely caused by fatigue without being reported. At least 25 percent of truck crashes occurred when a driver was driving for 17 hours or more in a day. Experts say that moderate tiredness impairs driving to the same degree as being drunk.
Truck accidents we've represented include:
- Box truck crashes
- Flatbed truck accidents
- Jackknife accidents
- Underride accidents
- Tanker truck crashes
- Tow truck collisions
Louisiana UPS Accident Lawyers
UPS is one of the largest freight delivery companies in the United States, employing more than 119,000 motorists and holding an aggressive 27 percent market share. That sort of dominance makes UPS a powerful voice in the trucking industry. Unfortunately, the voice is not using its power to improve public safety. From 2015 to 2017, UPS drivers were involved in 2,003 crashes—resulting in 689 injuries and 49 deaths. Crashes, injuries, and deaths are all happening at a faster rate than they were in 2012, sometimes by up to 25 percent.
Baton Rouge FedEx Accident Attorneys
FedEx is another market leader in the freight delivery industry, holding a 23 percent market share and employing more than 90,000 vehicles in its fleet. Another statistic that might be of interest to the public: FedEx employed 51 lobbyists in Washington as of the 2013-2014 session—37 of which were once federal government employees. FedEx, despite being slightly smaller than UPS, has a far faster rate of 'growth' when it comes to public carnage. FedEx drivers were involved in 1,762 crashes from 2015 to 2017, resulting in 575 injuries and 41 deaths. While that's comparable to UPS, these numbers are more than double (in every category) than what they were in 2012.
See for yourself—find out how often trucking companies get into accidents on the FMCSA website.
Parties That May Be Liable for a Trucking Accident
The first thing our legal team will do in representing a truck accident victim is begin an investigation into who may be responsible. This is crucial in building a case in favor of compensation. We begin with investigation by examining both the scene of the accident and the truck itself. We can obtain access to logbooks and work to verify or dispute their validity and we can confer with the vehicle’s electronic on-board recorders, which is something of a black box for trucks. Once we have compiled enough evidence, we can determine the party at fault.
Barring other complications or circumstances of the accident, the party at fault will likely be:
Driver of the Truck
Many accidents can be linked to negligent or reckless driving. He or she may be driving under the influence, traveling at an unsafe speed, distracted by a cell phone, have overlooked a malfunctioning part, or be driving at a dangerous level of fatigue.
The accident may be the fault of the trucking company if they have conducted their business in an irresponsible manner. This could include improper maintenance, hiring drivers with questionable records, or encouraging drivers to work unreasonable hours.
Manufacturers can be held liable if they have withheld information from their consumers of parts about their functionality. Often manufacturers fail to perform the proper tests on parts such as brakes or tires that play a large role in vehicle safety.
Louisiana Truck Accident Statistics
According to data provided by the NHTSA (2014):
- There were 80 fatalities from truck crashes.
- Lafourche Parish had the most fatal truck accidents.
Louisiana State Information
- Population: 4,670,724
- Capital: Baton Rouge
- Most Populous City: New Orleans
Top 10 Cities
- New Orleans
- Baton Rouge
- Lake Charles
- Bossier City
- New Iberia
Top 5 Parishes
- Acadia Parish
- Allen Parish
- Ascension Parish
- Assumption Parish
- Avoyelles Parish
About Louisiana Highways
There are 10 highly-used highways running through Louisiana. Interstate 10 runs east-west through New Orleans and Interstate 20 runs east-west through Monroe and Rustin. Interstates 49 and 55 run north-south through the state, while Interstate 12 runs east-west through Hammond. Highways 90, 190, and 167 are also well-traveled.
Louisiana Truck Accident FAQ
What steps should I take right after a truck accident?
There are five things you should do right after a truck accident. First, get medical help. You may be taken from the scene straight to the emergency room if you’re seriously injured. If you have seemingly minor injuries, however, you’ll need to get yourself to the doctor or urgent care center. Make sure you tell your doctor that you were involved in a truck accident so he or she knows what type of injuries to look for, like whiplash or head trauma.
Second, exchange information with the other driver/s. It’s against the law in Louisiana to leave the scene of an accident without exchanging information with the other driver. The only exception may be if you are severely injured and are taken from the scene by ambulance. Get the truck driver’s contact information, license plate, and insurance information. Get the information of any witnesses or other parties that were involved.
Then, gather information at the scene. If possible, take pictures at the scene and note down everything you can remember about the accident while it is still fresh in your mind. Do not admit fault. Be careful not to apologize or say you were to blame for the accident. It will take a complete truck accident investigation to determine who is at fault; even if you think you were to blame, someone else could have actually caused the collision.
Finally, do not hesitate to talk to a lawyer. Getting insight from an experienced legal professional is one of the best ways you can protect your interests. Instead of trying to deal with the insurance claim and everything else, your lawyer can do everything for you to help you get the compensation you need. When you take these steps, you are protecting your health and your right to compensation from the party that caused your accident. This can make all the difference in the success of your truck accident claim or lawsuit.
How long do I have to file a truck accident claim in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, you have one year to file a personal injury claim after a truck accident. If you wait longer than a year, you run the risk of losing your right to sue. This is called a statute of limitations. There are some exceptions, such as a case filed on behalf of a victim who was a minor at the time of the accident. Our attorneys can answer your questions about time constraints and other issues you need to consider.
What are some of the leading causes of Louisiana trucking accidents?
The most common cause of truck accidents in Louisiana is driver behavior. This refers to some act or failure to act on the part of a truck driver or other motorist. Running a red light, drunk driving, driving while tired, texting while driving, following too closely, and unsafe lane changes are all examples of driver behavior that may cause a truck accident. Truck accidents may also be caused by improperly loaded cargo, negligently maintained trucks, defective truck or auto parts, dangerous roads, and improperly secured truck loads. Investigating the cause of your accident will help our team determine who should be held responsible for your medical bills and so much more.
Nationally Recognized Truck Accident Attorneys in Baton Rouge
No matter the circumstances surrounding your case, you can count on knowledgeable help and professionalism at our firm. We offer a free consultation to talk about your case and address your unanswered questions. It is important you don't waste time in calling our firm to schedule your consultation because your evidence may be lost. We are prepared to stand up to trucking companies to secure a fair settlement for your claim, so call now!
Call us today at (888) 493-1629 to begin your fight!