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 put in contact with regular passenger vehicles. Because our nation’s size and demand for products, 18-wheeler 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 sporadic cities, there are also many regulations truck drivers do not follow that lead to wrongful injuries and deaths in innocent passenger vehicle drivers. 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.
Recent Truck Accident Statistics
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.
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 one of these three:
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 FAQ
What steps should I take right after a truck accident?
There are five things you should do right after a truck accident:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, like all traffic collisions, is driver behavior. This refers to some act or failure to act on the part of a truck driver or other motorist that results in a collision. 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
Every accident is different in some way, and we always treat each accident and each client with the individual attention to detail they deserve. No matter the circumstances surrounding your Louisiana truck accident injury or wrongful death claim, we are the team that will stand up to big trucking companies and insurance providers and demand your financial restoration.
Call us today at (888) 493-1629 to begin your fight against those who wrongfully injured you.