We’ll thoroughly investigate your accident to collect the evidence needed to show the truck driver’s fault or negligence on the part of someone else responsible for the crash. Evidence establishing the truck driver’s or trucking company’s negligence may include the driver’s logs, the driver’s toxicology reports, the load manifest, and truck maintenance logs.
Once we have assembled this decisive material, we’ll negotiate on your behalf with the at-fault party or parties to seek the maximum compensation you deserve. The big trucking companies often have numerous corporate entities and layered insurance policies to shield themselves from having to pay when victims suffer life-altering or even fatal injuries. Our firm will work tirelessly to identify all the potential sources of financial recovery available to you.
If necessary, our firm is prepared to take your case to trial when a settlement appears out of reach. Our Baton Rouge truck accident lawyers can passionately advocate on your behalf to a judge or jury to obtain a ruling in your favor that compensates you and your family for your losses.
Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers Has the Resources for Truck Accident Cases
At Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers, our experience and resources enable us to obtain outstanding results for our clients. Founder Frank Tomeny is a former insurance defense lawyer who brings his experience and knowledge of how the insurance industry responds to claims from injury victims to professionally represent Baton Rouge residents when they get hurt in a truck accident.
Our firm has the resources to thoroughly investigate and pursue each claim and avenue of financial recovery. Our 18-wheeler accident lawyers work with medical, engineering, and financial experts to build a strong case that persuasively demonstrates your entitlement to compensation.
We also take the time to get to know you and your family and to understand your concerns and needs, so that we can aggressively pursue your truck accident case to a favorable conclusion.
How 18-Wheeler and Other Truck Crash Cases Differ from Car Accidents
The reality is that 18-wheeler accident cases are often far more complex than other kinds of wrecks. Commercial truck accidents differ from regular car crashes in several ways, such as:
- The size of the truck – Commercial trucks are large, heavy pieces of machinery. When they collide with smaller vehicles, the occupants of those vehicles are more frequently subjected to more severe injuries. As a result, seeking compensation following a truck accident is made more difficult when accident victims are required to undergo expensive and long-term medical treatment. This can extend long past the time that their legal claim is resolved, making it necessary to ensure that payout takes into account the victim’s future needs.
- The evidence – The trucking industry is heavily regulated. As a result, truck drivers and trucking companies must keep multiple compliance records in the course of business. These documents may be relevant to demonstrate if a driver was negligent behind the wheel. Truck accident claims often necessitate examining driver’s logs, driver’s toxicology reports, truck GPS records, truck computer records, load manifests, and maintenance logs.
- The parties – When a commercial truck causes an accident, there may be parties other than the truck driver who may bear some legal responsibility. These potentially liable parties include the trucking company that employs or subcontracts the driver, the freight company responsible for loading the truck, the company responsible for the truck’s maintenance, and the truck manufacturer and the manufacturer’s suppliers.
Federal and State Regulations Governing Trucking
Federal and state law regulates the trucking industry. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency charged with issuing regulations. Some of the primary regulations issued by the FMCSA include:
- Hours of service rules – Drivers may operate their truck up to 11 hours each day only after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers cannot drive beyond the 14th hour after coming on duty. Drivers are also limited to 60 hours of driving in a seven-day period, or 70 hours in an eight-day period. Drivers who reach the 70-hour limit may only resume driving following a 34-hour rest period, which must include at least two nights that cover the period of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Drivers must also take at least one 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.
- Alcohol and drug testing – Trucking companies may only hire drivers who have a negative pre-employment drug test. Companies are also required to test drivers on reasonable suspicion of drug or alcohol use. Trucking companies are required to implement a scientifically random testing policy without notice to drivers. Drivers must undergo testing following a fatal accident or after an accident that involves towing of a vehicle or medical care away from the scene if the police cite the truck driver for a moving violation.
- Vehicle markings – Interstate vehicles are required to display the carrier’s USDOT number along with the legal or trade name of the carrier.
- Cargo – Trucks must abide by equipment and procedures to secure cargo, or to transport cargo that contains hazardous substances, including flammable materials, toxic chemicals, biohazards, or radioactive materials.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development oversees the trucking industry at the state level. State regulations cover issues such as:
- Weight limits
- Dimensional limits
- Load restrictions
- Vehicle registration requirements
- Commercial driver’s license requirements
Common Causes of Tractor-Trailer and Other Truck Crashes
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents that our Baton Rouge truck accident lawyers encounter include:
- Inadequate training and experience
- Speeding and reckless driving caused by tight or unrealistic schedules
- Driving past the regulatory hour limits
- Distracted driving
- Improper or unsafe loading of the truck
- Improper maintenance or lack of maintenance of the truck
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- Design or manufacturing defects in the truck or its component parts
- Unsafe driving considering weather, lighting, traffic, or road conditions