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Who Is Found Liable for Most Truck Accidents in Louisiana?

Published on Jun 16, 2023 at 8:40 pm in Truck Accident.

Who Is Found Liable for Most Truck Accidents in Louisiana
When someone is injured in a truck accident, their losses are rarely minor. Permanent disability, extensive medical interventions, years of ongoing treatment, inability to work, and a loss of one’s mode of transportation are all common outcomes of an accident caused by a large truck.

Under Louisiana state statutes, the party responsible for causing the accident is also financially responsible for the consequences—which may include property damages, medical bills, lost income, compensation for pain and suffering, and more.

To decide who is financially responsible for the accident, we must turn to a legal concept known as liability. Liability is a term used in civil law to mean a person or party is legally responsible for something because of their actions, inactions, or the actions of someone for whom they are responsible.

So, who is liable for most truck accidents in Louisiana? In most cases, the liable party is one or more of the following entities:

  • Trucking company
  • Truck driver
  • Truck owner
  • Truck or truck parts manufacturer
  • Other passenger vehicle drivers
  • Shipping or loading company

The first two parties listed—the trucking company and the truck driver—are the parties most often found liable in Louisiana commercial vehicle accidents. But there are other parties that may be partially or primarily at fault for the crash.

Commercial trucking accidents don’t usually happen for just one reason and one reason alone. Ground-based shipping is a complicated enterprise. Any accident caused when an employee is behind the wheel of a company vehicle hauling another party’s goods across the country is bound to be infinitely complex. There are federal laws, driver licensing requirements, multiple insurance carriers, and the interests and actions of several separate corporate entities that all must be accounted for when determining liability.

Below is more information to further demonstrate who is found liable for most truck accidents in Louisiana. If you have questions about the case in which you or a loved one was involved, please contact Bianca | Matkins personal injury law firm in Baton Rouge. We provide free consultations to allow injured victims to discuss their cases and legal options with a truck accident lawyer.

What Are Common Causes of Louisiana Trucking Accidents?

One of the top causes of truck accidents in Louisiana is driver error. But just because a driver makes a mistake does not mean their employer is free from liability. As the company that hires, trains, conducts background checks on, supervises, and assigns routes to the truck driver, the trucking company is responsible for the actions of its employees and can be held liable for the harm they cause.

Some of the most common causes of Louisiana trucking accidents come down to the actions (and omissions) of truck drivers and trucking companies.

Common Truck Driver Errors

  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Distracted driving (including texting and driving and other cell phone use)
  • Speeding
  • Driving too fast for the conditions
  • Breaking traffic laws (such as running a red light or stop sign)
  • Making illegal turns
  • Fatigued driving
  • Tailgating (following too closely)
  • Misjudging clearances
  • Poorly-executed turns
  • Mishandling hills, curves, and inclines
  • Driving when the weather makes it unsafe to stay on the road
  • Failure to conduct pre-, post-, and mid-trip inspections as needed

Common Examples of Trucking Company Negligence

  • Broken truck industry regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • Underqualified drivers on the payroll
  • Failure to conduct background checks on new hires
  • Improper driver training and supervision
  • Improper truck maintenance and inspections
  • Assigning unreasonably long routes
  • Urging drivers to stay on the road longer than is allowed by law
  • Overloading and unsafe loading practices

Other Factors That May Be Involved in a Louisiana Truck Accident

  • Bad weather
  • Poor road conditions
  • Reckless drivers of other motor vehicles on the road
  • Animals crossing the road
  • A faulty truck part that was defectively designed or manufactured
  • Poor shipping and loading practices
  • A truck owner (if different from the driver or company) who does not maintain a safe vehicle
  • Careless actions by employees of a shipping or loading company

How To Determine Who Is Liable for a Louisiana Truck Accident

With so many parties that could be found liable, a lawyer handling a truck accident case never has an easy job. There are multiple sources of evidence an attorney will need to track down, work to secure, and analyze in order to accurately and fully determine liability. Those pieces of evidence often involve documents and items such as:

  • Truck black box data (event data recorder (EDR) information)
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Traffic camera footage
  • Dashcam footage
  • Truck driver cell phone records
  • Vehicle inspection reports
  • Truck driver drug and alcohol test results
  • Company logbooks and dispatch schedules
  • Records of past company or driver violations
  • Records of the driver’s personal traffic law infractions
  • Electronic logging device (ELD) data showing driver work hours
  • Testimony from expert witnesses like traffic reconstructionists

How Louisiana’s Pure Comparative Negligence Laws Affect Truck Crash Cases

As we have discussed, there could be multiple parties found liable in a trucking collision scenario. Louisiana’s pure comparative negligence laws recognize that not every case has just one liability party.

In a personal injury case like a truck accident, the liability may be split between more than one party—a concept known as comparative fault. In Louisiana, every party involved in the case can be assigned a percentage of fault, a percentage that will also correspondingly reduce the amount of compensation recoverable through an injury claim.

For example, a fatigued truck driver may be found 60% liable, another driver on the road who cut in too close may be 30% liable, and you may be 10% liable because you were changing the radio and didn’t see the truck brake right away. If this is the case, you can still recover compensation even though you were deemed partially liable, but your compensation will be reduced by 10% to reflect your involvement.

What Compensation Can I Recover After a Louisiana Truck Accident?

The compensation you can receive after a Louisiana truck accident will be directly related to your losses, both economic (financially-related) and non-economic (not financial). This may include compensation for:

  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Ambulance rides
  • Prescription medications
  • Surgery and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Lost future earning potential
  • Property damage
  • Mental health care costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Psychological trauma like PTSD
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • And more

A good Louisiana truck accident lawyer will see you as more than just your medical bills. It takes time to fully evaluate all the ways a person’s life was altered by a trucking accident that never should have happened.

Legal Counsel You Can Rely on After Truck Accident Injuries

There are few things that change your life as suddenly and drastically as a serious truck accident. If you lost someone you love in the accident, the impact will last much longer than even your injuries and other damages.

At Bianca | Matkins, we care deeply about the outcome of each and every case we take. We never take a case we are not confident we can win. We see every case as an opportunity to help our clients achieve a life with more security, meaning, and peace than they had the day they first stepped foot in our office.

Contact us now to learn how we can help you move forward after a Louisiana truck accident. We provide free case evaluations and take most cases on a contingency fee basis—so finances should never be an obstacle to your recovery.

As one of the most Deaf-friendly law firms in Louisiana, we are also able to support Deaf clients and families and can partner you with an ASL-fluent truck accident attorney for your free case consultation.

Free Case Review

Call us or fill out the form below to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation where we’ll hear your story and help you understand your legal options, advising you on what steps you can take next. If we can help with the next steps required, we will be happy to do so.

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