Sharing the roads with 18-wheelers and other large trucks can be a nerve-wracking experience for Louisiana drivers. You may observe the semi-truck sway in the wind or operate erratically on a wet road, or you may have trouble seeing around a truck to know if it is safe to pass or turn.

Given their great weight and size, commercial truck accidents are often far more catastrophic than those between passenger vehicles. A semi-truck accident can even quickly turn deadly for the occupants of cars or if motorcycles are involved.

Even when you’ve been an injury victim by a commercial truck operated by a negligent tractor-trailer driver, you may find yourself fighting with the big trucking corporations and their stingy insurance companies to try to get financial compensation for your losses.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a trucking accident in Baton Rouge through no fault of your own, you deserve to know your legal rights and options.

A Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer at Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers in Baton Rouge are experienced with semi-truck accident victims and the specific procedures associated with large truck insurance litigation. Contact us today to get your free initial consultation with a dedicated injury attorney.

There is no upfront cost to you for our legal services. We get paid only if and when we secure compensation for you.

What to Do After a Tractor-Trailer Accident in Louisiana

If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, there are initial steps you can take to protect your rights to compensation for any injuries.

Contact the Police

Calling 911 brings first responders to the scene people need medical attention. The police will also arrive and conduct an investigation of the accident. The officers will prepare an accident report that details their findings and may even include the officers’ determination as to how the accident occurred and who was at fault. This information may be critical evidence in a semi-truck accident claim, but it is important to remember that police do not have final say on civil liability.

Obtain Contact and Insurance Information From the Other Drivers Involved

If the police are not called to the scene to prepare an accident report, it is especially important that you obtain this information from the other all the drivers, especially the semi-truck driver, so that you may later make a claim for compensation against those who were at fault. In virtually all scenarios, however, calling the 911 police dispatcher is highly advisable, so that authorities officially document what occurred.

Take Photographs of the Accident Scene

Photographs or video of the scene may be evidence that is later crucial to establishing fault. Try to capture details such as damage to the vehicles involved, any skid marks on the road, road lines and traffic controls, the weather, lighting, road, and traffic conditions at the scene at the time of the accident, and any visible injuries you may have suffered.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t feel like you were injured in the accident, it is advisable to follow up with your primary physician or local emergency room after the accident. Injuries suffered in an accident can take hours, days, or even weeks to show symptoms.

Talk to a Baton Rouge Semi-truck Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible

You have limited time to assert a claim for compensation following a truck accident. The statute of limitations in Louisiana for a civil lawsuit is one year from the date of the injury. Speaking to an experienced Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer can nail down key evidence and that your claim is pursued in a diligent, aggressive, and timely manner.

How Our Truck Accident Lawyers Tackle Truck Accident Claims

When you hire Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers to represent you in a truck accident claim, our legal team will quickly get to work to vigorously pursue your case.

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 truck accident law firm will work tirelessly to identify all the potential sources of financial recovery available to you.

If necessary, our truck accident law firm is prepared to take your case to trial when a settlement appears out of reach. Our Baton Rouge truck accident attorneys 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.

How Do 18-Wheeler and Other Tractor-Trailer Accidents 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. Truck 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 truck 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

What Are the Common Causes of Tractor-Trailer and Other Truck Accidents in Baton Rouge?

There are 2,376 miles of roadway in Baton Rouge, according to the City-Parish Department of Public Works. Particular areas of congestion include the I-10 and I-12 corridors, where commercial truck accidents are particularly common.

While there are many different factors that contribute to commercial vehicle crashes, some are more common than others. 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

Compensation for Truck Accident Injuries

If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident in Baton Rouge, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the injuries that you have suffered.

Potential recoverable damages in a truck accident case include:

  • Medical expenses, including hospital stays, surgery, doctor’s office visits, therapy and rehabilitation, prescription medication, durable medical equipment, prosthetics, long-term care, or modifications to your home to cope with long-term or permanent injuries or disabilities
  • Lost wages, if you miss time from work while recovering from your injuries
  • Lost earning capacity, if your injuries prevent you from returning to your job or the level of work that you used to perform, resulting in an income reduction
  • Pain and suffering, including the emotional and physical anguish and distress caused by your injuries
  • Lost quality of life, which can result from disabilities or disfigurement caused by your injuries, from the inability to participate in activities you previously enjoyed, or the inability to perform tasks of daily living
  • Loss of consortium, which is injury-related compensation paid to your spouse for the loss of your companionship

You may also be entitled to compensation for property damage you sustain in the Baton Rouge truck accident. This includes the cost to repair your vehicle or the value of the vehicle if it is totaled, along with any other personal property that is damaged or destroyed in the accident.

Contact a Baton Rouge Truck Accident Attorney Today

At Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers, the experience and resources of our truck injury attorneys 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 semi-truck accident law firm has the resources to thoroughly investigate and pursue each claim and avenue of financial recovery. A Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer at Tomeny | Best Injury 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. Call today to get started.

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