New dangers for the trucking industry.
The U.S. Attorney’s office indicted five people last month, accusing them of staging an accident by intentionally colliding with an 18-wheeler on Chef Menteur Highway in 2017. New Orleans is no stranger to insurance fraud connected to accidents but this particular federal indictment goes beyond previous “staged accident” cases by referring to an attorney as being involved in the alleged conspiracy. The ring leader to this accident has been a witness in other truck accident cases, and was allegedly paid by an attorney to set up this scheme. The attorney had received a check for damages from the trucking company for this accident and each victim received money as well from insurance claims. Contact an attorney if you suspect truck accident insurance fraud, or if you are a victim, either as a driver or trucking company to see if you have legal remedies.
According to the United States Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Administration, over 500,000 truck accidents occur every year, and every 16 minutes a person is injured or killed from one of those accidents.
If you are in a truck accident, whether you are the driver or a victim in New Orleans Louisiana you should:
- Check on the condition of the people involved.
- Immediately call the police or emergency responders.
- Move vehicles out of the way if possible, to void further traffic problems.
- Get a written accident report.
- Remain at the accident scene.
- Exchange driver and insurance information.
- Get witness contact information.
- Call your insurance company to set up a claim.
- Seek out medical treatment if necessary.
- Take pictures of the scene, all vehicle damages, and road conditions.
- If the truck is a Commercial Vehicle, get State Trooper report.
- Do not make any statements regarding the fault or liability at the scene or when making a complaint, but inquire with the truck driver about what happened and maybe they will claim fault.
Commercial vehicle guidelines.
Louisiana laws follows federal guidelines for all commercial motor vehicles subject to regulations of the United States Department of Transportation, 49 C.F.R. part 387, subpart A, assuring insurance coverage in an amount equivalent to the minimum levels of financial responsibility as set forth in those regulations.
Evidence that may help to support or deny an insurance claim for damages includes:
- Testimony of witnesses and injured party;
- Trucking company or driver’s admissions of fault directly after the accident or sometime later;
- Safety reports on vehicles involved in the accident completed before and after the accident.
- Blood alcohol tests of other drivers, or hospital blood tests that reveal intoxication.
- Cell phone records to make sure drivers were not texting or using phone at the time of the accident.
Under Louisiana’s comparative fault law — Louisiana Civil Code 2323. An award for damages can be reduced in proportion to the driver(s) percentage of his or her fault. This means that if you were 75% at fault, you could still recover 25% of your damages. The rule affects any type of personal injury claim including truck accidents.
Contact an attorney.
Tractor trailer truck accidents involve multiple complex factors that require specific knowledge of the commercial trucking industry, extensive experience in civil injury laws, and sophisticated investigative capabilities to collect evidence and analyze it to most strongly support a negligence claim. Contact a truck accident lawyer at Ricci Partners, LLC in Louisiana after a truck accident to see what options you have.
Ricci Partners, LLC, Attorneys at Law
101 W. Robert E. Lee
New Orleans, LA 70124