Evidence is crucial to claims involving a truck accident, driver’s actions immediately after the crash could win a case. Contact a lawyer for direction.

Roadway dangers include big trucks.

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 a truck accident.  Commercial vehicles are necessary to transport goods nationally and there are federal and state laws to make sure their transport is safe for the truck drivers and other motor vehicles on the shared roadways.

Federal CMV restrictions and Louisiana law.

Commercial motor operators have restrictions imposed on their drivers because they already pose a danger to passenger cars on highways due to their size, braking distance, and types of load they carry.  The driver restrictions for trucks carrying property cargo are limited to maximum hours driven; minimum hours off duty; required rest breaks – may drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes and does not apply to drivers using either of the short-haul exceptions in 395.1(e). [49 CFR 397.5 mandatory “in attendance” time may be included in break if no other duties performed]; a 60/70 hour driving limit meaning a driver may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. Commercial motor vehicle drivers that are carrying people have more stringent restrictions.

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 comes from actions at the scene.

If you are in an accident with a truck in New Orleans Louisiana you should:

  1. Check on the condition of the people involved.
  2. Immediately call the police or emergency responders.
  3. Move vehicles out of the way if possible, to void further traffic problems.
  4. Get a written accident report.
  5. Remain at the accident scene.
  6. Exchange driver and insurance information.
  7. Get witness contact information.
  8. Call your insurance company to set up a claim.
  9. Seek out medical treatment if necessary.
  10. Take pictures of the scene, all vehicle damages, and road conditions.
  11. If the truck is a Commercial Vehicle, get State Trooper report.
  12. 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.

Additional evidence that may help to support a claim for damages and determinations of fault includes:

  1. Testimony of witnesses and injured party;
  2. Trucking company or driver’s admissions of fault directly after the accident or sometime later;
  3. Safety reports on vehicles involved in the accident completed before and after the accident.
  4. Blood alcohol tests of other drivers, or hospital blood tests that reveal intoxication.
  5. Cell phone records to make sure drivers were not texting or using phone at the time of the accident.

Comparative fault.

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.

Court awards.

Damages include those that address financial loss including lost wages, medical bills, and property damage (compensatory), and those that seek punishment for the offenses causing the accident (punitive).

Hire a lawyer.

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 as soon as possible if you have been in an accident that caused injuries and/or damages.

Ricci Partners, LLC, Attorneys at Law

101 W. Robert E. Lee
Ste. 400
New Orleans, LA 70124

Phone: 504-304-7115
Fax: 504-309-1123

Sources:

https://www.truckinfo.net/trucking/stats.htm

http://www.ldi.la.gov/industry/laws-and-bulletins/insurance-law-(title-22)