A Baton Rouge Truck Accident Attorney Will Fight for Injured People
The risk of an accident is an unfortunate part of driving for anyone who hits the road. Louisiana is a major corridor for long-distance trucking. With two major interstates like I-10 that spans 2,460 miles from coast to coast (Santa Monica, California near Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida), and I-12 that is almost 86 miles long from Baton Rouge to Slidell, allows for bigger trucks to carry more freight on faster schedules. This can also mean an increased risk of Louisiana drivers to be involved in a truck accident.
Trucks pose a particularly serious threat because of the vehicles’ size, the speeds at which they travel, and the stress commonly put on truckers to spend long stretches of time behind the wheel. At Chris Corzo Injury Attorneys, we help people and families injured in truck accidents get the full compensation available under the law. A Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer has dedicated their career to assisting our neighbors across the region in their time of need.
Our work is driven by our Christian faith and our personal commitment to our clients.
Why Do Tractor Trailer Crashes Happen in Louisiana?
Tractor-trailers, also commonly referred to as 18-wheelers, are common on highways across Louisiana. They are also far too frequently involved in major accidents that can snarl traffic and result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries.
Big truck crashes can happen for any number of reasons, including some of the same reasons for car accidents. Truck operator error, drowsy or distracted driving and drugs or alcohol usage can be to blame for big rig accidents. Another cause can be poor upkeep on big rigs. Federal and state laws require trucking companies to take certain steps to ensure that their fleets are in good working order.
Common Louisiana Truck Maintenance and Repair Problems
Some of the most common problems caused by insufficient maintenance and repair include:
- Brake failure: Runaway trucks are a disaster waiting to happen. When brakes fail, big rigs are likely to collide with other vehicles at high speeds.
- Blown tires: When tires fail, trucks present a serious threat to nearby traffic. Blowouts, often the result of failing to replace and maintain tires, commonly happen with little warning to other motorists and at high speeds.
- Defective headlights: Trucks often hit the road overnight and in difficult weather, making it harder for truckers to see traffic. Malfunctioning headlights simply make matters worse.
- Powertrain failure: These and other mechanical failures risk the safe operation of the truck, significantly increasing the risk of an accident.
- Suspension issues: Although technology has greatly enhanced suspension quality and durability, regular inspection and maintenance are crucial to spotting and addressing signs before they show up on the road.
- Steering failure: Steering failure often leads to accidents because it leaves truckers with little ability to avoid collisions and often not enough time to brake fully.
- Trailer hitch defects: A trailer hitch that becomes loose or unattached creates an unexpected obstacle for other drivers.
- Poorly secured loads: Cargo on a flatbed that is not properly secured can also wind up scattered on the road, giving other vehicles little or no time to react.
It is the responsibility of commercial truck owners and their drivers to make sure that their vehicles are adequately inspected and properly maintained. When they do not live up to this responsibility, they are likely to be liable for any accidents that happen as a result.
A Baton Rouge truck accident attorney has significant experience investigating crashes to determine the cause of the collision and identify those who are legally responsible. We work tirelessly to ensure that trucking companies are held accountable when their failures lead to accidents.
Louisiana Trucker Fatigue
Driver error also often also looms large in truck crash cases, whether it is a mistake by the person behind the wheel of the big rig or another motorist.
Large trucks are not like cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles. They cannot brake, swerve, change lanes, or adapt nearly as quickly to traffic. That is one reason why operating a commercial truck requires a certain level of training and experience. The margin for error is small, and when truckers make mistakes, they can have devastating consequences.
Many mistakes happen when truckers are tired or distracted. According to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, some 13 percent of large truck drivers are found to have been fatigued at the time of their crashes.
Fatigue is caused by several factors, including lack of sleep, medication side effects, and overwork.
Federal regulations require truck drivers across the country to take a break for at least 30 minutes for every eight hours they spend behind the wheel. They also impose various caps on the number of hours that drivers can log in at any given time. Truckers are limited to 11 hours of driving maximum after at least 10 hours off of the road, for example. They also may not drive beyond the 14th hour after hitting the road following at least a 10-hour break.
Additional restrictions cap truckers at 60 or 70 hours on duty over the course of seven or eight days, depending on certain circumstances. That period only restarts after a trucker spends at least 34 consecutive hours off the road.
Sadly, transportation companies are too common to pressure truckers to run upright against hours restrictions and even exceed them. That is reckless behavior that can have devastating consequences.
A Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer at our firm will determine whether fatigue played a role in the crash and work aggressively to ensure that trucking companies and negligent drivers are held fully accountable for their actions.
Other Causes of Truck Accidents in Louisiana
Like all traffic collisions, many other factors can lead to truck crashes. Some of the most common in our experience as a Baton Rouge truck accident attorney include:
- Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs
- Texting or making phone calls while driving
- Road rage
- Defective equipment
- Malfunctioning vehicles
- Road construction, hazards
- Inclement weather
- Insufficient trucker training
It is important to identify the cause of the accident to determine who is legally responsible for any accidents that happen as a result.
Louisiana Tanker Truck, Dump Truck Accidents
Tanker and dump trucks are two other types of big rigs that can pose serious safety threats to others on the road.
Dump trucks usually look much like tractor-trailers, except that the vehicle’s back end is open. They are used to transport natural materials like rocks, stone, sand, and waste. These trucks feature hydraulic ramps that lift the front end of the truck bed to “dump” material in the bed onto the ground below.
The size of most dump trucks, their unique design, and the risk of the material they haul being spilled all make them a potential hazard on the road.
Tanker trucks are easy to spot because of the long cylinders they often haul, carrying oil, fuel, and other liquids and gasses.
These trucks represent a safety hazard not only because of their size but also because of the types of material they haul. In addition, chemicals, gases, and other materials may be toxic if they spill out onto the road and into the air.
Money Damages for Louisiana Truck Accident Injuries
Anyone who is injured in a truck accident in Louisiana has the legal right to seek compensation for those injuries. A Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer at our firm can help you maximize your money damages.
The compensation usually available in these cases is meant to make an injured person financially whole. In other words, it is designed to put the person back in the financial position that they were in before the accident happened.
Money damages include compensation for medical bills, vehicle and other property damage, and missed wages while recuperating from the injuries. Additional compensation is also often available for the long-term impact of the injuries on a person’s ability to earn an income and enjoy daily life activities and for pain and emotional distress. Punitive damages may also be awarded in certain cases to punish wrongdoers for reckless behavior.
Unfortunately, many truck accidents result in death. In these tragic situations, certain family members have the right to seek compensation for wrongful death. That includes money for medical and burial costs, missed income, and pain and suffering.
Nothing can be done to bring your loved one back, but the money damages in these cases may offer some much-needed financial security after losing a family member.
Speak With a Baton Rouge Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a big truck crash in Louisiana, a Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer at our firm will help you understand your rights and explore your options for seeking compensation.
Our office is conveniently located in Baton Rouge. We are pleased to serve clients throughout the region, including St. Gabriel, Donaldsonville, Gonzales, Gramercy, Lutcher, Plaquemine, Baker, Port Allen, Addis, Sunshine, Darrow, Convent, St. James, and Belle Rose. Contact us online or call us at 225.999.1111 to schedule an appointment with a Baton Rouge truck accident attorney today.