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Semi-truck Accident Lawyers for Louisiana

LEGAL HELP FOR LOUISIANA TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS

The state of Louisiana is a cultural melting pot. With a mix of French, African, and French-Canadian influences, the Bayou State is unique and diverse, and it is apparent in the Creole and Cajun cultures found throughout the state.

Home to approximately 4.5 million people, Louisiana is crisscrossed by several major interstate highways, including I-10, I-20, and Interstate 49. Interstate 10 runs through the southern portion of the state, connecting the states of the west to the southeastern coastal states. Louisiana is a popular tourist destination, home to New Orleans and the largest Mardi Gras festival in the country. However not all of the traffic in the state is from tourists.

Tractor-trailers from the trucking industry pass in and out of the state through the various interstate highways. Although the Intracoastal Waterway provides a great avenue of transporting goods and materials around the country’s southeast coast, much of the state’s commercial trade is shipped via semi. Unfortunately, with truck traffic comes trucking accidents. Every year in the United States, over 100,000 people are injured in crashes involving large trucks.

In Louisiana alone, 80 people suffered fatal injuries in crashes involving 18-wheelers in 2014. The sad fact is many of these accidents are due to the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company. Countless lives could be spared every year if trucking companies and their operators followed the appropriate safety rules and guidelines.

At Thomas J. Henry, we understand how difficult your life can be made after suffering from a trucking accident injury. Medical bills and other expenses start to pile up and you can’t return to work due to your injury, putting you and your family in a financial bind. That’s why we advance your court costs and litigation expenses. In addition, we can also advance you money for living and medical expenses, interest free. You spend nothing and you pay no attorney’s fees unless we win your trucking accident case. Our financial resources allow us to make our clients comfortable and also make sure their case is developed properly.

LEGAL RESOURCES YOU NEED TO WIN YOUR LOUISIANA TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE

  • Technology
    • A complete case profile is active in our modern computer system from the first time we meet a client, whether it is at our office, or at the client’s home, workplace, or hospital in Louisiana. We employ leading-edge case management, client interaction, and information security solutions to make sure your case files are readily available and secure. At the click of a mouse, we can access your case files and expedite them to you and other legal professionals. At Thomas J. Henry, we are intent on keeping our clients informed with the most up-to-date information every step of the process.
  • Mobility
    • Our Louisiana trucking accident attorneys are available to you 24/7, nights and weekends. We want to make sure your attorney is accessible as possible and able to converse with you about your case at any time, from anywhere. Through jet services, our attorneys can visit you wherever you reside in Louisiana. Also, satellite and mobile technologies connect our experienced attorney with clients, allowing them to meet and draft files from anywhere in the country.
  • Experts
    • Thomas J. Henry has demonstrated, through massive use of experts, how trucking companies and truck driver have negligently caused severe accidents resulting in not only debilitating injuries but death. Over the years, Thomas J. Henry has used only the best experts available from across the United States for each trucking accident case. Using the right expert can be crucial in advancing your case. Potential expert witnesses go through extensive examinations and questioning before they are involved in any aspect in your case. Trucking accident experts provide invaluable testimony for judges, attorneys, law firms, insurance companies, and government agencies in trials and arbitration. Examples of expert witnesses for a trucking accident case include:
      • Accident reconstruction experts
      • Doctors, surgeons, physical therapists, and other medical professionals
      • Human factors forensic science experts
      • Hazardous materials experts
      • Transportation safety specialists

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER BEING INVOLVED IN A SEMI-TRUCK ACCIDENT?

Trucking accidents can be disorienting, especially if you or a passenger has suffered from an injury. However, there are steps you can take to help protect your rights as a trucking injury victim and preserve evidence for your potential case.

  • Stop immediately following the crash and check yourself and other passengers for injuries.
  • Make the accident visible by turning your vehicle’s hazard lights on or using road flares.
  • Notify the police or your local police department. Call 911 if there is an emergency. Filing a police report is an important step in filing insurance claims. Be sure that paramedics arrive on the scene if you or your passengers were injured in the crash.
  • Record the facts and take pictures of your vehicle’s damage, the truck involved, any injuries you sustained, and any other factor in the accident that could help your future case.
  • Gather and exchange information with all parties involved in the trucking accident. If there were witnesses, collect their name, phone number, and address as well. Obtain the insurance information for all parties involved in the accident.
  • Seek medical attention. Be aware that some injuries and pain may become apparent days or weeks after the accident. Err on the side of caution and see your physician if you are unsure if you have been injured.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company. As your claim is processed, keep a record of medical expenses, vehicle-related expenses, and any changes in health you experience. Avoid speaking with other insurance companies or trucking company claims adjuster. If possible, refer them to your retained attorney.
  • Contact an experienced Louisiana trucking accident attorney.

Attorneys are responsible for protecting your rights and making sure insurance companies are acting in your best interest. Our Louisiana injury attorneys will immediately work to obtain and preserve evidence from your accident scene and ensure that you have received ample medical attention for your injuries. Experienced trucking accident lawyers will pull out all the stops to make sure you are comfortable and informed throughout the legal process and in the best position to achieve the compensation you deserve.

WHO CAN BE SUED IN A TRUCKING ACCIDENT?

In the case of a Louisiana trucking accident, several parties could potentially be negligent, making these kind of accident cases more complex than other vehicle accidents. Our experienced team of trucking injury lawyers have the knowledge and expertise to find out who the negligent party is. The negligent party can include:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • The manufacturer of the commercial motor vehicle

Thomas J. Henry has consistently demonstrated how truck drivers and trucking companies have caused life-altering accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries and deaths that were unnecessary and preventable. Experience means understanding how truck drivers are supposed to handle themselves in the operation of commercial motor vehicles. Our attorneys make sure no stone is left unturned and that every detail of your case has been thoroughly researched and discovered.

COMMON LOUISIANA TRUCKING VIOLATIONS THAT RESULT IN ACCIDENTS

When semi-truck drivers violate common traffic laws, serious accidents and fatal injuries can occur. Because tractor-trailers in the United States can weigh over 20 times the weight of a typical passenger car, small mistakes on the road can have massive consequences.

Here are ten common traffic violations that cause trucking accidents:

  • Speeding
    • Speeding was a contributing factor in at least 30 percent of annual fatal crash totals between 2003 and 2012.
  • Parking on the shoulder
  • Distracted driving
  • Improper lane change
  • Following too closely
  • Unsecured cargo
    • When truck drivers improperly load their cargo, items can fall onto the roadways, causing serious accidents.
  • Failure to maintain vehicle
  • Driver fatigue
  • Driving while impaired
    • Truck drivers are prohibited from working with a blood alcohol level above .04. In addition, they cannot carry alcohol or drugs with them in the cab of their truck.
  • Improper turning

WHAT TRUCKING REGULATIONS EXIST TO KEEP LOUISIANA DRIVERS SAFE?

Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains all of the rules and regulations pertaining to commercial motor vehicles and the people who drive them. Motorists are put at risk when truck drivers fail to comply with these rules.

Commercial motor vehicle drivers are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL holders are held to a higher standard and can lose their certification by committing serious traffic violations. These regulations are just a few of the many requirements for commercial motor vehicle drivers:

  • Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
    • CDL holders in Louisiana must be 18 years of age or older to drive a commercial vehicle within state lines.
  • To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
  • Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
  • In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
  • For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
  • Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
  • Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.

HOURS OF SERVICE REGULATIONS

Truck drivers are also required to abide by the hours of service regulations. These regulations are important in keeping drivers and other motorists safe. Drowsy driving is one of the most common causes of trucking accidents. A study conducted by the AAA Foundation revealed that driving on only four or five hours of sleep increased the risk of a crash as much as driving with a blood alcohol content between .12 and .15 (.04 is the legal BAC limit for truck drivers).

Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
  • 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.
  • Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

Passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • may drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following eight consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
  • Drivers using a sleeper berth provision must take at least eight hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.

WHAT ARE ECM AND GPS DEVICES?

Electronic Control Modules (ECM) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are found on many commercial trucks and other vehicles regulated by the Department of Transportation. These devices hold potentially invaluable information pertinent to your trucking injury case. These electronic systems track and record the movement of the semi-truck, including its speed before an impact and the routes taken prior to an accident. Data on these devices can also reveal the habits of the truck driver, which can shed light on negligence and fault.

At Thomas J. Henry, our experienced trucking accident lawyers will immediately file a lawsuit and restraining order to obtain the ECM and GPS devices. We will also acquire all of the driver’s required Federal Motor Carrier documents that provide additional information that could be vital to achieving the verdict or settlement that you or your loved ones deserve.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED LOUISIANA TRUCKING ACCIDENT AND INJURY ATTORNEY

For decades, Thomas J. Henry has represented trucking injury victims from across the United States, helping them stand up against some of the largest trucking companies in the world. Our experience, legal resources, and expertise allow us to continue to obtain record-breaking verdicts and settlements that our injured clients deserve. If you or a loved one were injured in a trucking accident in Louisiana, contact Thomas J. Henry today. Our truck accident attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your case.

Disclaimer: Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only.  Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.

HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED?

Contact Us for a FREE Case Review

877-969-8159 • info@tjhlaw.com

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