Commercial drivers operate vehicles that are much larger and far heavier than most passenger vehicles. In fact, if a commercial driver is operating a tractor-trailer, it often weighs as much as 20 to 30 times as much as the average passenger car.
If you or someone you love was hurt or killed because of the negligence of a commercial driver, you have the right to hold them accountable for their behavior. The team at the Morris Bart law office is here to help you hold them responsible.
For a free case review, contact the Morris Bart law firm today at (504) 613-4771.
Causes of Commercial Driving Accidents
There are many factors that can cause a commercial driving accident. Some of the most common include:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that commercial drivers who operate tractor-trailers, buses, and tow trucks are particularly susceptible to drowsy driving. They often work long hours and operate commercial vehicles late at night or early in the morning and are held to tight schedules. Drowsy driving impacts their ability to focus on the road, react quickly if traffic suddenly slows or stops, and properly make decisions.
Even though the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) banned texting and driving for commercial drivers long ago, distracted driving still remains a large problem. Distracted driving can occur because of any type of activity that takes the driver’s eyes and/or focus off of their driving. It could include operating a cell phone, using dispatching devices, eating, adjusting the radio, or even just letting their mind wander.
Defective equipment is another problem for large trucks. A study referenced by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety examined the role of defective equipment in crashes and found that nearly 55 percent of trucks that were examined after an accident had at least one mechanical violation.
Whether the commercial driver is operating a large tractor-trailer, a bus, or a tow truck, these vehicles are all much heavier than the average passenger car, which means it takes much longer for them to stop. The braking distance increases if the road is slippery or wet. This can sometimes make it impossible to stop in time if traffic comes to a sudden halt.
In addition, if the driver was not 100 percent focused on the road, if their attention was elsewhere, they likely had even less time to react and stop.
If you were hurt because of a commercial driver’s negligence in the New Orleans area, or another nearby parish, you have the right to hold them responsible for their actions. Contact the Morris Bart law firm today at (504) 613-4771.
For a free legal consultation with a Commercial Drivers Accident lawyer serving New Orleans, call 800-537-8185
Proving Liability After a Commercial Driving Accident
There are a number of parties that may be responsible after an accident involving a commercial driver, including:
- Commercial driver’s employer: If the driver was behaving negligently while operating a commercial truck, you may be able to hold their employer responsible for your losses.
- Company that owns the vehicle: If the company that owns the vehicle was negligent and did not perform regular maintenance on the truck or bus, you may be able to hold the company responsible for your losses.
- Parts manufacturer: If the commercial vehicle accident occurred because of a defective part, the manufacturer may be liable for the accident.
- Maintenance company: If the vehicle was maintained, but the service technician who performed the maintenance was not properly trained or did not do their job as someone in this position would be reasonably expected to, then the maintenance company may be liable for your losses.
A New Orleans commercial drivers accident lawyer can investigate the details of your accident, working with accident scene reconstruction experts to determine liability. Also, at the Morris Bart law firm, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you get access to our network of experts without any out-of-pocket expense to you. We only get paid if we recover compensation in your case successfully.
Laws that May Affect Your Claim
There are two Louisiana laws you should be aware of after a commercial driver accident: the statute of limitations and the law of comparative negligence.
In the state of Louisiana, the statute of limitations places a limit of one year on the amount of time that you have to file a claim after any type of personal injury or wrongful death accident. If you fail to file your claim within that amount of time, you are generally barred from recovering any amount of compensation.
It is also important to know that Louisiana is a pure comparative fault state. That means if you are found to be somewhat responsible for causing your accident, you can still collect compensation for your injuries. For example, if you are 20 percent responsible for the accident, you can still recover 80 percent of the total awarded money.
It is important to note that this is a defense tactic many lawyers use to reduce the liability of a defendant. They may claim that you are more responsible for an accident than you really are in order to reduce your compensation. A New Orleans car accident lawyer can defend you against tactics like these.
How a New Orleans Commercial Drivers Accident Lawyer Can Help
A New Orleans commercial drivers accident lawyer can help you gather the evidence necessary to prove liability in your case. If necessary, they can work with accident scene reconstruction experts to determine what happened in the moments leading up to an accident and identify the ultimate cause of the collision. They can take the necessary steps to build a strong case and negotiate for a settlement to the fullest extent of your injuries.
The New Orleans personal injury lawyers at the Morris Bart law office has worked on many commercial driving accident cases, and we are proud of the financial recovery we have secured for our clients all across Louisiana. For a free, no-risk review of your case, contact the Morris Bart law firm today at (504) 613-4771.
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