Truck Accident Attorney

Truck Accidents

We rely on 18-wheeled trucks to ship cargo all over the United States. Medical supplies, food, clothing, fuel. Everything ships across the interstate highway system. We share the road with trucks and 18-wheelers every day and think nothing of it.

Without the trucking industry, we would not enjoy many comforts of modern life. Fuel and food supplies would dry up in a matter of days without the constant flow of goods. We owe life as we know it to commerce. Because of that, we are usually not bothered by the idea of sharing the road with such immense machinery.

There’s much training and effort made towards safe operation in trucking. But, there is always the chance something bad could happen. Whether traveling down Johnston Street or driving on a highway, we must exercise care. Truck drivers get quality training, they are still human. Accidents and error do still occur.

Why do I need a trucking accident attorney?

Do you have injuries through no fault of your own? The injuries and damage to your vehicle will have your mind and bank account spinning. Due to the size of an 18-wheeler, the damage will likely be catastrophic. When your time in court comes, an experienced truck accident lawyer will be of great use.

The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess has the experience you need in the event of a trucking accident. Our team of legal experts investigates the accident and evidence. We also have experience dealing with the layers of liability involved in accidents.

Truck accidents are complicated.

In the event of a truck accident, proving negligence works like any other accident. There’s evidence gathered at the scene, witness testimony, and copies of the police report. The tricky part is finding out exactly who is liable for your accident.

The truck can belong to the driver or the company employing them. That company may have the driver as a regular employee or as an independent contractor. The vehicle may have upkeep done by that employer or by a regular mechanic. The trailer might belong to the transportation company or belong to the client having goods shipped. Parts of the trailer could be faulty. And to top it all off? The cargo could have been overloaded or improperly secured.

Confused yet? Who wouldn’t be? The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess know what to look for. We review employment records, maintenance records, and even weigh station check-ins. Drug testing will reveal the presence of illegal substances in the driver’s bloodstream. Our team has seen it all. You can count on us to remain focused on the important things in this case: Yourself and your family.

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE IS IN NEED OF LEGAL ASSISTANCE, CONTACT US NOW.

Call our office today for a FREE review of your personal injury case. We typically work on a contingent agreement basis, which means our fees are contingent upon the outcome of your case.

 

Don’t Delay! You may have a valid claim! Let us help you get your compensation before the statute of limitations expires!

Don’t wait to get started. Let’s get together now.

You can count on us to remain focused on the important things in this case: Yourself and your family.

Determining Liability for Trucking Accidents

Like regular car accidents, trucking accidents are often caused by driver errors like speeding or driving while fatigued. Unlike regular accidents, a web of factors determines who is liable in the event of an accident.  There should be a full investigation of factors to determine who is responsible for your injuries. Your truck accident lawyer’s job is to weigh each factor in your accident thoroughly. Each party in a trucking accident will be doing their absolute best to prove they were not at fault. After your accident, give no information to anyone other than your insurance, your doctor, and your attorney. Any information you give to other parties could be used against your case. You can read more about liability in trucking accidents on our Liability & Lawsuits page.

What makes a truck driver liable?
  • Taking or having drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident
  • Working over the number of hours recommended
  • Careless or reckless driving
  • Not following safety protocol while transporting hazardous materials
  • Failing to inspect the vehicle, trailer, or cargo
  • If they own the truck, failing to properly maintain their vehicle
When are trucking companies liable?
  • Having unlicensed or untrained drivers operating their trucks
  • No background checks on drivers with histories of reckless driving or substance abuse
  • Not disciplining drivers for failing drug tests
  • Encouraging drivers to ignore Hours of Service
  • Failing to check drivers for compliance with regulations
  • Allowing trucks to be on the road after failing maintenance or inspection checks

Regulation Mazes and Your Truck Accident

Truck accidents have a well-deserved reputation for being legally complex. This is mainly due to the nature of the trucking industry. It operates across state lines and within individual states. These distinctions are known as intrastate (within one state) and interstate (across state borders). The regulations will vary, depending on which type of company owns the truck. With your accident, you might have to consult one type of regulation or both!

State Law

State law also comes into play with trucking accidents. State and federal regulations are not identical and may vary depending on the type of truck and the type of cargo. Each state has different insurance requirements.  The bottom line is that determining fault in a trucking accident isn’t always a simple task. Having a team of experienced attorneys and legal staff on your side can be invaluable.

Federal Law

Long-haul trucking across state lines is federally regulated. Federal law requires regular safety checks and registration procedures. Trucks that drive across state lines often have more than one insurance carrier. Following federal regulations requires a lot of documentation by the trucking industry. It takes time and an experienced legal team to comb through all the paperwork.

Hours of service

Sleep is the most important thing for a trucker. A sleepy driver is just as dangerous as a drunk driver. There are rules in place called the Hours of Service, set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

  • The maximum drive time in a week is 70 hours
  • A trucker can resume driving after 34 consecutive hours of rest
  • A 30-minute break must occur during the first eight hours of driving
  • There’s an 11-hour daily drive limit and 14 hour work day limit

Drivers have to keep a logbook detailing any sleep and rest periods. While electronic logging is becoming the industry standard, paper logs are still kept. Sometimes paper logs are tampered with to falsify records.

Truck drivers may break these rules, even with the encouragement of employers. In order to meet demands and to maintain profits, a company must make as many deliveries as possible. They may take liberties with safety requirements if a job is falling behind. Additionally, a truckers pay is by the mile and not by the hour. This leads to many truckers relying on illegal drugs and over-the-counter methods of staying awake for longer than the human body can safely function.

The manufacturer of any parts of the vehicle or trailer may be liable due to faults in the manufacturing process.

 

Injuries

Truck accidents are a complicated affair. Your injuries may be quite severe. After an 18 wheeler accident, you may suffer from:

  • Broken bones
  • Brain damage
  • Severe concussion
  • Deep lacerations and blood loss
  • Paralysis
  • Severe and/or permanent nerve damage
  • Rupture or laceration of organs
  • Chemical exposure (acid, fumes)
  • Severe burns
  • Death

When long-term disability is a real possibility, having a dedicated team of legal professionals fighting for you is the best-case scenario. As medical bills pile up, you will not be able to return to work for some time. The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess understand how crucial it is to maintain your family’s way of life. We will stop at nothing to see justice served.

According to LSU Data Reports, 200 crashes involving trucks occurred in Lafayette Parish in 2016. 200 may seem like a low number, but there are only 365 days in the year. That’s an accident per day for over 6 months mathematically. Each of these accidents touches multiple lives. Each of these accidents leads to higher insurance rates and medical costs.

Should you have injuries through no fault of your own, you have options. No matter what your income level, you can afford an attorney. The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess are a no-win/no-pay firm. We offer a free initial personal injury consultation to anyone needing legal advice after an accident. We are even able to come out to you should you be unable to come to the office. No matter how severe the accident and how terrible the injuries, do not give up hope. Injuries heal, cars are replaceable, and justice served.