Big Truck Accident Attorney Baton Rouge
Being involved in an accident with a big truck can be devastating. The sheer size and weight of some of these big trucks is overwhelming. Big trucks, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, tractor trailers, flat beds, tank trucks, delivery trucks, box trucks and dump truck accidents are usually very serious in nature, often times even deadly.
Trucking companies have unlimited legal resources at their disposal and will use almost any means necessary in defense of their driver. The first thing they do is to immediately dispatch their “accident investigation team” to the scene of the accident to eradicate or diminish their liability.
This is just the beginning. A trucking company will do everything in its power to strengthen its case and weaken a victim’s chance of recovery. This is why it’s important for injured victims to immediately contact an experienced big truck accident lawyer with the resources, knowledge and experience to successfully recover the compensation they deserve.
If you have been involved in a big truck accident and have injuries, cannot work, cannot pay your bills or do not have the financial resources to get the medical attention you need, Gordon McKernan can help. Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not get paid anything unless we recover money for you through a settlement or trial.
You need an attorney experienced specifically with big trucks accidents. At Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, our personal injury lawyers will take care of all of the legal issues associated with your big truck accident, allowing you to focus on recovering from your injuries. We handle hundreds of truck accident cases every year throughout Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama. We have handled 25 million dollar plus trucking cases, while still routinely handling cases involving less than $100,000 dollars.
Truck Accident Cases are Complex
Truck Accidents cases are different than your typical car accident. The stakes are much higher and there are numerous complex issues that need to be considered and investigated. For example, these are just a few of the issues we investigate:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Overweight/improper loading
- Falsified log books
- Truck Maintenance
- Truck driver deadlines
Having our investigators at the scene quickly after a big truck accident helps us level the playing field, enabling our firm to fully address these important issues and prepare a winning case. Our personal injury attorneys will hold the truck driver, insurance company, trucking company and any other liable parties fully accountable for your losses and injuries. Whether you have endured life-altering injuries, such as a spinal cord injury, a herniated disk, brain injury, or lost a loved one to fatal injuries due to a truck wreck, we are here to help. Talk with one of our experienced attorneys before you speak with the trucking or insurance companies.
Truck Driver Deadlines
The last place you want to encounter a fatigued commercial truck driver is on the highway, but oftentimes these drivers are driving long routes while trying to meet unreasonable deadlines. Commercial trucks can weigh up to forty tons when fully loaded, so when you put a fatigued truck driver behind the wheel the probability of a major accident increases considerably, with the results often being catastrophic.
Complying with tight company deadlines can create added stress for commercial truck drivers, resulting in risky behavior such as speeding and longer stretches of driving. Trucking companies profit from delivering the most amount of goods in the shortest amount of time, so they offer incentives and bonuses for the fastest delivery times. Drivers can sometimes feel pressured to push their limits too far.
Nationwide, as many as twenty-five percent of traffic fatalities in multi-vehicle accidents involve commercial trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created specific guidelines for truck drivers and trucking companies to help prevent driver fatigue. The FMCSA currently limits the length of time a driver may be on the road without stopping to rest.
Despite these regulations, the driver is ultimately responsible for operating the truck safely. If have been injured in a trucking accident, you need experienced attorneys with a proven track record to handle your case. Contact Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys to schedule your free consultation.
Fatigue Related Truck Accidents
There are many factors to consider when investigating a big truck accident, with the purpose being to uncover what ultimately caused the accident. At Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys we look at every aspect of a case to determine the true cause of the accident. In our experience, truck driver fatigue is one of the chief causes of truck accidents. This is despite the promulgation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations on driving hours, truck drivers and their companies. A sleepy or fatigued truck driver is controlling an 80,000 pound metal “tank” at high speeds, and should not be endangering the other drivers around them or themselves. Studies routinely used in court show that fatigued drivers are less alert and have slower reaction times in emergency situations. Drivers who actually fall asleep at the wheel commonly cross over the centerline, force other cars off the road or crash into vehicles from behind.
Federal Regulations & Requirements
Federal law limits truckers to no more than 11 hours behind the wheel in one shift, and further requires drivers to rest for at least 10 hours between shifts. Truck drivers are required to keep a detailed account of their hours in their logbook. These logbooks becomes crucial pieces of information in these cases, and we’ve seen instances where logbooks are falsified in order to hide evidence that could be damaging to the defense. The Gordon McKernan legal team knows where to dig to prove that truck drivers ignored the Hours of Service regulations. We compare suspicious logbooks to data received from GPS tracking devices and the on-board “black box,” as well as truck stop receipts and other pertinent evidence.
Interstates I-10 and I-12
Interstates I-10 and I-12 in Louisiana are major corridors for trucking companies with thousands upon thousands of 18-wheelers and other big trucks crisscross the Greater Baton Rouge Area in an effort to arrive at their destination by their deadlines. To reach goals, arrive on time and maximize profits, some trucking companies are sometimes motivated to break some rules. Unfortunately the result is us, or our loved ones, traveling on these same roads, ending up as victims of this careless and selfish driving practice.
Fraudulent Log Books
Truck drivers are required by law (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act) to keep accurate records regarding driving time, cargo weight, rest breaks, meals and other important information. Big Rig drivers keep these records manually in log books. False records and skipped entries are a serious violation of federal regulations. We have handled many truck accident cases, and are aware of the tricks that some truck drivers use to hide their violations and negligence. From our experience, we know that truck drivers routinely violate the FMCSR laws, with the most common violation involving driving too many hours. In order to find out if a log book is fraudulent, and to determine a truck driver’s true behavior, you have to know how to dig deep.
Did an Unsecured Load or Weight Violation Contribute to Your Accident with a Big Truck?
Often times trucking companies try to make more money by overloading a truck or cutting corners on cargo loading regulations. When we investigate a truck accident, we work with experts who can reconstruct the crash and identify the potential loading causes of a big truck accident such as:
- Shifting freight that caused the truck to jackknife or tip over
- Overloading which increased braking distance
- Unbalanced loads that reduced maneuverability
- Improperly secured hazardous cargo
- Unsecured freight that fell from the truck
- Driver error (failure to judge stopping distance)
- Cargo that broke free in a crash and caused injury
- Worn or broken tarps and tie-downs
Big Trucks are dangerous enough without compounding this danger with unsafe loading practices. It sometimes requires extensive investigation and dogged determination to get to the real cause of a big truck accident. Using our over 150 years of combined legal experience, we leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of the truth, holding those responsible for your suffering accountable.
Was Truck Maintenance a Factor in your Truck Crash?
Common sense and federal regulations dictate that 18-wheeler and other big trucks be inspected and maintained regularly to meet certain standards. Truck maintenance is expensive and pulls trucks off the road, causing corporate greed to sometimes trump public safety.
Poor Truck Maintenance Is an Accident Waiting to Happen
We work with top experts specializing in truck maintenance and repair to prove the negligence of a trucking company in the upkeep of the tractor or trailer for deficiencies such as:
- Bald tires and worn axles
- Worn brakes
- Broken headlights, taillights or trailer lights
- Missing mud flaps
- Broken trailer latches
- Cracked mirrors or glass
- Ripped tarps and broken tie-downs
- Eroded reflective tape
Any of these maintenance issues can lead to an accident if the truck’s load shifts, drops freight or leaves shredded tire treads in the roadway. Poor maintenance can cause the operator to drive erratically, such as suddenly stopping or swerving. Poor maintenance can also cause accidents if the driver can’t see his surroundings or if other motorists can’t see the truck.