Shreveport’s roads, shared by families and heavy 18-wheelers, witness truck accidents that can leave a devastating impact. When a routine drive ends in a catastrophic accident involving an overworked truck driver and a negligent trucking company, the aftermath can be devastating. As experienced and resourceful truck crash lawyers, we at The Desiah Law Firm are here to provide dedicated legal representation for truck accident victims. Give us a call at (318) 252-3034 or fill out this form to schedule a free consultation today.

What Causes Commercial Truck Accidents in Shreveport, LA?

Trucking accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, which are usually a combination of driver behavior, vehicle conditions, and environmental factors. Here are some common causes our lawyers may determine in a semi truck accident case:

  • Long driving hours leading to reduced reaction time and poor decision-making.
  • Usage of mobile devices, eating, or other distractions while driving.
  • Exceeding speed limits or aggressive driving behaviors.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or certain medications.
  • Neglecting regular maintenance of brakes, tires, and other crucial truck components.
  • Overloading or incorrectly locking cargo.
  • Lack of sufficient training in vehicle operation and safety practices.
  • Challenges posed by rain, snow, ice, fog, and winds.
  • Contributing factors like potholes, uneven surfaces, and lack of signage.
  • Unexpected malfunctions of truck parts.

Key Laws Governing Commercial Truck Drivers in Louisiana

In the event of a collision with a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle, motorcycle, or pedestrian, we focus on the following laws to prove negligence in commercial trucking accident cases.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)

Commercial truck drivers nationwide must adhere to the FMCSRs, which cover a wide range of safety issues, including hours-of-service limits, vehicle maintenance standards, and driver qualifications. Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations are particularly crucial as they limit the number of consecutive hours a driver can operate a motor vehicle to prevent fatigue-related accidents. For example, drivers are limited to 11 hours of driving within a 14-hour window after 10 consecutive hours off duty.

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) requirements

Truck drivers in Louisiana must pass written tests on traffic laws, safe driving practices, and specialized knowledge relevant to the type of vehicle they will be operating. Depending on the type of vehicle or cargo, additional endorsements may be needed, such as for hazardous materials (HazMat) or passenger vehicles. They must also pass a medical and drug testing exam to show they are physically capable for the job.

Vehicle weight and size limits

The maximum allowable weight for tractor-trailers across the country is typically 80,000 pounds without needing a special permit. This includes the weight of the vehicle, fuel, passengers, and cargo. The standard maximum width is around 8.5 feet (102 inches), and the standard maximum height is 13.5 feet. Length restrictions vary depending on the type of truck and trailer combination.

Types of Liable Parties Our Shreveport Truck Accident Lawyers will Pursue

  • Truck driver (if there were any violations of HOS rules, safety standards, or traffic laws)
  • Trucking company (if they engaged in bad hiring practices, training protocols, or put pressure on drivers to meet tight schedules)
  • Cargo loaders (if third-party loaders violated weight limits or did not use proper securing methods)
  • Truck manufacturer (if a design or manufacturing defect caused the truck to crash)
  • Maintenance provider (if the truck maintenance providers failed to perform necessary checks and repairs)
  • Other drivers (if the actions of other drivers led to a multi-vehicle accident)
  • Government organizations: (local or state government entities responsible for road maintenance neglected their duties)

How Our Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers Will Prove Trucking Company’s Negligence

Thorough review of operational practices

We start by analyzing the cargo transporter’s operational practices, like their hiring standards, training protocols, and adherence to legal safety regulations. We specifically look for shortcuts or oversights that may have compromised safety, such as if they hired inexperienced drivers.

Scrutinizing driver logs and ELD records

We meticulously review the data from Electronic Logging Devices for any breaches of hours-of-service regulations. Overworking drivers is a clear sign of a company prioritizing speed over safety.

Inspecting maintenance and vehicle records

Our personal injury lawyer also checks the truck’s maintenance history for regular maintenance and necessary repairs, especially focusing on safety-critical systems like brakes and tires. Negligence here is a strong indicator of a company’s disregard for public safety.

Investigating cargo loading standards

Our team examines whether the company adhered to industry-standard procedures. Was cargo evenly distributed across the trailer to maintain balance? Was it tightly secured on or within the truck by dunnage, dunnage bags, or tie-downs? Was the truck under the legal weight limit?

Utilizing expert insights

We collaborate with industry experts (accident reconstructionists, safety experts, mechanical engineers) for valuable insights into standard practices, and identify areas where the company may have deviated from these norms.

Reviewing company-driver communications

We also examine the communication exchange between the truck driver and the company. Instructions from the company that encourage unsafe practices, such as skipping rest breaks or speeding, are critical evidence of their negligence.

Why The Desiah Law Firm is the Right Choice for Truck Accident Claims in Shreveport

Deep knowledge of trucking regulations

Our personal injury law firm, led by Shreveport truck accident lawyer Travis Desiah, excels in understanding specific regulations governing commercial trucking, including drivers’ HOS limits, maintenance standards, and cargo loading rules. We use this specialized knowledge to identify breaches in regulations that caused your serious injuries.  

Swift evidence collection

Time is of the essence post-accident. We act immediately to collect vital evidence such as crash scene photos, truck maintenance logs, and electronic control module data from the truck. This information is essential in reconstructing the accident scenario and proving fault.

Experienced in challenging trucking companies and insurers

Commercial haulers usually have an army of lawyers – our firm has a history of effectively countering their defenses. We are skilled in negotiating with insurance companies and are prepared to take personal injury cases to trial if necessary, ensuring you are not undervalued or overlooked in your truck accident lawsuit.

Comprehensive resource investment for your case

Successfully litigating truck accident cases requires substantial resources. We commit to investing in expert testimonies, advanced technology for accident reconstruction, and thorough investigative processes. This dedication means we build the strongest possible case on your behalf.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do immediately after a truck accident?

Make sure you are safe, call 911, seek medical attention, and report the accident to the police. If possible, take photos of the accident scene and get contact information from witnesses.

Can I file a truck accident claim if I was partially at fault?

Yes, under Louisiana’s comparative fault laws, you can still recover damages, but your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault.

What types of compensation can I receive?

You can seek fair compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and sometimes punitive damages for particularly reckless behavior.

How long do I have to file a trucking accident lawsuit?

In Shreveport, as in the rest of Louisiana, you have one year from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. In case of a wrongful death case, i.e., where your loved one succumbed to their accident injuries, you have one year from the date of the death to file a lawsuit.

What if the truck driver was an independent contractor?

The trucking company or the owner-operator may still be liable. We examine employment agreements and operational control to determine liability.

Are trucking companies responsible for their drivers’ actions?

Generally, yes. Even more so if their failure to provide proper training to the driver or keep their trucks in good shape led to the crash.

How do I deal with insurance companies?

It’s recommended to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer before speaking to the trucking company’s insurance carrier so you don’t inadvertently affect your claim.

What if the truck driver denies fault?

We gather evidence such as camera footage, GPS data, and logbooks to establish the truth and counter any false accident claims.

What if my family member died in a truck accident in Shreveport?

You may file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking damages for medical costs, funeral expenses, lost future income, and loss of companionship.

Our Shreveport Truck Accidents Lawyers Will Fight to Maximize Your Compensation

If you have been in an 18-wheeler truck accident in Shreveport, The Desiah Law Firm is here to stand by your side. With deep knowledge of trucking laws and a compassionate approach, we are ready to fight for the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Do not let the insurance company overwhelm you. Reach out to us, and let Travis Desiah and our experienced team take the weight off your shoulders. Complete this form or call (318) 252-3034 to schedule your free case review.