Making Your Truck Crash Claim
Truck accidents can be some of the most devastating collisions you can experience because of their often severe nature. When involved in a truck accident, it’s not uncommon for injured drivers to have years of costly medical treatments and vehicle damages to recover from.
Because of this, choosing whether you are going to pursue legal action for the damages sustained may be a tricky process. Frequently, prospective clients have many questions about what they should know going into their case. Here are three things you should remember.
1. Electronic Logging Devices
Electronic logging devices (ELD), also known as "black boxes," are mandatory tools fixed inside a truck that track and keep a record of hours worked. These devices automatically begin recording once the truck's engine turns on, and the records must be maintained for a minimum of six months, per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.
When involved in a truck accident, it’s not uncommon for an attorney to obtain a copy of these records to see if the trucker was within the regulated hours able to be worked. On a standard basis, most truckers may only work a consecutive 8 hours before having to go on a 30-minute break.
If the ELD records show that the driver was working more than their allotted time or not taking breaks, it may show negligent action from the truck driver and maybe even the hiring company.
2. Louisiana’s Comparative Negligence Laws
Louisiana observes a doctrine of comparative fault in all injury cases. Under LA Civil Code 2323, any injury, death, or loss will be assessed through the fault contributed by each party involved. If the injured person(s) is found to be a certain percentage at fault in the accident, their compensation will be reduced by the amount of fault they contributed.
In truck accident claims, comparative fault can be examined in many different ways. The court will consider how the injured person was driving at the time and ask questions like:
- Was the injured person driving recklessly by not signaling or obeying traffic signs?
- Did the injured person cut off the truck?
- Was the injured person fit to drive (i.e., under the influence)?
By understanding both sides of the situation, the court aims to determine a solution that accurately represents what occurred.
3. Dealing with Truck Companies
If you are still on the fence about retaining a lawyer for a truck accident claim, one of the biggest reasons to hire one is that they know how to deal with trucking companies and their insurance providers. This can be a complicated legal matter, so it's important to know what can be used against you by the opposing party:
- Any recorded statement given at the scene or over the phone.
- A police report indicating fault.
- Social media posts.
- Driving history and record.
When engaging in this kind of legal battle, you must put your best foot forward and remember that anything you say can be used against you to avoid payment. For your best chance at achieving the settlement or verdict you desire, call an experienced truck accident attorney to help you with your case.
Have Questions? Our Truck Accident Attorneys Have Answers
Hinch and Associates PLC has over 15 years of experience serving the Lake Charles Metropolitan area in a variety of personal injury matters, including truck accidents. Our team understands how trucking companies, their insurance providers, and their attorneys think and will fight for you in and out of the courtroom.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries from involvement in a truck accident, call (337) 222-3434 or fill out this short form to speak with a member of our team.