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Baton Rouge Truck Accident Attorney

Have You Been Injured in a Truck Accident?

Primary Louisiana Office Location: 400 Poydras Tower, #1975, New Orleans, 70130

Baton Rouge isnt just the capital of our beautiful state, its also a hub for Louisianas rich and eclectic culture. Sometimes known as the Red Stick, Baton Rouge packs in 300 years of distinct culture and politics, including unique food, architecture, music, and history. Baton Rouge is an inviting city thats sure to ignite your imagination, but it also has its fair share of traffic. Traffic accidents can happen anywhere, including truck accidents, which are among the most violent and deadly out there. If youve been injured in a truck accident, you need an experienced team of Baton Rouge truck accident lawyers and legal professionals.

If you or your loved one was injuredor worsein a truck accident, you may feel at a loss regarding how best to proceed. You arent alone, howeverthe dedicated legal team at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers in Baton Rouge has the experience, skill, and determination to fight for your claims most positive resolution. Our skilled team of truck accident attorneys and legal professionals cares about your claim, and were here to help. Our team of lawyers and legal professionals have decades of experience fighting truck accident claims, and our intake department is available for your free consultation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or you may contact us now by CLICKING HERE.

National Trucking Accident Attorney Stewart J. Guss discusses trucking safety on national news with Mike Papantonio on America’s Lawyer

Trucks Everywhere

If you drive on the highways and byways of Louisiana (or anywhere, really), youre bound to notice that there is a proliferation of trucks out there. You might ask yourself where they all come from, but the answer is straightforwardour economy is fueled by consumer demand, and consumer demand is high. As the demand for consumer goods continues to rise, more and more trucks are needed to get those goods to their rightful owners. Our consumer culture isnt likely to abate anytime soon, so trucks continue to swarm our roadways.

Because big rigs are elemental to our economy, dangerous truck accidents are on the rise. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shares several significant statistics related to this trend:

  • Truck accidents that result in injuries have increased by 62 percent since 2009 (based on data from 2015).
  • The year 2016 saw 29 percent more fatal truck accidents than did 2009.
  • In 2016, there were 6 percent more fatal truck accidents than in 2015.

These numbers focus on the fact that dangerous truck accidents happen and that theyre on the rise. If a truck accident has left you injured, you need skilled legal counsel, the dedicated legal team at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers in Baton Rouge is here to help.

Truck Accident Liability

Truck accident claims are typically more complicated than car accident claims because often, more than one entity shares the faultand investigative work is necessary. Nevertheless, truck drivers themselves often shoulder some part of the faulteven if they arent fully responsible. As such, its important to carefully consider the truck drivers role in any truck accident.

Responsibilities When truck drivers get behind the wheels of their rigs, they take on the immense responsibility of driving the massive vehicle safely over our highways and byways. In this capacity, truck drivers are held to far higher standards than are non-commercial drivers. Truck drivers must carefully attend to the rules of the road, to the stringent regulations related to hours behind the wheel, to driving distractionfree, and much more. Further, truck drivers are responsible for their own end of their rigs maintenance schedules (which helps ensure that the truck remains roadworthy) and for operating the truck safely and in accordance with all rules and regulations. When it comes to truck accidents, truck drivers are often found directly responsible (at least partially) for the damages rendered.

Exhausted truck driversThe trucking industry is extremely stressful, scheduledriven, and fastpaced. All these elements are factored into the truck drivers job. As such, truck drivers are tasked with carefully balancing these factors within restrictive driving regulations and the financial necessity of making a living by logging necessary miles. Sometimes, truck drivers focus more intently on logging miles than they do on carefully adhering to those restrictions that limit driving. Tired truck drivers are dangerous truck drivers, and this is the very reason that federal regulations are so strictly comprehensive when it comes to hours behind the wheel.

Distracted truck driversDistraction has become a furiously increasing driving hazard that its important to consider it more carefully. Distracted drivers are dangerous drivers, and this is even truer when the driver is operating a massive semi-truck thats fully loaded for business. While there are many, many distractions out there to choose from, smartphone usage wins hands down when it comes to dangerous distractions. Smartphones have become so integral to our lives, that some of usincluding some truck drivershave a difficult time putting them away. Because distracted driving is reaching epidemic proportions, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) focuses closely on the topic.

NHTSA defines distracted driving as any driving in which the drivers focus isnt fully trained on the primary task of driving safely. While distractions are grouped into three classesincluding cognitive, visual, and manual distractionssmartphone usage takes the cake by incorporating all three classifications into one extremely dangerous activity. The average driver/text interaction lasts about 5 seconds, which is the amount of time it takes to travel the length of a football field when moving at 55 miles per hour. Thats a scary visual.

When it comes to distractions, there are plenty to go around, and because truck driving is a complicated, stressful, and tightly-scheduled endeavor, truck drivers face a variety of work-related distractions that most of us dont:

  • Attending to the trucking logbook
  • Fielding calls related to work
  • Reading a map or interacting with the GPS
  • Interacting with a dispatch mechanism
  • Calculating trip distances and schedules
A truck drivers job does not consist solely of driving. Additionally, truck drivers must attend to recordkeeping and communications that include extensive details. As a result, truck drivers often face work-related distractions when theyre attending to their primary task of logging miles safely.

Truck drivers face long miles on the road, often-grueling schedules, and extensive documentation efforts, but their primary responsibility is to maneuver their trucks safely across our roadways. Distractions have no place in this equation.

Other Responsible Parties

Again, truck accident claims are complicated, and fault is often apportioned among several entities beyond the truck drivers themselves, including the trucking company, the truck mechanics, and the truck manufacturer.

The trucking company The trucking company itself bears significant responsibility related to keeping a safe fleet of rigs. The company is tasked with hiring truck drivers with the necessary experience, skill, and reliability to get the job done safely in the first place. Further, the trucking company is charged with not pushing its drivers past the scheduling limits of safety regulations. When trucking companies cut corners related to hiring and/or scheduling their drivers, they not only endanger everyone on the road but also may share in liability for any accidents that ensue.

Trucking companies are also responsible for keeping a well-maintained fleet of rigs in safe working order. This includes hiring well-qualified mechanics with the experience, skill, and dependability to get the job done right.

The truck mechanics The truck mechanics themselves are charged with performing their jobs in accordance with industry safety standards. This includes following maintenance protocols and faithfully performing all necessary repairs and maintenance. When truck mechanics are found negligent, they may shoulder or share the responsibility in any accident that occurs as a result.

The truck manufacturer Trucks are huge machines that are comprised of a massive network of individual parts. When the design, manufacture, or functionality of the truck itself or of a specific part is faulty or substandard, the truck manufacturer can be included in the accident claim.

Because truck accidents are so involved, theres often considerable investigative work that must go into each individual claim. Experienced truck accident law firms like ours are up to the task. If a truck accident has left you injured, you need skilled legal counsel to help ensure that your rights and rightful compensation are well protected.

Rules and Regulations

Truck drivers are professional drivers, and as such, they are held to far more restrictive rules and regulations. The FMCSA has strict regulations on the books that are aimed at helping to keep our highways and byways safer for everyone:

Daily driving limits Truck drivers can only put in 11 hours of driving on any given day, and they must incorporate at least a 10-hour break in between each 11-hour stint behind the wheel. When a truck driver has been on duty for 14 consecutive hourseven though he or she wasnt driving the entire timethat truck driver cant drive after the 14-hour point.

Weekly driving restrictions Truck drivers cant drive more than 70 hours over a period of 8 consecutive days. Additionally, truck drivers must get in at least 34 consecutive hours of break time between 8-day shifts.

Medical and health restrictions There are several medical restrictions imposed on truck drivers, and they include that truck drivers cant take medical marijuana; cant take any prescription drugs that are not specifically prescribed for the truck driver individually; cant take any controlled substances; and cant drive their rigs while on any amphetamine, narcotic, or habit-forming drugs; Further, truck drivers can neither need nor take medications prescribed for seizures. Finally, truck drivers who have specific medical conditions, such as diabetes, may be required to prove that their condition is under control before they can take to the road behind the wheels of their rigs.

Further restrictions There are tight restrictions on the books related to truck driver impairment, to adherence to the rules of the road, and to distracted trucking (the FMCSA strictly prohibits truck drivers from texting while driving).

Mechanical restrictions There are also restrictions in place for the rigs themselves that regulate maintenance schedules, cargo loading guidelines, and safety standards for hauling hazardous materials.

Further Considerations

Every truck accident is utterly unique to its own set of circumstances, but there are a few common variables that are worth considering further. Trucks have massive blind spots along all sides of their rigs. While safe, experienced, non-distracted, and well-rested truck drivers accommodate for these danger zones, not all truck drivers are as carefuland they make our roadways more dangerous. Further, semis that are loaded inadequately pose significant dangers on our thoroughfares. When a trucks massive haul isnt carefully loaded, it can render the vehicle that much more dangerous and difficult to control in tricky driving situations. Additionally, when a truck is improperly loaded, it can affect the vehicles center of gravity and contribute to a dangerous rollover accident.

Trucking Insurance Claims

If youve been injured in a truck accident, youre going to be dealing with an insurance company or two. Never fear—your dedicated team of truck accident attorneys and legal professionals is there for you and will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Its worth noting that large trucking companies tend to have a posse of insurance reps that spring to work in the first moments after a significant truck accident.

Both the truck company and the insurance company are in the business of turning major profits, and they back this up with plenty of resources. Dont be intimidated by their strong-arm tacticsyour claim is far too critical not to aggressively advocate for its most beneficial conclusion. While no amount of money can ever bring your loved one back or restore you to your pre-accident self, just compensation can help you better navigate the journey toward restoring your health.

If a Truck Accident Left You Injured, Consult an Experienced Baton Rouge Truck Accident Law Firm Today

It bears repeating that truck accidents are among the deadliest on our roadways. If you or someone you care about has been injuredor worsein a truck accident, you need an experienced truck accident law firm in your corner. The dedicated legal team at Stewart J. Guss Personal Injury Lawyers in Baton Rouge has the experience, skill, and knowledge to help guide your claim toward its best possible outcome.

Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE. Our compassionate truck accident law firm is standing by to help, so please contact us today.

Don’t take chances—let us help you!

See what other clients are saying:

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“I was very pleased with how Stewart handled my case. He acted professionally at all times and really had my best interests at heart. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome too! I would definitely recommend my friends and family to use him as their lawyer.”
-Joshua L.

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