Semi-truck accidents are much more common than you might realize. Semi truck accidents can happen because of a variety of reasons including driver negligence. While the motor vehicle operator could be at-fault, a vast majority of semi-truck and passenger vehicle accidents occur because of the truck driver’s negligence.
Commercial vehicles weigh more than the average passenger vehicle – averaging about 16,000 to 80,000 pounds. When such a large vehicle is traveling at high speeds, an accident could be devastating. Due to their tremendous weight and size, truck accidents are more likely to cause catastrophic injuries or fatalities.
Anyone injured in a trucking accident should explore their options with an accident attorney with experience in truck accidents. The attorneys at the Shlosman Law Firm have litigated numerous serious truck accidents were our client’s’ suffered traumatic and catastrophic injuries.
The Duty of Care: Who Owes It?
A motor vehicle operator, including semi-truck driver, has a duty of care to follow the rules of the road and exercise caution. That means looking out for other vehicles and pedestrians, complying with traffic laws, and doing what they can to avoid accidents. Semi truck driver’s owe the other occupants of the road the highest standard of care based on the danger these vehicles pose to the public.
Semi-truck drivers have further duties, which include following all state and federal regulations, limiting driving time to comply with federal regulations, and maintaining their semi-truck.
Any time a semi-truck driver violates federal or state laws, courts can automatically consider them or their employer negligent, depending on the violation. This is known as Negligence Per Se and can be applied if three elements are established: 1) violation of a statute 2) cause in fact 3) damages. In Louisiana, if Negligence Per Se is established, conclusive proof of negligence is present.
Who is At-Fault for the Breach of Duty?
While the driver might have breached his or her duty by ignoring regulations, they are not the only defendant possible in this type of incident. Other parties that may be considered “at-fault” in a semi-truck accident include:
- Employers – The employer of the truck driver may be at-fault, especially if they force their driver to ignore or break federal regulations and driving hours. Also, employers that do not properly screen, train, or verify CDL licenses could be held liable.
- Maintenance Crews – If a safety feature malfunctions on the semi-truck, the employer and the company responsible for maintaining that truck could also be liable.
- Manufacturer – When a component of the semi-truck is faulty due to manufacturing or assembly, then the company responsible for the faulty product would be liable for the accident. For example, if a company has manufactured defective air brakes which caused an accident, they would be held liable for injuries.
Holding Semi-Truck Drivers and Employers Responsible
Trucking cases are more complicated than your typical auto accident case. Finding what violations occurred is essential to the effective representation of a victim of a trucking accident.
If in an accident with a semi truck, contact a New Orleans injury advocate from Shlosman Law Firm to explore your options. Our attorneys can help gather evidence, investigate the cause, and identify all potential defendants so that you get maximum compensation for your injuries.
Schedule a free case elevation now at 504-826-9427 or request more information online.