How Courts Assess Liability In Tractor Trailer Accidents

Few things are as intimidating as a large semi-truck pulling a trailer and speeding down the highway. Most of us will hold our breath and grip the steering wheel in anticipation of the 18-wheeler passing us.

Because of the added weight on tractor-trailers, they can take much longer to come to a complete stop and generally require 20% to 40% longer following distances between vehicles than cars traveling at the same speed. If the driving conditions are unfavorable, then these large vehicles are even more challenging to control in moments of emergency.

Human error is the leading cause of crashes involving large semi-trucks and these mistakes have devastating consequences.

Even in the face of uncertainty and fear, there is still a legal team of experts who can help you to find the light at the end of the tunnel. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer, you may be eligible for recovery. Let the dependable team of Cardone Law Firm fight aggressively on your behalf. We will work diligently for you to pursue an injury claim against the responsible party which can include the operator of the vehicle, the company that hired the driver, the manufacturer of a defective component that caused the wreck, the company that owns the fleet of large trucks, or one of many others.

How the Courts Assess Liability

Proper maintenance of the vehicle is critical to operating the tractor-trailer safely but companies often fail to live up to their responsibilities. Drivers suffering from fatigue are prone to make mistakes, and while regulations are in place to limit the number of hours truck drivers can be behind the wheel, national surveys indicate that many drivers are pressured into meeting their company’s competitive goals by driving longer than the federally mandated 11 hours-of-service.

These are just a couple examples of how different parties may be responsible for the accident.

Evidence You Need to Prove Your Claim

Professional truck accident lawyers will know what information you need to prove your claim, and they will know where to get it. Here are some of the tools used in court to establish liability:

  • Eyewitness accounts: Other drivers who witnessed the accident can provide essential details through written statements and verbal testimony to support the allegations that the truck driver was driving carelessly.
  • Sobriety tests: Operators of large tractor-trailers are required to be tested for drug and alcohol use after an accident that involves a severe injury or fatality.
  • Black box data: Large commercial vehicles contain black boxes that are useful in piecing together information after a crash, such as how fast the truck was going and when the brakes were applied.
  • Log books: Truck operators are required to keep logs of their vehicle’s maintenance, rest periods, inspections, and other work-related responsibilities.
  • Hiring procedures and background checks: If the trucking company failed to properly conduct a criminal background check or research the operator’s driving history, they may be held liable for irresponsible hiring practices.
  • Licenses and certifications: All commercial drivers are required to have the proper licenses to operate the vehicles they are driving, and if they do not have the correct paperwork, the company may be held accountable for letting an inexperienced or improperly licensed driver operate the commercial vehicle.

Piecing together the evidence after a crash takes time and resources. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to hire an experienced legal team that can hold the party responsible for their reckless actions. The companies that own these large and dangerous vehicles will do their best to protect their profits by denying your claim or offering a low-ball settlement.

They will also conduct their own internal investigation into the events surrounding your accident and they may be tempted to conceal evidence that they have discovered. Time is a factor in these types of cases and it is crucial that you retain the services of a knowledgeable Louisiana truck accident lawyer right away.

When the unexpected happens. Who will you depend on? Let Cardone Law Firm be the strength you need to carry you through a tragedy.   

Few people can understand the physical and emotional pain that comes with being involved in a serious collision with a semi-truck. At Cardone Law Firm, we’ve helped many families get through one of their most challenging times. Our firm is dedicated to fighting for what you deserve, and we have the knowledge and experience you need on your side. You don’t want to trust just any law firm with handling your case. You want the Louisiana personal injury lawyers who bring over 40 years of legal experience to each case they handle.

Phone Cardone at (504) 522-3333 so we can schedule your free consultation and get started on your case today.