Baton Rouge, LA Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accidents are some of the most serious vehicular collisions, and they happen far more often than we would all care to admit. When you find yourself dealing with injuries resulting from a truck accident in Baton Rouge, you should seriously consider legal action.
Negligence is almost always involved in a truck accident. Sometimes, the truck driver is the one who was negligent, but liability could also lie with the trucking company that employs them, the inspection company responsible for maintaining the truck, the truck manufacturer, or even another driver. You should discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible, as you only have a year from the date of the crash to file your suit in court.
The dedicated Baton Rouge truck accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras will work quickly and discretely to help you get the justice that you deserve. Our services begin with a free initial case assessment when you call our offices today at (225) 269-8930.
Driver vs. Trucking Company Liability After an Accident in Baton Rouge
If a truck driver’s negligence caused the accident that injured you, you may be able to sue the driver individually or the trucking company for which they were driving at the time of the accident. There are two key factors in making this determination: the relationship between the driver and the trucking company, and whether company negligence played a role in causing the accident.
Truck Driver as an Employee vs. Independent Contractor
When determining who to name in your lawsuit, one of the first items that your Baton Rouge truck accident attorney will focus on is the classification of the driver. Specifically, you will want to identify whether the negligent truck driver was an employee or independent contractor.
Truck accident victims in Louisiana can sue the employer of the negligent party through a legal doctrine known as vicarious liability. However, vicarious liability is not available if the negligent driver was an independent contractor. Independent contractors are technically self-employed, and file 1099s for their income tax returns as opposed to W-2s. One hallmark of truck drivers who are independent contractors is their ability to set their own schedule and work with multiple trucking companies simultaneously.
Trucking Company Negligence
Truck drivers owe legal duties to other drivers and passengers on the road to drive responsibly and within the applicable traffic laws. But trucking companies also owe their own set of legal duties to those potential victims. These responsibilities affect the way these companies must conduct business on a variety of fronts.
For instance, trucking companies are responsible for proper screening protocols during the hiring process to root out any candidates with histories of unsafe or intoxicated driving. Trucking companies must also institute training protocols to ensure that their drivers are equipped to handle a variety of conditions that they may encounter. Trucking companies must abide by National Highway Transit Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines when maintaining driver schedules to avoid fatigue and conducting inspections of the vehicles for potential defects or dangers.
If a trucking company falls short of its obligations in any of these areas, and its failure results in an accident that injures another person, the injury victim may pursue damages directly from the trucking company with the help of their Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer.
Third Party Liability for a Trucking Accident in Baton Rouge
In some cases, fault may lie with a party that is not the driver or the trucking company. Below are the three most common situations where an experienced Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer would advise you to pursue damages from a different party.
Another Driver Caused the Accident
Just because a truck collided with you on the road does not mean that the truck driver was the one who caused the accident. In many truck accident situations, especially those that occur on highways, more than two vehicles may be involved. You can use the official police car accident report to identify who was to blame for causing the accident.
Many trucking companies will contract with a separate entity that is responsible for overseeing maintenance and inspection of the truck. When this relationship exists, negligent inspection would likely create liability for the inspection company, rather than the trucking company itself. Your Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer can explain in detail what duties were owed by which parties, and whose failures were to blame for the accident.
Sometimes, the problem begins as early as the manufacturing stage. Truck manufacturers will be liable for any production issues that cause the truck to function improperly. Proving a manufacturing defect can be difficult, which is why our Baton Rouge truck accident lawyers can seek out a competent expert witness who can help you explain why the truck manufacturer should cover your damages.
Statute of Limitations for a Baton Rouge Truck Accident Lawsuit
The State of Louisiana requires that all truck accident injury victims initiate their lawsuit within one year of the date of the accident. This one-year deadline, which is created by the state’s statute of limitations, is one of the shortest among the 50 states, so it is imperative that you act quickly before your time runs out. If you miss the one-year filing deadline, the court will dismiss your lawsuit before you even get a chance to argue your case.
By reaching out to a seasoned Baton Rouge truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after you have received medical treatment for your injuries, you give yourself the best chance of success with your claim and avoid missing this critical deadline.
Rice, Murtha & Psoras Can Help You File Your Baton Rouge Truck Accident Lawsuit
When you call our dedicated Baton Rouge truck accident attorneys at (225) 269-8930 today, you get the benefit of a personalized initial case assessment for free.