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Louisiana Trucking Violations & Their Impact on Lawsuits

In Louisiana, strict regulations govern the roadways we share with commercial trucks to create safe roads for everyone. When trucking violations occur, the consequences can be severe—not just for negligent truckers but for everyone sharing the road with them. That’s why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Louisiana state law set high safety standards for truck drivers and trucking companies.

Trucking companies and drivers guilty of negligence face serious legal consequences when they cause accidents. Trucking violations can lead to catastrophic accidents, leaving victims in need of knowledgeable and experienced legal assistance. If a negligent trucking company or driver injured you or a loved one, call us at (337) 477-7222 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.

What Regulations Must Trucking Companies Abide by in Louisiana?

The FMCSA and the state of Louisiana outline, update, and enforce commercial trucking regulations based on current data and best practices. When commercial trucking companies and drivers follow these laws, they significantly increase the safety of Louisiana’s roads. However, when they recklessly disregard these laws, catastrophic accidents can occur, harming innocent people.

Our knowledgeable Lake Charles truck accident lawyers are here to build the strongest case possible on your behalf. We can investigate the federal and state regulations relevant to your accident and explain how they impact your right to compensation.

Federal Regulations

The FMCSA sets strict nationwide standards for trucking companies and truck drivers to ensure road safety. These standards include the following:

Hours-of-Service (HOS) Regulations

Truck drivers must observe strict HOS limits to prevent fatigue-related accidents. Drivers are required to take regular breaks after driving a certain number of hours. This regulation groups commercial drivers into two categories: property-carrying and passenger-carrying drivers. Property-carrying drivers can drive up to 11 hours following a 10-hour break.

Maintenance, Repair, and Inspection Requirements

The FMCSA requires systematic inspections, repairs, and maintenance of commercial trucks to ensure operational safety. This includes pre-trip inspections by drivers and regular inspections by certified specialists. Certain components of each vehicle, such as emergency door lights, must be inspected at least every 90 days.

Driver Qualification Standards

The FMCSA requires truck drivers to obtain a commercial driver’s license if they handle foreign, intrastate, or interstate commerce and drive a covered vehicle. For example, truck drivers operating vehicles with a gross weight of more than 26,001 pounds or a vehicle weight exceeding 10,000 pounds must obtain a Class A CDL.

Alcohol and Drug Testing Regulations

The FMCSA requires truck drivers and trucking companies to conduct drug and alcohol testing. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, truck drivers are prohibited from using or possessing illicit drugs or alcohol while driving. Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04 or greater is prohibited (the limit is 0.08 for most civilians).

These regulations are just a few of the many federal rules trucking companies and drivers must abide by.

Louisiana State Laws

Truck drivers and their companies must also comply with numerous state-level regulations when operating within Louisiana. In general, state laws align closely with federal standards but sometimes emphasize specific issues relevant to driving conditions and industry needs in Louisiana.

For example, Louisiana’s Department of Transportation and Development regulates certain permits, such as double tandem load permits. Commercial truck drivers must also adhere to the same local laws as non-commercial drivers in Louisiana, including those involving speed limits, distracted driving, traffic signals, and rights of way.

How Truck Drivers & Trucking Companies Violate These Laws

Across the country, truck drivers and trucking companies regularly violate federal and local laws. In Louisiana alone, the number of trucking violations is shocking. To illustrate, consider the following recent truck accidents in Louisiana:

Truck Driver Kills Three, Charged With Negligent Homicide

In December 2022, three university students en route to visit family over the winter break pulled onto the shoulder of I-49 to change a flat tire on their Jeep Laredo. While changing the tire, a 1997 Freightliner drifted onto the shoulder, striking the left side of the Jeep and injuring all three students. The three young men, aged 19, 19, and 21, were pronounced dead on the scene. Police booked the driver into Natchitoches Parish Jail on three counts of negligent homicide.

Commercial Truck Driver Crashes Through Two Homes in Scott

In January 2024, a commercial truck suddenly veered off the road, destroying two homes as the driver lost control. The truck crashed through an unoccupied mobile home before striking a second residence, driving through a bedroom. Luckily, the bedroom’s occupant escaped unharmed, but the accident resulted in significant property damage.

Two Brothers Killed After 18-Wheeler Fails to Yield

In September 2023, an 18-wheeler accident resulted in the death of two brothers. The truck driver failed to yield at a stop sign and struck another driver and two brothers, aged 21 and 28, on their way to work in a Honda Civic. The brothers suffered fatal injuries, while both drivers sustained moderate injuries.

Ice Cream Truck Seriously Injures Boy

In May 2023, 12-year-old Javier was enjoying his afternoon, relaxing and playing video games in his bedroom in Kenner. The driver of an ice cream truck was blazing southward on Dartmouth Street and Clemson Drive. The driver was accused of running a red light and speeding before crashing into Javier’s home. Video footage captured the truck crashing into the apartment building, where the driver smashed through the living room and into Javier’s bedroom.

His family said Javier was buried beneath the truck and rubble. It took responders approximately 40 minutes to free him. Emergency services transported Javier to a local hospital, where he underwent numerous surgeries. Javier suffered brain injuries, two broken legs, and a broken collarbone.

How to Prove a Trucking Company or Truck Driver Acted Negligently

Following a truck accident, proving negligence is normally critical to securing the full and fair compensation you deserve. At Shamieh Law, we understand the intricacies of trucking accidents and have developed a comprehensive approach to building strong cases on behalf of injured victims.

Our truck accident lawyers carefully conduct a thorough, independent investigation in search of all available evidence to prove recklessness and negligence. This often includes evidence of texting while driving, driving under the influence, or violating state and federal regulations. Our trucking accident attorneys will carefully comb through all evidence of wrongdoing by the truck driver and their trucking company.

Gathering Essential Evidence

Collecting strong evidence is crucial to establishing the trucking company’s or driver’s negligence. Important evidence in a truck accident lawsuit may include things like:

  • Dashcam footage – Some commercial trucks are equipped with dashcams. This footage can provide clear evidence of what happened in the moments leading up to the accident.
  • Electronic logging devices – ELDs record driving times to create a safer working environment for commercial drivers. ELDs can be used to investigate and enforce HOS limits. Our attorneys will analyze this data to identify potential breaches of FMCSA regulations.
  • Truck driver logs – These documents are also important for investigating HOS violations, which may indicate that the accident was caused by driver fatigue.
  • Maintenance records – Regular maintenance and inspections are required by federal regulations. A commercial truck’s condition at the time of the accident can indicate negligent violations.
  • Toxicology reports – Evidence indicating the driver used drugs or alcohol while on duty can turn the tide of your claim.

Employing the Latest Technology

Our law firm uses cutting-edge technology to analyze evidence faster and more accurately. Among other things, we can deploy accident reconstructions and black box analysis to develop a clearer picture of the circumstances of your accident.

  • Accident reconstruction – Using advanced software, we can recreate the accident scene to understand the dynamics of the crash. This can yield valuable insights into the truck drivers’ behavior leading up to the accident.
  • Black box analysis – Many commercial trucks have black boxes that record data before, during, and after a crash. This information can be invaluable in proving negligence on the part of the truck driver.

Contact Our Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers in Louisiana

At Shamieh Law, our personal injury lawyers bring experience, compassion, and legal expertise to the table. Our deep understanding of federal and state trucking regulations allows us to confidently navigate the details of your case, exploring every angle of liability. Our thorough and personalized approach to each case ensures our clients feel valued and heard throughout the legal claims process.

Our dedication extends beyond the courtroom. We are committed to your full recovery and will fight relentlessly for the compensation you deserve. Choosing Shamieh Law means choosing a firm committed to “Winning With Awareness.” We are dedicated to holding negligent trucking companies and drivers accountable for the pain and damage caused by their carelessness.

Let the world-class legal team at Shamieh Law advocate passionately for your rights. Call (337) 477-7222 or fill out our online contact form online to schedule your free consultation today.

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