Reason to Act Quickly to Hire Babcock Partners After a Truck Accident
In many cases it is relatively easy to assign responsibility to a negligent trucker who has caused a bad truck accident. But other truck accidents are more complex, particularly if a malfunction or failure of the truck is the true cause of the accident. Such accidents require deeper investigations, which means your attorneys must secure more evidence and do so before it becomes unavailable.
If possible, it is best to examine the scene of a truck accident, where skid marks, crash debris, features of the scenes, such as an obscured line of sight, and other factors may shed light on the accident’s cause. However, accident scene evidence can deteriorate or be removed within days of a crash.
Your Babcock Partners attorneys would also want to see other evidence that belongs to the motor carrier that owns the truck, or to the truck driver or third parties. Therefore, it may be necessary to obtain a court order to get access to this evidence.
Important truck accident evidence includes but is not necessarily limited to:
- Driver Hours of Service (HOS) logs. Truckers are strictly regulated as to time behind the wheel and mandatory rests, and must log their activities. HOS logs may provide evidence of fatigued driving (too many hours behind the wheel) or speeding (ground covered too quickly when comparing hours to miles).
- Trucker’s cell phone. Like HOS logs, information found on a truck driver’s cell phone can yield important information about his or her activities. Most simply, records of a call in progress or text sent or opened at the time of the crash is evidence of a distracted driver at the wheel of the truck.
- Driver credit / debit card records and/or receipts. Times and dates on these records may also indicate a trucker’s activity as opposed to rest, as well as the rate of travel between given points.
- Truck maintenance records. Logs of maintenance may indicate the carrier put off needed repairs, which might lead investigators to a mechanical cause of the crash and evidence the carrier knowingly put an unsafe truck on the road.
- Carrier personnel records and/or third party contracts. Multiple people are involved in putting a commercial truck on the road, with duties ranging from driving the truck, maintaining it, loading cargo, dispatching, and more. Negligent hiring, training, or retention of personnel or third-party brokers (such as cargo loaders) with violations on their records may leave the carrier liable for various parties’ negligence.
- Recall notices. If known problems with the truck, truck parts, systems, etc., were not resolved and can be shown to have contributed to a failure that caused the crash, the truck owner could be held liable for this negligence.
- The damaged truck and its electronic data recorder (EDR). In any crash it is useful to examine the damaged vehicle. But 18-wheelers and other commercial truck contain a “black box” device from which can be downloaded a variety of data about operation of the vehicle just prior to a crash. Depending on the age and model of truck, this will include:
- Date and time of the crash
- Vehicle speed
- Engine speed
- Brake status
- Clutch status
- Throttle (gas pedal) position
- Cruise control status
- Steering angle
- Forward collision warnings
- Lane-departure warnings
- Last stop
- Incident Event Report (e.g., sudden deceleration/ acceleration, quick stop, hard brake event, etc.)
- Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) snapshots of truck system sensors reporting data outside normal values
- On-board video recordings
- GPS-based positional data
- And more
In cases of complex truck accidents with questionable causes, an accident reconstruction specialist may be enlisted to help determine what happened and why. These forensic specialists create detailed reports of their findings and, if required to testify as experts in court, multimedia presentations, which prove persuasive to judge and jury.
Your case will be unique, and may hinge on any piece of evidence cited above or something else entirely. However, if it is pursued by Babcock Partners, you can be assured it will be thoroughly investigated and aggressively litigated.
Because many insurers who work for trucking firms active in Louisiana know Babcock Partners, they know how aggressively we pursue a claim. This helps us from the start to conclude many less-complex cases with a negotiated settlement. But, when a negotiated settlement cannot be reached, they also know they are in for a fight in court.
Compensation Babcock Partners Seeks for You in a Truck Accident
As your truck accident attorneys, Babcock Partners will calculate all compensation you are due as part of a legal claim. Our “demand” on your behalf in a legal claim will be based on a full accounting of your losses and what’s allowed under Louisiana personal injury / wrongful death law.
We will also identify all liable parties and applicable insurance coverage so that we may seek compensation from every available source. Particularly in a truck accident where parties beyond the trucker and his or her employer are implicated, a case may include multiple claims.
A personal injury claim in Louisiana may seek compensation for:
- All medical costs connected to the accident. If here is a permanent disabling injury, a life care plan may be drafted to project lifetime medical needs and costs.
- Lost wages immediately following the accident
- Reductions in future earning capacity due to partial or full disability, or death
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium after a spouse’s incapacitating injury or death
- Funeral or burial expenses in a wrongful death
Under Louisiana law, a separate claim would also seek compensation for property damage, such as to your vehicle and/or any other personal or real property damaged or lost in the crash.
A true accounting of losses takes time, particularly for a full picture of medical treatment and care needs for serious injuries to develop. This is one reason that in an initial consultation Babcock Partners usually recommends rejecting any settlement offer already made by an insurance company.
Insurance adjustors work to protect their company’s bottom line by enticing accident victims with fast settlement offers. Yet, these insurance offers are calculated to look generous while falling far below what is likely to be owed if the full extent of insurance coverage is properly explored.
Babcock Partners will pursue all compensation you are entitled to receive for your injuries and other losses. Because Louisiana is a pure comparative negligence state, your recovery could be reduced according to the percentage of fault assigned to you. However, even if you bear some fault for a truck accident, you can still recover compensation.
But to do so, you need the aggressive representation that Babcock Partners provides — identifying all liable parties and all available insurance coverage, and pressing insurers with solid and persuasive cases that they know we are ready to take to trial.