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Baton Rouge Fatigued Truck Driver Accidents

Trucker fatigue is a leading factor in the nearly 4,000 deaths that occur in large commercial truck crashes each year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident in Baton Rouge, it could well be that the trucker behind the wheel of the tractor trailer, semi, 18-wheeler, etc., was too drowsy, sleepy or worn out to operate their vehicle safely.

It is also quite likely that a fatigued truck driver was knowingly behind the wheel in violation of federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, either under orders from the trucking company or on their own volition.

Babcock Trial Lawyers can help you determine whether a drowsy or fatigued trucker was responsible for the truck accident that has upended your life. We can also seek to compel the trucker and/or the corporate “motor carrier” employer to pay you for your medical expenses, pain, suffering, and additional losses.

Our aggressive personal injury lawyers can help you pursue a Louisiana truck accident claim at no financial risk to you. If we do not conclude the case with a monetary settlement or court award for you, you will not be charged a legal fee. Also, our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is that we’ll give you your entire case file within 30 days of being hired if you are unhappy with the progress of your case with no attorney’s fees or costs owed to us.

Fatigued Driver Accident Law Firm in Louisiana

Fatigue related truck accidents often lead to complex and difficult claims requiring an understanding of federal and state law, the operation of large trucks and trucking companies, and other technical information. The attorneys at Babcock Trial Lawyers have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to pursue a successful claim for you.


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Truck Driver Fatigue is a Well-Known Accident Hazard

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates commercial trucking and interstate passenger buses in the U.S., has long struggled with the problem of fatigued truck drivers. The FMCSA recently spent several years trying to tighten truck drivers’ Hours of Service (HOS) rules limiting time behind the wheel and mandating rest periods. But the result, after intense trucking industry lobbying and court challenges, has pleased few while failing to solve the problem.

Indeed, driver forums and comments online are filled with complaints of the futility of HOS rules in the face of trucking company schedules and employers’ demands that long-haul truckers keep rolling.

Truck drivers continue to cause accidents, injuries and deaths because of a lack of adequate sleep, extended work hours, strenuous work activities, or a combination of these and other factors, the FMCSA says. Meanwhile, the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS), a touchstone study of truck accidents, reported that 13 percent of commercial truck drivers were considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crash.

There may be no way to stop certain truck drivers from driving when their fatigue makes it unsafe to be behind the wheel. However, if fatigue is the cause of a truck accident, Babcock Trial Lawyers can work to demonstrate the cause of the accident and press the trucker and/or their employer (typically a trucking company or “motor carrier”) to make things right financially for those injured.

Investigating Driver Fatigue in Truck Accidents

A truck accident that happened because a trucker was drowsy or asleep at the wheel has tell-tale signs. There is also other evidence that can be obtained, which may indicate that fatigued driving caused or contributed to the crash of an 18-wheeler or other large commercial truck.

As attorneys pursuing a truck accident claim on your behalf, Babcock Trial Lawyers would move promptly to ask a court to secure the truck involved in the accident and certain records held by the motor carrier that owned and/or operated the truck. If engaged quickly enough after a truck accident, we could examine the accident scene, as well.

Evidence that might indicate a sleepy, asleep or fatigued driver behind the wheel of a truck that crashed includes:

  • Lack of braking. The lack of skid marks or very short skid marks at the accident scene indicate a diver who was not aware of an impending collision. The “black box”-style Event Data Recorder (EDR) in a commercial truck would record braking or failure to brake at the time of a crash, as well as the truck’s speed, use of cruise control and other information. Lack of adequate braking is an indicator of slow reaction time due to fatigue, or failing to act due to being asleep.
  • Motor carrier records. Various trucking company records, such as dispatch logs, should indicate where a truck and trucker were expected to travel and when. This is good baseline information to compare other evidence to and find discrepancies.
  • Hours of Service logs. Truckers are strictly regulated as to time behind the wheel and mandatory rests, and are required to record daily activities, including all on-duty as well as off-duty time, and miles driven. HOS logs may provide evidence of too many hours behind the wheel, though it is not unusual for truckers to falsify HOS logs.
  • Cell phone records. Information from a truck driver’s cell phone, which includes dates and times, can indicate activity during mandatory (and/or logged) rest or sleep periods.
  • Credit / debit card records and/or receipts. Times and dates of purchases or bank withdrawal may also indicate a truck driver’s activity as opposed to rest or mandatory sleep.
  • Surveillance video. There may be numerous video cameras along the route traveled by a long-haul trucker, including at gas stations, toll booths, weigh stations, and at numerous private establishments. Comparisons of a truck’s travel route, HOS logs, mileage, etc., and video may indicate a truck and its driver were on the road and not resting at certain points in time.
  • Witness statements. In all truck accident cases we would depose (interview under oath) the driver, his or her supervisors, and other witnesses. A driver or a trucking company employee may directly or indirectly implicate himself or his employer after a wreck, particularly one that has caused serious injury or death.

These represent just some of the potential evidence and the approach to investigating a truck accident where driver fatigue is suspected. When Babcock Trial Lawyers pursues a truck accident claim on your behalf, you can be assured it will be thoroughly investigated and aggressively litigated. We seek maximum fair compensation for our clients.

Many insurers working for motor carriers in Louisiana know Babcock Trial Lawyers and how aggressively we will pursue truck accident claims. This helps us conclude many cases with negotiated settlements. But, when insurance companies or motor carriers will not settle, those who know Babcock Trial Lawyers also know they will be in for a fight in court.

Babcock Trial Lawyers
10101 Siegen Ln #3c
Baton Rouge, LA 70810

(225) 500-5000

Babcock Trial Lawyers, LLC
10101 Siegen Lane Ste. 3C
Baton Rouge, LA 70810