Forests cover almost half of Louisiana's land area. According to the Louisiana Forestry Association, forestry is the second largest manufacturing employer in the state. However, this means that serious collisions involving logging trucks are quite common.
Common Causes of Logging Accidents
A number of factors contribute to logging accidents in the state of Louisiana, including:
Typically, logging truck drivers are paid less than other types of commercial truck drivers. They must still have a valid CDL but often have less on-the-job training and experience than other types of commercial drivers. Additionally, they are often independent contractors or self-employed, which means they have less oversight than other drivers with a CDL.
Poorly maintained trucks.
In the logging industry, companies keep profit margins high by increasing the number of deliveries made per day. This means trucks may be on the road for many miles without the necessary scheduled maintenance. In addition, smaller companies often covert older trucks with high mileage for logging purposes. These older vehicles may have significant mechanical problems that haven't been fully addressed.
Drivers who are pressured to continually increase their number of deliveries per day may break the speed limit or drive faster than what is safe for weather conditions.
Distraction or fatigue.
Drivers who feel pushed to work as long as possible may not be taking proper rest breaks. This can cause inattention or drowsiness that affects their reaction time and judgement on the road.
Accidents caused by a truck’s missing flags, lights, or reflectors are quite common. Additionally, headlights or reflective tape can be obscured by mud, dirt, or dust if the vehicle isn't cleaned regularly.
Drivers often exceed weight and length guidelines for their trucks, knowing that enforcement of these regulations is minimal on the county roads where they tend to operate. This creates a risk for you if a driver is unable to stop quickly due to an overloaded truck.
Poor route planning.
Inexperienced drivers often make the mistake of taking the same route they might travel with their personal pickup truck. This creates a recipe for disaster when they're forced to make a U-turn in the middle of a highway near a hillcrest.
Additionally, many people are surprised to learn that logging trucks do not have to adhere to all of the federal safety regulations that apply to other types of commercial trucks.
Types of Available Compensation
Recoverable damages from a logging truck accident include:
The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, as well as necessary rental car expenses, must be paid by the at-fault driver.
Emergency medical care, diagnostic tests, necessary prescription medication, physical therapy, and follow-up visits should be included in your claim. If you've been left permanently disabled, future medical costs should be added, as well.
You can seek reimbursement for lost wages while you were recovering from your injuries, as well as applicable loss of future earning potential if you've been left disabled.
Pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering compensation includes reimbursement for anxiety, stress, and depression, as well as the physical pain associated with your accident-related injuries.
If you are determined to be partially at fault for the accident, you can still receive compensation. However, your settlement will be reduced by your assigned percentage of fault to reflect your personal liability.
The Value of Legal Representation
Hiring an attorney with experience handling logging truck accident claims is the best way to protect your right to a fair settlement. Your attorney can document your damages, establish the driver’s or logging company's liability for the accident, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Truck Accident?
If you've been injured in a truck accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.