Wrongful Death Claims Due To A Trucking Accident
What Is The Legal Definition Of A Wrongful Death Claim In Louisiana In The Context Of A Trucking Accident?
A wrongful death, regardless of the specific circumstances, refers to a situation where an individual's death results from another party's wrongful action or negligence. In the context of trucking accidents, a wrongful death claim arises when the deceased's demise is a direct and reasonably foreseeable consequence of the actions of a truck driver or trucking company.
The law acknowledges that trucking, given the size and weight of the vehicles involved, inherently poses significant risks to the public. Therefore, any action by a trucker or trucking company that can reasonably be anticipated to cause death, and does so, can be grounds for a wrongful death claim. This might sound complex, but it's an attempt to translate the legal jargon into more understandable terms.
Are There Specific Laws And Regulations In Louisiana That Apply To Trucking Companies And May Impact Wrongful Death Claims?
Yes, there are several laws and regulations in Louisiana that govern the behavior of truck drivers and can potentially impact wrongful death claims. These include:
The Louisiana Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Manual, which outlines regulations and guidelines for truck drivers.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, enacted by Congress, which apply to truck drivers nationwide and reference the CDL manual for behavioral guidelines under Chapter Two.
Title 32 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes, which governs how all drivers, including truck drivers, operate their vehicles on Louisiana roads.
What Are The Key Factors That Determine Liability In A Wrongful Death Claim Arising From Trucking Accidents In Louisiana?
In Louisiana, we operate under a comparative fault system. This means that liability is attributed in percentages to each party involved in the accident, both the plaintiff and the defendant.
In our context, a driver could have violated Title 32 provisions such as speeding, improper lane change, or following too closely. However, if the collision arises from the trucker violating rules—like being sleep-deprived, under the influence, making an improper turn, or failing to provide proper signals while stationary—the liability might lean towards the trucker.
For instance, if a trucker pulls over due to a vehicle malfunction or to rest and fails to place adequate reflective warnings around their vehicle, they might be held liable if a motorist collides with their stationary truck. The requirements for placing reflective markers are stricter for truckers than for regular cars, as trucks present a greater hazard.
To summarize, the key factors determining liability in a trucking accident can be broadly categorized into four areas:
Violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations: These federal regulations apply to all truck drivers across the country, and a violation can lead to them being found at fault.
Violation of the Louisiana Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Manual: These state-specific guidelines govern the behavior of truck drivers, and non-compliance can contribute to their liability.
Violation of the trucking company's safety policies: Trucking companies often have their own safety rules regarding the operation of a tractor-trailer. For example, they might prohibit making U-turns or left turns with a truck-actions that are technically allowed under Louisiana's Title 32, but are usually deemed unsafe by company standards.
Violation of Louisiana's Title 32: This is the state law that governs all drivers' behaviors on the road. Violations of these rules can also lead to a driver being held responsible for an accident.
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