Companies that own tow trucks are obligated to keep their customers and the general public safe. For example, a trucking company must provide proper training and licensing to their drivers and perform regular maintenance on their tow trucks. If a company breaches this duty and one of its drivers or trucks causes an accident, the company may be held liable for its negligence.
If you were injured in a tow truck accident and want to take legal action, a New Orleans tow truck accident lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you with your case.
Tow Truck Drivers Can Cause Accidents Due to Drowsiness and Other Forms of Negligence
Tow trucks are used for various services, such as transporting a vehicle damaged in an accident or taking a broken-down car to a mechanic. Tow truck drivers might also respond to calls from businesses or municipalities to remove vehicles that are parked illegally on their premises.
To drive and operate a tow truck, drivers must carry a Commercial Driver License (CDL), which the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles administers. Tow trucks are heavy vehicles with intricate operating systems used for towing vehicles. Without proper training, tow truck drivers might cause accidents and injure other road users.
Some scenarios in which a tow truck driver might cause an accident include:
- Driving over the speed limit
- Making improper turns or using bad judgment when determining how much space is needed to make a turn
- Driving while distracted by a phone or dispatch device
- Not driving carefully in inclement weather
Truck drivers are also more susceptible to fatigue due to their long working hours. Many tow truck services operate 24/7 and are on call to tow vehicles at any given time. Tow truck employers might abuse this expectation of convenience and force their employees to work for an unreasonable amount of time, making the employer inadvertently responsible for causing an accident.
Property damage can also occur during a tow truck accident or even during standard tow truck services. Compared to other work trucks, a tow truck can have a higher chance of damaging your vehicle if it is not properly loaded or unloaded.
After a tow truck accident, you might decide to pursue legal action. Filing a lawsuit can become complicated, especially if you are still suffering the effects of an injury or cannot operate your vehicle if it was damaged in the accident.
A New Orleans tow truck accident lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to help you with your case. We offer free case evaluations.
For a free legal consultation with a tow truck accident lawyer serving New Orleans, call (504) 777-7777
Root Causes of Tow Truck Accidents in New Orleans
As you can see, tow truck accidents occur in the New Orleans area for several different reasons. What causes drivers to operate their vehicles in dangerous or reckless ways? In many situations, these accidents take place because truck drivers are:
Truck drivers end up working long hours in many cases. Trucking companies expect their drivers to complete their jobs in set amounts of time and often push them to stay on the road. These actions often leave drivers fatigued.
Fatigue impacts our minds in much the same way as drinking alcohol. Tired drivers have trouble focusing on the road and often make dangerous decisions.
Drivers who get behind the wheel while they’re fatigued may also end up falling asleep. A sleeping tow truck driver could swerve across lanes of traffic and impact your vehicle.
Impaired by Alcohol or Drugs
Drivers sometimes drink before they drive. Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal in Louisiana. Make sure you contact the police if you suspect the tow truck driver who struck you was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Distraction causes many accidents every year in New Orleans. Drivers experience distraction when they take their minds off the road or their hands off the wheel. Cell phones, food, the radio, and even other passengers in the vehicle can distract drivers.
New Orleans Tow Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me (504) 777-7777
Our Legal Team Wants to Fight for Your Right to Receive Compensation
If you or someone you care about was injured or had their property damaged due to the negligence of a tow truck driver, the tow truck driver might be held responsible for covering those damages. A New Orleans truck accident lawyer can determine what compensation you might be entitled to collect.
Types of compensation for damages might include:
- Expenses for medical treatment
- Property repair costs
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
These forms of compensation cover both your economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses help you recover compensation for direct monetary losses the accident caused, like damage to your vehicle or healthcare expenses.
Non-economic losses focus on things like your mental anguish or pain and suffering. You may also receive punitive damages in some situations. The court system uses punitive damages to punish the driver who caused your accident. Generally, a lawyer must show that the other driver was at fault before you receive any punitive damages.
Liable Parties in New Orleans Tow Truck Accidents
Since businesses usually own tow trucks, parties other than the driver who caused the accident might be found liable for damages. Local businesses, such as auto shops or impound services, or larger companies, such as the American Automobile Association (AAA), can use tow trucks.
Potentially liable parties might include:
- The manufacturer of the tow truck, including people responsible for supervising assembly lines and quality control
- The business that owns the tow truck
- Whoever was responsible for maintaining the tow truck and did not make proper repairs or provide adequate upkeep of the truck’s operating systems
- The business that owns the impound yard if the accident occurred while you or your vehicle were present at the location
Our team might be able to investigate your accident to determine how negligence might have played a role in causing your injuries and other damages. One of the most effective ways of proving negligence is by providing evidence.
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Types of Evidence in Tow Truck Accident Cases in New Orleans
The plaintiff can submit evidence of the accident. For example, if your car is damaged, it is recommended to take photos of the damage immediately after the accident occurs.
Other types of evidence that might be used in court include:
- Surveillance camera footage
- Dashcam footage from your vehicle, the tow truck, or other motorists present at the time of the accident
- Evidence of injuries, such as photos and medical records
- Police records
- Records from first responders, such as emergency medical technicians or firefighters
- Eyewitness testimony
According to Louisiana Civil Code (CC) § 3492, plaintiffs must comply with the statute of limitations and file their personal injury lawsuit within one year of the accident. Because of this short time, it is important to report the accident as soon as possible to allow your legal team a reasonable amount of time to gather evidence and begin building your case.
Your Options to Resolve a Tow Truck Claim in New Orleans
A personal injury lawyer in New Orleans can help you review your potential options for resolving your legal case. Our team may help you build a case before we approach insurance representatives on your behalf.
Insurance agents sometimes settle tow truck claims out of court in Louisiana, allowing you to avoid court fees. Settling with insurance agents often takes less time than bringing your claim to court, as well.
However, insurance agents may refuse to provide you with compensation. They could even claim that you caused the accident that led to your injuries by driving dangerously or not paying attention to the road.
In this situation, you may want to talk to your lawyer about taking your claim to court. We understand the strategies that work to handle tow truck claims in court and fully support our clients. We will keep you informed of your legal options.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Wants to Help You with Your Tow Truck Case
A New Orleans tow truck accident lawyer can help you build your case if you want to seek compensation for a tow truck accident. Recovery goes beyond physical injury and damaged property. It also means healing from the mental pressure of putting your life back together after an accident.
Our attorneys want to help you restore normalcy and provide relief for you and your loved ones. If you were injured in a tow truck accident and want to take legal action, the team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.