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    Ponchatoula Distracted Driving Truck Accidents 

    Drivers have a duty to others on the road to safely operate their vehicles, but unfortunately, accidents can happen when they get distracted. When the distracted driver is operating a truck, the resulting damage is typically much more severe because of the vehicle’s significant size and weight.

    If you have suffered an injury after a Ponchatoula distracted driving truck accident, call a skilled attorney who can determine if you are eligible to fight for compensation.

    How are Truck Drivers Distracted?

    There are different types of distraction that truck drivers can experience. Truckers are visually distracted once their eyes leave the road, manually distracted if their hands are not on the wheel or their feet on the pedals, and cognitively distracted if they are focusing on something other than driving safely. Some examples of distracted driving include:

    • Eating and drinking
    • Using a cell phone to text or dial and talk
    • Looking at the scenery
    • Daydreaming
    • Searching for an item or fiddling with the radio

    The distraction that has garnered the most attention in recent years is the cell phone. If a trucker is texting while driving and causes an accident, a Ponchatoula attorney can make a case for negligence in court. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that truckers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to cause an accident than those who do not text and drive.

    Cell Phones Limited by Louisiana and Federal Administration

    Both Louisiana and the FMCSA ban texting while driving and further limit handheld mobile devices for those who carry a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which is mandatory for all truckers. Truckers may only talk on a cell phone while driving if they use a hands-free attachment, although they can speak on a phone if they pull over and stop the truck.

    Penalties for Distracted Driving Truck Accidents

    Truck drivers caught driving while distracted are penalized through FMCSA rules, Louisiana law, and through their wallets if an injured individual sues for damages and wins. Truckers may have to compensate plaintiffs for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and ongoing care. Even if an accident does not occur, the FMCSA prescribes the following distracted driving penalties:

    • Fines up to $2,750
    • Trucker can be banned from driving for up to 120 days for repeat offenses
    • Trucker’s employer can be fined up to $11,000 with knowledge of the use of any handheld device
    • Trucker’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) rating will be affected

    Individuals injured in distracted driving truck accidents should contact a Ponchatoula attorney as soon as possible to make sure evidence is preserved. For instance, coffee cups and food wrappers found in a truck’s cab may indicate the driver was distracted because they were eating or drinking. A cell phone found in the cab can be checked for times and dates when data, texts, and phone calls were sent or received.

    Alcoholic beverage bottles found in the cab would lead an attorney to ask that blood alcohol levels be recorded. Any use of drugs or alcohol would be proof that the driver was cognitively distracted. Anyone who carries a CDL is required to be screened regularly for alcohol and drugs.

    Statute of Limitations

    The statute of limitations, known as the prescriptive period in the state, is the amount of time a person has to file a civil lawsuit or settle a claim after a personal injury accident or another event that could support a claim. Under Louisiana Civil Code Article 3492, a distracted driving truck accident lawsuit must be filed within one year of the crash.

    Reach Out to a Ponchatoula Attorney After a Distracted Driving Truck Accident

    With a special driver’s license and federal oversight, commercial drivers are held to a high standard because trucks crashes are often deadly for motorists. Unfortunately, truckers sometimes let their guard down and become distracted, which can increase the chance of a severe accident.

    If you are injured in an accident caused by a distracted truck driver, a Ponchatoula lawyer can review your case and seek compensation for any harm you experienced. Call us today for your initial consultation.