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    Ponchatoula Texting While Driving Truck Accidents 

    Truck drivers who text and drive put motorists around them at extreme risk, as doing so takes their eyes away from the road while they are operating a dangerous vehicle. The result of a truck accident of this nature is often catastrophic injury or death.

    If you are involved in a texting while driving truck accident and wish to hold the negligent party accountable, a Ponchatoula lawyer can listen to your plight and advise you of your options to recover damages.

    Is Texting While Driving Legal in Louisiana?

    The laws for cell phone use have changed radically in the state over the past several years. Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the organization that regulates the trucking industry, has enacted national regulations for truckers’ cell phone use.

    It is illegal, under both state law and federal rules, for truckers to text and drive. FMCSA studies have shown that a trucker who texts and drives is 23 times more likely to have an accident, many of which are deadly.

    The FMCSA Defines Texting

    Many people assume that texting is only entering messages into a cell phone or tablet. While this is partly true, the FMCSA also considers reading messages and pressing more than one button to call someone or terminate a call as texting, all of which are prohibited.

    Truckers are dependent on dispatching services, but the FMCSA prohibits reading or sending messages on dispatching devices, in addition to cell phones. Truckers must pull off the road and stop to use the text function on an electronic device. A Ponchatoula attorney can help determine from police reports, cell phones, and dispatching devices if a truck driver’s texting caused the accident.

    Proving Negligence

    A local attorney can argue that any act that breaks the law is a negligent act. This includes texting and driving, which is illegal under Louisiana and federal regulations and carries stiff fines for violations. Negligent acts fall below the standards of what a reasonable person would do in a similar situation. A Ponchatoula lawyer can argue that a reasonable truck driver would have obeyed the law and refrained from texting and driving to prevent accidents.

    Other factors are needed to build a negligence case. The unreasonable act must be the cause of an accident in which someone else is injured. Here, the ‘but for’ standard applies. The plaintiff answering “no” to the question “Would I have been injured but for the defendant’s actions?” meets another standard of negligence. A local lawyer can explain how a client’s particular distracted driving truck accident may be considered negligence.

    Pure Comparative Negligence

    In some cases, a plaintiff may be partly responsible for the accident in which they were injured. For instance, if a plaintiff is tailgating a trucker who is texting and swerves out of control, causing the plaintiff to plow into the rear of the truck, both parties may be charged with causing the accident.

    The state’s doctrine of pure comparative negligence is applied in these cases, also called comparative fault. Louisiana Civil Code Article 2323 allows a plaintiff to recover damages, which are reduced by the percentage of fault the jury assigns to the plaintiff, even if the plaintiff is more responsible than the defendant. In the above example, if the parties are assigned equal blame and the damages awarded total $100,000, the amount will be reduced by 50 percent to $50,000 because the plaintiff was 50 percent responsible.

    Statute of Limitations

    The prescriptive period, or statute of limitations, limits the plaintiff’s time to file a personal injury lawsuit or settle a claim related to the accident. A plaintiff pursuing a texting while driving case would have one year to file a lawsuit from the date of their accident.

    Let a Ponchatoula Attorney Aid Your Texting While Driving Truck Accident Claim

    Truck drivers must abide by state law and federal rules that govern the industry. This higher standard can lull motorists into believing all truckers are careful all the time, and though many are, accidents do happen.

    If you are injured because a trucker was texting while driving and caused an accident, you should rely on a Ponchatoula lawyer to help you achieve the maximum compensation possible. Contact us today to set up a confidential consultation.