Truck drivers in Louisiana — and across the country — bear a solemn responsibility to the public when they hit the road in their oversized vehicles. Commercial vehicle drivers undergo special training for their expanded licenses, which means that they should, in theory, be held to a higher standard of safety than your average driver. So it follows that the trucking companies that assess, hire and often train the drivers should also be held responsible if they’ve failed to meet their obligations.
A truck driver who failed to live up to this responsibility has received a sentence of two years in prison for vehicular homicide. The sentence stems from a 2012 crash in which he failed to yield and slammed into a minivan. The driver pleaded guilty and was given the two years behind bars, but won’t actually serve it. Instead, he will serve probation for five years.
A case like this demonstrates the criminal consequences of truck accidents, but those aren’t the only repercussions a negligent 18-wheeler driver can face. The family of the minivan driver could potentially file a lawsuit against the driver of the tractor-trailer and even the trucking company he worked for if it could be proven that they were negligent in maintaining the truck, training the driver or providing proper safety instruction. If either the driver or the company are found to be at fault, they may be responsible for the damages the family has suffered.
With all the various angles these cases can warrant, legal counsel is of even more important than in a typical car crash. A Louisiana attorney can guide you through the process and may be able to help you secure compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs and pain and suffering.
Source: dothaneagle.com, “Man sentenced in 2012 vehicular homicide,” May 27, 2014