Logging Truck Accident Lawyer
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers represent the victims injured in logging truck accidents, fighting for their fair monetary compensation. Our legal team conducts thorough forensic investigations involving crash scene reconstruction and uses legal theory to resolve complicated cases successfully.
Were you hurt, or did you lose a family member in a horrific log truck accident? Our logging truck crash lawyers have proven track records resulting in multiple million-dollar settlements and verdicts. Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to schedule a free consultation. Let's discuss your case.
The country's timber industry vitalizes the nation's economy moving freshly cut forest timber to sawmills and process plants. The Bureau Labor Statistics data reveals that approximately 9000 full-time log truck drivers work in the American logging industry, generating nearly $20 billion in revenue annually.
Unfortunately, hundreds of catastrophic logging truck accidents every year harm and kill innocent victims by overworked and underpaid logging truck drivers delivering their loads within tight deadlines.
Logging Trucks: A Heavily Regulated Industry
Congress heavily regulates the logging industry through various government agencies, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The government agency mandates that any transporter used for hauling logs be constructed or adapted to secure the cargo during loading, transporting, and unloading.
Logging trucks must be built with stakes, bunks, bolsters, and standards to prevent the timber from rolling off the trailer. The safety features must be constructed or designed to withstand every anticipated operational force without failure, permanent deformation, or accidental release.
The logging truck tie-downs must be secured using a combination of bolsters, stakes, and bunks when hauled using a crib-type log trailer. The banded timber must be packed solidly where the outer timber at the bottom contacts solidly against the trailer.
Timber cannot be loaded where the log extends further than a third of its length beyond the last supporting structure on the trailer.
Log Truck Driver Requirements
Obtaining a logging trucker's license requires a written application test and a road test/ride-along test. Each applicant must have a high school diploma or equivalent, obtain a CDL (commercial driver's license), and have a valid TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) card.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires trucking businesses to contact a newly hired logging trucker's previous employers and ensure that the business's insurance companies approve the newly hired driver's MV record before allowed to drive.
The employer may expect the new hire to pass a drug screening test and get a medical certificate if they have a clean driving record. Log truckers must perform daily inspections to identify any problems that could lead to catastrophic crashes. The trucker must check the tires, steering apparatus, brakes, air hoses, and locking mechanisms.
The log trucker must maintain records and check and drain compressed air tanks for condensation daily. The trucker must follow stringent safety procedures when loading, unloading, and parking.
Log Truck Crash
A 2019 report released by the International Journal of Forest Engineering revealed that logging truck fatal collisions increased significantly (over 40%) during the last decade. Analysis data involving log truck crashes revealed that log hauling truckers were likely at risk of dying in an accident than logging crews when logging trucks follow too closely behind other vehicles.
In March 2021, a man died after colliding with a logging truck transporting timber in South Carolina. A tractor-trailer timber truck struck a Chevy trailblazer proceeding through an intersection after coming to a stop, overturning and spilling large timber on the roadway killing the SUV driver.
A fatal wreck in Craven County, North Carolina, closed the highway for hours while cleanup crews removed debris after the long-haul logging trucker collided with a van. A woman in the van suffering a head injury was pronounced dead at the scene.
Catastrophic Logging Truck Crashes
Data shows that the average age of logging vehicles involved in a fatal truck and car accident was thirteen years old. Many of these aging vehicles were not constructed with recent safety advancements to prevent losing control of the vehicle when hauling heavy cargo.
Many logging trucks involved in crashes had identifiable wear and tear, making them more prone to mechanical failure. Common problems associated with older logging vehicles include:
- Rollovers – Driving at excessive speed, using improper braking methods, or hauling improperly loaded cargo could cause a rollover
- Jackknifing – The timber hauling truck swerving into another lane or slipping on icy roads could cause jackknifing, resulting in multiple vehicle pileups
- Flying debris– A catastrophic accident involving collisions with logging vehicles could break the banded timber, releasing debris into the path of other motorists and motorcyclists
- Tire blowouts – The heavy cargo of a fully-loaded timber trailer traveling at high speed could result in a fatal tire blowout causing the trucker to lose control
- Equipment failure– A lack of proper maintenance on older logging trucks and trailers could create catastrophic scenarios that harm the trucker and other motorists
- Collisions – Failing to use reflective tape and warning signs could result in horrific crashes injuring and killing innocent victims
Log Truck Crashes: Contributing Factors
Studies released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that log trucks are more dangerous than other commercial vehicles hauling heavy loads. Timber loaders rest the log's on the trailer bed, securing the cargo with chains, bands, and straps.
Any shift in the load could create an imbalance, increasing the rollover rate or causing the cargo to break free, releasing timber and debris onto the road. Logging truckers traveling on winding rural roads have an increased risk of losing control.
Negligence is the leading contributing factor to most logging crashes. These contributing factors include:
- Driver fatigue
- Driving while drug-induced or alcohol-impaired
- Driver error
- Failing to follow traffic laws when traveling around passenger vehicles and other trucks
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Lack of safety equipment
- Large blind spots where the driver fails to see others when merging or changing lanes
- Overloaded cargo
- Speeding based on roadway and weather conditions
- Faulty tires
- A lack of maintenance
- Lack of using warning signs and reflective tape
- Failing to train truckers properly
- Overlength cargo loads
- Loose cargo where timber or materials fly off the trailer bed
Other negligent log truck drivers might also be at fault for causing the accident. In these cases, the other driver failed to obey traffic laws by cutting off the trucker, stopping too suddenly, or could not navigate challenging traffic conditions.
Logging Truck Accident Liability
Most logging truck accidents are the result of driver negligence. However, a personal injury attorney working for the victim might identify other potential defendants in a logging accident lawsuit who have directly or indirectly contributed to the logging crash.
These other potential defendants could include:
- The landowner and lumber company – The landowner or lumber company might be legally liable if they fail to properly train newly hired and existing truckers loading, transporting, and unloading heavy timber.
- The trucking company– Trucking businesses overseeing hauling logistics from the forest to the sawmill might be partially responsible if they hired an inexperienced driver who violated trucking regulations.
- Mechanics and maintenance crews – The maintenance crews and mechanics failing to repair maintenance issues and mechanical problems involving the tires, brake, engine, or other components could be held legally liable.
- Commercial vehicle and trailer manufacturers – Any defective component in the logging equipment or trailer could create a liability issue for the manufacturer that offered the hauling equipment for sale.
However, adding additional clients to a civil lawsuit is complex. The injured party, or their legal team, must prove a correlation in how other defendants were entirely or partially responsible for causing their damages.
Log Truck Accidents FAQs
Our personal injury attorneys understand that logging truck accident victims have many unanswered questions about logging truck accidents leaving victims severely injured or dead. A log truck collision lawyer specializing in logging accidents answered the most frequently asked questions below.
If you need more information on holding logging trucks and logging companies liable, contact us today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation. Let us help you move a claim forward to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Can I Sue for Being Hit by a Logging Truck?
After being struck by a log hauling transporter, any victim with injuries or damages can file a timber injury lawsuit against all those responsible for causing the harm. If the injured party was currently working during the accident, they could file a workers' compensation claim or a third-party lawsuit seeking additional benefits and compensation.
If the family lost a loved one in a logging transport collision, they could file a wrongful death claim through a logging truck accident lawyer. All plaintiffs can seek compensation for medical expenses, hospitalization costs, physical/occupational rehab bills, lost wages, future lost earnings, pain-and-suffering.
Are Logging Truck Drivers in Danger Hauling Timber?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, log hauling truckers are more at risk of severe injuries and death than regular semi-tractor-trailer truckers. Driving log transport vehicles increases the potential risk of rolling over or being involved in log accidents where the truck's cargo breaks free.
Data released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) revealed that approximately 70% of all fatal crashes in the United States involving logging vehicles occurred in the southeast. Most of these fatal logging truck accidents were caused by approaching crossing paths with the logging vehicle.
Who is Liable for Logging Truck Accidents?
The responding police or accident reconstruction experts investigating the crash can identify which drivers are legally liable for damages due to negligence. Those found at fault could be the driver who disobeyed traffic rules, failed to maintain the vehicle properly, or drove while fatigued, alcohol-impaired, or speeding.
That said, logging truckers must follow commerce regulations and receive proper training to prevent crashes.
Any lack of experience or recklessness could create liability issues for the trucker and logging truck companies if the operator:
- Failed to navigate narrow roadways
- Drove with excessive cargo loads (overloading)
- Made improper lane changes
- Drove fatigued, exceeding the 11-hour limit for daily road travel, or drove longer than 60 to 77 hours a week
How Do Logging Truck Accident Lawyers Prove Negligence in My Logging Accident Case?
Any injured party, or their logging truck accident lawyer, filing a lawsuit against the trucker or trucking company must prove negligence to win their case or negotiate a settlement.
The plaintiff must prove four elements that include:
- The defendants (trucker, trucking companies, etc.) had a duty to provide a safe environment in and around the logging transporter
- The defendants breached that duty
- The breach led to an accident with injuries, death, or other damage
- The plaintiff suffered damage as a direct cause of the defendants' breach
Nearly 95% of all log transport accident cases, including those involving logging trucks, are resolved through out-of-court settlements negotiated by the plaintiff and defendants' attorneys. The remaining cases involving log trucks are typically heard in front of a judge and jury.
Most plaintiffs and defendants will negotiate a settlement to avoid the uncertainty of how the jury will react to the evidence and provide a verdict. Going to trial could cost the defendant more than they can pay or take compensation away from what the plaintiff could have received had they accepted an out-of-court settlement.
How Do Logging Companies Avoid Responsibility for Logging Truck Accidents?
Many lumber companies hire inexperienced truck operators that never receive proper training or acquired qualifications to operate dangerous equipment.
When logging truck accidents happen, the lumber company's attorneys deny responsibility by blaming others involved in the log truck accident to minimize the defendant's liability.
However, a logging truck accident lawyer working for the injured party (plaintiff) will use civil tort law and crash scene reconstructionists to prove how the trucker and trucking company’s negligence led to their clients’ damage.
How Much Can Logging Truck Accident Attorneys Get in My Log Accident Settlement?
The value of your crash settlement will differ from other logging truck accident cases due to the unique circumstances and available evidence on your injuries and property damage.
Other specific circumstances and facts that help determine the case's worth include the extent of your physical, mental, emotional, and financial harm and the limits of the insurance company policy that will pay you compensation.
Your logging truck accident lawyer might identify additional defendants other than the person or business responsible for causing your crash. Potential defendants could include trucking companies, employees maintenance crews, mechanics, tire manufacturers, truckmakers, and others.
Logging Truck Accident Lawyer: Get Legal Help Now
Truck drivers are required to follow commercial transportation rules and regulations when working in commerce. Logging companies must ensure that their truckers are qualified to haul heavy loads while operating vehicles are adequately maintained and serviced.
Were you injured, or did you lose a loved one in a horrific logging crash? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers use their extensive knowledge of commercial vehicle collision tort law to overcome the liability challenges of truck accidents that hurt and kill innocent victims.
Our personal injury law firm understands that many trucking businesses and insurance carriers will attempt to resolve cases with settlement offers significantly lower than the claim's value. Our legal team will investigate what caused the victim's damages and identify defendants that must compensate the injured party.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free case evaluation. We accept all personal injury cases through contingency fee agreements to avoid the need for any upfront fees. If we do not win, you do not pay any attorney fees.
All surviving family members who lost a loved one in a horrific logging truck accident have the legal right to file a civil wrongful death lawsuit. Our logging truck accident lawyers can ensure a successful effort to adequately compensate the injured party for hospitalization costs, medical expenses, lost wages, future lost earnings, pain, suffering, grief, and funeral/burial expenses.
All information you share with our law office remains confidential due to an attorney-client relationship. Our personal injury law firm currently follows CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Covid-19 social distancing guidelines to ensure everyone's safety.