Logging Truck Accident Lawyer
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC represent logging truck accident victims, 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 lost 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 our truck accident lawyers 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 of Labor Statistics data reveals that approximately 9,000 full-time log truck drivers work in the American logging industry, generating nearly $20 billion in revenue annually.
Unfortunately, hundreds of catastrophic log 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 withstand every anticipated operational force without failure, permanent deformation, or release that could lead to an accident.
The logging truck tie-downs must be secured using a combination of bolsters, stakes, and bunks when hauled using a crib-type log 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 motor vehicle record before being allowed to drive.
Log truckers must perform daily inspections to identify any problems that could lead to catastrophic crashes. The truck driver 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 trucking company is responsible for stringent safety procedures when loading, unloading, and parking and directs its drivers on how to prevent accidents with injuries.
Log Truck Crash
A 2019 International Journal of Forest Engineering report revealed that logging truck fatal collisions increased significantly (over 40%) during the last decade. Analysis data involving logging truck accidents revealed that log-hauling truckers were more 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 and killing the SUV driver.
A fatal South Carolina wreck 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. The drivers' insurance company settled the case by paying on-scene medical bills and future lost wages.
Catastrophic Logging Truck Crashes
Data shows that the average age of logging trucks involved in fatal truck and car accidents 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 vehicles involved in logging truck accidents had identifiable wear and tear, making them more prone to mechanical failure. Common problems associated with older logging vehicles include:
- Rollovers – Negligent driving at excessive speed, using improper braking methods, or hauling improperly loaded cargo could cause a rollover, leading to a wrongful death claim
- Jackknifing – Logging trucks swerving into other lanes or slipping on icy roads could cause jackknifing, resulting in multiple vehicle logging truck accidents involving other drivers
- Flying debris– Catastrophic logging truck accidents could break banded timber, releasing debris into the path of other motorists and motorcyclists, leading to wrongful death
- 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, leading to injuries and a logging truck accident claim
- Equipment failure– A lack of proper maintenance on older logging trucks and trailers could create catastrophic truck accidents that harm trucker drivers, other motorists, and 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, and secured the cargo with chains, bands, and straps.
Negligent drivers are a leading contributing factor to serious accidents. These contributing factors of an accident involving a trucker and trucking company that could be held responsible include:
- Driver fatigue
- Driving while drug-induced or alcohol-impaired
- Driver error
- Failing to follow traffic laws when traveling around passenger vehicles and logging trucks
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Lack of safety equipment
- Large blind spots where the logging truck driver fails to see others changing lanes
- Overloaded cargo
- Speeding based on roadway and weather conditions
- Overlength cargo loads
- Loose cargo
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 result from 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 held liable if they fail to properly train newly hired and existing truck drivers improperly 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.
- 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.
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 serious 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.
How Do Logging Companies Avoid Responsibility for Logging Truck Accidents?
Many logging truck companies hire inexperienced truck operators without 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 truck accident cases due to the unique circumstances and available evidence on your major 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 logging trucks' 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, truck makers, etc.
Logging Truck Accident Lawyer: Obtain Legal Help Now
Were you injured, or did you lose a loved one in a horrific logging crash? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, 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.
Free Case Evaluation
Contact us 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 your truck accident attorney does not win, you do not pay any attorney fees.
All surviving family members who lost a loved one in a horrific logging truck crash have the legal right to file a civil wrongful death lawsuit.
Our logging truck accident lawyers can ensure a successful outcome to adequately compensate the injured party for medical bills, hospitalization costs, future medical expenses, lost wages, future lost earnings, pain, suffering, grief, and funeral/burial expenses.