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The Texas forest industry has a large impact on the state economy, contributing $21.4 billion in 2021 and accounting for 172,000 jobs, some of which include the transportation of forest products and raw materials like logs. Though this transportation sector is vital, it can also be dangerous. Logging truck accidents can cause serious and fatal injuries to those involved.

If you have been involved in a Texas logging truck accident, you need experienced legal counsel on your side.

Both the logging industry and transportation industry generally have deep pockets and abundant resources to fight your claim.

If you need a Texas logging truck accident attorney, the team at Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP understands how to get you the compensation you deserve.

Texas Logging Truck Accidents

Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas have the largest number of logging truck accidents in the nation.

As the preliminary analyses from a 2020 report showed, factors associated with more severe logging truck-related crashes in Texas included overturned vehicles, failure to yield the right of way, lack of restraint, and speeding.

Logging Truck Regulations

Any large commercial vehicle can be an additional hazard on the road. Their size alone makes braking more difficult and impairs the driver’s vision.

There is even more risk with logging trucks, which is why there are regulations specific to this type of transportation.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires logging trucks to be built or adapted for transporting logs. A standard semi-truck is not sufficient. 

logging-truck-accidents-attorney-texas

A logging truck must have a way to secure the logs and prevent them from rolling off.

Necessary equipment includes standards, stakes, bolsters, or bunk and tie-downs with working load limits of no less than 4,000 pounds. Regulations also include stacking rules and maximum log lengths. 

Violating these regulations can lead to increased risk. It is crucial to have logs balanced and secured.

Companies that fail to maintain their fleets may have a greater degree of liability for logging truck accidents.

Truck drivers are also required to be adequately trained for this type of cargo.  

Who Is Liable in a Logging Truck Accident

Logging injuries of any kind can be catastrophic and expensive.

When it comes to logging truck accidents, there are multiple parties that could potentially be liable.

It is important that your Texas logging truck accident attorney conducts a thorough investigation to determine who the responsible party is.

In some cases, multiple parties may be responsible including the following: 

  • The driver of the logging truck;
  • The trucking company;
  • The company that loaded and secured the logs to the truck;
  • The company that hired or trained the truck driver;
  • A company or mechanic that provided substandard maintenance and repairs;
  • The manufacturer of defective components or parts installed in the truck, and
  • A municipality that failed to properly maintain the roadways. 

Because of the devastating nature of logging truck accidents, companies are required to carry insurance with high policy limits.

It is possible that multiple entities are liable for the damage, and you should receive fair compensation. 

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Types of Logging Truck Accidents

The size of logging trucks and the type of cargo can present some distinct problems when things go wrong.

What may result in an inconvenience for a regular passenger vehicle could lead to a serious or fatal accident when it happens to a logging truck.

The following are some of the types of logging truck accidents that may occur.

Tire Blowouts 

A tire blowout in any semi-truck or other large commercial vehicle could cause a problem.

In a logging truck, it can set off a chain reaction of events causing the driver to lose control or causing logs to shift and jar loose.

Rollovers

Driving at excessive speed or braking improperly can cause a rollover. Hauling uneven or otherwise, improperly loaded cargo can also contribute to a rollover. 

Collisions

Trucks are required to take specific measures to ensure visibility such as using lights and reflectors so other vehicles can see them.

Even with these precautions, collisions can still occur. Because of the size of most logging trucks, the damage is often serious. 

Flying Debris

Improperly secured timber or timber that breaks loose during a collision can cause major injuries to surrounding traffic and dangerous roadway blockages. 

Equipment Failure

Logging trucks fall under commercial driver’s license (CDL) rules, which require pre-trip safety checks and truck maintenance.

When proper maintenance is neglected, it increases the chance of sudden equipment failure. This could also occur because of a defective part or component. 

Jackknifing

A logging truck that swerves into another lane or slips on wet or icy roads could cause jackknifing which causes the trailer to block traffic. 

Factors That Impact Your Potential Compensation

Determining who is liable for the accident is an important factor. Texas uses a modified comparative fault rule, so if you were partially responsible (under 51%), you can bring a cause of action for your injuries.

Your final award will be reduced by the percentage you are deemed at fault. For example, if you were awarded a $100,000 settlement but were found to be 30% responsible for the accident, you would receive $70,000. 

The comparative fault rule is an important reason to hire a skilled Houston or Texas logging truck accident attorney. The defendants will undoubtedly try to place as much of the blame on you as possible. 

Other factors that impact the amount of your settlement include:

Texas Logging Truck Accidents

Determining the value of your claim is a crucial step in ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

Insurance companies are known for making low offers that leave you with less than what you need to take care of everything you have endured. You do not have to accept the offer. 

Let Armstrong Lee & Baker Handle Your Claim

The team at Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP can negotiate on your behalf. As confident trial attorneys, we are not hesitant to take on big companies in pursuit of substantial awards for our clients.

Contact us to schedule your case consultation.