Truck Accident Attorneys

Truck accidents are more likely to cause serious injury or death for many reasons, including the size of trucks as compared to passenger cars. If you were injured in a truck accident or your loved one lost his or her life, you have legal rights under laws.

A truck accident lawyer at Becker Law Office can evaluate your case and help you to obtain monetary compensation from the person or trucking company responsible for your crash.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Kentucky had 161,000 commercial trucks registered in the state as of 2013.

Kentucky had 161,000 commercial trucks registered in the state as of 2013. Drivers of commercial trucks, tractor-trailers and buses are required to have commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs). Professional truck drivers are held to higher standards when it comes to road safety laws because of the potential harm a big rig can cause. For example, while most drivers can be charged with drunk driving if they have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 or higher, truck drivers are considered to be breaking the law if their BAC is just .04 or greater.

Despite the fact that truck drivers are expected to be experts at driving their large vehicles, truck accidents happen every day. These crashes have lots of different causes, including mistakes made by truck drivers, mistakes made by other vehicles on the road and defects in the truck itself.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for regulating truck drivers and trucking companies, and the FMCSA has taken a close look at the causes of truck accidents. According to the data they prepared related in 2013, two third of fatal collisions involving tractor trailers occurred on rural roads and 25 percent occurred on urban or rural interstates.

The FMCSA indicated that certain types of dangerous driver behavior were among the top causes of accidents. These behaviors included:

  • Speeding was the most often cited driver-related factor;
  • Driver inattention was the second most common contributing factor in truck collisions.
  • The majority of fatal crashes involving large trucks occur during the week.

Kentucky keeps data on how truck crashes occur. According to their 2013 Traffic Collision Facts:

Alcohol was involved in 110 truck collisions, six of which involved fatalities. Drug use, also illegal under Kentucky’s impaired driving laws, played a role in causing 42 truck collisions including two fatal accidents.

    • Alcohol was involved in 110 truck collisions, six of which involved fatalities. Drug use, also illegal under Kentucky’s impaired driving laws, played a role in causing 42 truck collisions including two fatal accidents.

Driver distraction was a contributing factor in 274 truck accidents including 5 fatal crashes.

  • Cell phone use was a factor in 44 truck accidents. Driver distraction was a contributing factor in 274 truck accidents including 5 fatal crashes. Driver distraction can significantly increase the risk of an accident, with gov reporting that using a handheld device increases the risk of a crash by four times while a person texting on a cell phone is 23 times as likely to be involved in an accident.
  • Disregarding traffic controls was a driver-contributing factor in a total of 166 truck accidents, including three fatal wrecks.44 accidents, including one fatal collision, drivers went faster than the speed limit.
  • Speeding was a top cause of accidents. Drivers going too fast for the current road conditions (regardless of speed limit) led to 247 accidents including five fatal crashes. In 44 accidents, including one fatal collision, drivers went faster than the speed limit.
  • A failure to yield the right of way was a contributing factor in 758 truck accidents including 19 fatal crashes.
  • Driver fatigue played a role in 47 accidents and one fatal wreck, while a driver actually fell asleep in a total of 99 accidents including two fatal crashes.  FMCSA limits the number of hours that truckers can drive to try to prevent collisions involving fatigue and drowsy drivers.
  • Tailgating was listed as a contributing cause of 310 accidents including three fatalities.
  • Improper backing caused 142 collisions.
  • Passing improperly was a contributing factor in 128 crashes including two fatal accidents.
  • Improper turning was a contributing factor in 143 accidents including one fatal collision.

These are the top driver-contributing factors to truck crashes in Kentucky. The Traffic Collision Facts also identify other driver-related accident causes including loss of consciousness or fainting, medication, misjudging clearance, losing control of the vehicle, oversteering, the driver becoming ill and the driver weaving in traffic.

Of course, driver behavior is not the only reason for truck accidents either. Sometimes a defect in the vehicle occurs and causes a wreck.  In fact, in a total of 327 truck accidents in the state, a vehicle problem was a contributing factor to the crash. The vehicle factors that were responsible for accidents included problems with securing the load, tire or brake failure, a load that was too large, a defect in the tow hitch that caused the units to separate, a headlight or other lighting defect or a steering failure.

Uncovering the cause of the truck accident is very important since the person or company responsible for causing an accident is to blame for the crash and is responsible for covering all losses.

Truck Accident Injuries

Truck accidents can cause serious injury and often result in death. Truck accidents are more likely to be fatal because:

  • Trucks can be involved in accidents that differ from car wrecks in important ways. For example, trucks have a higher center of gravity and are more likely to roll over than passenger cars. When a truck tips over, other vehicles, motorists and pedestrians can be crushed. Trucks can also be involved in underride accidents where a car slides under a truck, or jackknife accidents where a tractor-trailer spins out at a sideways angle.
  • Trucks are much larger than passenger cars. Large trucks are generally defined as those weighing 10,000 pounds or more. However, trucks and tractor-trailers can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Since the average car just weighs between 4,000 and 6,000 pounds, passenger vehicles are significantly outweighed and provide little protection from the force and impact of a truck crash.
  • Truck crashes often occur at high speeds. Trucks often travel on highways and interstates as they move goods across the country. This means they are often traveling at 55 miles-per-hour or faster.  The faster a vehicle is going, the more dangerous an accident is and the greater the momentum and force of the crash.

When you or a loved one suffers a serious truck injury, you may be concerned about how your medical costs will be covered or about what will happen to you if you can no longer work or if the family’s breadwinner was killed in the wreck. Fortunately, while it may be small comfort, the laws in will ensure that you are taken care of if someone else was to blame for a truck accident that hurt you.

A Truck Accident Attorney Can Help

After a truck accident happensyou have the right to file a personal injury claim against the truck driver who was negligent or careless and who caused the crash to occur. However, the truck driver may not be the best or only defendant to make a claim against since trucking companies often have significantly more money and insurance coverage than individual drivers.

Trucking companies can be held legally liable and made to compensate the victims of truck accidents if the company was negligent in any way, such as by failing to enforce driver safety rules or failing to use good hiring practices. Trucking companies can also be held responsible for the acts of their employees under special legal rules called vicarious liability. Essentially, vicarious liability means that the truck driver acts on behalf of the company and thus the driver’s negligence is the company’s negligence.

A truck accident attorney can help you identify all responsible parties who may be required to compensate you for your losses.

Knowing who to take legal action against is just one important issue when making a truck accident claim. A truck accident attorney can help you identify all responsible parties who may be required to compensate you for your losses. An accident lawyer can also work to get you full compensation by either negotiating a settlement with the driver/trucking company OR by going to court and convincing a judge or jury to award you damages.

There are different skills involved in negotiating a settlement and in going to court and proving a case. Clients who are represented by Becker Law Office are always represented by the attorney they need at each step in a truck accident claim. That’s because Becker Law Office actually gets you representation with two firms instead of just one.

Becker Law Office will put together a legal team with top trial lawyers from Bubalo Goode Sales & Cronen who have been recognized among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Kentucky.  Your legal team will ensure that you have professional representation and that you get the compensation your claim deserves.

To learn more about how Becker Law Office can help you or to schedule a free consultation with our truck accident lawyers, give us a call or contact us online today.  From our offices in Louisville and Lexington we handle claims across Kentucky, Southern Indiana and Tennessee.

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Disclaimer: This website has been prepared solely for the purpose of providing information about Becker Law Office PLC and the services it provides. The website has been compiled in good faith by Becker Law Office PLC. Some of the information may now be incomplete or may have fallen out of date. The material contained in this website should not be construed as legal advice, or as establishing an attorney-client relationship.

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