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.
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:
Kentucky keeps data on how truck crashes occur. According to their 2013 Traffic Collision Facts:
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 accidents can cause serious injury and often result in death. Truck accidents are more likely to be fatal because:
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.
After a truck accident happens, you 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.
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.