Louisville Truck Accident Lawyer
There are fewer things more terrifying than driving alongside an enormous 18-wheeler on the highway. The only thing scarier is one of those 18-wheelers cutting into your lane and forcing the vehicle under the trailer. As nightmarish of a scenario as that seems to be, these incidents, along with other serious truck accidents, affect Kentucky residents each year. Luckily, for those involved in such crashes, Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery are highly seasoned attorneys, ready to assist you in obtaining restitution for lost property and other damages that may have been sustained.
Why choose Hendy Johnson Vaughn Emery for your case?
In the aftermath of sustaining an injury in a truck accident, you need a Louisville personal injury attorney you can trust both personally and professionally. At Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery, our accident lawyers are ready to get to work on your case.
- We are committed to open and consistent communication with every client. This means that we will respond to all calls and inquiries within 24 hours. If you cannot meet with us at the office, we will come to you.
- We have an unparalleled track record of success and have secured billions of dollars for clients through favorable verdicts and settlements with insurance companies.
- Our team takes Louisville truck accident cases on a contingency basis, which means that we only collect legal fees after we secure the compensation our clients deserve.
Why do you need an attorney for this case?
One of the most important parts of being successful in a tractor-trailer or commercial vehicle crash case is collecting evidence and being able to properly interpret it. At Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery, our Louisville truck accident lawyers know from decades of experience the importance of collecting such evidence and exactly how it must be obtained in order to be used effectively in your case.
Our team is extremely well versed in the tactics of collecting crucial evidence that must be preserved and inspected immediately or else could be forever lost or destroyed. Such evidence includes:
- Digital driving logs
- Call logs that include the driver and dispatch
- Vehicle maintenance records
- Driving history
- Inspection the tractor and semi-trailer
- Inspecting the load
- Downloading the 18-wheeler’s electronic control module (ECM/”black box”)
- Downloading the truck’s telematics system
- Preserving the truck driver’s cell phone
- Inspecting roadway for evidence
- Obtaining the company’s driver history
- And many other critical pieces of evidence used in tractor-trailer crash cases
As your Louisville truck accident lawyers, we can preserve and collect all available evidence and submit it along with your claim to help establish fault and prove your losses. We are excellent storytellers who can build a compelling case against a truck driver, trucking company or another party on your behalf to obtain the best possible results.
Commercial truck facts and statistics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the federal agency tasked with regulating large commercial trucks in this country, though state agencies also provide various regulations. The FMCSA says that commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when they are fully loaded. At this weight, these vehicles can be incredibly dangerous in accidents.
According to data from the Kentucky Department of Transportation, there are more than 165,000 commercial trucks registered in the state. This does not include the thousands of other large commercial trucks that travel through our state on a daily basis. During the latest reporting in Kentucky, there were nearly 10,000 accidents involving large trucks. Out of these incidents, there were 94 fatal collisions and 1,411 injury collisions.
Federal Trucking Laws and Regulations
A unique element that is often involved in trucking accident cases is the application of federal trucking laws enforced by the FMCSA. Trucking companies and their drivers must obey numerous laws that are in place to enhance public safety. Unfortunately, many workers in the trucking industry cut corners and violate safety regulations to save time or money.
Trucking company rules and regulations include:
- Truck driver hours-of-service restrictions
- Truck driver hiring and training protocols
- Cargo loading, balance and securement rules
- Truck driver drug and alcohol testing
- Fleet vehicle inspection, maintenance and repair requirements
- Required truck equipment (and in proper operating condition)
- Required electronic logging devices
- Mandatory truck company recordkeeping
Breaking any of these federal laws can increase the odds of a catastrophic truck accident occurring. Our attorneys can conduct a comprehensive investigation of your Louisville truck accident case to determine if one or more parties violated an FMCSA regulation. If so, we can use proof of this violation as evidence to establish liability during your personal injury claim.
Most common truck accident injuries
There are many types of injuries that can occur in a truck accident. Commercial truck accidents are often catastrophic, meaning they result in permanent or life-changing injuries – most often for those in the smaller car. The size and weight disparities between a large truck and a passenger car can result in the car being crushed or obliterated in a collision. Our Louisville truck accident lawyers regularly help clients who have sustained the following in an accident:
- Spinal cord trauma (possible paralysis)
- Head injuries or traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
- Wrongful death
Many of these accidents involve multiple serious injuries for victims and can lead to tremendous pain and suffering, as well as long recovery times. It is not uncommon for truck accident victims to also sustain emotional and psychological injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our personal injury lawyers have years of experience helping clients file claims involving all of these physical and emotional injuries, among others.
Who can be held liable for a truck accident?
When discussing liability for a truck accident collision, it is helpful to look at the data provided by the state of Kentucky about how these incidents occur. While there are a number of potentially liable parties, there are many cases when a truck driver or trucking company is at fault. The following are regularly listed as causes in truck accident cases in Kentucky:
- Defective brakes
- Defective headlights
- Other lighting defects
- Steering failure
- Tire failure
- Tow hitch failure
- Overload/improper load
- Oversized load
It is up to truck drivers and trucking companies to regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles. Failing to do so is negligence and can cause serious harm to others on the roadway. Truck accidents caused by equipment failures and negligent fleet maintenance point to the liability of the trucking company. In other truck accident cases, truck drivers can be held liable. Examples include the following acts of negligence:
- Violating hours of service rules
- Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Driving while distracted by their phones or other devices
- Operating while fatigued
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Following too closely
- Driving aggressively or recklessly
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Failing to check blind spots
- Ignoring truck inspection requirements
- Operating the truck incorrectly
Driving a tractor-trailer is not the same as a standard motor vehicle. Large trucks require specialized licenses, knowledge, training and experience to operate safely.
All truck drivers should have their commercial driver’s licenses and be properly trained to operate the vehicles they are assigned to drive.
What Is Vicarious Liability?
Vicarious liability is a legal doctrine that often affects commercial truck accident cases. It refers to the legal responsibility that an employer has over its on-duty employees. If an employee behaves negligently within the course or scope of his or her employment and this causes injury or harm to another person, the employer could be held vicariously liable for damages.
Vicarious liability may apply to accident cases involving large trucks, even if the truck driver is an independent contractor and not technically an employee of the trucking company. The legal concept of vicarious liability can still apply and enable victims to hold the trucking company or corporation responsible for a truck accident. Vicarious liability may also apply if your accident was caused by another employee, such as a cargo loader or maintenance person.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
During a truck accident claim in Kentucky, you may face a defense known as comparative negligence. This defense claims that the injured party contributed to his or her own injuries. In Kentucky, the pure comparative negligence law states that a claimant’s fault for an accident or injury will not bar him or her from financial recovery.
However, if you are allocated a percentage of fault for the truck accident, your financial recovery will be diminished by an equal amount. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 for your losses but are assigned 10 percent of the fault for the crash, your award would be reduced by a matching 10 percent ($10,000), bringing it down to $90,000.
Since Kentucky uses a pure comparative negligence law, there is no limit on the amount of fault that can be allocated to a victim, short of 100 percent. Modified comparative negligence states, on the other hand, cap a victim’s percentage of fault (usually around 50 percent), after which the victim is ineligible for financial compensation.
How long do you have to file a truck accident claim?
Getting involved in an automobile accident in Kentucky, including a truck accident, will involve the state’s no-fault insurance. Drivers are first required to file a claim with their own insurance carrier to receive medical bill coverage through their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. If their medical bills exceed PIP, which is likely to be the case in a truck accident, victims will have up to two years after their last PIP payment to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party (truck driver or trucking company).
It is vital to get help from a Louisville truck accident attorney to help you understand the timelines in place to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your claim. These trucking companies have extensive insurance policies to provide coverage to injured parties.
How much compensation can you get for your case?
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident that was caused by the negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company, seek assistance from an attorney immediately. At Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery, we have extensive experience handling these types of cases, our injury lawyers use advanced accident reconstruction techniques to help investigate the accident and build a strong case. The total amount of compensation you receive will depend on several factors related to your case. However, our experienced truck accident lawyers regularly help clients obtain the following:
- Compensation for all medical bills related to the crash
- Lost wages and benefits if you cannot work while recovering
- General household expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Disability costs and accommodations
- Property damage repairs
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death damages, if applicable
- Possible punitive damages against the truck driver trucking company
Our attorneys will carefully review your case to determine how much it is potentially worth. Then, we will go up against one or multiple parties on your behalf to pursue maximum financial compensation for your past and future losses. We are committed to helping our clients obtain the compensation they need to move forward after devastating commercial truck accidents.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Louisville
It is important to take certain steps to protect your rights after a truck accident in Louisville. Although you may be dealing with serious or catastrophic injuries, do your best to take the following actions (or have a loved one take them for you):
- Call 911 to report the accident. Truck accidents are almost always serious enough to require mandatory reporting to the police under Kentucky law.
- Get immediate medical care. If you or anyone else involved in the crash is injured, request paramedics or go to a hospital without delay.
- Exchange information. Write down the truck driver’s name, a description of the truck, the license plate numbers and the driver’s insurance information.
- Gather evidence. If there are any witnesses, including vehicle passengers, write down their names and statements. Ask for your police report number, as well.
- Take photographs at the scene. Before you leave the scene of the crash, take pictures of your vehicle, the scene as a whole and any important details.
Once you have received medical care for your injuries and are ready to pursue financial compensation, contact our lawyers for a free case review.
Contact a Louisville Truck Accident Lawyer Today
After being injured in a truck accident, your life may never be the same. An attorney from Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery can help you rebuild your life as much as possible after a collision with an 18-wheeler. We will help you protect your rights and go up against a trucking company or insurance corporation in pursuit of justice.
When you need a Louisville truck accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling us at (502) 540 5700.
“Ron and staff were very compassionate, hard working and always quick to answer any questions or concerns I had. I would not hesitate to use them again.” – Melanie L.