Even without any cargo on board, the average commercial truck is larger and almost 25 times heavier than the average commuter car. This means that an impact between these two types of vehicles often causes more harm to the occupants of the smaller vehicle. Despite this, far too many truck drivers and trucking companies that operate in Kentucky fail to act as carefully and safely as they should.
After any roadway accident involving a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle, getting assistance from a Florence truck accident lawyer could make a massive difference in your odds of comprehensive civil recovery. Identifying the right party to demand compensation from, securing all of the potential evidence, utilizing the appropriate experts, and accounting for all recoverable damages, can be uniquely challenging for an injured person or their family. It could be almost impossible without guidance from a skilled personal injury attorney with decades of experience handling claims like yours. Allow our firm to handle the insurance claims while you focus on getting the necessary medical treatment to make a full recovery.
Who Could Be Legally Responsible for a Truck Wreck?
Like in any motor vehicle accident, it is possible for a commercial truck driver to bear civil liability for the consequences of their own reckless or careless actions. However, even if a wreck is the direct consequence of a truck driver speeding, changing lanes without signaling, or not checking their blind spots properly, the truck driver’s employer is typically liable for the driver’s negligent actions.
Employers, including trucking companies, are vicariously liable for their employees’ actions when the negligent acts occur within the course and scope of the employee’s job. Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, the motor carrier is required to carry at least $750,000 in insurance to cover losses caused by its employees. In some cases, the motor carrier may have been negligent in the hiring, training, entrustment, supervision, and retention of the truck driver. This creates a separate cause of action; and an injured victim can hold the trucking company liable for its role in contributing to the crash.
For example, a motor carrier may hire an inexperienced driver who has never operated a commercial motor vehicle before. The motor carrier may offer a brief training course, then allows the truck driver to drive cross-country with little to no guidance. Some motor carriers and their drivers ignore hours of service requirements imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rules. Put simply, far too many motor carriers prioritize profits over safety.
Alternatively, liability for truck accidents may sometimes lie with third parties like:
- Suppliers who did not secure a truck’s cargo or loaded it with too much weight
- Mechanics who did not perform appropriate maintenance on a truck
- Manufacturers that provided defective vehicle components, especially the braking component
- Another driver who caused an otherwise careful truck driver to lose control
A Florence truck accident attorney will review the unique circumstances leading to a crash and determine the best course of action for financial recovery might be. Insurance companies generally employ teams of investigators and lawyers who are on site within hours, searching for any piece of evidence which will support the truck driver’s version of how the accident occurred. Our lawyers can match that aggressiveness and help you maximize the value of your bodily injury trucking claim.
The Causes of Trucking Accidents
The most common factors involved in trucking accidents include mechanical failures on the commercial truck, truck driver fatigue, distracted driving, impaired driving, or reckless driving. Driver fatigue is more common than most people want to believe. Although the trucking industry is highly regulated, many truckers get behind the wheel while severely fatigued.
Federal guidelines mandate drivers should drive no more than ten hours at a stretch before taking a break; however not all drivers consistently follow these guidelines. The trucking company’s bottom line is dependent upon getting loads delivered quickly, so they often turn a blind eye to their truckers who exceed their hours of service. Such accidents lead to catastrophic injuries such as brain trauma, spinal cord damage, and limb amputations.
Recovering for Compensable Losses
Unfortunately, even truck accidents that occur at low speeds can cause devastating harm to the individuals involved, totaling their vehicles and often leading to significant physical injuries with long-lasting consequences. Because of this, it is crucial to take a long-term approach to recovery, since short-term damages like emergency medical bills and car replacement costs rarely cover the total harm from the incident.
A truck crash lawyer in Florence could provide help valuating and seeking damages for future income loss, lost enjoyment of life, physical and emotional pain, and psychological trauma like PTSD.
Talk to a Florence Truck Accident Attorney Today
Commercial truckers have an even greater responsibility to act safely behind the wheel than other drivers, due to how much bigger their vehicles are compared to others on the road. When they or their employer violate their duty of care and cause an accident, you should not just accept your injuries and losses without fighting for compensation.
A highly-qualified Florence truck accident lawyer will launch a full investigation into the crash, including obtaining witness statements and securing crucial evidence. We will take the depositions of the truck driver and the trucking company’s corporate representatives. We will handle all of the insurance paperwork, collect your bills and records, and engage in settlement discussions with your input. This will allow you to focus on your health and recovery while our lawyers fight for you. Schedule a private consultation by calling today.