One of the biggest hurdles to a personal injury lawsuit is determining liability for the accident. Liability in Florence truck accidents can be difficult because the employer and insurance company of the at-fault trucker will try to deny responsibility. This is the easiest way for an insurance company to protect their bottom line and increase their profits.
Our experienced and aggressive truck accident attorneys will use our investigative skills and network of experts to establish liability and maximize the recovery on behalf of the injured individual.
Holding a Party Liable for a Truck Accident
The at-fault truck driver is individually liable for the crash. Assuming that the driver is working for an employer, then the truck company would also be vicariously liable through respondeat superior.
Those are legal principles that will hold the employer liable for the employee’s actions, so long as those actions are done within the course and scope of employment. The truck driver is individually liable and the trucking company covers it on behalf of the individual driver.
A lawyer will also explore direct-action claims against the employer due to the employer’s negligence in hiring, training, retaining, or supervising the truck driver. The Commonwealth of Kentucky allows an injured party to pursue a claim directly against the trucking company for negligent hiring, supervising, training, and retention practices. If the truck driver is not qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle, the liability can fall on their employer.
Trucking accidents are unique because they frequently involve catastrophic injuries where the injured party might have no recollection of the crash. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules that apply directly to these employers and its employees. You need a lawyer who is well-versed with the FMCSA and its rules.
Depending upon the nature and extent of our client’s injuries, it can sometimes be difficult to prove liability on the trucking company and its driver. This is particularly true when our client is severely injured and does not have any independent recollection of the crash itself. Our team of lawyers will fully investigate this crash and attempt to locate dash cam videos. Dash cam is a crucial piece of video evidence that can eliminate any doubts as to who was at fault for causing the crash.
If dash cam video is not available, our truck accident team will rely upon the police, independent witnesses and accident reconstruction experts to establish liability. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the crash and apply our vast knowledge and experience of the federal rules to establish the trucking company was negligent in causing the subject collision.
Trucks Pulling onto the Side of the Road
One truck accident issue that has become prevalent in Florence is trucks that are pulling over and parking on the side of the road (which is prohibited under Kentucky law and under the standard of the trucking industry). Trucks that are parked or stopped on the shoulder pose a significant threat to motorists. It is dangerous for a truck to pull over onto the shoulder. It is dangerous for the truck to be stopped or parked on the shoulder. Likewise, it is extremely dangerous when the truck attempts to merge off the shoulder onto the highway.
Although this is a regular occurred in Kentucky, it is against Kentucky law and violates the standards in the trucking industry. When a truck is parked on the shoulder of the highway, it is important to ask WHY the truck was stopped there. Most of the time, an experienced truck driver can find another place to park with adequate training and advanced planning. Typically, it is a new, inexperienced driver who pulls onto the side of the highway.
Our team of experienced truck crash lawyers has been successful in litigating these issues and getting full compensation for our clients even when the initial facts do not look favorable.
Factors That Can Affect Liability
Speed is often a factor and lawyers are sometimes able to download the electronic control module (ECM). This is a black box that gives a clear reading of the speed of the vehicle for five (5) seconds prior to the crash, whether the driver had a seatbelt on or not, and whether they have attempted to turn or take any evasive maneuver.
The ECM data is critical in these types of crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rules and Regulations (FMSCR) is the “trucking Bible” and is a publication of federal laws that commercial motor vehicles must abide by. Having a lawyer who is familiar with these FMCSRs is critical because there are a lot of collision cases where there does not seem to be a technical violation at first glance. By using their knowledge of the FMCSR, a Florence lawyer can establish liability for the truck driver or trucking company if they violated any of the regulations.
Speak to a Florence Attorney About Truck Accident Liability
Commercial entities are skilled at trying to get injury claims dismissed. A determined lawyer will not let negligent truckers or companies avoid responsibility. Contact us for legal advice regarding liability in Florence truck accidents.