Lexington Truck Accident Lawyer
Lexington residents who have been hurt or lost loved ones in commercial truck accidents need a lawyer they can trust.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC understand how to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions while also protecting your rights as a victim of this type of crash.
Our law firm has recovered millions of dollars from insurance companies on behalf of our clients, including victims and families that were not compensated by the responsible party's insurer after being seriously injured or killed in these types of collisions.
Our Lexington, KY personal injury law firm offers free consultations so that you can learn about your legal options without having to worry about paying us for advice first.
Call our law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today if you want experienced representation from attorneys who provide legal advice on how to seek compensation after tractor-trailer accidents.
Our Truck Accident Injury Attorneys Fight for Our Client's Rights
Trucking accidents are associated with many injuries and fatalities every year.
In addition, any collision involving a large commercial truck can cause serious harm because of how big and heavy these vehicles are compared to other types of cars and semi-tractor-trailers on the road.
Many factors can contribute to a truck/car accident, such as driver error, dangerous road conditions, overloaded or improperly loaded trucks, and defective truck parts.
National and Kentucky Traffic Accidents involving Commercial Trucks
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2012, there were 3,964 people killed in crashes involving commercial trucks. Of those fatalities, 792 occurred in accidents where a tractor-trailer was involved.
The data revealed that out of the serious injuries and fatalities:
- Approximately 15% of the fatalities were pedestrians, bicyclists, or occupants in other vehicles
- 70% of the fatalities occurred when the truck driver lost control of the vehicle
- 48% of the fatalities occurred at non-intersection locations
- 79% of the tanker trucks had a rollover
- 18% had an under-ride collision
Most fatalities occurred in large truck crashes that involved only the truck and not other vehicles. Truck drivers losing control were a significant factor in most fatal crashes.
Data reveals that Kentucky ranked 14th nationwide for commercial truck fatalities, with 43 deaths.
Statistics show that fatalities and severe injuries in Kentucky and the Lexington area involved:
- 23% were pedestrians, bicyclists, or occupants in other vehicles
- 64% of the fatalities occurred when the truck driver lost control of the vehicle
- 54% of the fatalities occurred at non-intersection locations
- 32% had an under-ride collision
Truck accidents in Kentucky account for 8.4 percent of all traffic fatalities, while they only account for 5 percent of the licensed vehicles in Kentucky.
The Trucking Industry and Federal / State Trucking Regulations
All trucking companies in the United States must follow the rules and regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to ensure public safety.
These laws help regulate the most dangerous vehicles on city streets and highways, crisscrossing the nation.
All truck drivers must follow HOS (hours of service) regulations that require:
- No truck driver shall operate their vehicle for more than 11 hours in any 14 hours
- A truck driver may not operate their vehicle for more than 70 hours within a given seven consecutive days
- No truck driver shall drive more than 8 hours without a break of 30 minutes
- All trucks must be inspected by a certified inspector at least once every year
- Truck drivers are responsible for following the regulations that protect public safety, including any equipment inspections, safety checks, and drug testing
Any violation of these rules and regulations could result in a civil penalty, DOT roadside inspection, or worse, the revocation of the truck driver's commercial license.
The trucking company also has a legal obligation to teach their truck drivers about the rules and regulations governing commercial truck driving, hours of service, and how to operate their vehicle safely.
Even if a truck driver does not cause an accident, their breach of duty might still be the cause of your damages, and you could file a claim against the trucking company.
Contributing Factors That Cause Kentucky Truck Accidents
Data released by the Kentucky Department of Transportation reveals that in 2010, 7,881 accidents involved large trucks. These accidents resulted in the loss of 10 lives and 2,270 injuries.
The major contributing factors of most Kentucky truck accidents in the last few years have involved:
- Driver fatigue: Many interstate and intrastate truckers drive long hours crisscrossing Kentucky's highways, freeways, city streets, and major metropolitan areas. The tired truckers often failed to maintain control of their vehicles, crashing into others.
- Driving impaired: Truckers impaired by alcohol or drugs are a major hazard on the roads. These drivers endanger their own lives and the lives of other motorists on the road.
- Distracted driving: Truckers who get distracted easily by using cell phones and texting while behind the wheel are contributing factors to many truck accidents.
- Speeding: Truckers often drive faster than the posted speed limits, especially at night or when fewer cars are on the road. It can lead to dangerous conditions and deadly accidents.
- Poor maintenance: Truckers who do not properly maintain their vehicles are more likely to have accidents. It can be caused by many factors, including mechanical problems and the use of defective parts.
- A lack of training: Federal regulations require trucking companies to Adequately train their drivers to follow federal and state rules and regulations. A failure to train employees places the public at risk of serious injury and death.
- Driving too fast for road/weather conditions: Truckers who do not adjust the speed of their vehicles to match the weather and roadway conditions cause accidents.
- Faulty equipment: Trucking companies who do not properly inspect their vehicles for mechanical problems can often lead to serious accidents. Defective parts on trucks have been known to cause accidents.
- Weather conditions: Poor weather, such as rain, snow, and ice, can often lead to deadly truck accidents. Truckers need to keep these conditions in mind when driving.
- Balding tires: Tires that are worn thin pose a danger to truckers. They also put the public at risk of large truck crashes and fatalities. Trucking companies need to conduct safety inspections to ensure that their drivers operate safe vehicles.
- Failure to yield: Not yielding the right-of-way can cause devastating truck accidents. Often, truckers fail to see smaller cars when turning or changing lanes.
- Misjudging clearance: Some truckers fail to recognize the height of their vehicle when passing under bridges, viaducts, and elevated railroad tracks, shearing off the top of their trucker trailer and placing other motorists at risk.
Inattentive truckers, those who violate traffic laws, and trucks with faulty equipment are often at fault in Lexington, KY truck accidents.
Those injured in these accidents should immediately contact an experienced Kentucky truck accident attorney to protect their rights.
Nearly all of these accidents involve a commercial truck that might include:
- Tractor-trailer truck
- Tanker truck
- Flatbed truck
- Heavy truck
- Extra duty truck
- Delivery truck
- Produce truck
- Container truck
- Dump truck
- Garbage truck
Truck accidents can result in serious injury or death to motorists and other victims on the road.
Mechanical Failures That Cause Truck Accidents
According to the transportation safety Board, more than 400,000 crashes involve large trucks in a year. Most of these accidents occurred due to the following faulty parts on the truck:
- Malfunctioning steering and suspension: A lack of maintenance can lead to a malfunctioning steering and suspension system that could cause the trucker to lose control of the vehicle.
- Bad brakes and tire failure: When the brake pads are worn out or tread on tires is too thin, it can cause an accident. Tires with a lack of tread can easily explode at high speeds, spreading chunks and strips of rubber and steel and the pathway of oncoming traffic.
- Lack of preventive maintenance: Semi-tractor-trailers are huge machines. These need to be regularly inspected for faulty parts, serviced, and maintained so that the driver can control the truck safely. A failure to do so can cause an accident.
- Defective components: When truck companies use defective parts on their trucks, it can often lead to accidents. These faulty parts can include brakes, steering, and the suspension system.
It is also important for truckers to be aware of the weather conditions. For example, it impacts how a truck driver controls their vehicle when raining.
Driver Qualifications to Operate Commercial Trucks
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations play an important role in truck safety, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). These regulations are designed to minimize the chances of a truck accident.
Some of these regulations include:
- Driver qualifications: Drivers must be properly licensed and have the necessary experience and skills required to drive a commercial truck
- A good driving record: Truckers with a good driving record are less likely to have an accident
- Hazardous materials training: Drivers must receive proper training for handling hazardous materials
- Drug and alcohol testing: Drivers must pass drug and alcohol tests
How to Avoid Truck Accidents
Motorists can do a few things to reduce the chances of getting involved in a truck accident.
Some ways to avoid these collisions include:
- Stay alert while driving around trucks
- Be patient when in traffic near trucks
- If you can't see the driver, he might not be able to see you
- When changing lanes, make sure the trucker can see you
- Keep sufficient distance between you and the semi-truck to ensure there is adequate time to come to a complete stop quickly
- Never follow too closely behind a truck
If you are struck by a commercial truck, you should immediately contact local law enforcement or Kentucky State Police. Your attorney will need to obtain a copy of the police report to determine who is at fault.
Many accidents resulting in injuries, fatalities, and property damage could have been prevented if the truckers had properly maintained their vehicles.
Drivers are responsible for regularly checking the air pressure in their tires, the oil level, and the brakes. By doing so, they can often prevent serious accidents.
Truck Accidents Caused by Drunk or Drugged Drivers
Tractor-trailer crashes in Kentucky involving drugged and drunk drivers are all too common.
Unfortunately, these Lexington truck accidents are often caused by individuals driving under the influence rather than equipment failure.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver error is the leading cause of truck wrecks.
Many commercial truck drivers take medications and other supplements to stay awake when attempting to meet a deadline or stand schedule. Unfortunately, these medications often impair their judgment, leaving them to lose control, causing a wreck.
In 2016, a report released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) showed that almost half of all truckers involved in fatal collisions tested positive for one or more drugs.
Crashing Commercial Trucks Through Fatigue and Falling Asleep
The NTSB report also concludes that 78% of truckers crash through fatigue and/or falling asleep behind the wheel. These crashes often result in injuries and fatalities.
When individuals are killed in Kentucky due to a commercial truck accident, their family members can file wrongful death claims against the driver who caused the crash. This claim seeks compensation for funeral costs, medical bills, and other damages.
Contact our Louisville truck accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today if you or a loved one has been injured due to a drugged or drunk truck driver in Kentucky. Our legal team will review your case to determine your eligibility for filing
How a Lexington Law Firm Establishes Liability
While a high percentage of truck crashes are deemed the trucker's fault, not all are. In some cases, insurance companies providing coverage for semi-trucks will attempt to shift blame onto the victim to reduce the amount of compensation they will need to pay to resolve the claim.
In these cases, Lexington truck accident attorneys will fight on behalf of the accident victims to establish liability to prove their case.
These actions often involve:
- Visiting the accident scene to gather additional information and evidence
- Hiring accident reconstructionist experts who can analyze skid marks and other identifying features to precisely determine what happened
- Dialoguing with the insurance company to determine how they plan to resolve the truck accident claim
- Gathering evidence that provides insight into the truck driver's history
- Gathering information on the driver and trucking company
- Filing a lawsuit, when necessary, to ensure that the victims are fully compensated for their losses
Accidents involving commercial trucks can be the most destructive and devastating. Victims of these accidents may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and vehicle damage.
It is important to have an experienced Lexington truck accident lawyer on your side to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Call our law office today for a free consultation.
What to Do After Being Involved in a Big Truck Accident
The steps truckers and accident victims take in a catastrophic and fatal accident involving a large truck can significantly help those injured.
Our Lexington truck accident lawyers suggest that those involved in the crash or witnessed what happened:
- Call 911 and report the collision to authorities, asking for assistance in an ambulance to be sent to the crash site
- Assess your condition and the health of those around you, preparing for emergency medical technicians to arrive
- Ask to be transported to the local emergency room for medical care even if you suspect that your injuries are minor (only a competent doctor with the best diagnostic tools can accurately assess your condition and evaluate the extent of your injuries)
- Ask someone you trust to gather evidence and take photographs of the crash scene to be used to support your truck accident claim
- If possible, avoid speaking in-depth about the accident with anyone other than a police officer or trained emergency medical technician
- Talk to a Lexington truck accident attorney to initiate accident investigations into your case and determine which party was at fault
The next steps in filing a truck/car accident claim depend on the circumstances of the crash. A legal professional who has experience helping victims of truck crashes can review your case and decide on the best course of action.
Common Commercial Truck Injuries
A fully loaded tractor-trailer was traveling on a free where city street colliding with a passenger vehicle, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian can cause catastrophic injuries.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the most common commercial truck injuries requiring medical attention include:
- Spinal cord injuries: The forceful impact of a moving truck can cause significant damage to the spinal cord, leaving the injured victim with total or partial paralysis, including paraplegia, quadriplegia, or tetraplegia.
- Traumatic brain injuries: A truck accident can cause internal or external head injuries that lead to permanent or temporary cognitive impairment.
- Lacerations, bleeding, and broken bones: Some victims of collisions may suffer various physical ailments resulting from the impact of a large vehicle against their bodies.
- Internal organ damage: Puncture wounds and blunt force trauma to the abdominal cavity can cause significant damage to internal organs, tissue, bones, and muscles.
- Internal bleeding: Ruptured blood vessels and bleeding in the brain, spinal cord, and other body areas can lead to serious or fatal medical conditions.
- Crushing injuries: The heavyweight of vehicles in rollover and tip-over accidents can crush bones, tissue, skin, and muscle.
- Severe burns: Many ruptured tanker trucks and passenger vehicle gas tanks explode on contact in catastrophic truck accidents, leading to severe burns.
- Dismemberment (amputation): Many victims of large commercial truck crashes must have limbs amputated.
- Death: Many victims of large truck accidents are killed instantly or pronounced dead after arriving at the hospital. If you lost a loved one in an accident involving a semi-truck, contact us today for more information on how to file a wrongful death claim.
Was your loved one involved in a recent collision with a large commercial truck? If so, call our law office today for a free consultation to discuss fair and full compensation.
Our legal staff will help you recover financial damages to pay for medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and emotional trauma.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
There is a staggeringly high incident rate of commercial truck accident fatalities in Kentucky, especially in the Lexington and Louisville metropolitan areas.
Under Kentucky law, surviving family members who lost a loved one in a crash have the legal right to file a commercial truck accident lawsuit, citing wrongful death. Usually, qualifying family members include the surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, and others.
The financial compensation they might receive could include:
- Hospital cost of medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Future lost earnings
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Pain and mental anguish suffered by the decedent before passing
- The family's pain and suffering
- Loss of familial support
- Punitive damages, if applicable
If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, contact a personal injury lawyer today for a free case evaluation. Our Lexington truck accident attorneys will discuss the legal options available to you and help you receive the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Hiring a Lexington Truck Accident Lawyer to Resolve a Personal Injury Claim
Were you involved in a trucking accident, or did you lose a loved one through another's negligence?
If so, are you seeking financial compensation from all the defendant's insurance companies to ensure you recover financially?
The Lexington truck accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, are legal advocates to injured victims seeking justice to hold those responsible financially accountable. We fight aggressively on behalf of our clients and can help your family too.
Call our personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today For immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Our personal injury lawyers accept all truck accident cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This promise ensures you will pay nothing until your Lexington, KY truck accident lawyer resolves your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.