What You Need to Know About Truck Accidents
Kentucky Truck Accident Lawyers Helping Clients Statewide
Motor vehicle accidents can cause permanent debilitating injuries and wrongful death, but collisions involving large trucks present an enhanced risk to others on the road. These forty-ton vehicles may weigh as much as 25 times more than a small passenger car. The physics of collisions between vehicles with such a substantial weight disparity predictably means that those in passenger vehicles tend to suffer the most serious injuries in trucking collisions.
In multi-vehicle accidents involving semi-trucks where someone suffers permanent debilitating injury, the debilitated party is an occupant of the other vehicle more than 95 percent of the time. Because big-rig collision pose such a serious danger of causing catastrophic injury to other motorists, our Lexington truck accident attorneys at Goeing Goeing & McQuinn PLLC have provided answers to common questions about these potentially life-altering accidents. If you were hurt by a big rig on the I-75 or another busy street, call (859) 534-9327 right away.
How common are collisions involving truck accidents?
During a recent twelve month period, more than half a million trucks were involved in collisions, resulting in over 100,000 people being injured and 5,000 fatalities according to PR Newswire. These numbers appear to be on the rise as the number of fatalities increased by two-thirds from the previous year. Further, industry estimates indicated that the number of large trucks traveling in the U.S. increased by twenty percent during 2012. This increase in the number of tractor-trailers would be expected to result in a proportional increase in trucking accidents.
How does truck accident litigation differ from car accident litigation?
The trucking industry expects litigation involving semi-truck collisions so trucking companies are prepared when an accident occurs. There are many trucking collisions where the trucking company has investigators on the scene at the same time that emergency response teams and law enforcement agencies are investigating. Violations of trucking industry regulations are the most typical basis for liability in a trucking case so trucking accident injury attorneys must take prompt action to prevent evidence of such violations from being lost. The trucking company may repair the big-rig or repair brakes that have not been inspected as required. In some cases, a commercial carrier may even place the semi-truck back into operation so that information stored on the tractor-trailer's event recorder, which is like a black boxes on an airplane, is lost and unavailable as evidence of fault or causation.
What agencies are responsible for regulating the trucking industry?
The primary agency responsible for regulating the trucking industry at the federal level is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) whereas multiple agencies share this responsibility in Kentucky. Many collisions involving 18-wheelers are caused by the disregard of safety regulations enacted by these agencies.
Some of most common types of regulatory violations that cause trucking accidents include:
- Failure to conduct inspection and maintenance of tractor-trailers
- Violation of anti-fatigue rules (i.e. hours of service rules)
- Improper loading or overloading of semi-trucks
- Exceeding speed limits or violating other Kentucky traffic laws
- Lack of compliance with drug and alcohol screening requirements
- Inadequate screening, training or supervision of big-rig drivers
- Unsafe route selection including curvy mountain roads with steep grades
What role do driver logbooks play in trucking accident litigation in Kentucky?
Because driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of semi-truck crashes, driver logbooks that document behind the wheel time, as well as other on-duty time, are often critical in proving that a collision was attributable to driver fatigue. However, these logs are often inaccurate and manipulated so that other evidence must be used to verify the accuracy of the logbook. Our experienced truck accident attorneys typically review data from a big-rig's black box, fuel and lodging receipts, tire purchase receipts, email correspondence and other information to expose inconsistencies in a driver logbook.
Get Representation from Lexington Truck Accident Attorneys
While we have attempted to provide helpful information to victims of tractor-trailer accidents in Lexington and the rest of Kentucky, the best way to obtain more specific information is to speak with one of our knowledgeable truck accident lawyers at Goeing Goeing & McQuinn PLLC. Our experienced attorneys offer a free consultation so that we can evaluate your claim and identify the appropriate parties to hold financially responsible for your injuries or loss of a loved one.
To learn more about your legal options and pursue just compensation, call our firm at (859) 534-9327 today! We offer free case evaluations to get you started.