A Kentucky Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help Accident Victims Obtain Compensation
Truck accidents can be deadly. Fully loaded commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and the average passenger vehicle weighs just over 4,000 pounds. So, when a typical passenger vehicle collides with a large commercial truck, it’s like putting a flyweight fighter into the octagon to face a heavyweight.
If you have been involved in an accident that includes a large commercial truck, don’t hesitate to contact a Kentucky truck accident lawyer at Erdmann & Stumbo, PLLC. We understand the unique legal circumstances involving truck accidents and will fight to help you recover financial compensation.
Types of Truck Accidents in Kentucky
Truck accidents come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the most common types of truck accidents include:
- Rear-End Crashes. Rear-end crashes involving two passenger vehicles most often result in relatively minor injuries, such as airbag bruising or neck whiplash injuries. Rear-end truck crashes, however, tend to be much more severe. When rear-end truck crashes occur, the massive force of a heavy truck smashing into the rear end of a typical passenger vehicle often results in severe injuries or even death. Often, the cause of rear-end accidents can be traced back to a distracted truck driver, who is fatigued and sometimes impaired by drugs or alcohol. In other cases, especially when a truck driver is behind on a deadline, the driver may speed, drive recklessly, or follow another vehicle too closely.
- Jackknife Accidents. A “jackknife” occurs when a large commercial truck and its trailer go into a skid, and the trailer swings out and stops to form a 90-degree angle with the truck. The truck driver may be speeding, may need to stop quickly because of traffic, lose control on a slick surface, or use caution when approaching a curve. A truck driver facing a potential jackknife accident can lock the steering axle brakes, lock the drive axles, or lock the trailer axles.
- Defective Maintenance or Equipment. All vehicles need routine maintenance and care, especially commercial trucks. Unlike passenger vehicles, whose owners may choose to ignore routine maintenance, federal and state laws require commercial trucks to be inspected and maintained. Commercial trucks are more mechanically complicated than most other vehicles, so it’s no surprise that commercial truck maintenance and repairs are legally regulated.
- Underride Collisions. Underride collisions are those accidents that happen when a smaller vehicle crashes into the rear or side of a commercial truck, and the smaller vehicle gets stuck underneath the trailer. These are particularly devastating, as the driver and/or passengers in the smaller vehicle often don’t survive. Even if they do survive, they commonly suffer life-changing injuries.
What to Do After a Kentucky Truck Accident
If you are involved in a truck accident or any type of vehicle accident, it’s important that you stay at the scene of the accident until help arrives. Leaving the scene of an accident is legally and sometimes criminally prohibited.
If you need to move your car for safety or traffic reasons, safely move your vehicle to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights and contact 911 if anyone is injured, and contact local law enforcement in any case. If you are able, get contact and insurance information from all other parties involved. Make a note of the accident location and the weather conditions at the time of the accident.
Specifically, gather at least the following types of information:
- The truck’s license plate number, make and model,
- The truck driver’s license number and employer ID,
- The names and addresses of all drivers and passengers involved,
- The insurance company and policy numbers of all drivers involved, and
- The contact information of any witnesses.
It’s always best to take pictures and/or videos of the accident scene, surroundings, and damage to any vehicle involved. Do not speak with anyone about the accident other than providing contact and insurance information. Be sure to get a copy of the accident report.
In these situations, your first call (after 911) should be to a Kentucky truck accident lawyer at Erdmann & Stumbo, PLLC. We will provide you with immediate guidance and relieve you of the stress of the accident.
Truck vs. Motorcycle Accidents in Kentucky
When a motorcycle collides with a large commercial truck, the consequences can be particularly catastrophic for the motorcycle rider. It’s possibly the worst type of accident that can occur on the roadways. Avoidance is the only actual positive outcome for the rider. Motorcycle riders can avoid these types of accidents by following a few simple safety rules:
- Be Properly Licensed. Motorcycle licensing regulations vary from state to state, but all states require a motorcycle license along with your automobile driver’s license. In any event, it’s always practical to take a motorcycle rider education course to be sure to have the specific education and experience it takes to ride a motorcycle safely.
- Practice. For new riders, it will take time to learn how to handle your bike. Riding is nothing like driving a car. Practice on deserted streets or empty parking lots until riding feels natural to you.
- Wear Proper Protection. Always wear a DOT-approved (U.S. Department of Transportation) helmet. Bright-colored leather or heavy denim will provide the most protection from road burn. Passengers should also wear proper equipment.
- Ride Sober. Never partake in drugs or alcohol whatsoever before or during your ride. It’s against the law and simply too dangerous.
- Drive Defensively. Assume other drivers don’t see you. This is particularly important for avoiding accidents with trucks since trucks have more significant blind spots than most other vehicles.
- Always Scan the Road. Constantly scan the road ahead and off to the sides for potential hazards. The more you can avoid riding anywhere close to a commercial truck, the better.
- Use Your Headlights. This is the law in some states, and it makes your bike much easier to see. Again, this is critical when riding near big trucks.
The Most Dangerous Roads in Kentucky
Partly because of its central location, Kentucky has its share of dangerous roadways, which are particularly hazardous when driving close to large commercial trucks. Some of the most hazardous roads in Kentucky include:
- Interstate-75. I-75 runs north to south in eastern Kentucky, beginning at Williamsburg, through Lexington, and then through Covington and on into Tennessee. Thousands of accidents occur on I-75 every year. Not all are fatal, but injuries sustained in truck accidents are particularly serious. Because I-75 is a “pass-through” roadway, many of the accidents involve drivers, not from Kentucky who are unfamiliar with the interstate.
- Interstate-64. I-64 runs west to east through Kentucky, beginning in Louisville and running through Lexington, passing through Ashland and into West Virginia. Many accidents involve drivers who are just passing through Kentucky. Still, I-64 is used daily by Kentucky residents going to and from work which makes this roadway particularly susceptible to truck accidents, especially with trucks that are making daily runs.
- Interstate-65. I-65 is historically ranked as one of the most dangerous interstates in the U.S. and is a regular member of the 100 most dangerous interstates in the country. Contributing to the dangerousness of I-65 is its high fatality rate, caused by factors such as commercial truck-to-car ratios, construction, and high speeds.
- The Bluegrass Parkway. Officially named the Martha Layne Collins Blue Grass Parkway, travels west to east and is often used by drivers to avoid the traffic on the city roads in Louisville. The parkway begins at I-65 and ends at US-60, running through several Kentucky counties. Its high traffic rate leads to many accidents, including trucking accidents.
How a Kentucky Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Many people are reluctant, and sometimes with good reason, to go to court for anything. The legal process can be intimidating. As a result, after an accident with a truck, people often decide to accept an insurance low-ball settlement offer instead of pursuing legal action and therefore think they don’t need a lawyer. However, before making this decision, it’s important to understand how an experienced truck accident attorney can help.
First, even if you don’t go to court, a Kentucky truck accident lawyer at Erdmann & Stumbo, PLLC, can and will help you navigate the sometimes treacherous claims process with the insurance company involved. Our experienced legal team will collect the evidence you will need to support your claim. We will handle any correspondence, represent your interests, and negotiate with all parties involved to ensure you receive fair compensation. In this way, you are free to focus on your recovery.
Second, it’s unlikely that you will know whether or not you should file a legal claim at the outset. You may not even know what your losses will be, as many injuries do not show symptoms until days, weeks, or even months after the accident. Typically, the decision to file a legal claim is only made after all other options have failed.
A skilled Kentucky Truck Accident Lawyer can proceed with any necessary legal action to assure you receive all of the compensation you’re entitled to if you cannot settle your claim fairly. We can help you recover the damages you are entitled to so you can focus on your recovery. Contact us today to speak to one of our experienced attorneys.