Truck accidents often cause devastating, life-altering injuries. Even at relatively slow speeds, a fully loaded semi-truck weighing up to 80,000 pounds can do a massive amount of damage to a typical passenger vehicle. Severe trauma, emotional pain, and disability are sadly very common after wrecks.
Unfortunately, truck accident personal injury cases also tend to be incredibly complex and difficult. Trucking companies aggressively defend these cases and will do whatever it takes to avoid paying out a fair settlement. They may even conceal or destroy evidence that proves their company’s or driver’s negligence—unless you act quickly to stop them.
During this time of strife and pain, you need an experienced and passionate advocate on your side. The Louisville truck accident lawyers at Truman Law Office fight tirelessly to obtain the best results for people who have been injured in truck accidents. For a free case evaluation and to get answers to your truck accident questions, please call us at (502) 222-2222.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Some of the most common causes of tractor-trailer crashes are:
- Truck driver fatigue. Fatigue is extremely common among long-haul truckers due to long hours behind the wheel, and can impair a driver’s reaction time, coordination, and judgment.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition to alcohol and illegal drugs, prescription and over-the-counter drugs can impair a driver’s response times and decision-making.
- Distracted driving. In addition to texting while driving, truckers can be distracted because they’re eating, lost in thought, or checking their many navigation and communications screens.
- Unrealistic schedules. Drivers are often asked to travel more miles or complete more deliveries than they should. This can lead to driver fatigue, aggressive driving, and other unsafe practices.
- Overloaded cargo. The heavier the truck, the greater the stopping distance and the greater the risk of losing control of the vehicle. Cargo that has been improperly loaded can also make the trailer more susceptible to rollover accidents.
- Mechanical failure or defective truck parts. A commercial truck is a complex machine, and a mechanical failure (such as a brake failure or tire blowout) can cause sudden, catastrophic consequences.
- Inadequate maintenance. By law, commercial trucks are supposed to be inspected and serviced at regular intervals. However, trucking companies and their maintenance providers sometimes cut corners.
- Insufficient driver training. Trucking companies are sometimes so desperate for drivers that they will hire unqualified drivers, fail to properly train drivers, or allow drivers with a clear pattern of dangerous behavior to remain on the road.
- Dangerous or defective roads. Companies and governments don’t always build or properly maintain roads and driveways. They might be liable for this neglect.
While an accident could simply be the result of poor weather conditions or unpredictable events, most semi-truck accidents are preventable. In many of the scenarios listed above, the root cause can be traced back to the negligence of the truck driver or another responsible party.
Who Is Responsible for My Truck Crash?
Because there are so many people and companies involved in a trucking operation, multiple parties could potentially be responsible for the accident. They include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The owner of the truck (if it is someone other than the driver or the trucking company)
- The truck manufacturer (or a parts manufacturer)
- The maintenance provider
- The loading agent
- A bar or restaurant that knowingly overserved the truck driver
- Property owners
Because the various individuals and companies who may share accountability in truck accidents have their own insurance companies, insurance policies, and attorneys, it can be nearly impossible to receive fair financial compensation for your injuries without an experienced attorney on your side.
Trucking Companies Must Follow Strict Federal Trucking Regulations—But Often Don’t
Trucking cases can involve an additional layer of complexity related to industry regulations. The trucking industry is bound by strict laws regarding the driver’s operation hours, truck maintenance and cargo limitations, as well as other aspects of trucking. Unfortunately, when a driver or their boss attempts to dodge such regulations, an accident may result.
For example, truck drivers must obey certain rules related to how many hours in a row they can drive. If they don’t take a mandatory break after a certain number of hours, they would be in violation of state and federal trucking regulations. These particular “hours of service” regulations are in place to prevent drowsy driving, which impairs the ability to drive in a way similar to intoxication.
When truckers and trucking companies act negligently or fail to follow the rules, the evidence proving that negligence can often be found in driver and maintenance logs, truck computer data, and other places. However, trucking companies may attempt to hide incriminating evidence, and may be legally allowed to destroy records after a certain amount of time has passed.
Our Louisville truck accident attorneys have deep knowledge of the federal and state guidelines that regulate the trucking industry. We know the tricks that trucking companies use to avoid responsibility and can act quickly to protect and obtain key evidence.
We also work with accident reconstruction specialists, traffic safety experts, medical professionals, and other expert witnesses who can help us determine what happened, why it happened, and who was responsible. We are committed to helping injury victims recover the financial compensation they need and the justice they deserve.
Truck Accident Injuries Are Often Catastrophic
Because of their massive size and weight, trucks get involved in some of the most catastrophic accidents occurring on the nation’s roads. As the occupant of a much smaller vehicle, you can be very badly injured if you are involved in a crash.
The types of injuries caused by truck accidents vary widely, sometimes resulting in death. At the Karl Truman Law Office, our clients have faced life-altering injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Injuries to joints, like your hips, knees, and shoulders
- Injuries resulting in loss of a limb
- Scarring and disfigurement
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tractor-trailer accidents result in a higher rate of severe injuries and death than collisions involving only passenger vehicles.
In addition to expensive emergency care and surgery, you may be facing ongoing medical costs. These unexpected and unplanned medical costs can be devastating to your livelihood. To make matters worse, you may find you are unable to go back to work because of your injuries. It is these accident outcomes that Karl Truman wants to help you face. In an accident case, Mr. Truman fights on your behalf for maximum compensation for all the ways the injury has affected your life. You deserve the chance to rebuild your life following a crash caused by someone else’s negligence.
As an experienced, compassionate Jeffersonville and Louisville truck accident lawyer, attorney Karl Truman is personally committed to helping you and your family recover maximum compensation. Please call the Karl Truman Law Office at (502) 222-2222 to find out if you have a case or use the contact form on this page.
How Is a Truck Accident Settlement Calculated?
Depending on the nature and severity of your truck accident, your damages could include things like:
- Medical expenses
- At-home care
- Home modifications
- Lost wages
- Reduced future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Calculating the full, fair value of your truck accident claim is usually not a simple or straightforward process. How do you put a “price tag” on something like emotional suffering, or loss of enjoyment of life? And how well can you estimate the long-term cost of future surgeries, or unclear recovery timelines?
Trucking companies will typically create estimates that are favorable to themselves—not you—and may offer you a settlement offer far below what your case is truly worth. If you take it, you may end up with less than you need to support yourself and your family over the long-term.
We can help reduce the stress of your recovery through making sure all your medical expenses are taken care of, from your immediate hospital stay to long-term care if necessary, and you get fair compensation for your non-economic losses as well. The right personal injury lawyer can help you avoid sinking into the black hole of debt that consumes far too many.
What Happens When a Loved One Dies in a Truck Accident?
Tragically, truck accident deaths are very common. According to the NHTSA, there were 4,842 large truck crashes in the United States in 2020 that resulted in at least one fatality.
Our lawyers have extensive experience representing families dealing with wrongful death after a trucking accident, so we understand that no amount of compensation can ever undo the harm of this tragedy.
But we also know how just compensation can provide surviving family members with the resources they need to not only cover end-of-life expenses, but also start to rebuild their lives. Obtaining compensation also allows you an opportunity to hold the responsible party accountable, and hopefully lends to preventing similar negligence in the future.
In a wrongful death claim, our lawyers will pursue compensation for damages including:
- Your loved one’s medical bills
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of benefits and retirement earnings
- Loss of companionship
Only certain people are entitled to file a wrongful death claim, primarily the deceased’s dependents or immediate relatives. Like all injury claims, there is a statute of limitations outlining how long you have to file a wrongful death claim in Kentucky or Indiana. Our experienced lawyers can determine whether you still have time to file a case.
What About Truck Drivers Injured on the Job?
If you are a truck driver and you were injured through no fault of your own while on the job, we may be able to help. We can help you file a claim for worker’s compensation benefits as well as bring a personal injury lawsuit against any third party whose negligence contributed to your accident. You may have a personal injury claim if you were injured due to:
- Slipping on a dangerous surface while loading or unloading
- A mechanical issue with your truck
- A reckless and negligent car driver
- Unsafe conditions in a loading zone or warehouse
Even if you are technically classified as an independent contractor, you may still be eligible for worker’s compensation. Many large trucking companies misclassify their workers in order to avoid paying benefits, and we can help determine if you should have been classified as an employee.
Next Steps: What Should You Do Now?
After an accident of this nature, you may feel alone, frustrated and unsure of how to protect yourself. When you contact our law firm, we will make sure you receive clear, accurate and honest information about whether you have a case and what your options are moving forward.
Why You Shouldn’t Wait Any Longer to Speak With a Truck Accident Lawyer
Like other types of personal injury cases, there is a strict statute of limitations for filing a truck accident lawsuit. In Kentucky it’s just one year; in Indiana, you have two.
But even that can be misleading. Critical evidence necessary to prove your case can start to disappear fast in the days and weeks following a crash. It’s also very easy for people unfamiliar with the legal process to make preventable mistakes when seeking medical care or speaking with a claims adjuster that can end up damaging their legal case.
It also takes time to thoroughly investigate a truck accident and prepare a solid legal case. We may wish to interview witnesses, file legal motions, gather and review extensive amounts of documentation, hire experts to conduct detailed analyses, negotiate with claims adjusters, and more. If you wait until the final few weeks or months before the deadline before talking to a lawyer, you may find yourself out of legal options.
Turning away a client because they ran out of time to take action is one of the most heartbreaking things we sometimes have to do at Truman Law. We don’t want this to happen to you.
Count on the Colonel
You should not have to suffer the consequences of your injury alone. Karl Truman and our team are ready to stand at your side, to deal with intimidating trucking companies and their attorneys so you don’t have to.
We encourage you to bring us any and all questions you have about your injury, such as:
- Do I have a truck accident case?
- How long will it take to resolve my case?
- What can I do to help my case?
- Can I get assistance for job re-training and medical care?
- Why should I choose you as my accident attorneys?
Questions like these can help you get the information you need to make a decision about what to do next. We will be with you every step of the way, on your path to a full recovery from your injuries.
In Jeffersonville and Louisville, truck accident attorney Karl Truman is driven by obtaining the best possible results for his clients. If you or a loved one has been injured in a big rig accident in these areas or the surrounding areas, please call the Karl Truman Law Office, at (502) 222-2222, for a free consultation.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.