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Commercial Vehicle Accidents Involving 18-Wheelers, Big Rigs, Semi-Trucks Can Be Catastrophic – Take Action Today

You see trucks every day on the Dixie Highway, Interstate 65, the Henry Watterson Expressway and other roads in and around Louisville. You might grip the steering wheel a little tighter when a big rig passes you, but you might not expect to be involved in a serious accident. But unfortunately, Louisville truck accident attorney Aaron Whaley knows crashes involving small passenger vehicles and semi trucks happen all too often in Kentucky. A 2013 report by the Kentucky State Police reveals that 8,426 trucks were involved in collisions that year, and 74 of the accidents were fatal. There were another 1,315 injury collisions.

Truck wrecks are among the most catastrophic types of accidents handled by the Whaley Law Firm. That’s because, given the size and weight of big rigs and significant forces involved in a truck crash, accident victims often sustain serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. Contact the Whaley Law Firm today. We’re ready to help. Call our office at 866-703-7575 for a free case evaluation with an experienced Louisville truck accident attorney.

A truck accident may involve a tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, delivery van or any other type of large commercial vehicle. Truck drivers are required to follow laws to ensure they keep all others on the road safe. Trucking companies are required to adhere to numerous federal standards to ensure that only qualified, licensed drivers are hired to operate well-maintained vehicles. When these drivers and companies take shortcuts to put profits ahead of people, they may be liable for causing a serious truck accident in Kentucky.

Our firm is familiar with the most common contributing factors in truck accidents. This knowledge, combined with our understanding of state and federal law, means we know how to get results for clients. We’re familiar with the arguments that truck drivers, trucking companies and insurance providers try to make after an accident. That’s why we work so hard on behalf of truck accident victims to hold negligent parties accountable. We leave no stone unturned on behalf of those injured due to someone else’s reckless behavior.

Why Do I Need an Attorney for my Truck Accident Case?

It’s the type of case that seems particularly unfair: you’ve been injured or a loved one has been injured or died after being struck by a tractor-trailer, semi-truck or 18-wheeler. But while you have every right to expect the trucking company and its insurance company to pay medical bills and other accident-related damages, you may find that getting justice can be a difficult process when it comes to trucking companies and their insurance carriers.

At the Whaley Law Firm, our Louisville truck accident attorneys have experience representing people seriously injured in truck accidents across Kentucky. Proving fault can be difficult after a Kentucky truck accident. A distracted, fatigued or drunk driver may deny any wrongdoing. A trucking company may hide or even destroy evidence that proves their negligent behavior contributed to a crash. The insurance company may try to delay or even deny your claim. You shouldn’t have to foot the bill for somebody else’s negligent or reckless behavior.

When you’ve done nothing wrong, it’s critical to speak with an attorney who will put your needs first. The Whaley Law Firm is ready to help. Assisted by professional accident investigators, our firm examines all trucking company records, collects evidence from the scene of your accident and pores over medical and police records that reveal how your accident happened and the long-term cost of your injuries. That way, we can go after the compensation you need to get life back on track after an accident.

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Semi-Truck Accidents

Kentucky’s highways are an important part of the nation’s interstate trucking routes and semi-trucks are a familiar sight across the state, making accidents involving trucks common for people who share those roads with such large vehicles. Many differences exist between accidents involving two cars crashing and a driver being involved in a semi-truck accident. At the Whaley Law Firm, we understand that semi-truck accidents are rarely minor.

What makes semi-truck accidents so dangerous in Kentucky? When fully loaded with cargo, a 50-plus foot long semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Semi-trucks carrying so much weight can quickly become more difficult to control if a driver isn’t aware and alert at all times. A semi-truck may be unable to stop if trucking companies fail to properly maintain the truck or if a trucker or third-party overloads the trailer, thus placing a strain on the truck itself.

Semi-truck accident injuries can be devastating, requiring long-term hospitalization and resulting in steep medical bills and an inability to return to work. When such a large vehicle crashes into a 5,000 pound passenger vehicle, it’s common for accident victims to sustain catastrophic head and spinal cord injuries, broken bones and fractures and other serious injuries. A loved one may even suffer a wrongful death as a result of accident-related injuries.

When dealing with the long-term costs associated with a semi-truck accident, an attorney can launch a thorough investigation into the truck driver and trucking company responsible for the truck. We can investigate “black box” information and other data that may reveal fault for an accident. We’ll obtain medical and police records to determine fault in your accident and the long-term costs associated with your accident.

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Why the Trucking Company May Be Responsible

Determining fault in a truck accident can be complex. In a commercial vehicle accident, the driver might be liable, but other parties may share some of the responsibility. In some instances, a trucking company may have contributed to the accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the commercial trucking industry. But that doesn’t mean trucking companies are willing to adhere to safety and maintenance standards.

The Whaley Law Firm understands how difficult life can become after a truck accident in Kentucky. That’s why we take a hard line against negligent trucking companies that may be partially or even fully at fault for an accident. When a truck company doesn’t adhere to standards designed to keep other drivers on the road safe, that company needs to be held accountable.

Trucking companies are required to keep many different types of records. They must be able to prove that their fleet of vehicles is properly maintained and free of potentially hazardous safety issues, such as defective brakes or tires. Furthermore, trucking companies are required to hire skilled, trained drivers and ensure they follow important rules such as the FMCSA’s Hours of Service regulations that limit the amount of hours a trucker can spend on the road each week.

In Kentucky, contributing factors in truck collisions include the following, which can be traced back to a negligent trucking company:

  • Failure to properly secure a load
  • Tire failure
  • Defective brakes
  • Oversized load on a vehicle
  • Defective tow hitch, resulting in separation of units
  • Overweight trucks, which can lead to brake failure or an out-of-control truck
  • Steering failure
  • Defective headlights

All of the above factors were cited by Kentucky State Police as contributing factors in accidents in 2013. In many truck accidents, the trucking company and its insurance carrier launch an immediate investigation to look for ways to minimize liability. Their investigators often are at the scene within hours of the crash. That’s one of the reasons why it’s critical to contact Louisville truck accident attorney Aaron Whaley as soon as possible.

At the Whaley Law Firm, we have the experience and resources necessary to thoroughly investigate your truck accident. We’ll investigate driver safety records and qualifications. We can obtain maintenance records kept by the trucking company. We’ll take a close look at the hiring, training and supervising practices of the trucking company. If a trucking company was responsible for your accident, we’ll fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

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Types of Injuries in Truck Accidents

Truck accident injuries are rarely minor. When a passenger vehicle, motorcycle, bicyclist or pedestrian is struck by a truck at any speed, the results can be catastrophic. A truck wreck can result in injuries ranging from broken bones to paralysis or brain damage. In many cases, a truck driver walks away facing only minor injuries, while the occupants of a car involved in a rear-end crash, head-on collision or intersection accident are taken away from the crash by ambulance.

What are common examples of truck accident injuries? A potential list is long and distressing, including the following types of injuries:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Paralysis
  • Wrongful death

If you or a loved one was injured or you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for a variety of losses. The Whaley Law Firm may be able to pursue a number of different types of damages, including medical bills, loss of earnings, pain and suffering and other types of benefits. A truck company or insurance company may try to pressure you to accept a settlement before the true cost of your accident is known. Don’t let them push you around. We can help.

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