Semi tractor-trailer accidents in Kentucky can lead to some of the most serious personal injuries or death. A semi can weigh more than 80,000 pounds; compare this to the average automobile that weighs only about 3,000 pounds. Although there are fewer semi accidents than car accidents, accidents involving semis are much more dangerous and can lead to catastrophic results.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, conducted a Truck Causation Study to determine the top 10 common causes of tractor trailer accidents. These are: issues with brakes, traffic congestion, prescription drug use, speed, unfamiliarity with a road, road problems, required stops, over the counter medication use, inadequate sight, and driver fatigue.
Just this summer, a woman was killed in a crash with a semi near Louisa, Kentucky. She crossed over the center dividing line and collided head-on with a semi tractor-trailer. The driver claimed to have hit the brakes as soon as he saw her, but it was too late.
Because of accidents like this one, driving a semi tractor-trailer is covered by more restrictive laws than driving a car. For example, drivers of semi tractor-trailers cannot drive for more than a set number of hours before being required to stop for a rest. If you get into an accident with a semi tractor-trailer, the trucking company may have a team of lawyers already working on the case before you get a chance to consult an attorney. You may even get a tempting quick offer to settle.
It’s important not to accept an offer of this nature right away. First, consult an attorney. Sometimes a low-ball offer may be made quickly because the trucking company realizes the harm a lawsuit could do from both a public relations and financial standpoint. More importantly, you may have more serious damages than you realize, and the trucker and trucking company may have broken many laws and its federally-mandated insurance may be liable for far more than you are aware. It can also take months for all of your injuries to come to light. While most of the injuries involved when a car is hit by a semi are serious and therefore immediately evident, there may also be soft tissue injuries or long-term damage that is difficult to detect right away but which nevertheless surfaces due to the seriousness of nearly every collision with a semi tractor-trailer.
You should also consult an attorney before you give any statement to the trucking company or its insurer. Sometimes a trucking company or insurer will ask you questions designed to obtain certain concessions from you or get you to admit fault even if you were not actually at fault. An experienced catastrophic injury attorney can put together a comprehensive case that addresses your future medical bills and pain and suffering over the long haul. It can also build a team of experts to reconstruct the accident and determine who was at fault.
In semi tractor-trailer accidents there may be more than one person or entity at fault. The fault may lie with the driver, the manufacturer of truck parts, and the company itself, particularly if it hired a driver with an accident history or some other history which should have prevented the driver from driving (i.e. a history of seizures).
If a semi tractor-trailer is at fault for your accident, contact a law firm with the experience and skills to help you fight for the compensation to which you are entitled. Catastrophic injuries like those associated with semi tractor-trailer accidents in Kentucky demand particularly aggressive trial attorneys that know how to tell your story to a jury in the best way. Ensure that your attorneys have the trial experience necessary to help you maintain the upper hand in negotiating a settlement with a truck company or going to trial against them. Contact us at 877-634-1519 or via our online form.
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