Collisions involving tractor trailers cannot be handled in the same manner as car wrecks since they involve laws and regulations implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) in addition to the rules of the road every other driver must follow. Truck drivers are professional drivers that are held to higher standards and these standards have been put in place for your protection on the roadway.
Hiring an attorney that’s able to turn over every stone is vital to reaching the maximum recovery for you. The attorneys at Varellas & Varellas have the knowledge and experience to aggressively pursue your claims following a collision with a tractor trailer along with a track record of results. These results put insurance companies on notice that your case will be effectively litigated to recover all the benefits due you.
In Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky alone there were 3,730 crashes involving heavy trucks between 2014 and 2018 while in Jefferson County there were 10,249. While Fayette and Jefferson Counties had the most accidents involving heavy trucks, the annual crash rate based upon each county’s population sheds light on which citizens of Kentucky are most at risk for being injured by a tractor trailer. Broken into five categories for increasing populations, the report determined Gallatin, Carroll, Hart, Scott, and Boone counties had the highest rates of collisions involving heavy trucks based on their populations.
The Kentucky Transportation Center (“KTC”) published the Kentucky Traffic Collision Facts Report analyzing crash data in Kentucky from collisions in 2019. For crashes involving trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds, which include tractor trailers, the KTC report found a recent increase in the number of crashes compared to the previous four-year average. Unfortunately, this increase in negligent driving has also increased the number of injuries and fatalities involving tractor-trailers crashes.
According to the KTC report, the most frequent contributing vehicular factors for tractor-trailer collisions in 2019 were as follows: Defective Brakes, Defective Headlights, Other Lighting Defects, Steering Failure, Tire Failure, Tow Hitch Failure, Overload/Improper Load, Oversized Load, and Load Securement. The top driver contributing factors leading to collisions were: Inattention, Misjudge Clearance, Not Under Proper Control, Failure to Yield Right of Way, Following Too Close, Too Fast for Conditions, and Distraction to name a few.
While this data focuses only on the tractor trailer and driver, it is often the negligent and sometimes intentional practices of the company that hired the driver and owns the truck which ultimately plays a major role in causing the collision. Unfortunately, the conduct of some companies frequently highlights practices aimed at earning higher profits rather than protecting your family’s safety. Inspections can be rushed and repairs can be pushed back – all aimed at making an extra few dollars while putting you at risk. Aggressively pursuing every trucking case is essential to your maximum recovery as punitive damages are often proper due to gross negligence and punitive damages can drastically increase the value of your claim.