Due to precautions related to COVID-19, we have expanded our options for remote consultations. Please contact our office to discuss whether a full phone consultation or video conference is appropriate for your situation.

You Will Need Considerable Compensation Following A Truck Accident

Much like car accidents, truck crashes are unfortunately a frequent occurrence on Kentucky roads. The difference is that most trucks are substantially larger than an average compact car, sedan or SUV, leading to crashes that are more likely to involve serious injuries and damage to personal property.

This is especially true in crashes involving larger trucks, such as 18-wheel tractor-trailers weighing up to 80,000 pounds. When these massive trucks collide with smaller vehicles like cars and other passenger vehicles or motorcycles, serious injuries are possible. The attorneys at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold have handled many Kentucky truck accident cases and are adept at studying the important details of your case to determine if the other driver was negligent.

Holding Negligent Truck Drivers Accountable

It is no coincidence that the stresses of commercial truck driving can add to the reasons for an accident. In many cases, commercial truck drivers are under tremendous pressure to drive long distances in short periods of time. Fatigued from lack of sleep, a driver may have been inattentive or asleep at the wheel at the time of the crash. By investigating these important details of the case, an attorney at our Richmond, Kentucky, law firm can determine whether a driver and their employer were negligent at the time of the crash.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that as of 2013, commercial truck drivers must adhere to the following rules and limitations:

  • Limit the maximum average workweek for truck drivers to 70 hours, a decrease from the previous maximum of 82 hours
  • Allow truck drivers who reach the maximum of 70 hours of driving within a week to resume if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights when their body clock demands sleep the most – from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Require truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift

If a trucking company forces its drivers to violate any of these rules, this could serve as solid evidence of negligence in a truck accident case.

Providing Answers To Your Questions About Truck Accidents

Any accident can leave injured people with questions. When a collision involves large vehicles and serious injuries, those questions become especially complex. We are proud to provide the answers that injured people and their families need after trucking accidents.

Why are truck accidents so severe?

Collisions involving large commercial vehicles like tractor-trailers and semi trucks often lead to severe or even fatal accidents. One reason for the severity of these accidents is that semi trucks can be as much as 30 times heavier than a car. They are also much longer and wider than passenger vehicles. This means that they are more difficult to maneuver when hazards arise, and they strike with greater force in a collision.

What are the special laws and regulations for truck drivers?

The law has established many specific regulations that truck drivers and carrier companies must obey. Some of these legal requirements include:

  • Drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) when operating large commercial vehicles.
  • Truck drivers cannot work more than 70 hours a week.
  • Truckers must maintain a log of their driving and rest time.
  • Drivers with a CDL cannot legally drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04 percent, whereas other drivers are subject to a BAC limit of .08 percent.
  • Vehicles must have regular maintenance.
  • Loads on tractor-trailers or semi trucks must stay within specific weight limits.

These restrictions hold truck drivers to a high standard because of the increased risk of serious or fatal injuries when large vehicles crash.

What restrictions does Kentucky have for truck drivers?

In order to get a CDL in Kentucky, drivers must meet a number of requirements. CDL drivers must have a valid driver’s license. They must be at least 18, and drivers that will leave Kentucky must be 21 or older. They must pass a physical examination, have their vision tested and pass a driving test to ensure that they have the skills to drive a large commercial vehicle. The state also examines their driving record.

Can large vehicles like semi trucks drive on all Kentucky roadways?

Some roadways in Kentucky are not designed for large commercial vehicles, and when truckers use these roads, they can put others at risk. In October 2023, Kentucky authorities took steps to crack down on truckers using these secondary vehicles by posting signs and increasing patrols on these roadways.

What is the no truck in the left lane law?

Slow-moving vehicles in the left lane of a highway can put other motorists in danger. As a result, many states only allow semi trucks and other large vehicles to drive in this lane when passing another vehicle, turning left or using an exit located on the left side of the road.

Who is liable when semi trucks crash?

A wide variety of people and companies have a responsibility to keep semi trucks safe. Each of them could be liable if those vehicles crash. Drivers who make irresponsible decisions, companies that do not maintain vehicles appropriately, manufacturers that sell faulty vehicles or parts, businesses that load trailers improperly and many others could play a part in the crash.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, speaking to an attorney can help you identify the parties that contributed to your crash and determine how to hold them responsible.

Learn How We Can Help You Today

For immediate assistance following a truck accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Although you may be tempted to take a settlement from an insurance company, this is likely much less than the sum you could receive if you had the assistance of an injury lawyer negotiating on your behalf.

Our attorneys understand the law and are skilled litigators who will unrelentingly advocate for you throughout the case. Strong advocacy is crucial to the success of your truck accident case.

For qualified help obtaining the compensation you need, email the truck accident attorneys of Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold or call 859-353-0878 for a free consultation today.