An automobile accident between two or more vehicles can be a devastating event to anyone involved, but when a traffic accident involves a semi truck or other type of large truck, the results are often inconceivably devastating. Trucking accidents account for almost 10% of all the accidents that happen on the road today. When there is that much weight and sheer force behind a vehicle, any accident involving said vehicle will undoubtedly cause devastation.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a trucking accident, there is legal help available to assist you through this devastating time. All a Kentucky resident needs to do is contact a Louisville, KY truck accident lawyer.
The Realities of the Trucking Industry
One of the most important things to be aware of is that accidents and lawsuits involving trucks differ from lawsuits involving smaller vehicles. Any time an accident occurs involving any type of commercial truck or a smaller vehicle hauling a tractor-trailer, the entire weight and size of the truck/vehicle must be considered and will be calculated when the accident report is filed. In the case of a vehicle towing a tractor-trailer, for instance, the weight of the vehicle plus the trailer would be factored in together.
What this means for most trucking accident victims is that any devastation caused will likely be seen as more severe than a normal traffic accident due to the extra weight of the truck or towed trailer. Any court of law will look at factors such as speeding in greater detail since truck drivers inherently need to be more careful while behind the wheel.
When an accident involving a semi truck is being investigated, any court of law will first check to see if everything in the original accident report complies with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and any local trucking standards that may be in place. The FMCSRs attempt to regulate the trucking industry on a federal level by enforcing licensing requirements, work hour limitations, weight, size, and route limitations, and trucking insurance minimums.
The trucking industry is still largely self-regulated in the United States, however, which means that any case involving a trucking company can become additionally complicated once the basic FMCSR checklist has been met. Any local regulations can complicate the case even further.
Kentucky’s No-Fault Law
In Kentucky, vehicle insurance is also handled a little differently than in most states—even when it comes to vehicles involved in trucking accidents. Thanks to Kentucky’s no-fault policy, a victim’s vehicle insurance will pay for some of their medical bill costs and lost wages that result after an automobile accident. This amount is generally the same whether the person is in a trucking accident or one involving a smaller vehicle. In many cases, this amount can cover up to $10,000 in costs. In the case of a trucking accident, that sum, unfortunately, may not be enough to cover everything.
In order to receive everything you need to get back on your feet again, it’s best to contact a Kentucky trucking accident attorney and ask how Kentucky’s no-fault policy will affect your particular case and how you can receive the maximum benefits from your auto insurance.
Quick Action is Vital
As with most traffic accidents, it’s imperative to get in contact with a lawyer as quickly as possible just after an accident with an 18-wheeler or other type of truck occurs. This ensures that any evidence is properly secured and preserved if needed at a later date. Evidence at the scene including skid marks and road scuffs begins to disappear mere hours after an accident occurs once the police barriers are removed. This means that photograph or video evidence is often necessary.
Additionally, U.S. trucking companies are not usually forced to keep records and evidence of accidents for longer than a certain period of time. As such, most trucking companies are quick to dispose of any evidence and documentation once they’re able to do so in order to avoid possible lawsuits. Having a truck accident lawyer with evidence and documentation on hand is vital should this happen.
When combined with the fact that some law enforcement officials don’t properly enforce truck safety regulations in all areas, the above information can add up to paint a bleak picture for many trucking accident victims who may have suffered unnecessarily. It’s a simple fact that in many trucking accident cases, the trucking company, driver, or even the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment can be held financially liable for damages. With legal aid, you and your family can receive financial assistance.
With a Louisville, KY truck accident lawyer like Tad Thomas of Thomas Law offices on your side, you can rest easy knowing that Tad Thomas will do everything in his power to help you and your family through this difficult time. Thomas Law Offices is based in Louisville, Kentucky, but handles cases across the entire state of Kentucky. We can assist you every step of the way—from case and insurance claim filing to evidence preparation, courtroom preparation, and the litigation process. Time is of the essence. Don’t hesitate to receive the assistance you deserve.