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Commercial Vehicles, Semi-trucks, 18-wheelers and multi-trailer trucks pose a high risk to automobile drivers and their passengers due to the massive size and weight of these commercial vehicles. A semi can weigh 80,000 pounds making it difficult to maneuver or respond to situations that require immediate action. In the event that a semi-truck is involved in a wreck with a private passenger vehicle, the weight alone of the truck greatly increases the threat of serious injuries occurring to the auto driver or passengers.

Richmond, Madison County and Central Kentucky have multiple roadways, including I-75 and I-64, that carry a large amount of commercial traffic through our state. Dangerous accidents involving these large vehicles occur on our roadways everyday.

Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents

There are multiple negligent acts that can cause a truck accident, including:

  • Driver fatigue

  • Poor maintenance or defective parts

  • Drunken or drugged driver

  • Poorly trained or inexperienced driver

  • Overloaded or improperly loaded truck

  • Illegal turns

  • Tailgating

  • Speeding

  • Jackknifing

  • Inclement weather

Maintaining sufficient control of the commercial vehicle is the key to safe operation. However, commercial truck drivers often fail to act responsibly while in control of these massive vehicles.

Governed Laws that Affect Kentucky Truck Drivers and Companies

Under Title 49 of the U.S. Code mandated by The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), trucking companies and their drivers, whether contracted or employed, must follow specific guidelines to reduce the risk of accidents. Certain logs of the number of hours driven and the number of hours rested must be kept. Vehicle inspections, maintenance records and all repairs must be carefully recorded. There are statute of limitations that determine how long these logs and records must be maintained for the driver and the company.

At Williams & O'Neal, P.S.C. we know the laws, both Kentucky and Federal, that govern the commercial trucking industry. We will ensure that records are received documenting the information pertinent to your case.

Assessing Damages

Assessing damages properly from your accident can be extremely complicated. Financial damages resulting from medical bills, lost wages and car repairs can be given a monetary value easily. Other areas are not so easy to calculate such as catastrophic injuries that cause paralysis, disfigurement, emotional stress, pain and suffering, or possibly death. The loss of someone you love or a diminished lifestyle cannot be replaced by a financial award, but knowing that your finances are covered can bring some stability back to your life. At Williams & O'Neal, P.S.C. we know what is entailed in assessing damages and assigning a dollar figure to those damages to maximize the value of your case.

Identifying Potential Defendants in Trucking Accidents

In many truck accident cases, the truck driver may not be the only party legally responsible for the accident. To ensure that our clients obtain fair compensation for their injuries, at Williams & O'Neal, P.S.C. we identify as many potential defendants as possible when developing a case. Possible liable parties include:

  • The truck driver

  • The owner, lessor, or lessee of the truck

  • The trucking company

  • Contractors

  • Employers

  • The party that loaded the truck

  • The shipper who retained the trucking company

  • Insurance companies

If a truck driver is employed by a trucking or shipping company, then that company may be responsible for the driver's negligence. Establishing the liability of third parties in a truck accident can be difficult, particularly if the driver is an independent contractor associated with a larger company, which is often the case. For this reason it is important to have experienced truck accident attorneys like Williams & O'Neal, P.S.C. working on your behalf.

Insurance Settlements

Insurance companies will attempt to settle trucking accident claims quickly with the least amount of compensation offered in an effort to avoid any negative publicity. We strongly advises against accepting an offer from an insurance company prior to consulting with an attorney. You could forfeit your right to ever claim further damages if you settle without having a lawyer review your offer.

Insurance companies will begin to build their case immediately following a trucking accident. You should do the same by contacting Williams & O'Neal, P.S.C. for a free initial consultation 859-623-2000. All personal injury cases are taken on a contingent fee basis. We collect no attorney’s fees unless we secure compensation for you.

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