Why Our Clients Choose Kentucky Truck Accident Lawyer Billy Johnson to Represent Them
If your world has been shattered and you’ve been injured in a vehicle crash with a large truck, the most important thing you can do to take care of yourself is hire an experienced Kentucky truck accident lawyer. Medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other set-backs do not have to compound the trauma of being in a truck crash.
With a skilled attorney like Billy Johnson at your side, you can feel confident that trucking companies, manufacturers and insurance companies will be held accountable for damage done, while you focus on recovering and putting your life back together.
To Qualify to Drive a Truck, a Person Must …
- Be 21 years of age or older and able to speak and read English
- Be in good health and have a valid medical certificate
- Be qualified to drive a truck and have a valid motor vehicle operator’s license
- Pass a truck driver’s road test
- Provide employer with a signed list of all motor vehicle violations, free of violations within the last 12 months
- Know how to safely load and secure cargo for the truck.
While Driving, a Truck Driver Must …
- Wear a seat belt at all times while operating the truck
- Obey driving time restrictions and truck weight limits
- Comply with all safety standards and make sure the truck meets all requirements by regularly checking the following: brakes, tires, reflectors and warning devices, mirrors, lighting, steering systems, emergency equipment, etc.
- Not possess or consume alcohol within 4 hours of being on duty
- Not possess or consume drugs, including narcotics, derivatives or amphetamines.
To learn more about truck regulations and requirements, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This federal agency is tasked with providing safety oversight of trucks.
Why Should You Speak to a Truck Accident Lawyer in Kentucky?
If you or someone you love has been involved in a Kentucky truck accident, you may be able to recover monetary compensation for any physical, emotional and financial losses that resulted from the accident. Contact our truck accident lawyer in Kentucky to find out if you have a case and to learn about compensation available to you. The actions you take now can have far-reaching effects on your and your family’s health and financial stability in the future.
One of the worst things a truck accident victim can do is negotiate directly with trucking companies or insurance adjusters who are highly skilled at accident investigations and claims and highly motivated to limit any payouts. A victim’s oral or written statements may be used against him or her at a later time.
It’s Important to Act Quickly and Contact a Kentucky Truck Accident Attorney
It’s important to contact an experienced Kentucky truck accident attorney as soon as possible after you are injured in a truck wreck, because any delay can cause critical evidence to be lost and make it harder to prove fault. Truckers are expected to call their companies immediately following an accident. Companies then quickly send an investigation team to begin figuring out the best ways to limit their financial losses. Trucking company representatives may even confront accident victims at a most vulnerable time and try to manage the scene in an effort to limit or lessen the liability of the trucking company.
Types of Compensation Our Kentucky Truck Accident Lawyer Can Pursue
Many truck crashes are severe, and sometimes they’re catastrophic. That’s why the U.S. legal system awards compensation for damages done to drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles, as well as for their pain and suffering. As a truck accident attorney experienced with such cases, Billy Johnson pursues every form of compensation his clients deserve. Based on the severity of the accident and the circumstances surrounding its cause, damages may include compensation for:
- Property damage (such as automobile repairs or replacement)
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Loss of current and future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death.
Why Kentucky Truck Crashes Can Be So Severe
When large trucks and 18-wheelers collide with passenger vehicles on the road, the vast majority of injuries are inflicted on drivers and passengers traveling in the smaller vehicle – not the truck.
Passenger vehicles and motorcycles are greatly outweighed by trucks, putting them at a severe disadvantage. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh 80,000 pounds. Passenger vehicles weigh in at about 4,000 pounds. The heaviest motorcycles top the scale at approximately 500 pounds. With these things in mind, it isn’t difficult to see why occupants of passenger vehicles and motorcycles are on the losing end in crashes with large trucks.
Because of their much heavier weight and overall mass, it can take big rigs almost 720 feet, or about the length of two football fields, to stop. If conditions are rainy and streets are slick, or if a truck’s brakes are poorly maintained, the stopping distance will be even longer. Additionally, the danger posed by truck wrecks is increased if the truck is carrying certain cargo, such as hazardous or flammable materials.
Consider these statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI):
- 97% of vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle crashes involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck in 2016 were occupants of the passenger vehicles.
- 11% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2016 occurred in large truck crashes.
- 67% of large truck occupants killed in multiple vehicle crashes in 2016 occurred in collisions involving another large truck.
- Trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars.
- Trucks are taller, with greater ground clearance, resulting in smaller vehicles sliding underneath trucks in crashes.
- Truck braking capability is a factor, with loaded tractor-trailers taking 20-40% more distance than cars to stop.
Truck Drivers Working Longer Than Permitted
Truck driver fatigue is also a known crash risk, according to the IIHS. Drivers of large trucks are allowed by federal hours-of-service regulations to drive up to 11 hours at a stretch. Surveys indicate, though, that many drivers violate the regulations and work longer than permitted, often because they are under pressure to reach destinations quickly.
Prevent Kentucky Truck Accidents
Common Causes of Large Truck Accidents
- Mechanical or tire failure
- Unsafe road conditions
- Poorly maintained brakes
- Speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changes and other instances of careless driving
- Driving while texting/talking on a cell phone
- Driver fatigue or falling asleep
- Driver inexperience
- Alcohol or medication abuse by driver
- Inadequate lighting or road signage
- Rain, snow, wind or inclement weather.
A Closer Look at Where and When Large Truck Crashes Happen
- 60% of deaths in large truck crashes in 2016 occurred on major roads other than interstates and freeways.
- 7% of deaths in large truck crashes in 2016 happened on minor roads.
- 48% of large truck crash deaths in 2016 occurred between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m., significantly more than the 30% of crash deaths during that same time period not involving large trucks.
- 16% of large truck crash deaths in 2016 occurred on Saturday and Sunday, compared to 34% of crash deaths not involving a large truck.
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI)
Seat Belt Use and Safety Related to Truck Accidents
- 44% of fatally injured large truck drivers in 2016 were using safety belts, compared with 48% of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers.
- 31% of passenger vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle crashes with a large truck in 2016 were in head-on collisions.
- 20% involved the front of the passenger vehicle striking the rear of the large truck.
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI)
Read more in our infographic about Saving Lives with Improved Truck Safety in KY:
Vehicular Crashes Nationwide
Because most of us drive a car or SUV every day, we can forget that driving is dangerous, and sometimes deadly, in the wrong hands or when a driver is distracted. According to the FMCSA, there were 153,662 crashes in America in 2017, involving 163,972 vehicles. They resulted in 4,617 fatalities and 75,420 injuries. State authorities are required to report crash data to FMCSA within 90 days of the accident. Friends, family and your attorney remind you to use safe defensive driving techniques, stay alert, never text and strictly limit phone calls while driving.
What to Do – and Not Do – Immediately After a Truck Crash
- Call 911 and request a response by police and emergency medical personnel.
- Exchange vehicle information with the other driver, such as car insurance, VIN number, license plate number, phone number and name.
- If witnesses are present, try to get their names and contact information if possible.
- If you are able, use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident, including damage to both vehicles, skid marks, damaged roadside railing or signs, and your own physical injuries.
- Go to the hospital to be checked out by a doctor after the crash.
- Call an attorney.
- Do not engage in conversation with the other driver.
- Do not acknowledge blame or fault for the accident.
- Do not sign any paperwork or documents provided by insurance companies until you and your attorney have thoroughly reviewed them.
Were You Injured in a Large Truck Accident in Kentucky?
Do not go it alone. You may be entitled to compensation. You need a strong and experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to go toe-to-toe with insurance companies and get results.
Contact our team of highly trained truck wreck attorneys for a free consultation. We don’t get paid until you win your case. Ask for Billy Johnson at Johnson Law Firm at 877-712-2910. We’re waiting for your call.