Kentucky Truck Accident Lawyer
Helping victims of truck accidents get the compensation they deserve
In a trucking accident, smaller vehicles such as passenger cars are no match for a big truck. Large trucks are difficult to maneuver; and when loaded with freight, they may take 20 to 40 percent longer to stop than a car. It’s no wonder that an accident with a truck may result in catastrophic injuries such as head, back, neck, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, amputations, broken bones, and even death. Injured victims face mounting medical bills and expenses at a time they are suffering and may be unable to work, and their lives and those of their families may never be the same.
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a vehicle accident with a large truck, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through insurance or a lawsuit. However, Kentucky laws for personal injury are complicated, and trucking companies and their insurers have high-powered lawyers on their side who will attempt to get you to settle for the lowest amount possible. Going up against them is not something you should attempt on your own.
To get the compensation you deserve, the most important thing you can do is to hire an experienced Kentucky truck accident lawyer to fight for your rights and a fair settlement. Medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other set-backs do not have to compound your trauma. 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 the damage done, while you focus on recovering and putting your life back together.
Choosing a Kentucky truck accident attorney is an important decision, and the Johnson Law Firm is here to help. Attorney Billy Johnson is both highly skilled and compassionate when representing clients who have been injured in truck crashes. He is aggressive when going after the negligent parties, and at the same time he is caring toward the families he serves.
FOR A FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION ABOUT YOUR CASE, CONTACT ATTORNEY BILLY JOHNSON AT 606-437-4488. WE’RE HERE FOR YOU.
Why Do I Need a Kentucky Truck Accident Lawyer?
Trucking companies and insurers have lawyers on their side. A Kentucky truck accident lawyer knows how to stand up to them and fight for your rights.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for physical, emotional and financial losses that resulted from the crash. An experienced Kentucky truck accident attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf demanding that negligent trucking and insurance companies pay you the financial compensation you deserve.
One of the worst things a truck accident victim can do is to negotiate directly with trucking companies or insurance adjusters. These people are very skilled at accident investigations and are 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 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.
How our truck accident lawyers can help you
When you contact Johnson Law Firm, our legal team can help by:
- Meeting with you to discuss what happened and the individual circumstances of your case to determine the best way to proceed. Based on past cases, we can estimate what your case is worth and what kind of settlement we should be fighting for so we can argue your case more effectively.
- Investigating the accident. We can hire accident reconstruction experts and conduct investigations by examining the scene of your accident, interviewing eyewitnesses and first responders, and looking into the driver’s and trucking company’s past safety records, in order to determine who or what is responsible for causing your crash.
- Gathering evidence. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can find and preserve evidence that supports your case before it can be destroyed. This may include videos and photographs from traffic cameras; police, ambulance, doctor, and hospital records; the truck’s black box information; and the truck driver’s cellphone records.
- Dealing with insurance companies. Insurance companies are out for their own profit and will attempt to get you to settle your case quickly for less than it is worth. Our lawyers are aware of insurance company tactics and will aggressively negotiate for a fair settlement. Insurance companies are more likely to take your case seriously if they know you have an attorney on your side willing to bring a lawsuit.
- Taking your case to court. If an agreement with insurance cannot be reached, we will take your case to court if necessary. We will be there at every stage of the legal process, from filing pretrial motions, to presenting evidence and making closing arguments, to filing an appeal if appropriate.
Call attorney Billy Johnson today at 606-437-4488 so that you have an advocate on your side. The actions you take now can have far-reaching effects on your family’s financial stability in the future. To learn more about truck regulations and requirements, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. This federal agency is tasked with providing safety oversight of trucks.
Compensation A Truck Accident Lawyer in Kentucky Can Pursue for You
WHILE EACH TRUCK CRASH IS UNIQUE, THERE ARE SEVERAL ITEMS FOR WHICH A TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY CAN SEEK COMPENSATION.
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.
After a truck accident that was not your fault, Billy Johnson will fight for a settlement that provides payment for the expenses and losses you have suffered. These are called damages, and they cover both your economic and non-economic losses. As a truck accident attorney experienced with representing clients aggressively, Billy Johnson pursues every form of compensation his clients deserve.
Based on the severity of the accident and the circumstances surrounding its cause, you may receive a damage award that may include compensation for your:
Economic damages. This is compensation for your calculable monetary losses, such as:
- Medical, hospital, and therapy expenses, past and future, including medications and medical devices
- Lost wages and loss of potential future earnings if you cannot work
- Property damage, such as to repair or replace your vehicle and costs of personal property that may have been destroyed in the accident
- Costs of modification to your home or vehicle, such as to accommodate a wheelchair.
Non-economic damages. This is restitution for less tangible losses that do not have a specific dollar value, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium, companionship, and enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Wrongful death.
Punitive damages. In some rare cases involving a defendant’s gross negligence or malicious intent to harm, you may also receive punitive damages. These are intended to punish the at-fault party for conduct considered especially outrageous or egregious and deter others from acting similarly.
Amounts of Damages A Truck Accident Attorney Can Recover
There is a wide range of settlement amounts for truck accidents, depending on the circumstances.
If you have been injured and another party is found to be liable, you are entitled to compensation for all your costs associated with the accident. This value will be different for every case, but generally includes medical expenses for treatment of the injury, medical expenses for future treatment of the injury, lost wages, the costs of disability (with respect to both quality of life and employability), pain and suffering, property damage, and numerous other costs. You are entitled to be restored, to the extent possible, to the condition you were in prior to the relevant actions of the liable party. We understand that there is no one answer to the question “how much is my case worth?” because each crash is so unique and has many different variables.
The amounts of damages you may be awarded can range from the thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the individual circumstances of the case. Factors which may affect a settlement amount include:
- Costs of your losses and expenses
- The extent and permanence of your injuries
- Whether you will require continuing care
- Your age, earning capacity, and family situation
- Lost earnings and whether you will be able to work in the future
- Whether a wrongful death was involved
- How much insurance coverage is available
- Availability of assets of the defendants
- The individual jurisdiction, judge, and jury if there is a trial
- The skill and negotiating power of your attorney.
Kentucky does not impose a cap on most damages in personal injury or wrongful death claims, so you could receive as much as your lawyer can win on your behalf. However, there is a cap of $750,000 on non-economic damages in many personal injury lawsuits.
Kentucky truck accident attorney Billy Johnson knows from experience approximately what your case should be worth and how much compensation you should receive based on the circumstances of the accident and the other factors involved. When you contact us, we can evaluate your case and give you an idea of what to expect.
If you’d like to talk to Billy in greater detail about all of the factors involved in your unique case, call him for a free initial consultation. Billy will be glad to answer your questions and explain factors affecting the compensation you may be entitled to.
CALL BILLY JOHNSON TODAY AT 606-437-4488
A Kentucky Truck Accident Attorney Must Prove Negligence
Winning your case means proving that another party was negligent and at fault for causing the accident.
Proving negligence in truck accident cases is complicated, because there are often multiple parties involved who may be at fault and liable for damages. For instance, if the driver works for a trucking company, you are not only dealing with the driver but also the company who employs them. In addition, there may be other liable parties, such as the manufacturer of the truck or its parts, if these were defective; the company responsible for truck repairs that may not have done them properly; or the company that loaded cargo incorrectly. All these parties may have insurance and assets which can go toward a settlement. Our attorneys will investigate to find all potentially liable defendants and make sure they are included in the lawsuit.
Here are some potential defendants and ways they may be negligent:
- Truck drivers must be in compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, which include commercial driver’s license standards; safety fitness procedures; financial responsibility for motor carriers; hours of service for drivers; and inspection, repair and maintenance of vehicles. Drivers who are in a hurry, fatigued, or impaired may negligently violate these requirements.
- Trucking companies may employ multiple drivers and have many business responsibilities, including hiring reasonably safe drivers and properly training them. If there is negligence during hiring or training, it could lead to a truck accident. In addition, trucking companies that pressure drivers to exceed maximum hours of service regulations may be liable for accidents.
- Maintenance is another area where negligence may occur. It is the truck company’s legal responsibility to properly maintain and repair its trucks, which require daily inspections and regular maintenance to operate safely and efficiently, and drivers must also conduct daily vehicle checks. If the neglect of proper maintenance resulted in an accident, a maintenance company may be liable.
- Improper load securement and lost cargo loads could be the responsibility of the trucking company or the cargo company. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces strict cargo securement laws that trucking companies must adhere to.
Billy Johnson will do everything possible to hold negligent trucking companies accountable for their actions. We will carefully investigate whether regulations were violated, including:
- The number of hours the driver could legally work
- The driver’s driving, alcohol and drug use history
- The truck and trailer’s maintenance schedule
- The level of training the driver received
- Whether there was negligent retention or hiring on the part of the trucking company
- Whether there is a record of past citations for violations such as speeding or safety regulations.
Proving negligence means showing certain elements.
If company owners, truck drivers, maintenance workers, or cargo companies were negligent and failed to abide by required standards, they may be found liable for causing a crash. To prove another party is liable, we would demonstrate the following factors:
- The driver or other liable party (the defendants in the case) owed you a duty of reasonable care not to cause harm.
- The party breached this duty by actions or failure to act.
- This breach of duty caused the accident.
- You suffered injuries and damages as a result.
In addition, there are times when faulty road conditions are responsible for the accident, and the municipality or company responsible for road maintenance may be held liable.
A Pikeville Truck Accident Lawyer Can File a Lawsuit For Wrongful Death
A wrongful death lawsuit can bring justice and prevent the wrongdoer from causing similar tragic deaths in the future.
Fatalities are not uncommon in trucking accidents. According to the Department of Transportation, in 2017, 4,657 fatal accidents in the U.S. involved large trucks.
When a truck accident results in a death, our attorneys may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. You may have grounds for a wrongful death claim if another party negligently or recklessly caused your loved one’s fatal injury. A wrongful death claim can be looked at as a personal injury case where the personal representative of the deceased person seeks compensation since the deceased can no longer do so. It is a civil lawsuit asking for financial restitution, separate from a criminal case in which charges are filed by the federal, state, or local prosecutor to punish a wrongdoer. Our attorneys can file a wrongful death claim even if a criminal case is occurring as well.
Kentucky wrongful death laws are complicated, but the Johnson Law Firm will make sure everything is done correctly, in accordance with the law. In a successful case, your family could receive an award for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and funeral costs. In addition, a lawsuit could force the trucking company to improve its safety protocols, potentially preventing future truck accidents and other deaths.
Be aware that, according to Ky. Rev. Stat. section 411.130, there is a statute of limitations, a time limit on how long you have to file a wrongful death claim. A cause of action for wrongful death in Kentucky must be filed within one year of the date the death occurred or the courts are likely to dismiss the case.
What to Do – and Not Do – Immediately After a Truck Crash
BY FOLLOWING THE STEPS OUTLINED HERE, YOU CAN ENSURE THAT YOU GET THE MEDICAL TREATMENT YOU NEED AND POSITION YOURSELF WISELY FOR A LEGAL CLAIM.
- 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 a Kentucky truck accident 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 truck accident lawyer have thoroughly reviewed them
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to questions our clients commonly ask:
WHAT IS THE PROCESS AFTER I HIRE A TRUCK CRASH ATTORNEY?
First, your truck accident lawyer will meet with you promptly to hear your version of events. He will ask questions, answer your concerns and take notes. Then your attorney will examine the evidence, review police reports and witness statements, look at photos of the crash scene, review the results of medical tests and doctors’ notes, and hire an expert witness if it is needed in your case. Your attorney will build a powerful legal claim on your behalf that names the negligent parties and requests financial compensation for all that you’ve suffered. Attorney Billy Johnson knows the ins and outs of a courtroom, and he has successfully secured settlements and jury awards on behalf of his clients.
ARE DRUGS AND ALCOHOL A PROBLEM FOR TRUCK DRIVERS?
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has conducted many studies on drug/alcohol use by truck drivers. The findings consistently tend to show that the long hours spent alone, driving over monotonous roads, may lead truckers to drug/alcohol use and abuse. Alcohol and marijuana are the most commonly used substances, followed by cocaine and amphetamines/methamphetamines. Stimulants are often attractive options to truck drivers who may be pressured to stay awake longer, log more miles and deliver their cargo sooner.
IS FATIGUE A PROBLEM FOR DRIVERS IN TRUCK ACCIDENTS?
Yes. In fact, just last year the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) revised the hours-of-service (HOS) safety requirements for commercial truck drivers in an attempt to limit working hours and reduce truck driver fatigue. The rules restrict the maximum average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours (down from a maximum of 82 hours) to ensure that all truck operators have adequate rest. They can resume if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two off-duty periods between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. This is known as the 34-hour restart and has yielded scientific evidence that it is more effective at fighting fatigue-related crashes than the prior rule.
WHAT IF I DID SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE ACCIDENT?
According to Kentucky Revised Statutes section 411.182, Kentucky is a “pure comparative fault” state. This means that the amount of damages you can recover in a car-accident-related lawsuit is reduced by the same percentage as your level of fault in causing the crash. For example, if it is determined that you were 10 percent at fault and the settlement was for $100,000, you could still collect $90,000.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIRE A TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY IN KENTUCKY?
No out-of-pocket money is required to file your lawsuit. Your Kentucky truck accident lawyer works on contingency, which means that he gets paid only when you get paid. If you win a financial settlement, your attorney fees are paid by the guilty parties. In the event that your claim is unsuccessful, then you owe us nothing.
Here’s the great news – it costs you nothing up front to hire a Kentucky truck wreck lawyer.
WHAT AREAS OF KENTUCKY DO YOU COVER?
Although our offices are in Pikeville, the seat of Pike County, our personal injury attorneys are pleased to serve clients located in towns and cities all across the state of Kentucky. In fact, Billy Johnson has handled litigation in other states and has been named a Super Lawyer by U.S. News & World Report, as well as an American Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 trial lawyer. His decision to enter into personal injury law was deeply rooted in his compassion for others. He welcomes the chance to help you. Give him a call at 606-437-4488 or use our convenient online contact form.
“I was so impressed by this law firm. The speed, accuracy, bluntness, and courtesy was so much better than I could have ever expected. Billy, Brittney, and Michelle were always so great. I especially feel like I got close to Michelle. She was always so nice and patient. Answered all of my questions, and if she couldn’t, she got me to Billy or Brittney right away. But they all feel like family to me now. They are real people who really care about their clients.” – Ruth Dutton
Common Causes of Large Truck Accidents
A skilled Kentucky truck accident lawyer knows the elements needed to successfully prove negligence in truck crashes. One of the first things your attorney will examine are problems with the truck, driver and roadways that could be potential causes of the accident. These can include:
- 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.
An aggressive attorney like Billy Johnson will read every police report, interview witnesses, examine evidence, visit the scene and even hire experts, if necessary, to prove your case and win financial compensation. For a free initial consultation about your case, call Billy at 606-437-4488.
A CLOSER LOOK AT WHERE AND WHEN LARGE TRUCK CRASHES HAPPEN
A highly skilled and experienced Kentucky truck accident lawyer who has represented multiple clients in these types of cases knows what to look for when gathering evidence and building a solid case. An effective truck crash attorney will look at not only how a crash happened, but also when and where it happened. Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS and HLDI) provide a snapshot of this data:
- A total of 4,136 people died in large truck crashes in 2018.
- 16% of these deaths were truck occupants; 67% were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles; and 15% were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists.
- The number of people who died in large truck crashes was 31% higher in 2018 than in 2009, when it was the lowest it has been since the collection of fatal crash data began in 1975.
- The number of truck occupants who died in 2018 was 51% higher than in 2009.
And Here Are Some More Crash Statistics
A highly skilled and experienced Kentucky truck accident lawyer who has represented multiple clients in these types of cases knows what to look for when gathering evidence and building a solid case. An effective truck crash attorney will look at not only how a crash happened, but also when and where it happened.
- 60% of deaths in large truck crashes in recent years occurred on major roads other than interstates and freeways.
- 7% of deaths in large truck crashes happened on minor roads.
- 48% of large truck crash deaths 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 occurred on Saturday or Sunday, compared to 34% of crash deaths not involving a large truck.
Truck braking capability can be a factor in truck crashes. Loaded tractor-trailers take 20 to 40 percent more distance to stop than cars do, and the discrepancy is greater on wet and slippery roads or with poorly maintained brakes. Attorney Billy Johnson is very familiar with these IIHS and HLDI statistics and knows how to use data to build a strong case for his clients.
Truck Drivers Who Work Longer Than Permitted
Just ask a skilled Kentucky truck accident lawyer and he will tell you that truck driver fatigue often leads to deadly accidents. 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 their destination quickly. Truck accident attorney Billy Johnson always carefully reviews driving logs to determine whether a sleepy driver could be at fault for the crash. For more information about driver negligence in truck crashes, contact Billy Johnson at 606-437-4488.
A Truck Accident Attorney Looks For These Things …
A KENTUCKY TRUCK WRECK LAWYER KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUILDING A LEGAL CLAIM.
Many times human error on the part of the truck driver can lead to catastrophic crashes. Our attorneys always research the certification and preparedness of truck drivers who have injured our clients in accidents.
To Qualify to Drive a Truck, a Person Must…
- Be 21 years of age or older and be 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 the employer with a signed list of all motor vehicle violations and be 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, 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.
If we discover that a truck driver has violated any rules and regulations while causing a crash injury or death, our attorneys will use this information to build an air-tight case when requesting financial compensation.
Truck Accident Lawyers Deal With Insurance Companies
Never try to negotiate with insurance companies on your own.
Truck accident cases are further complicated by the fact that there are multiple lines of insurance coverage involved. For example, the truck and the trailer may be owned by two separate corporations and be insured by different carriers, and there may be insurance companies for the driver’s employer, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, the cargo company, and third-party contractors as well.
Insurance companies are not out to benefit victims of accidents – they are concerned with their own bottom line and want to pay out as little as possible. They may use tactics such as offering you a quick settlement in return for signing a release. Once you accept their offer, you will not be able to make additional claims in the future, even if your injuries get worse. They may also attempt to trick you into saying something that can be used against you, such as admitting that you were partially at fault for the accident.
Billy Johnson can help you determine what your case is worth after considering all the factors, such as the medical needs you may have in the future and the devastating effects of the accident on your family, your social life, and your ability to earn money. Let us handle all dealings and negotiations with insurers and fight for the full compensation you deserve.
Once they know that there is an attorney at your side who is willing to go to trial, insurance company adjusters and their lawyers are likely take your case more seriously and come up with a legitimate settlement offer.
Were You Injured in a Large Truck Accident in Kentucky?
Do not go it alone. You may be entitled to financial compensation. You need a strong and experienced Kentucky truck accident attorney who knows how to go toe-to-toe with insurance companies and get results. If you’ve been injured or a family member has been killed in a horrific crash with a large truck, your life has been turned upside down and you are probably filled with a lot of fear. Questions run through your mind like “how will I ever pay all these medical bills?” and “will I be able to return to work?” It’s understandable that you’re worried and your family is scared.
While no amount of financial compensation can make up for the injuries and devastation that you’ve experienced, courts do provide a legal remedy that can at least help your family restore some normalcy and start building a new future. Though it may not feel like it now, things can get better. Attorney Billy Johnson has decades of legal experience helping families just like yours. He will aggressively fight for your rights and seek the financial compensation you deserve. Contact our team of highly trained truck wreck attorneys for a free consultation.
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 606-437-4488. We’re waiting for your call.
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