Many injury victims share common questions, concerns, and uncertainties. The Pikeville, Kentucky-based truck accident attorneys of the Johnson Law Firm have offered these answers to frequently asked questions for the benefit of potential clients. Our clients rely on us for accurate, honest case analyses and dedicated representation. We have helped countless individuals get the relief they deserve. Contact us to see if we can help you.

How common are truck wrecks?
What causes truck accidents?
What makes truck accidents unlike car accidents?
Are drugs and alcohol a problem for truck drivers?
Is fatigue a problem for truck drivers?
What kinds of injuries happen in truck wrecks?
Where do most accidents happen?
Why do I need the assistance of a truck accident lawyer?
How much is my case worth?
What areas of Kentucky do you cover?

How common are truck wrecks?

semi-truck rollover accidentAccording to the United States Department of Transportation, trucks were involved in 3,464 of the 30,800 fatal crashes that happened on the nation’s roadways in 2012. In addition, there were an estimated 5,584,000 nonfatal crashes, and 317,000 of those wrecks involved at least one large truck.

Closer to home, Kentucky had 88 fatal collisions involving large trucks for the year 2012. Large trucks are defined as having a gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds.

What causes trucking wrecks?

  • Driver fatigue
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Weight violations
  • Improperly maintained equipment, especially brakes or tires
  • Prescription and over-the-counter drug use
  • Alcohol use
  • Poor road conditions
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Defective tires
  • Improper road signage (often concerning height or weight restrictions)
  • Inadequate training
  • Unrealistic schedules set by trucking employers

What makes trucking accidents unlike car accidents?

Accidents that involve a large truck are far more likely than ones involving only passenger cars to result in serious injury or even death because of the weight of a typical truck.

An average truck that is fully loaded can weigh more than 80,000 pounds. In contrast, an average automobile weighs less than 3,500 pounds.

Additionally, there are several parties other than the driver that may be held responsible for injuries, such as trucking companies, trailer owners, contractors, employers, shippers and insurance companies. Another consideration is that a truck may be hauling hazardous or flammable materials, which automatically puts any potential victim in more danger simply by the nature of the truck’s load.

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 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 semi-truck drivers?

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 kinds of injuries happen in 18 wheeler accidents?

Due to the huge size difference between large commercial trucks and average passenger vehicles, truck wreck accidents can result in debilitating injuries and fatalities. Common injuries include:

  • Broken bones in arms and legs
  • Internal bleeding
  • Crushed limbs requiring amputation
  • Spinal cord damage and paralysis
  • Head trauma/traumatic brain injury
  • Burns

Where do most accidents happen?

A 2011 traffic collision report by the Kentucky State Police Department showed that 20% of all truck collisions occurred on Kentucky’s county or city streets, 26% on interstates, and 50% on U.S. and state-numbered routes. Thirty percent of hazardous cargo collisions occurred on interstates and 53% on U.S. and state-numbered routes.

Why do I need the assistance of a trucking accident lawyer?

Whenever you have been involved in a truck accident, it makes sense to consult with a personal injury lawyer and explore every option available to you. Injuries are always expensive to treat, and another party may be liable even if you are not aware of it. A truck accident attorney can help you identify all responsible parties who may be required to compensate you and can work to either negotiate a settlement or draft a case aimed to convince a judge or jury to award you damages.

How much is my case worth?

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 incident. 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 (both with respect to quality of life and employability), pain and suffering, property damage, and numerous other costs. You are entitled to be restored, insofar as is possible, to the condition you were in prior to the relevant actions of the liable party.

What areas of Kentucky do you cover?

Truck Wreck Injury Attorney Billy Johnson inspects AccidentAlthough 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 606-433-0682 or use this convenient online contact form.