Georgetown, Kentucky is near three major cities: Lexington, Louisville, and Cincinnati. Many trucks may drive through Georgetown on their way to these locations or when passing through to destinations farther away. When you encounter a truck on the road, you expect the driver to be alert, trained, and focused on what they’re doing. You also expect their vehicle to be road-ready and safe. However, when negligence plays a part at any phase in the trucking industry, it can result in a devastating accident.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a truck accident? Have you lost a loved one in a truck accident? Golden Law Office is here for you. Our Georgetown truck accident lawyer will represent your best interests and guide you through the legal process as you seek compensation for your injuries. If you’re representing a lost loved one, we understand how difficult this loss can be. We’ll hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and give your loved one a voice.
As we begin investigating your case, we’ll look at what the truck was transporting and the regulations that apply to it. It’s possible they didn’t follow regulation and that’s what caused your accident. Let’s take a look at Kentucky truck regulations.
What Are the Overweight/Over-Dimensional Laws in Kentucky?
Trucks need to adhere to the weight limit regulations so they don’t experience issues on the road. In Kentucky, trucks have the following weight regulations:
- 20,000 pounds per single axle. Axles need to be less than 42 inches apart to be classified as single.
- 34,000 pounds on two axles. The two axles should be 42 inches or more apart and less than 96 inches apart.
- 48,000 pounds on three axles. They need to be spaced 42 inches or more apart and less than 120 inches apart.
- The total gross weight of the truck cannot exceed 80,000 pounds.
If the truck involved in your accident was carrying more than regulation allows, our lawyers will hold them accountable for their negligence. Had they followed the law and loaded the truck properly, there’s a chance your accident and injuries could have been avoided.
Even if the truck was within the correct weight limits, an 80,000 pound 18-wheeler involved in a crash can cause devastating injuries. Let’s take a look at the kinds of truck accidents that can occur and the injuries they can cause.
The Dangers of Truck Accidents
There is more than one type of truck accident. Some of the common ones are:
- Rollover. In a rollover accident, the truck’s center of gravity is thrown off, and the vehicle rolls onto its side. Typically, the driver losing control of the vehicle is what contributes to this type of accident. The driver loses control, the semi-trailer hits the curb or an object that lifts part of the vehicle, and it results in a rollover.
- Jackknife. A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer swings out from behind the tractor, which forms an L or V shape. Once the trailer swings out, the driver can do little to get the trailer back under control. If the trailer swings into oncoming traffic, drivers headed in the other direction may be involved in a head-on collision.
- Underride/Override. An underride accident occurs when a car gets caught under the back or side of a truck, while an override accident occurs when the front of a truck goes over the back of a car. These accidents are often fatal as the truck can shear off the part of the car that’s trapped, and drivers of both vehicles have little to no control after the car is stuck.
The injuries of a collision with an 18-wheeler can be permanent. Brain injuries, accidental amputations, internal organ damage, and spinal cord injuries can occur in a truck wreck. These injuries will likely need immediate medical attention and could take a long time for the person to recover. They may not be able to make a full recovery, but can only recover up to a point if the injury does cause permanent damage.
When you or a loved one is dealing with injuries like this, finding out who was responsible for them may be a priority for you. It’s common to think the truck driver was the one at fault, but there may be other responsible parties who were not present at the crash.
Why Is Determining Fault Complicated in a Truck Accident?
Crashes involving big rigs can happen for a number of reasons. It’s entirely possible the truck driver was at fault. If they were inexperienced, they may not have had the skill to handle a vehicle of that size, lost control, and caused an accident.
For example, trucks have considerably larger blind spots than the average four-door sedan. Truckers cannot see objects that are within 20 feet ahead of them, 30 feet behind them, 1 lane to their left, and 2 lanes to the right. Driving in these spots increases the chances of an accident occurring and an inexperienced trucker may not even be aware to keep a careful watch on traffic so they know if anything is approaching or staying in their blind spot. Cars who are in a truck’s blind spot should either slow down or pass with care to put distance between them and the large truck.
Truck drivers can also make negligent decisions. Speeding, following too closely, and driving while distracted are all reasons why a trucker can cause a collision. Other reasons include being unfamiliar with the roads and one of the main concerns with truck drivers—driver fatigue.
Hauling cargo across the country can mean a truck driver is traveling for multiple hours over multiple days. When you see a driver on the road, they could be in hour 4 the day after an 8 hour drive. Spending this much time on the road is exhausting and it only takes a second for a driver’s eyes to close for them to lose control of the truck. While there are regulations stating when drivers need to rest, sometimes their schedules are more demanding. They may choose to push through the fatigue or not recognize how truly exhausted they are and fall asleep at the wheel.
However, the trucking company could be at fault. If they didn’t check the truck for issues with the brakes, steering wheel, engine, or any other crucial part of the truck, they sent out a vehicle without knowing if it was safe. They could have also overloaded or improperly loaded the truck, which could have contributed to the accident happening.
If a part on the truck failed, the company that manufactured it could have produced a faulty part. In this case, they may be held liable for the accident.
Careful investigation and analysis of the evidence is necessary to determining who was at fault. Once we discover the at fault party, we’ll look at all the accident has cost you and demand you get fair compensation for your injuries. It’s likely a trucking or manufacturing company will have their own team of lawyers to protect them. We’re not afraid to stand up to them and show them the truth of their actions: their negligence caused your injuries and you should be compensated.
Contact Dependable Lawyers Today
You shouldn’t have to deal with the outcome of a truck accident on your own. There are people who can help you find the best way forward. Our lawyers at Golden Law Office are prepared to do just that. We’ll also deal with harassing insurance adjusters if they’re trying to contact you and get you to make an official statement or settle your case. We can give them the information they need and then move forward on maximizing your compensation. Call us today to schedule a free case evaluation.