Commercial vehicles transport thousands of goods and services all across the country on a daily basis. With so many tractor-trailers on the road, it’s no surprise that accidents happen. Most of the collisions, however, are entirely preventable. This fact can make it difficult for victims to cope with what they’ve been through. Our Lexington truck accident lawyers are prepared to help those individuals in whatever way we can.
Semis are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. When they’re involved in an accident, the injuries sustained are severe and often result in death. If you’ve been in a tractor-trailer accident in Kentucky, your injuries may be preventing you from working or could cause permanent damage that will drastically affect your future. The attorneys at Golden Law Office are prepared to investigate your claim and help you seek the compensation you need to recover.
How Common Are Tractor-Trailer Crashes in Kentucky?
Commercial truck accidents happen regularly in the United States. Big rig wrecks have resulted in countless injuries and fatalities in the state of Kentucky. Here are some facts and statistics about semi crashes from the Traffic Collision Facts 2017 Report:
- There are 164,556 commercial trucks registered in Kentucky.
- Trucks accounted for four percent of vehicles in all accidents and seven percent of vehicles in fatal collisions.
- A total of 9,819 large vehicles were involved in collisions.
- 1,461 of those accidents resulted in injury.
- 82 of the crashes were fatal.
- The majority of accidents occurred on state routes and interstates.
- Most truckers involved in wrecks were from out-of-state.
- Tire failure contributed to 101 collisions.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Many factors contribute to big rig accidents. While many usually have something to do with the person operating the motor vehicle, whether it’s the truck driver or another driver on the road, there are other ways that an accident can occur.
- Driver Error. 18-wheelers need to signal turns early and frequently make wide turns. Drivers that speed, don’t signal their intent to turn or change lanes, or aren’t focusing on driving can cause collisions.
- Driver Fatigue. Most people are tired after driving for six or seven hours, but truckers can do more than this over a span of days. Their exhaustion can make them fall asleep at the wheel, drift into other lanes, or make poor judgment calls when driving. While there are guidelines that state how long a trucker can be on the road, those rules are often ignored in an attempt to deliver the load earlier and receive payment sooner.
- Distracted Driving. Boredom is a common factor while driving for long periods of time. To combat this, truckers may decide to text, browse social media, or talk with friends on their cellphones.
- Poor Maintenance. Sometimes an accident isn’t the driver’s fault. Trucking companies may not be giving their vehicles the proper maintenance. They could be neglecting their vehicles to save money or time. Because of their size and the number of miles spent on the road, tractor-trailers need to be frequently examined and fixed.
- Product Defect. Sometimes, there are manufacturing issues with the semi that can cause an accident. When faulty brakes or steering mechanisms give out, the trucker may quickly lose control of their vehicle and collide with others.
- Other People Drive in “No Zones.” Tractor-trailers have four major blind spots. In front about 20 feet, the back is 30 feet, the right side has a blind spot of two lanes and the left side is one lane. When drivers stay in these spots for a long time, the truck driver won’t know they’re there. If a car is still in that blind spot when the big rig is turning, they could collide.
What Are the Consequences Associated with Commercial Vehicle Wrecks?
While injuries are the most common consequences associated with large truck crashes, the lasting effects do not stop there. In addition to serious injuries, crash victims are likely to suffer from emotional trauma and financial burdens.
Truck accidents tend to cause more severe injuries than those between two passenger cars because of the vehicle’s size and weight. These injuries can cause devastating harm and possibly have permanent consequences. When someone’s quality of life declines because of someone’s negligence, it’s a tragedy. Truck accident injuries can cause:
- Head Injuries. Injuries affecting a person’s head or brain can cause concussions or severely impair cognitive functions. They may even cause permanent brain damage.
- Spinal and Back Injuries. These injuries can affect a person’s mobility and possibly result in paralysis.
- Broken Bones. The impact of the accident can cause broken bones or sprains.
- Internal Injuries. The trauma of a tractor-trailer accident may cause internal bleeding and threaten vital internal organs.
- Wrongful Death. Sometimes, a truck wreck can result in a fatality. If you’ve lost a loved one because of a commercial vehicle crash, you can still get justice for your loved one. Golden Law Office can help you with a wrongful death claim.
Recovering from a serious crash could mean longer stays in hospitals or a long recovery process that requires medication and rehabilitation. Your attorney will do all they can to make sure your future health expenses are covered.
While not always thought of, the psychological consequences associated with being the victim of a major tractor-trailer accident can seriously impact a person’s life – especially if they lost someone in the accident or are now faced with a life-altering, debilitating medical condition.
Individuals suffering from emotional trauma may experience the following symptoms:
- Sleep loss or sleep disturbances
- Moodiness or irritability
- Social withdraw
- Weight fluctuations
- Chronic fatigue or exhaustion
- Feelings of embarrassment, loneliness, or being overwhelmed
Individuals experiencing emotional trauma can seek help from mental health professionals. Cognitive therapy and medication are common tracks to recovery.
After dealing with the physical consequences of a crash, it’s likely the financial repercussions will roll in, in the form of medical expenses and lost wages. Even with health insurance, recovering from an accident can be incredibly expensive – especially if you need to undergo multiple procedures or need ongoing treatments to aid in your recovery.
An individual who is suffering from serious physical conditions will most likely be unable to work for an extended period of time. Our lawyers can help you seek compensation, so you don’t have to worry about finances and can instead focus on healing.
What Should Victims Do After a Big Rig Wreck?
Any type of vehicle accident is scary, but the situation can seem even more immediate when it’s between a large truck and a smaller passenger vehicle. If you’ve been in a crash, it’s important to know how to act. Not only can this prevent your injuries from causing irreparable damage, but it can improve your chances of receiving full and fair compensation.
The first thing you should do is stop your vehicle, remain at the scene of the crash, and report what has happened. Call 911 immediately. They will be able to get law enforcement and medical aid to the scene as fast as possible. Even if you’re physically feeling okay, it’s imperative to be looked over by a medical professional. Not all injuries are visible, and you cannot be compensated for injuries that are not documented.
If possible, identify the other party involved and collect contact information from them. You’ll want to document their name, address, phone number, insurance company and policy information, driver’s license number, and contact information for their employer.
Take photos of the accident scene, property damage, and injuries. These photos can be used as evidence to prove the other party was at fault for what occurred. Also be aware of what you say to the other party and law enforcement. While you might be inclined to apologize for the situation that’s occurred, this can make it look like you’re admitting guilt. It’s better to stick to the facts and speak with an attorney prior to taking any additional actions.
How Can You Benefit from Legal Representation?
If you’ve been injured in a collision, the lawyers at Golden Law Office can provide assistance through the legal process. While a successful claim can’t undo what damage the truck accident caused, it can help you recover financially. A thorough investigation can prove your accident never should have happened in the first place. We’ll be sure to handle all the difficult conversations with insurance companies, so you can focus on recovering.
There is support for you in Lexington. Contact us today for a free consultation with an attorney in Kentucky and you can get started on getting your life back in order.