Lexington Truck Accident Lawyers
Semi-trucks and other large commercial trucks are among the most dangerous vehicles on the road. A fully-loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can take up to the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop. Additionally, tractor-trailers have large blind spots on all sides of the vehicle, making it difficult for other drivers to safely drive near them. For these reasons, it is no surprise that Lexington truck accidents are among the deadliest types of traffic accidents.
Truck accidents are more common than many motorists realize. For example, in 2018, there were over 10,500 Kentucky truck accidents, resulting in 108 deaths. Lexington sits at the intersection of two major interstates, I-75 and I-64, as a result, the city sees a disproportionate amount of semi-truck traffic. Indeed, between the years of 2012 and 2016, there were over 2,800 Fayette county truck accidents, accounting for 19 percent of all traffic accidents in the county. This figure was the highest in all of Kentucky, behind Jefferson County.
Top Causes of Fayette County Truck Accidents
Given their size and the fact that truck drivers often spend long hours on the road, the most common causes of Lexington truck accidents are slightly different than the common causes of car accidents. For example, according to the most recent government statistics, the following are the most common contributing factors in Kentucky truck crashes:
- Inattention – It only takes a split second to cause a serious accident. When a truck driver diverts their attention from the road, he places everyone around him in jeopardy. Whether it be looking at a phone, talking to a passenger or day dreaming, distracted driving is a leading cause of truck accidents.
- Fatigue – Truck drivers spend countless hours on the road. And while federal law requires truck drivers to take frequent short breaks, and longer breaks in between trips, it is not uncommon for truck drivers to ignore these requirements and push themselves to cover the most mileage they can per day.
- Intoxication – Some truck drivers combat the boredom and fatigue that comes with the job with illegal or over-the-counter substances. However, while these substances may provide a temporary reprieve from fatigue or boredom, they impact the driver’s decision-making ability and often cause more fatigue when they wear off.
- Speeding – Traveling too fast for the conditions, or speeding, does not necessarily mean a truck driver is going faster than the speed limit. During times of inclement weather or reduced visibility, truck drivers must reduce their speed such that they can safely operate their vehicle.
- Loss of control – Not all truck accidents are the result of negligent driving, some are caused by poorly maintained equipment. For example, inadequately maintained brakes, burnt-out lights or balding tires can cause a driver to lose control of the truck, potentially resulting in a serious accident.
Pursing a Claim after a Lexington Truck Accident
Being involved in a truck accident is a harrowing experience. Most truck accident victims sustain serious injury that will likely have a lifelong impact. Even those who are fortunate enough to walk away from the collision, may suffer from the lingering effects of the accident in the coming weeks or months.
Those who have been injured in a Fayette County tractor-trailer accident are entitled to pursue a claim for compensation against all parties they believe to be responsible for their injuries. Of course, the truck driver is first and most obvious party to name in a truck accident lawsuit. However, there may be additional potentially liable parties.
Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, an accident victim may be able to hold a negligent truck driver’s employer liable for their injuries. Respondeat superior is a Latin term, roughly translating to “let the master answer.” The doctrine is a form of vicarious liability, which allows for an injury victim to hold a third-party responsible for the negligent actions of the person causing the plaintiff’s injury. As one Kentucky court explained the doctrine, “Simply put, because employees often lack sufficient assets to pay tort judgments, respondeat superior is necessary to allow victims to reach into employers’ deep-pockets for compensation.” Just as the court noted, pursuing all potentially liable parties is critical to the overall success of a claim, because securing a judgment against a party who cannot make good on the judgment does not help a truck accident victim.
The Importance of an Experienced Attorney
While truck accident claims may seem straightforward in theory, in practice that is rarely the case. In part, this is because most claims are defended by the at-fault party’s insurance company. Insurance companies employ teams of lawyers whose sole job it is to reduce the number and value of claims against the insurance company. Accident victims need someone on their side with the same experience and dedication.
Consult with a Dedicated Lexington Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been involved in a Lexington semi-truck accident, you need experienced personal injury lawyers on your side. Hessig & Pohl is ready to help you. One of the reasons Hessig & Pohl is a popular choice among Kentucky truck accident victims is that our representation does not cost you anything out-of-pocket. We work on a contingency basis and cover all litigation costs. We will not collect a fee unless we are able to help you recover compensation for your injuries. Contact us though our website, or call our office at (502) 777-1111. The initial consultation is free.
Marty fought for me when the insurance company denied my claim. We sued and got the insurance limits.