Episode 7: Jeff Roberts is a personal injury attorney in Calloway County. Today he discusses trucking accidents and the various issues involved in these types of Western Kentucky collisions. He has years of experience working with injured victims and their families.
The semi-trucks are significantly bigger and heavier than other vehicles on the roads. The injuries are often much more serious. In Episode 6, Jeff interviewed Sheriff Sam Steger about traffic safety on the highway and other county roads.
It’s important to remember that proper seat belt usage is one of the precautions drivers can take to help protect themselves. Your seat belt, especially the shoulder strap is designed to minimize contact with the steering wheel and dashboard. Seat belts can also keep you from being ejected from the vehicle in a collision. If you have child safety seats, most police departments will provide a free inspection to help you safely install the seat.
Causes of Trucking Accidents
Car drivers often misjudge how quickly they are approaching a tractor trailer. This is especially true on hills, as the incline causes the semi to slow down. Sharp curves also require a truck driver to slow down to avoid tipping over the trailer.
Truckers are required to maintain a valid Commercial Drivers License (CDL). In the event of a collision, your attorney will carefully examine the driver’s past employment record and driving history. All of us want to keep unsafe drivers off the roads, before these catastrophic accidents have a chance to occur. Unfortunately, if the trucking company has not performed adequate due diligence in hiring a driver, the risks remain high.
This is a common problem impacting the equipment on a tractor trailer. The condition of the brakes, the tread on the tires and the turn signals all have a vital function in preventing trucking accidents.
The improper loading of the trailer can allow the load to suddenly shift, resulting in the loss of control and a potential wreck. Before I-69 replaced the Purchase Parkway, the Fulton cloverleaf exit on 1-24 was a very tight curve. Interchanges like this are common areas of load shifts resulting in overturned vehicles. Now, this has been constructed as a left-side exit with a sweeping ramp, making it much safer for both cars and tractor trailers. This is similar to the old Hopkinsville-Madisonville exit on the Western Kentucky Parkway.
Limits to Driving Hours
Over the road truckers also have limits on the number of hours they are allowed to drive. This is primarily to limit fatigue, which could lead to a trucking accident or traffic fatality. Technology has helped in keeping better track of the trucker’s activity, but gaps and falsification can still occur.
Suing Multiple Entities in a Trucking Accident
When a truck accident happens, numerous people and companies may be liable. An attorney could file a law suit against the truck driver, the trucking company, the company responsible for loading the trailer,
The medical expense related to a tractor trailer accident can be enormous. Pursing multiple companies may help to make available multiple sources of insurance coverage. It’s important to understand that it’s not always the trucker’s fault. Understanding how and why the collision occurred is critically important.
Attorneys often hire an experienced accident reconstructionist to examine and recreate the facts surrounding the trucking collision. These industry experts have specific knowledge of the events leading up to the wreck, regulations, laws and other factors involved in trucking accidents.
Companies are generally hired to examine and analyze the truck’s black box data. Mechanics are asked to examine the condition of the truck’s equipment and maintenance records to see if there were issues involving equipment failure or improper maintenance.
The collection and preservation of evidence both at the scene and contained electronically must be carefully examined. Your attorney should quickly send a preservation letter to all parties involved to ensure evidence is secured and will remain available. This includes the actual wrecked tractor trailer.
Distracted Driving by Truckers
Distracted driving is a serious issue. When a trucker is distracted and operating his/her truck the risks for a catastrophic injury skyrocket. It’s not uncommon to see truckers on the phone while driving. There are also cases in which the trucker was playing a movie on a laptop and driving at the same time.
Truckers Driving Under the Influence
If the driver was impaired by alcohol, amphetamines and/or other drugs, it opens up the possibility of filing for punitive damages, in addition to the compensatory damages. Truck drivers to always be required to be tested as soon as possible after the collision. A blood test is best because is indicates what’s actively in the driver’s system, at the time of the accident.
Interested in Hiring Jeff Roberts for a Trucking Accident?
Jeff works on a contingency fee basis. There’s no money upfront. He only gets paid at the end of the case and it’s based on a percentage of the award. He has an incentive to do what’s best to maximize the money you deserve. Jeff advances the litigation expenses to cover the fees charged by the various experts he brings into the case. The litigation expenses are also on a contingency fee basis. The Kentucky Bar Association requires him to state court cost and fees are the responsibility of the client. Jeff only gets paid at the end of the case.
For more information, visit www.JeffRobertsLaw.com. This podcast is meant to provide information and is not legal advice. Jeff’s principal office is located at 509 Main Street, Murray, Kentucky. Co-host Jim Ray is a non-attorney spokesperson. This is an advertisement.