Paducah Truck Accident Attorneys
Navigating the Nuances of Personal Injury Cases
Navigating the legal system after you’ve been injured in a car accident is already challenging, but what can make things even more tricky is if you’re filing a truck accident claim. Truck accidents differ from car accidents in several ways: one way is in the types of injuries that can occur. Truck accidents usually cause more serious injuries due to the sheer size, weight, and force of the truck involved. What can also make filing a personal injury claim even more challenging is if the truck that caused your injuries is a commercial truck. Commercial truck drivers are subject to many rules and regulations, so the complexities of investigating the cause of a truck accident can be much more detailed than a car accident. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a truck accident, call Katz Law. With nearly 25 years of legal experience, our Paducah truck accident attorneys can be relied upon to guide you through the legal system as we help you file your claim and recover what’s rightfully yours.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can be caused by the same factors that cause any other motor vehicle accident, though there are some factors unique to truck drivers. It’s important to note that while uncontrollable factors may contribute to accidents, like poor weather, most accidents are caused by human error and negligence.
Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Fatigue: Commercial truck drivers who transport cargo for a living often have to drive long distances overnight and across state lines. While federal law requires drivers to take meal and rest breaks, it’s still fairly common for drivers to be fatigued on the road, resulting in distracted driving and negligent actions such as drifting over lanes or failing to stop for slowed traffic.
- Speeding; Speeding is one of the leading causes for all motor vehicle accidents. Driving above the speed limit can decrease the driver’s response time, meaning they may not be able to brake in time before colliding with slowed or stopped cars or other road hazards. Speeding truckers can also lose control of their vehicles, causing them to roll over or jackknife and bring other vehicles down with them.
- Brake issues: Though trucks need to be inspected and regularly maintained, sometimes issues like faulty parts and bad brakes escape notice and cause accidents on the road. Brake issues can prevent drivers from stopping for slowed traffic or for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the street.
- Improper training: Commercial truck drivers must go through a training process in order to get the type of license necessary to drive a truck. Navigating roads in a large vehicle can be more challenging and require different techniques than driving a smaller passenger car. Inexperienced truckers can cause accidents by cutting off vehicles while making wide turns, for example, or going at unsafe speeds.
Hours of Service Regulations
Because of the risk commercial trucks pose in the event of an accident, truck drivers are regulated heavily by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The goal of the regulations the FMCSA puts in place is to help protect other drivers on the road. One of these regulations is called the hours of service regulations. These rules aim to ensure truckers are well-rested, since tired drivers are much more likely to cause an accident. The hours of service regulations say:
- Truck drivers can work 14-hour days, but only 11 of these hours can be spent actually driving, the remaining time must be spent on meal or rest breaks.
- Drivers must rest for at least 10 consecutive hours once the workday is over
- Truck drivers must take days off work at regular intervals. These days off are determined by the time the hours of the trucking company a driver works. If a trucking company is open seven days a week a driver is only allowed to work 70 hours in an eight-day period before taking at least 34 consecutive hours off. If a trucking company is open less than seven days a week than a driver is only allowed to work 60 hours in a seven-day period before taking 34 hours off.
Too often truckers are caught breaking these rules. In rarer circumstances, the hours of service regulations are modified in times of national emergencies, such as in the recent COVID-19 crisis. If you have a case, don’t hesitate to contact our firm right away!
Truck accidents can cause minor injuries, but more often than not they produce serious, catastrophic injuries like spinal cord and neck injuries, burns, broken or crushed limbs and bones, and head and brain injuries. These types of injuries easily cost thousands of dollars to treat in ambulance rides, surgeries, hospital stays, and more. As an injured individual, you may know that it’s unfair for you to have to pay out-of-pocket for injuries that aren’t your fault, but you may be wondering who has to pay.
Our attorneys utilize our resources to assess accidents and determine liability through evidence like crash reports, witness testimonies, medical records, expert analysis and more.
When you call us, we can fight for your rights to compensation so you can pay your medical bills, as well as make up for property damage, lost wages, and any pain and suffering you may have already endured.
In truck accident cases, the following parties can be held liable for truck accidents:
- The truck manufacturer, if a faulty part caused the accident
- Vendors providing services to carriers
- Cargo owners
- Truck drivers
- Trucking companies or carriers
- Governments responsible for highway maintenance
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