Semi truck accidents in Kentucky are unfortunately fairly common. In 2012, 729 people were critically injured in the state in the state of Kentucky in motor vehicle accidents, 16 more injuries than 2011. Of these crashes, 578 were fatalities, 317 of the victims were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident, and 64 of the incidents involved a commercial truck. In 2008, nearly 124,000 commercial trucks were involved in non-fatal crashes across the United States, causing over 73,000 injuries. If you or someone you love has been involved in a semi truck accident in Kentucky and the semi driver was at fault, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries.
What Causes Semi Truck Accidents in Kentucky?
While semi truck accidents in Kentucky can occur from mechanical or vehicular failure, one of the main causes of accidents stems from the drivers operating the vehicles. While federal law limits the hours that commercial trucks can be on the road in order to protect drivers and prevent fatigue, the original rules have been altered. A commercial truck must abide by the law if it is weighs over 10,000 pounds, is designed to transport 16 or more people including the driver with no compensation, is designed to transported 9 or more people including the driver for compensation or if it is transporting hazardous materials.
Currently, a driver may be on the road for a maximum of 11 continuous hours in a 14-hour workday before he or she is required to take a mandatory 10-hour rest period. Additionally, in any seven-day period, the vehicle can only be on the road for between 60 and 77 hours; in an eight-day period, the driver may operate the truck between 70 and 88 hours. Once the truck and driver have been off the road for two and a half continuous days, the week resets and the driver starts from zero.
However, although both the employers and drivers know that they must follow the law, it is alleged that many do not; truck drivers may break the rule to make more money for their employers or because they have to travel and deliver products on a very tight schedule. Unfortunately, drivers are at a higher risk of falling asleep at the wheel if his or her mental and physical abilities are compromised due to driving long hours and extreme fatigue.
Plaintiffs involved in semi truck accidents in Kentucky may be eligible to file personal injury lawsuits against both the driver and the trucking company if the victims can prove that the company coerced the driver or if the driver knowingly chose to keep the truck on the road for a longer period of time than federal law allows.
In one case in Chicago, a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a state trooper’s car. The driver and his employer have since been fined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. While federal regulations require 10 hours of rest after a driver travels 14 hours, GPS logs show that the driver had been traveling for several hours past that limit when the crash occurred.
Employers are familiar with the federal regulations surrounding the trucking industry, but many lawsuits allege that they overlook rule breaking because they either want to make more money or have strict delivery deadlines that are nearly impossible to meet. Rather than attempting to schedule their routes better or placing shipments into different trucks, companies maintain the same standards in order to maintain or increase profits and heavily rely on attorneys to handle keeping semi truck accident lawsuits in check.
Injured in a Semi Truck Accident?
If you or someone you love has been involved in a semi truck accident in Kentucky, the lawyers at Attorney Group for Kentucky can help you pursue potential compensation. You may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and vehicular damage. If you are filing on behalf of a loved one, you may be awarded damages for loss of consortium, loss of income and wrongful death. Attorney Group for Kentucky understand it can be very overwhelming facing the aftermath of a semi truck accident alone, and we want you to know you do not have to do that. Attorney Group for Kentucky is here to answer all your legal questions and decide if you want to pursue compensation, all at no cost to you. So contact Attorney Group for Kentucky today.