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Liable in Lexington: Who Pays for Truck Accidents?

— March 25, 2022

Hiring a truck accident lawyer doesn’t mean that you’ll have to go to trial. In most cases, the claim can be settled out of court.

Fayette County is the second most dangerous county for large truck accidents in Kentucky. Most of the crashes involving trucks in the county take place in and around Lexington, which sees a lot of heavy traffic on US 75 and US 64. When an 80,000 lbs fully loaded 18-wheeler smashes into a 4,000 lbs passenger car, the occupants in the latter are lucky if they get out alive. Most truck accidents result in severe injuries, such as head trauma, spine damage or broken bones. The financial consequences are tremendous, with the victims being unable to work for long periods of time and unable to pay medical bills that often run upwards of $100,000. If you or a loved one were recently injured in this type of crash, you need to get in touch with a seasoned Lexington truck accident lawyer to see what your rights are and how much your claim is worth. Also, you’ll need a skilled lawyer to conduct an independent investigation into the crash to determine who is liable for damages. 

How is liability determined in a truck accident in Lexington?

Unlike regular car collisions, in a truck accident you can have more than one party liable for damages. The trucker may have his share of fault, but you may also have a case against the trucking company, the manufacturer of a defective part or those responsible for loading the vehicle. 

Many truck accidents are caused by speeding, failure to yield, following too close or other traffic rule violations. If that’s what happened to you, it is the trucker that bears full responsibility for the crash. You may have to file a claim against their insurance, but since a trucker carries limited liability coverage, somewhere around $25-30,000, that might not be enough to cover your damage. If the driver works for a trucking company, a knowledgeable lawyer might be able to bring a claim against his employer using the vicarious liability law. This is very convenient if you have a large claim as interstate trucking companies are required by law to carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability coverage.

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Can you sue a trucking company in Kentucky?

On the other hand, your lawyer will investigate whether the driver had a valid license, a clean driving record and had received adequate training. If not, the company may be held accountable for negligent hire. 

One of the most common causes for truck accidents is driver fatigue. If you’re ever involved in such a crash, take a good look at the trucker. If he seems very tired and has dark circles under his eyes, an experienced Kentucky accident lawyer will certainly want to see the driver’s log. If it turns out the driver had been on the road for more than what the federal Hours of Service regulations allow, it might be because the employer had set him an impossible deadline and he had no choice but to keep driving to make it to the destination. In such a case, your lawyer will file a claim against the trucking company. 

Hiring a truck accident lawyer doesn’t mean that you’ll have to go to trial. In most cases, the claim can be settled out of court. If, however, the trucking company’s insurer refuses to give you fair compensation, you have the option to take them to court. 

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