Both State and federal governments have imposed laws on trucks and their regulators in an effort to make highways a safer place. However, these laws and limitations are often broken and lead to accidents and injuries.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2008, 37,261 people were killed and 2,346,000 people were injured in automobile accidents. Of those 37,261 people killed, 11,441 were killed in truck accidents, and of the 2,346,000 injured, 791,000 were injured in crashes involving some form of a truck. When looking at large truck crashes, one will find that 4,229 people were killed when this type of vehicle was involved, with only 677 or 16% of the deaths being the operator of the truck, 3,139 being operators of other vehicles, and 413 not being occupants of any vehicle.
In 2013, while the fatality rate has been decreasing for passenger vehicles accidents, there was a small increase to 3, 964 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks. The majority of the fatalities (2,834) were occupants of the vehicle colliding with the truck, though notably 427 large truck drivers were killed in single vehicle accidents.
Following an truck accident where you suspect there was negligence, a defective product or simply have questions about what may have happened, you should contact and experienced produce liability lawyer to investigate the matter.
The Lyon Firm has developed compelling evidence in catastrophic injury cases through the use of accident reconstructionists, bio-mechanical engineers, forensic design engineers, life care planners, economists, and medical doctors to present the highest quality evidence and arguments on the Plaintiff’s behalf. This work has resulted in significant seven figure settlements that enhanced and secured a dignified quality of life for the Plaintiff’s future.
Trucking companies can fail to properly train their employees in a multitude of ways. Among many other variables, employees need to know: how to drive a truck versus any other vehicle, what every truck control does, how often they can drive, what loads they are allowed to carry, what to do when other trucks and vehicles are on the highway, what is considered distracted driving, what driving under the influence exactly is, and, consequently, what not to do while driving.
If employers fail to mention or adequately touch on any one of these factors (or others) during training, then they have negligently trained and have not given their drivers the appropriate knowledge they need to be safe on the road. Additionally, negligent training can arise if, after hiring and initial training, trucking companies fail to renew that training or continue to enhance their drivers’ abilities in months and years to come. Furthermore, if trucking companies fail to let go of an employee who has shown signs of inadequate driving, the companies may be charged with negligent training, as well.
Due to the size and force involved in truck accidents, the injuries are often catastrophic or fatal as discussed above.
The legal options will depend on what caused the truck accident and injury. In any case, these injuries are usually too serious for the injured party to negotiate a fair and comprehensive settlement without an attorney. The interplay of complex liability questions, subrogation, and future life care plans require the attention of an attorney experienced in complex product liability and industrial lawsuits.
There are personal injury cases where an attorney may not be necessary, but truck accident injuries are usually permanent and should be addressed by a lawyer qualified in complex personal injury matters.
Vehicle Accident: If the case involved a vehicle accident, there is typically insurance available to compensate the injured party. However, often individual vehicle insurance policies will not be sufficient to fully compensate the victim. In those cases, it may be necessary to find additional defendants that contributed to the accident sequence and can therefore contribute to compensating the injured party.
Product Liability: Where the injury was caused by a defective product, the litigation path is much more expensive and complex. The attorney will need to evaluate the viability of the defendant and cost to prove the case through expert testimony. Product liability cases can be some of the most expensive types of litigation, but where there is a viable defendant, the cases should be evaluated carefully to determine if a defective product caused the fracking accident.
Workers Comp as Exclusive Remedy: If you were injured at work by another worker, the first step is whether the case is limited to Worker’s Compensation. This analysis requires a thorough understanding of Employer Intentional Tort law which has become more difficult in recent years. Often the case requires a removal of an equipment safety guard or a knowing violation of an OSHA regulation to move past a motion for summary judgment. Joe Lyon has successfully litigated cases and obtained settlements for workers in addition to Workers Compensation.
According to a study released by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, semi trucks consist of 7% of the traffic between Jefferson County and Gallatin County. Near downtown Louisville, as many as 5,000 to 11,000 trucks will travel along the highway in a given day.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a truck accident and have questions about the implications and the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions