Ashland & Paintsville Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney
Any accident involving a tractor-trailer is likely to be damaging to the other vehicle involved, and personal injuries may be catastrophic. In Kentucky, any vehicle over 10,000 pounds is considered a commercial vehicle and requires special training. There are federal laws about loading, maintenance, and rest requirements for the operators of tractor-trailers.
Sadly, commercial interests often seem more important than safety concerns in the shipping industry. The drivers of tractor-trailers may be given unreasonable delivery requirements or maintenance demands may be disregarded. As dangerous as failing to consider the safety of other drivers is when driving a passenger vehicle, the consequences are far worse with commercial vehicles, especially if a motorcycle is involved.
Requirements for Tractor-Trailers
In Kentucky, all commercial tractor-trailers are required to have a trailer plate and a registration number. Out of state vehicles need to have a KYU number to aid in identification, even if it is just a temporary one. The drivers also need a medical card.
Commercial vehicles in Kentucky are required to have a logbook except in very specific circumstances. These are key in determining whether the driver and company were adhering to all federal safety requirements. Logbooks need to be up to date, or the company and driver are assumed to be at fault.
If you are involved in a tractor-trailer accident, you need to collect certain information:
- The driver’s name
- The trucking company’s name
- The truck’s license number
This data enables the police and legal professionals to check the corporate records and logbooks to determine whether the driver or company was negligent.
Pay Attention to the Driver
When you are involved in a tractor-trailer accident, there are a number of factors that may have contributed to the incident. Try to remember the events leading up to the collision, and note the driver’s behavior afterwards. Both can be important in determining who bears responsibility.
Ask the following questions:
- Was the driver of the tractor-trailer using a cellphone or other communication device at the time of the accident?
- Was the driver obeying the traffic laws?
- Was the driving reckless given the weather and road conditions?
- Was there any obvious evidence of mechanical failure before the accident occurred?
- Did the driver appear tired or intoxicated when you got his or her information?
If anything seems out of place, note it.
Have Your Case Assessed
Assessment refers to more than your legal case. Before you contact anyone else about the accident, reach out to a doctor. Even if you think you came out unharmed, you should still be seen by a medical professional. Adrenalin can mask injuries, and some effects take a while to fully show.
Seeing a medical professional can help you avoid some of the worst personal consequences of tractor-trailer accidents, but your vehicle may be a lost cause. Have the damages assessed, and account for the losses you may suffer with your car out of commission. These could be lost wages, the cost of a rental, the price of a new car, or repairs to your old one.
Contacting a legal professional should be done as soon as possible – certainly before you make any agreement for compensation. Any initial settlement offer is likely to be weighed in favor of the trucking company. Hiring a lawyer will ensure a fair agreement.
If you have been involved in a tractor-trailer accident, a skilled injury lawyer is key to getting a good settlement. Salyer Law will make it easy for you to receive appropriate compensation. When we take your case, our team will treat it as though it was going to trial, with all the evidence required for a settlement. We will talk to witnesses, discuss evidence with you and other legal professionals, and work for the best possible outcome. If you cannot come to our office, we can arrange for hospital or home visits. Contact us for a free consultation.