Who Can Be Held Liable?
Liability or “fault” for an 18-wheeler accident can lie with more than one person or entity. You may have grounds to sue any party whose negligence contributed to the crash, including:
- The driver who failed to operate the semi-truck properly, logged excessive hours on the road and was fatigued, or simply failed to pay attention.
- The trucking company that failed to adequately train or supervise the driver, placed profit above safety, or put a driver with a poor safety record back on the road.
- The manufacturer of the semi-truck or trailer, or of parts used on them, that provided faulty parts, like defective brakes, or a compromised coupling mechanism, that led to the crash.
- Maintenance personnel who failed to properly inspect, repair, and maintain the vehicle.
- The person who improperly loaded cargo if shifting or falling cargo contributed to the crash.
Factors in Determining Liability
There are other factors considered when determining liability for a crash, including potential negligence or pure comparative fault on the part of drivers of passenger vehicles involved, as well as road and weather conditions at the time of the crash.
Steps to Take
Those involved in any vehicular crash are required to exchange information and move vehicles out of the way. When injuries or fatalities are involved, you should call 911, leave vehicles in place, and remain on the scene until law enforcement arrives. You can collect information from drivers and witnesses and take photos of the vehicles, roadway, and debris.
Kentucky law also states that you should provide reasonable assistance to others in the crash, including assisting emergency responders with any injured individuals, if requested to do so.
After the crash, don’t post any photos or other information about the crash on social media, don’t speak with any potentially liable parties or their insurers, and retain a personal injury attorney with experience in pursuing truck accident claims.
If a loved one was incapacitated or killed in a trucking crash, seek the help of an attorney right away. Preservation of evidence is critical to establishing your case.
Why Hiring A Skilled Attorney is Important
The one-year statute of limitations on settling a claim or filing a civil suit in a Kentucky court gives you very little leeway to work with. You need to retain an experienced personal injury attorney right away. Your attorney can investigate the circumstances of the crash and seek to prove liability. This might require a crash reconstruction, witness interviews, and vehicle inspections. The federal government requires the trucking industry to comply with rigorous safety standards. You need an attorney who knows those regulations and how to determine if those standards were breached.
Trucking companies have a lot of money at stake in a crash. This means their insurers will have highly compensated attorneys working on their side. You need someone with the best legal expertise and experience fighting for you to make sure everyone liable for your injuries or your loved one’s death is held accountable.