Trucking Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When you are involved in a serious accident with an 18-wheeler, you may be left with a lot of questions. At Garmer & Prather, PLLC, our attorneys have litigated a variety of complex and serious trucking accidents in Kentucky. Below are answers to common truck accident questions we hear at our Lexington law firm.

How is a truck accident different from a car accident?

While all drivers must follow traffic laws, commercial trucks (which can include not just semis, but delivery vans, moving trucks and even pickups towing boats or cargo trailers weighing more than 10,000 pounds) are subject to a complex web of state and federal laws. U.S. Department of Transportation regulations govern nearly every aspect of the trucking industry, from hiring, qualifications and mandatory drug testing to the number of hours a driver can go between rest breaks and maintenance and safety equipment of the trucks themselves.

Because of their size and weight, commercial trucks can do far more damage in a collision than ordinary cars and can injure more people in a single wreck. If you've been injured, you need a lawyer who is knowledgeable about trucking industry practices and regulations and has contacts with the right experts to analyze every aspect of the crash, including the trucking company's operation.

These accidents also may involve more than one party. Truckers may be employees or owner-operators. Sometimes the owner of the trailer may be responsible for inadequate maintenance. The owner of the cargo or the broker may have legal liability. An experienced trucking lawyer will track down each of these leads.

Are truck drivers required to carry the same insurance as other drivers?

In Kentucky, most automobile drivers are required to carry only $25,000 in liability insurance coverage. Commercial truckers, on the other hand, must carry much more. Trucks that operate only in Kentucky must carry at least $750,000 in insurance coverage, and that number increases to $1 million for trucks that operate across state lines. But many large trucking companies realize the amount of damage their trucks can cause and carry much more coverage than that.

How much is my case worth?

Every case is unique, and it's hard to put a value on your case. An attorney can help you recover costs for medical treatment, property damage, lost wages, lost earning potential, pain and suffering, and more. And since personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee, you know they will fight for every penny.

Do I have a personal injury claim against the trucking company?

If the truck driver is employed by the company, you may have a claim against the company rather than the driver. But if the driver is an independent contractor, it will be harder to find evidence to sue the trucking company. Our attorneys can evaluate your full situation to determine which parties are liable for your injuries.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

While other states have a one-year statute of limitations on trucking accidents, Kentucky allows you to file a personal injury claim within two years of your accident or the last no-fault payment, whichever comes later. While this gives you more time, you should still take steps immediately following your accident — otherwise, it may be more difficult to gather all the necessary evidence. Your loved ones may also have their own claims for loss of love and affection, and those claims usually must be filed within one year of the injury. It is important to talk to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after you are injured.

What should I look for in a truck accident attorney?

Experience with trucking litigation and personal attention to your case are two of the most important factors you can look for. At Garmer & Prather, we believe that familiarity with serious truck accident cases is critical for achieving a favorable result in future cases. But the only way this works for our clients is if we dedicate time required to fully investigate the case and take it to trial, if necessary. That is why we are selective in the cases we take, so we can dedicate more time to securing results.

Have More Questions? Trust A Skilled Truck Accident Attorney.

Every case is unique and requires a personalized consultation to answer all of your questions. If you have been injured in a serious trucking accident, do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss your options and get started on your case.