Commercial truck accidents can result in catastrophic injuries to drivers of passenger vehicles, due to the weight of the cargo and sheer size of the truck. As a victim of a truck accident, you may be wondering how you can recover compensation to cover your accident-related injuries and damages. In Kentucky, a ‘choice no-fault’ state, vehicle owners must have $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits insurance as part of their insurance policy, but they also have the right to ‘opt out’ of the no-fault system. If you choose to opt-out of the no-fault system, you may file a personal injury suit against the parties at fault for your motor vehicle accident.
Who is liable for my accident?
There are a few parties that can be liable for the damages you suffered in your truck accident. If you choose to file a claim for damages, consider naming one or more of the following parties as defendants in your case.
As a commercial truck driver, the driver of the truck involved in your accident has legal obligations to adhere to state traffic laws and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations when operating their truck. However, if the truck driver involved in your accident acted negligently behind the wheel, they may be partially liable for your accident and resulting injuries. Some common forms of truck driver negligence include:
- Driving while fatigued (truck driver fatigue is often caused by a failure to take breaks or driving too many continuous hours, in violation of the FMCSA)
- Driving at an excessive rate of speed
- Failing to check blind spots when switching lanes
- Improperly loading the truck (causing it to overturn or jack-knife)
Trucking company and/or truck owners
If the truck driver was operating a truck while within the course and scope of their employment, the trucking company, as their employer, and/or the owner of the truck could be vicariously liable for the truck driver’s negligence. They could also be liable for negligent supervision, negligent training, negligent hiring, and failure to properly inspect and maintain the truck.
Many truck accidents occur due to tire blowouts, brake failures, and other mechanical issues. Truck and part manufacturers may be liable for an accident if their faulty parts contributed to the accident.
If you are thinking about filing a personal injury claim following a truck accident, your attorney can help determine who is liable for your accident and build a case against them.