Louisville No-Zone Truck Accident Attorneys
Due to the sheer size of large commercial trucks and 18-wheelers, no-zone truck accidents in the Louisville area can be devastating for everyone involved. While truck drivers are generally expected to utilize extreme caution whenever passing or slowing down, some drivers become unaware of vehicles in their no-zone areas and, subsequently, collide with these vehicles.
The Louisville no-zone truck accident attorneys at Sampson Law Firm understand just how avoidable these accidents often are; our Louisville legal team will do everything we possibly can to hold any trucking company or driver financially responsible for the damages associated with your accident in Louisville.
No- Zone Truck Accidents in Louisville
Trucking companies are required to ensure that their drivers are properly trained in order for their drivers to safely operate their vehicles, including on how to best ensure that a vehicle has not entered one of their no-zone areas before changing lanes or turning, which includes:
- A shallow space just in front of the truck
- A longer, tapering area behind the truck
- A shallow area on the driver’s side of the truck
- A large area on the passenger’s side of the truck
Should a trucker be unaware that a vehicle has entered one of his or her no-zone areas, that driver and any other vehicles on the road may be at serious risk of an accident.
No-Zone Areas of Commercial Trucks
Commercial trucks have four sides, and all four have distinct no-zones that break down as follows:
- Side No-Zone — The tractors of most commercial trucks are higher up in the air so the immediate sides of the tractors are blind spots for the driver. There are also no-zones angling out from the tractor towards the sides of the trailer, with the no-zone being larger on the side opposite of the driver. Traveling in a side no-zone carries the risk of a possible sideswipe collision.
- Rear No-Zone — Keep in mind that most commercial truckers have no rear-view mirrors and instead rely solely on side-view mirrors. When you are directly behind a trailer, the driver may not be able to see you. The rear no-zone extends 200 feet from the rear of the trailer, and being in this area is a major risk to the driver of a passenger vehicle who has no way of seeing upcoming events in the road and can rarely stop in time when suddenly required to do so.
- Front No-Zone — Truck drivers cannot see directly in front of their vehicles for up to 20 feet. You are putting yourself at considerable risk if you cut in front of a truck and enter this area.
Right turns by commercial trucks also present another kind of no-zone, since no driver should ever attempt to pass by a commercial driver while they are performing a right turn. Truck drivers often have to pull out to their left to perform right turns and this creates large blind spots while they doing so.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About No-Zone Accident
Is the truck driver the only possible liable party?
Truck drivers are usually only one possible liable party in a commercial truck accident. In many cases, the driver’s employer also becomes liable. Certain other accidents can also lead to truck owners, shipping agencies, maintenance companies, or even other drivers being liable.
Can I still recover compensation if I was partially at fault for my no-zone accident?
Kentucky is one of only a dozen states in the nation to use a pure comparative fault system for apportioning damages in personal injury cases. This means that you are allowed to file a lawsuit regardless of your degree of fault. The only catch is that your award will be reduced in proportion to your degree of negligence, such that a person who is awarded $100,000 in a no-zone accident for which they are found to have been 55 percent at fault would have their award reduced by $55,000 and ultimately receive $45,000.
What kinds of damages could I be entitled to?
Most damages come in the form of settlements negotiated with insurance companies and often agreed to right as a case is about to go to trial. If a case makes it court and a person can prove their case by overwhelming evidence, they may be awarded economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are tangible losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage while noneconomic damages are much more subjective and could include emotional distress, pain and suffering, or mental trauma.
Punitive damages may also be awarded in Kentucky, but are relatively rare and harder to achieve because it must be proven with clear and convincing evidence that a defendant acted with oppression, fraud, or malice.
Factors that Can Lead to No-Zone Accidents
While many no-zone accidents happen because a truck driver is negligent or careless, there are some things that passenger vehicle drivers should avoid doing to stay out of a tractor-trailer truck’s no-zone areas.
One of these is not to spend a lot of time in a large truck’s blind spots, even if traffic is slow and heavy. If a tractor-trailer truck has to make a sudden maneuver to avoid something ahead or in the road, there is no way the driver can see you and there is nothing you can do to avoid being involved in an accident.
Always anticipate wide turns from tractor-trailer trucks, and give them plenty of room to make those turns so that your vehicle is not where they can’t see you when they make their turns.
Don’t tailgate tractor-trailer trucks. Because of the no-zone areas around these large trucks, they can’t see you when your vehicle is right on their bumper. If they have to slam on the brakes, they will not realize that your vehicle is possibly now up underneath their trailer (and you and your passengers are seriously injured, if not dead).
Never pass tractor-trailer trucks on the right because the blind spot on this side of the truck is larger than it is on the left, and they likely will not be able to see you when they want to move back over into the right lane, which will result in a no-zone accident.
When you pass a tractor-trailer truck on the left, do so cautiously and quickly, doing your best to ensure that your vehicle is visible to the driver at all times.
If a tractor-trailer is backing up, get out of the way. The driver simply can’t see you because the trailer is obstructing his view (rear no-zone).
Consult with a Louisville No-Zone Truck Accident Attorney
At Sampson Law Firm, our Louisville no-zone truck accident attorneys will aggressively pursue financial restitution from any trucking company or truck driver whose negligence contributed to your no-zone truck accident in the Louisville area. To discuss the particulars of your no-zone truck accident with one of our Louisville personal injury attorneys, please call us at (502) 584-5050 today.