Louisville Truck Defect and Malfunction Attorney
The sheer size of large commercial trucks and 18-wheelers pose an inherent danger to other drivers. While well-trained, experienced drivers may do everything they can to protect other drivers on the road in the Louisville area, a single defective part or malfunctioning system can cause even the best drivers to lose control of their vehicles. The Louisville truck defect and malfunction attorneys at Sampson Law Firm will create a comprehensive legal strategy that is meant to hold negligent manufacturers financially responsible for Louisville area accidents that their defective parts or malfunctioning systems may have caused.
If you were injured in a commercial truck accident in the Louisville area, our personal injury team will work with you to determine the financial impact of that accident, then help you pursue financial compensation as well as justice in the Louisville civil court.
Most Common Truck Defect and Malfunction
Any defective part, or any system that malfunctions, may potentially cause the most experienced truck drivers to lose control of their vehicle and get involved in an accident – ranging from minor to absolutely devastating. The following defect and malfunction most commonly contribute to serious accidents on Louisville’s roadways:
- Tire Defects
- Brake Malfunction
When a part becomes defective or a system malfunctions, there is often very little time for a truck driver to react and prevent an accident.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Truck Defects
What should I do after a truck accident caused by a possible truck defect?
The steps you take as soon as you are involved in a truck accident will be very important because there are a number of things that you can to do to significantly increase your chances of recovering compensation for your injuries.
You should always seek medical care as soon after a truck accident as you can. Go to a hospital to get checked out even if you don’t think you were injured seriously or injured at all. Sometimes the symptoms of injuries don’t appear right away, but not seeking immediate medical attention can be a reason why an insurance company will decline your claim for compensation.
You can also take a number of other steps at the scene of your crash that can be very beneficial, such as:
- Call Police — You need to contact a local law enforcement agency to get a police report filed. Authorities can also examine a truck and may issue the driver a ticket if they were operating a truck that was in violation of certain state regulations.
- Photograph Everything — You want pictures of everything that is involved in the scene of your crash, from the vehicles involved to the people to any other notable factors you think might be important. Try to get these pictures from lots of different angles and distances, since it is always best to offer a wide variety of images. No attorney will ever tell you that you took too many pictures.
- Seek Witnesses — When there are other people who saw your crash, ask them for their names and phone numbers or some kind of contact information. These people could help your case if disputes about liability in the truck accident arise.
If you cannot take any of these steps yourself because of your need for medical attention, then ask a friend, family member, or anybody else you know to do these things for you. Finally, try to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible, preferably before you speak to any insurance company.
How long will I have to file a truck accident lawsuit?
Under Kentucky law, a person has just one year from the date of an accident to file suit. This statute of limitation may be delayed for certain victims, such as minors or individuals who are physically incapable of filing a lawsuit (such as a person in a coma).
In these cases, the statute of limitations can be delayed until these individuals are able to file suit, so a minor could have one year to file from the date they turn 18 years of age and a person who recovers sufficiently from their physical injuries to file has one year to do so after they recover.
What kinds of damages could I be entitled to?
The damages you are entitled to will vary depending on the severity of your injuries as well as certain other factors, such as the truck driver or trucking company’s degree of negligence. Most truck defect cases are resolved through settlements because insurance companies decide that settling is more economically feasible than paying to take a case to trial and risking a possible judgment in the victim’s favor.
When an insurer takes that risk and a case does go all the way to court, then a person who is able to prove their case by overwhelming evidence can be awarded compensatory damages. Compensatory damages usually include both economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages apply to actual bills that can be calculated and proven, such as:
- medical expenses
- lost income
- property damage
Noneconomic damages relate are awarded for more subjective concerns like emotional or psychological harm, and may include:
- pain and suffering
- mental trauma
- emotional distress
Kentucky does also allow punitive damages to be awarded and, unlike many other states, there are no limitations on these awards. That said, punitive damages are still quite rare because it must be proven by clear and convincing evidence that a defendant acted with oppression, fraud, or malice.
Truck Defect Statistics
The Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2017 from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that in 2017, in truck defects accidents that involved fatalities:
- 61 were caused by tires
- 47 were caused by brake systems
- 8 were caused by power trains
- 6 were caused by trailer hitches, safety chains, or truck coupling
- 4 were caused by steering
- 2 were caused by headlights
- 2 were caused by safety systems
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a 1989 study found that tractor-trailers with defective equipment were twice as likely to be in crashes as trucks without defects. Brake defects were the most common kind of issue found in 56 percent of the tractor-trailers involved in crashes, but steering equipment defects were involved in 21 percent of crash-involved trucks.
Brake defects were found in 42 percent of crash-involved trucks investigated in another study of truck accidents between 2010 and 2012.
Almost 55 percent of trucks in a 2010 study had at least one mechanical violation, and nearly 30 percent had at least one condition serious enough to have taken the vehicle immediately out of service. Braking (36 percent) and lighting (19 percent) systems were the most common violations.
Consult With a Louisville Truck Defect and Malfunction Attorney
At Sampson Law Firm, our Louisville truck defect and malfunction attorneys will aggressively seek financial restitution for any injuries you sustained in your accident that may have been caused by a negligent party. To discuss the particulars of your accident with one of our Louisville personal injury lawyers, please call our offices at (502) 584-5050 today.