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Louisville Truck Accident Lawyers

Victims of truck accidents can face life-altering injuries. If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident, you may be due financial compensation. Contact the experienced truck accident lawyers at Hughes & Coleman today to set up a free initial case evaluation.

In Louisville, KY, we rely on large trucks and semis to bring food and other goods into our community. The drivers of these vehicles provide a valuable service that we greatly appreciate.

While most truck drivers are skilled and experienced, there are some who have not received the necessary training needed to know how to safely operate these large vehicles. Others are careless and disobey traffic laws, even driving distracted. This poses a threat to the residents of Louisville and everyone else on the road.

Truck Accidents and Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is always dangerous. Many accidents involving standard-size vehicles are caused by drivers texting, eating, or talking on the phone while driving.

Statistics from one recent report showed that distracted driving played a role in 3,166 accidents involving fatalities, or 9% of all motor vehicle deaths that year.

When a large truck or semi weighing up to 80,000 pounds is involved in an accident, the risk of serious injuries or fatalities greatly increases. Unfortunately, while all truck drivers are aware of the dangers, some still continue to drive distracted.

The three types of distracted driving

Distracted driving is engaging in any activity that takes your attention away from driving. It comes in three different forms:

  • Cognitive distraction. This is when a driver’s mind isn’t focused on driving. Some examples include talking to passengers; listening to podcasts or music; or being lost in thought or preoccupied with work, health, family, or other personal issues.
  • Visual distraction. A visual distraction is anything that diverts the driver’s eyes away from the road ahead. This can include actions such as looking at one’s phone, tablet, GPS, paperwork; reading; or looking down to reach for some other object in the truck.
  • Manual distraction. This is when a driver takes one or both hands off of the wheel for any reason. This can include texting, smoking, eating, adjusting the radio, grooming, or reaching to get something on the floor or at the back of the cab.

Federal regulations ban truck drivers from texting and driving

Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it encompasses all three types of distracted driving. Studies show that truckers who text and drive are 23 times as likely to be involved in a serious accident while driving.

The Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted specific laws restricting trucker’s use of phones while driving. The rules ban truck drivers from:

  • Holding a phone to make or receive a call
  • Reaching for a phone in a way that wouldn’t allow the driver to be in a seated position
  • Dialing a phone, which includes using more than one button to begin or end a call
  • Texting or reading text messages
  • Emailing
  • Looking up websites

The only phone usage that truckers are allowed by law is to use a hands-free headset to make calls. However, even this can be dangerous, since it takes the driver’s attention away from the road while talking.

Penalties truck drivers face if caught driving while distracted

The FMCSA wants drivers to take these laws seriously, and they have put serious penalties in place for any driver caught violating these laws. Individual drivers can be fined up to $2,750, and trucking companies that knowingly allow drivers to use a hand-held phone while driving a commercial vehicle can be fined up to $11,000.

Repeated violations may result in a driver being suspended or losing his or her commercial driver’s license altogether. This means that truckers who text and drive could actually lose their means of making a living.

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Why Contact an Attorney After a Truck Accident

After a truck accident, it can be difficult to prove that the trucker was driving while distracted and that this is what caused your injuries. The trucking company will have a team of lawyers, insurers, and investigators working hard to defend themselves against a legal claim.

The trucking company does not have your best interests in mind; they only want to save themselves from having to pay out a large sum of money in a lawsuit. They may be ruthless in protecting their company from sustaining a large financial loss.

In order to receive financial compensation, you must provide clear evidence that the truck driver was driving while distracted. The legal team at Hughes & Coleman has extensive experience in handling truck accident cases. After taking on your case, we will get to work on gathering the evidence needed to prove the truck driver was liable for the accident.

We may need to compile the following evidence:

  • Police reports and citations: A police report will state the cause of the accident, and can provide evidence that the trucker was behaving negligently. If a ticket was issued to the truck driver for any form of distracted driving, this can be very compelling during negotiations with insurance companies.
  • Eyewitness statements: We will speak to any parties who may have been witnesses to the accident. If they saw the trucker engaging in distracted driving, their statements can be invaluable to your case.
  • Cell Phone Records: Cell phone companies will have a log of all calls and texts made. If the records show that a call or text was made from the truck driver’s phone at the time of the accident, this is clear evidence of distracted driving.
  • Surveillance tapes: We will look for traffic cameras or businesses with surveillance cameras that may be able to provide video proof that the driver was eating, texting, or otherwise focused on something else when the accident occurred.
  • Accident Reconstructionist: If the cause of the accident is in dispute, we have access to accident reconstruction experts that can recreate the scene of the accident to help prove the truck driver was at fault.

Contact the Lawyers at Hughes & Coleman Today

The lawyers at Hughes & Coleman know how to handle all types of truck accident cases. We care about our clients and fight to ensure they receive the maximum compensation for their injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a semi or other large truck, contact us today to set up your free case consultation. You can schedule your appointment at our office in Louisville, KY, or at any of our other offices throughout Tennessee and Kentucky.

To schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our dedicated staff, call us today at 800-800-4600. We have two offices in Louisville, one on Dixie right between Wholesalejim’s and O’Reilly Auto Parts, and one on Poplar Level Rd. right off Rangeland Rd.

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