The brakes that stop an 80,000 pound tractor trailer must harness massive forces. It is therefore vital for trucking companies and truck drivers to do everything necessary to ensure that their trucks stop effectively. Based in Bowling Green, the Kentucky truck accident attorneys of English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP have extensive experience litigating truck accident cases on behalf of clients from Owensboro, Elizabethtown, and throughout the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. If you have been injured in a tractor trailer accident, trust your case to attorneys with the experience to understand the intricacies of litigating these cases.A Truck Unable to Stop Effectively Endangers Others
A report written in part by the Kentucky State Police cites brake failure as a cause of 1.27 percent of all truck injury accidents in 2012. However, even when a truck's brakes are fully functional, speeding or overloaded trucks require a greater distance to stop. That extra stopping distance can be the difference between a close call and a catastrophic accident.Kentucky Law Empowers Victims of Truck Crashes
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a truck crash victim has a number of legal options. Most people injured in a truck accident can file a negligence lawsuit against the entity responsible for their injuries. To prevail in a negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff is required to prove:
- The defendant, possibly the truck driver or her employer, owed a duty to the plaintiff;
- The defendant breached that duty; and
- The defendant’s actions were a cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
A trucking company has a duty to inspect and maintain the brakes of the trucks in its fleet. Failing to do so unnecessarily endangers other people who share the road. The same is true for a truck driver who speeds or a trucking company who overloads its own trucks, each of which make it more difficult for a truck to stop quickly. If a trucking company’s failure to live up to its responsibility causes an accident that injures another person, the trucking company will be liable for damages.A Plaintiff Can Seek Compensatory Damages
A plaintiff bringing suit for injuries sustained in a truck accident case may seek compensatory damages of two types. Economic compensatory damages allow a plaintiff to recoup expenses incurred as a result of the accident — hospital bills, lost wages, and vehicle damages are some examples. Noneconomic compensatory damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff for damages that are harder to value, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Plaintiffs can also seek punitive damages. In Kentucky, punitive damages are more difficult to prove than in some other states because plaintiffs must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted either with malice or a conscious disregard for the consequences of his actions. Be sure to ask a knowledgeable lawyer about the damages to which you may be entitled.Let an Experienced Attorney Litigate Your Case
An accident caused by a tractor trailer’s failure to stop can be caused by any number of factors. Since 1973, the Kentucky tractor trailer accident lawyers of English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP have helped people from Warren County, Barren County, and throughout Kentucky investigate and litigate their truck accident cases. We also bring injury claims in Tennessee. To begin your case, fill out our online contact form or call (270) 781-6500.