Almost every driver has witnessed a tractor trailer make a wide turn. Although sometimes necessary, these turns must be made responsibly. A truck driver who makes a dangerously wide turn and injures another person can be held responsible for those injuries. Based in Bowling Green, the Kentucky truck accident attorneys of English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP have years of experience litigating truck accident cases on behalf of injured victims throughout Kentucky, as well as in Tennessee.Improper Turns Were Responsible for Nearly Two Percent of Truck Accidents
Tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles require special skills and training to operate safely. Even a truck driver who is properly trained, however, can make a dangerous mistake. According to a report prepared in part by the Kentucky State Police, more than 140 truck accidents were caused by improper turns in 2012. If a driver makes an improper turn that causes an injury accident, the driver and his employer may be liable for the injuries he causes.Truck Crash Victims May File Suit
A person injured in a truck accident may file suit against the people or company responsible for the accident. To prevail in a wide turn negligence case the evidence must prove:
- The trucker or his employer — the defendant in the case — owed a duty to the plaintiff;
- The defendant breached that duty; and
- The plaintiff’s injuries were caused, at least in part, by the defendant’s actions.
All drivers on the road, including truck drivers, have a duty to drive the same as a reasonable person would under the same circumstances. A truck driver who makes an unnecessarily dangerous wide turn breaches this duty. If the wide turn causes an accident that injures the plaintiff, the truck driver or his employer may be liable for the injuries.
In injury cases, Kentucky courts adhere to a rule called pure comparative negligence. This means that a victim who is partly at fault for an accident still can recover a reduced amount of compensation. Responsibility will be divided between the plaintiff and the defendant, and the plaintiff can be awarded damages that are proportionate to the defendant’s degree of responsibility. For example, a plaintiff who was 40 percent at fault for a crash may be able to obtain reimbursement for 60 percent of the costs arising from his or her injuries. An attorney with experience bringing truck accident cases can help you determine the extent to which your damages may be limited in this regard.Prevailing Plaintiffs Are Entitled to Damages
A plaintiff injured by a negligently wide-turning truck may be entitled to damages. Economic damages compensate the plaintiff for lost wages, medical bills, or other easily calculable financial injuries. Noneconomic damages can be available to plaintiffs who have suffered injuries such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.
In certain cases, truck accident victims may be able to collect punitive damages, although Kentucky law requires that plaintiffs prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with either malice or gross negligence. Contact an experienced attorney if you have questions about the damages to which you may be entitled.Protect Your Rights
The Kentucky tractor trailer accident attorneys of English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP, have the knowledge, experience, and resources to litigate your truck accident case. If you have been injured in a truck accident, we will fight to get you the compensation to which you are legally entitled. Call (270) 781-6500 or visit our contact page to schedule a free case evaluation. We represent clients throughout Kentucky, but also in local areas including Glasgow, Elizabethtown, and Logan County.