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Louisville Bus and Truck Accident Lawyers

Attorneys You Can Rely On

Tractor trailers, buses, and other commercial vehicles are a common sight on Kentucky’s roadways. While these vehicles are a vital element of our state’s economy, they can be extremely dangerous to people in passenger vehicles, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. This is because they are quite a bit bigger and heavier than other vehicles they share the road with, and also because they tend to drive many hours at a time.

If you have been injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you may be entitled to significant compensation. To ensure that you get the financial settlement you deserve, it is important that you have the representation of an experienced Louisville auto accident lawyer. At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, our Louisville truck accident attorneys have over 90 years of combined experience representing injury clients in Kentucky and Indiana, winning them substantial settlements. Call (502) 458-5555 or (800) 937-8443 to speak directly with one of our attorneys. Your initial consultation is free, and you pay no fees unless we win or settle your claim.

Liability in a Commercial Vehicle Accident

A number of parties can be held liable in a commercial vehicle accident, including:

  • The truck driver
  • The company that employed the driver
  • The manufacturer of the commercial vehicle or a part of the vehicle (tires, brakes, etc.)
  • The entity charged with maintaining the truck (if not the company)

You may notice that the truck driver’s employer can be held liable in a civil suit. This is due to a legal concept known as respondeat superior, or “let the superior make answer.” This means that the driver’s employer is vicariously responsible for the driver’s actions, providing the accident was unintentional and occurred within the driver’s scope of employment. "Within scope of employment" means that the driver was performing work duties, such as making a delivery, when the accident occurred. If the driver was off the clock and driving the work vehicle home, the company would not be held liable unless they were responsible for poor maintenance of the vehicle, but the driver will still be liable for his negligence in causing the accident.

Federal Commercial Vehicle Regulations

Because commercial vehicles like buses, tractor trailers, and five ton trucks are so large and difficult to operate, the drivers need special training and licenses to operate them. There are also strict regulations regarding the loading of these vehicles and hours of operation. The commercial trucking industry is overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Among the regulations the FMCSA attempts to enforce include:

  • Weight limits: a fully loaded tractor trailer can weigh no more than 80,000 pounds.
  • Blood Alcohol Content (BAC): the threshold for being legally drunk while driving is lower for drivers of commercial vehicles than it is for non-commercial drivers.
  • Work hour limits: the FMSCA limits the hours a driver can drive in a week, in a shift, and without taking at least a 30 minute break (drivers are required to keep detailed operation logs).

What Compensation Is Available in a Commercial Vehicle Accident Claim?

If you are injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you have the same rights and legal options that you would have in any vehicle accident, including seeking compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, permanent injury, lost wages, and wrongful death.

How Much Will It Cost to File a Claim?

It won’t cost you anything to file a claim. Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC charges no upfront fees to represent you. We only collect fees if we win your claim or achieve a settlement that you approve. Remember, contacting us will cost you nothing. Your initial consultation is free. If we decide to represent you, you pay nothing until we recover on your behalf.

But you’ll need to act quickly, so that we can investigate your accident and collect all the evidence that will be needed for settlement or trial. In some cases, you may only have one year to file a claim. In other cases, you may have two years. The best way to understand and know your rights is to call Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today, at (800) 937-8443.

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