A truck accident can cause catastrophic injuries, especially if the truck is a semi-truck. Colliding with large commercial trucks can sometimes result in a carriage underride crash, or when the smaller vehicle not only hits the truck, it slides under it. Legal action requires hiring a carriage underride truck accident lawyer in such cases.
Talk to a carriage underride truck accident lawyer at Isaacs & Isaacs today about the injuries you suffered in such a horrific crash.
Why Carriage Underride Truck Accidents Are so Dangerous
Tractor-trailer trucks operate about four feet, or 48 inches, from the ground. This makes it easy for a car’s front bumper to slide under the trailer in the event of a collision because most bumpers are also about four feet off the ground. Since trailers are the lengthiest part of these trucks, most vehicular collisions involve them instead of the tractor sections.
If a driver gets their vehicle partially stuck under a trailer, the hood gets crushed, and more of the car, SUV, or small truck slides under. The cabin roof, or the top of the vehicle, is likely to get torn off and expose the driver and passengers to severe crush-related injuries that can cost thousands in rehabilitative treatment.
Moreover, the vehicle is more likely to become twisted and mangled while under the trailer, which makes retrieving the driver and passengers challenging and hazardous. Fatalities are sadly common with underride truck accidents. Even if the driver and passengers survive, they can sustain injuries such as:
- Traumatic head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Severe bruising, cuts, and lacerations
- Burn injuries
- Back, hip, and leg injuries
- Amputated limbs
- Puncture wounds
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Skull fractures
- Facial injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Broken bones
Assuming the driver and passengers survive the accident, they can face serious surgeries and extended hospital visits. They might also require occupational or physical therapy or be unable to continue working because of the severity of their injuries.
Filing a Legal Claim After a Carriage Underride Truck Accident
Filing a personal injury claim following this type of truck accident depends, in part, on what state you live in. For example, if you reside in Kentucky, you must file the claim within two years of the accident as per Kentucky Revised Statutes §304.39-230. Other personal injury claims, such as those regarding slip-and-fall accidents and dog bites, must be filed within one year of the incident.
Since Kentucky is a comparative fault state, the accused party can argue that you were partially or completely to blame for the accident. For example, suppose you were changing the radio station, talking on the phone, looking at something other than the road, or were otherwise distracted at the time of the crash. In that case, you will be considered partially at fault for the collision.
The “amount of fault” assigned to you is determined in percentages, such as 30% at fault. If you are found to blame for this percentage, the amount you request in damages is decreased by 30%.
Comparative fault is considered fair compared to states that use contributory fault laws. In such cases, even if you are deemed 1% to blame for any accident, you are not entitled to damages despite suffering an injury.
Damages You Can Claim from a Carriage Underride Collision
After sustaining serious injuries from a truck collision, your carriage underride truck accident attorney can request various economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to monetary losses relating to the accident, such as emergency medical care, lost wages, ongoing physical or occupational therapy, and permanent disability. Non-economic damages concern the mental and emotional anguish and pain you have experienced because of the accident.
Common damages claimed in carriage underride accidents include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Lost earning ability
- The estimated cost of future medical expenses and therapies
- Vehicle repairs
- Loss of consortium
- Rental car charges
- Pain and suffering
- Diminution in value
- Punitive damages
The Auto Insurance Factor
Because Kentucky is a “choice no-fault” state regarding auto collisions, you must request compensation from your insurance carrier before filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, you can “opt out” of the no-fault system and file a claim against the truck driver.
To be eligible for the opt-out, the accident must have inflicted permanent disfigurements, such as a permanent alteration of a normal body function. Fractures of weight-bearing bones and displaced, compound, or compressed bone fractures are also applicable. Additionally, the medical bills from the accident must be over $1,000.
What a Lawyer does Following This Type of Truck Accident
Contact a carriage underride truck accident lawyer to represent you after a carriage underride truck accident. The professional will have investigators procure evidence from the crash scene and contact either the truck driver or the company the contractor works for.
The attorney also obtains all documentation relating to the accident, including the police report, medical reports and bills, and vehicle repair or replacement receipts. Calling a lawyer as quickly as possible is recommended because it reduces the risk of lost evidence, missed filing deadlines, and witness memory issues.
Once the lawyer reviews your claim in detail and determines that you have a case, they will help you navigate the next steps, such as filing your claim with the respective court system on time.
Contact a Carriage Underride Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you were a victim of this horrific truck accident, take legal action as soon as possible. If you cannot contact a lawyer, a friend or family member can do it for you. The law office of Isaacs & Isaacs is here to provide residents throughout Kentucky with auto accident and other personal injury representation.
The firm has several offices in Louisville, Bowling Green, and Lexington. This office also represents clients who reside in Indiana and Ohio. Hiring one of the talented, experienced lawyers from Isaacs & Isaacs to represent you means enjoying dedicated counsel during this naturally difficult time.
Call our office today to schedule a consultation with a carriage underride truck accident lawyer.