Kansas Truck Accident Lawyer
Large Truck & Commercial Vehicle Accident Claims
Tractor-trailer accidents in Kansas often result in serious injuries and fatalities. Due to their immense size and weight, large commercial trucks often cause massive destruction when they collide with smaller passenger vehicles. Whether you were involved in a collision caused by a speeding 18-wheeler on Interstate 70 in Topeka, or you lost a loved one in a crash caused by a truck driver who fell asleep at the wheel on I-35 near Wichita, you need an experienced attorney on your side, fighting for your rights. You need Bretz Injury Law.
Located in Hutchinson, Salina, Wichita, Garden City, Dodge City, Liberal, and Hays and serving truck accident victims throughout Kansas, Bretz Injury Law has a well-earned reputation for providing clients with the attentive and personalized service they deserve, as well as the aggressive advocacy they need. We have recovered more than $250 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients, including multiple six, seven, and eight-figure results.
What Makes Truck Accident Cases So Complex?
Truck accidents are generally more complicated than standard car accidents. In crashes involving large commercial vehicles, it is critical to examine whether regulations were followed. There also may be multiple layers of liability. The driver and his or her employer may be responsible. It is also possible that a third party, such as a company that loaded the trailer, may have been negligent.
Some of the many elements that make truck accident cases so complex include:
- The severity of these types of crashes
- The nature and extent of victims’ injuries and damages
- The overall higher value of these claims
- Complicated and/or shared liability
- Third-party liability
- Various state and federal trucking regulations
- Employer liability
If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with a semi-truck, delivery truck, big rig, tractor-trailer, or any other type of commercial vehicle, you should NOT try to handle your accident claim on your own. These claims require the experienced and knowledgeable help of an attorney who has the resources and skill to effectively build your case.
At Bretz Injury Law, our lawyers are prepared to build the strongest possible case on your behalf. We often work alongside accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, economists, and expert witnesses to identify how the crash occurred, the severity of our clients’ injuries and damages, the nature of their economic and non-economic losses, and more. From there, we are able to effectively advocate for the maximum compensation from the liable party’s insurance company. If necessary, we are prepared to take your case to trial.
Types of Large Truck Accidents
There are many different kinds of truck accidents. Some of the most common truck accidents we deal with at our firm include:
- Head-On Collisions: Many serious and fatal truck accidents involve a truck driver crashing head-on into another vehicle. Our experienced truck accident lawyers can work with you and fight to make sure your family receives the compensation you rightfully deserve.
- Jackknifes: This type of tractor-trailer accident involves the trailer of a truck swinging around and folding toward the truck. Cars trapped in between the truck and truck cab often sustain serious damage.
- Rear-End Collisions: Many motorists sustain serious neck and head injuries due to large commercial trucks driving into the rear end of their vehicles.
- Rollovers: Large commercial trucks often roll over and cause serious accidents involving other vehicles. These accidents often happen when truck drivers drive around a corner too fast or slow down too quickly.
- Tire Blowouts: Even the most experienced truck drivers have a difficult time controlling a truck when a tire blows out, especially on the highway. The result can be a serious accident, often involving multiple cars.
- Under-Ride Accidents: These accidents often involve a truck driver stopping quickly, resulting in another driver traveling underneath the tractor-trailer and sustaining serious damage.
Regardless of the type of truck accident you or your loved one was involved in, our attorneys at Bretz Injury Law are here to fight for the justice you deserve. We understand the challenges you are facing, and we are ready to help you navigate the legal process.
What Are Top Causes of Truck Accidents?
Commercial truck accidents happen for many reasons. Some of the most common causes include:
- Inexperienced Truck Drivers: Trucking companies have a responsibility to hire experienced drivers with safe driving records and a clear understanding of the rules of the road.
- Speeding Drivers: Far too many truck drivers exceed the speed limit, especially long-haul truckers driving across the country. Unfortunately, many speeding truckers cause serious truck accidents.
- Overloaded Trucks: Overloaded 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial trucks often cause serious accidents.
- Distracted Drivers: Whether it's talking or texting on a cellphone, eating food or looking for directions, distracted truck drivers create an unnecessary risk of accidents.
- Texting Truck Drivers: Texting while driving is against the law for commercial truck drivers nationwide. Even so, some drivers ignore such rules and put other motorists at risk on the road.
- Tired Truck Drivers: Truck drivers who fall asleep at the wheel often cause serious—or even fatal—truck accidents. Often, fatigued truck drivers have violated state or federal hours-of-service regulations, which limit the number of hours they can drive.
- Improper Truck Maintenance: Large commercial vehicles must be regularly inspected and maintained. Failure to conduct proper truck maintenance or repairs can lead to serious accidents.
Our team knows how to investigate your accident to determine the cause. This allows us to then build a case against the liable party and seek fair compensation on your behalf.
Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?
Wrecks involving commercial vehicles cannot be handled the same way as a generic car accident due to factors such as complex federal regulations and insurance questions which are unique to commercial motor vehicles.
Commercial truck wrecks may also have many more liable parties than standard car accident claims. In addition to the driver of the commercial vehicle, the driver's employer, the vehicle's owner, the maintenance company, the shipper, and the parties who loaded the trailer may all be partially or wholly liable.
This area of law is a minefield, and a person injured in a commercial vehicle wreck will need an attorney who is experienced in commercial carrier litigation. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a semi-truck or large truck accident, call Bretz Injury Law to schedule your free initial consultation. We look forward to assisting you in every way we can.
The Danger of Overloaded Tractor-Trailers
Strict weight limits exist for 18-wheelers and their trailers. In general, most fully loaded trucks weigh no more than 80,000 pounds. The limits are in place to keep the roads safe. Overloaded trucks are more difficult to control on highways and major thoroughfares. The driver may not be able to safely stop or turn the vehicle. Due to the added weight, overloaded commercial trucks are more prone to rolling over or experiencing tire blowouts.
In addition, the contents of overloaded 18-wheelers can shift and cause the truck to become unstable and tip over. Often, shifting cargo causes a driver to lose control, which can be disastrous for others on the road.
Trucking companies often deny overloading trucks. The driver and his or her employer may blame a separate company that loaded the trailer, or they may even argue that the truck did not actually exceed the maximum weight restrictions. There may be a lot of finger-pointing, but we can help you uncover the truth and determine liability for your damages.
How Dangerous Are Fatigued Truck Drivers?
The federal government has strict laws limiting the number of hours commercial truck drivers can operate a truck within a 24-hour period. These "hours-of-service rules" put forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are designed to prevent accidents by overly fatigued drivers.
Unfortunately, some truck drivers ignore such rules and cause serious—sometimes even fatal—truck accidents while asleep at the wheel. These accidents are often especially severe because the truck does not slow down, or they may even accelerate, before crashing into another vehicle.
Some truck drivers personally decide to continue driving even when they know they should pull over and take a break. But in some cases, trucking companies force drivers to work longer hours and drive tired, putting everyone on the road at risk. Other times, truck companies actually create incentive for drivers to drive when tired by compensating their drivers by the number of miles driven.
At Bretz Injury Law, we know the regulations. We know the law. Drivers are limited to 70 hours per week on the road. They must rest for a minimum of 34 consecutive hours or get at least two nights' sleep before getting back on the road. If they cause a crash, we can examine logbooks, interview witnesses, and turn over every stone to determine which rules were broken.
Why Contact Bretz Injury Law?
When you have an experienced lawyer at our law firm working with you, you can take an aggressive approach right from the start. When we accept a case, we do not waste time but, instead, immediately get to work building the strongest possible claim. Our lawyers are dedicated to using all available resources to pursue the maximum compensation you are owed.
At Bretz Injury Law, we treat our clients like equals. We are on the same team and are eager to fight for your rights. We truly care about you and your recovery, which is why we provide personalized and attentive legal services tailored to your unique needs. Our team is here for you every step of the way, providing answers to your questions and addressing any concerns you may have.