Semi-Truck Accident Injury Attorneys in Topeka
If a passenger vehicle is in an accident with a semi-truck, there is only one winner.
The average truck is several times the size and 20-30 times the weight of a standard car, so it is not surprising when the car occupants come off worse. What may surprise you is the number of such accidents across the country. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that in 2019, a total of 4,119 people died as a result of truck accidents. That’s over 11 a day, on average.
With the vast majority of these accidents occurring on major roads, interstates and freeways, anyone who survives is often seriously injured. Unfortunately, many of these accidents are preventable and result from overworked or inattentive drivers or other faults of the truck company or driver.
The Topeka area has its fair share of semi-truck accidents resulting in serious injury or death. If you or a loved one are currently recovering from a truck accident injury, the personal injury lawyers at Irigonegaray, Turney, & Revenaugh LLP can help you seek fair compensation for your losses.
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How can a truck accident lawyer help?
When truck accidents result in serious injury, it may seem straightforward that the victim claims compensation for injuries suffered that were no fault of their own.
However, the reality can be very different. Claiming and receiving compensation for your expenses as well as pain and suffering caused is a complex process that may involve lengthy negotiations with insurance company representatives that look to minimize their company’s losses. Litigation may need to be initiated.
Trucking companies are often backed by experienced lawyers from major law firms looking out for them. Your interests and their interests clash and without strong legal representation, it can be difficult to get what you deserve – particularly at a time when you or your loved one should be focused on recovery from injury.
Our experienced semi-truck accident injury lawyers can guide the process, remove the burden of communicating with the insurance company or truck company lawyers, and recover what is rightfully yours.
What are hours of service regulations for truck drivers?
Truck drivers must follow federal guidelines that are in place specifically to minimize the risk of accidents.
These regulations limit the number of hours that drivers can be at the wheel and mandate rest time for drivers. They are considered essential for road safety for all road users.
Specifically, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that drivers must work for a maximum of 14 hours including driving, meals and rest breaks. A 14-hour workday must be followed by at least 10 consecutive hours before working again.
Driving time is limited to 11 hours within the 14-hour work period, and a 30-minute rest period must be scheduled within the driving time.
Another key regulation for truck drivers is that they must only work for 70 hours in an eight-day work period if the truck company operates seven days a week. If the company is open six days a week, the trucker is restricted to 60 hours’ work in seven days before taking a consecutive 34-hour break.
These regulations are often a key factor in 18-wheeler-truck accident injury cases. It is likely to be the first thing that your lawyer will investigate, as it is often an essential aspect of proving liability.
Liability after a truck accident in Kansas
Proving liability after a truck accident in Topeka can be more challenging than with an accident involving standard passenger vehicles.
It generally requires a degree of expertise and experience of accidents of this type. We often need to counter the arguments of truck company lawyers or insurance companies and carefully prepare the evidence that establishes liability.
The liability may rest with the driver, the truck company, the truck manufacturer or a combination of parties.
In some cases, driver negligence means the truck driver can be held liable, especially if drugs or alcohol were involved.
More commonly, however, the trucking company is held liable as the employer of the driver. In many instances, trucking companies put profits over safety and encourage drivers to break trucking regulations to save time and money.
Many investigations center on whether the regulations were followed and whether the driver log books were falsified.
What are the most common causes of truck accident injuries in Kansas?
If an 18-wheeler collides with any other vehicle on the road, the likelihood of extensive damage and serious injury or death is high.
The heavy weight, high centers of gravity, and reduced braking efficiency of 18-wheelers can all contribute to accidents if not handled professionally.
From our experience of dealing with such accidents in the Topeka area, truck accidents are typically caused by:
- Improperly loaded or overloaded cargo
- Driver fatigue from excessive hours at the wheel
- Drunk or drug-affected driving
- Poor or inadequate training
- Lack of the appropriate qualifications
- Violation of traffic laws
- Aggressive driving
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Reduced blind spot visibility
- Cell phone usage
It is easy to see from these types of faults how either the driver or the truck company could be held liable. Proving it is another matter – and that’s where the skills and experience of our truck accident lawyers come in.
When serious injuries are caused such as chronic pain injuries, severe brain injuries, loss of limbs, spinal cord injuries, paraplegia, quadriplegia, and more, it is imperative to seek experienced legal representation to fight your case.
Remember – we only get paid if we win your case!
Claims for injuries from semi-truck accidents are rarely straightforward, and we first need to investigate the circumstances of your case.
If we determine liability, and you have a strong compensation case, we will work with the necessary specialists to present a compelling case for losses.
Insurance companies and truck company lawyers are notoriously difficult to deal with, and negotiations are best left to established professionals like our attorneys.
With all personal injury cases, the lawyers at ITR Law work on a contingency basis: that means we only get paid if we win your case – and the more we earn you, the more we earn for our firm.
Pedro Irigonegaray is one of the most experienced, knowledgeable, professional and compassionate attorneys I have ever known. When you need legal advice or someone to fight for you, get the best. Talk to Mr. Irgonegaray.
Very helpful. Very friendly. Very personable. Even if you need to know which direction to go with your issue, they’ll help show you the way even if it means you don’t need to go through them. We need more kind people like this!
I have known Pedro for many years. A true gentleman, capable and ethical attorney. Glad to see the firm expand with more talented and ethical attorneys. A real asset to the Topeka legal community.
Very impressed with their attention to detail, prompt service and professionalism. Highly recommend.
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A rigorous defense
Our attorneys’ experience in criminal defense means that, if we take your case on, we are confident of preparing a rigorous defense.
We will focus on key areas such as the following:
- The precise evidence against you
- The credibility of accusers and/or witnesses
- How the evidence was collected by criminal investigators
- How you were informed of your legal rights by the police
- Interrogation procedures and other protocols
- Your state of mental health at the time of the alleged crime
- Whether there are other factors that explain your alleged actions
In this way, we will build a robust case that will stand up to scrutiny and provide you with the best chance of a favorable outcome.