Kansas Trucking Accident Attorneys
LEGAL HELP FOR KANSAS TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS
Kansas is home to approximately 2.9 million residents across 82,000 square miles of prairie, rolling hills, and fields of wheat and sunflowers. A bulk of the Sunflower State’s land is used for agricultural production, including outputs of wheat, cattle, cotton, and corn. Kansas is a top producer of oil and natural gas as well. Several companies in the aerospace industry have production facilities within the state, including Spirit, Cessna, and Hawker Beechcraft.
Manufactured and agricultural products are hauled across the United States with the assistance of the commercial trucking industry. Tractor-trailers frequently use the interstate highway system to move from coast to coast. Kansas has just two major interstates, I-70 running east and west through the state capital of Topeka, and Interstate 35 running north and south through Wichita and neighboring Kansas City, Missouri. Trucking accidents are commonplace on the interstate — about one in four fatal truck accidents occur on an interstate highway. In 2014, 46 people lost their lives in accidents involving large trucks in the state of Kansas alone.
The trucking industry is a vital part of Kansas’ economy, but injury accidents and loss of life occur too often involving commercial motor vehicles. Sadly, many serious semi-truck accidents could have been avoided in the first place. Negligence on the part of truck drivers and trucking companies lead to accidents that result in life-changing, catastrophic injuries and sometimes death.
At Thomas J. Henry, we understand how a trucking accident can turn your life upside-down. Suffering a debilitating injury may keep you out of work, putting you and your loved ones in a financial hard place. That’s why we can advance your court costs and litigation expenses, advance money for living and medical expenses, and charge you nothing unless we win your case. We do this because we have confidence in our experienced trucking accident attorneys to continue our proven track record of achieving record-breaking verdicts and settlements for our injured clients.
Our firm believes in providing dynamic representation for our clients, which means keeping them informed and comfortable throughout the legal process while we leave exercise every option available to develop your case. Kansans injured in a trucking accident deserve an injury attorney with the legal resources necessary to take on the largest trucking companies in the world.
THE LEGAL RESOURCES NECESSARY TO WIN YOUR KANSAS TRUCK ACCIDENT CASE
Thomas J. Henry employs state-of-the-art technologies and experts in every personal injury case. From the first day we meet with a client until the day the case is resolved, experienced trucking accident attorneys will handle the case efficiently and effectively.
- At Thomas J. Henry, we are constantly applying innovative solutions to case management, client interaction, and information security. We will take every opportunity and explore every avenue to ensure that our clients are receiving the most up-to-date information possible regarding their case. With the click of a mouse, our attorneys can access your case files from anywhere in the country remotely, helping to facilitate a strong client/attorney relationship throughout the process of the case. At the same time, we maintain stringent security standards and ensure your information remains confidential and protected.
- With jet services, satellite technology, and advanced mobile technology, our experienced trucking attorneys are available at a moment’s notice from anywhere in the world. No matter where you live in Kansas, you can contact our lawyers at any time. It is this kind of dynamic representation that we believe leads to building a strong case and ultimately achieving the compensation you or your loved one deserves.
- Trucking accident expert witnesses
- Expert witnesses, or judicial experts, bring specialized knowledge in a particular subject that an average person may not have. Expert opinions can shed light on factors from your trucking accident case, such as any injuries sustained in the crash, how the crash occurred, or even the behavior of the truck driver. Thomas J. Henry has spent years selecting only the best experts from across the nation for clients. Each witness is intensively examined and questioned before every participating in a case. We continuously look for new and inventive ways to use experts in trucking injury cases and will continue to bring in the most qualified experts to assist with your case.
- Examples of Kansas trucking accident experts may include:
- General equipment technical experts
- Doctors, chiropractors, surgeons, and other medical professionals
- Forensic engineers
- Hazardous material experts
- Accident reconstructionists
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A TRUCK ACCIDENT IN KANSAS?
As a victim of a trucking accident, you have rights that require protection. Following an incident, there are certain steps you can take to help preserve evidence from your case and make sure you are taken care of physically.
- Stop immediately after the crash and assess the situation
- Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. Make sure it is safe to exit your vehicle before doing so.
- If possible, make the accident visible
- Use your vehicle hazard lights, set out reflectors, or use road flares to signal to other motorists that they are approaching a crash scene.
- Notify the police
- Contact the police or call 911 if there is an emergency. Filing a police report is an important step in filing insurance claims. Also, be sure that paramedics arrive on the scene to care for any injuries sustained in the crash.
- Record the facts and take pictures
- Speak with responding officers and be as accurate as possible without speculating about facts surrounding the accident or any injuries you may have incurred. In addition, take pictures of your vehicle, the scene, any injuries you or your passengers suffered, or anything else that may help your case in the future.
- Gather and exchange information
- Collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses to the crash. Obtain the insurance information of all drivers involved in the truck accident.
- Seek medical attention
- Sometimes injuries or pain from the accident won’t become apparent until days after the crash. If you are uncertain if you suffered an injury, err on the side of caution and schedule an appointment with a primary care physician.
- Report the accident to your insurance company
- Contact your insurance company as soon as you can. As your claim is processed, keep a log of any medical expenses or crash-related expenses as well as any changes in health. Avoid speaking with other insurance companies or trucking company claims adjusters.
- Contact a Kansas semi-truck accident attorney
- Attorneys are responsible for protecting your rights as an accident victim and for making sure insurance companies are acting in your best interest. Our injury attorneys will immediately work to obtain and preserve evidence from the accident, give you legal advice, and ensure you receive ample medical attention. Experienced Kansas semi-truck accident lawyers will make sure you are comfortable and informed throughout the entire process and pursue every measure available to obtain the compensation you deserve.
WHO CAN BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR TRUCKING ACCIDENTS?
In the case of a trucking accident, several parties could potentially be negligent, making trucking accident cases more complex than other vehicle accidents. Our experienced team of trucking injury lawyers have the knowledge and expertise to find out who the negligent party is. The negligent party may include:
- The truck driver or commercial motor vehicle operator
- The trucking company
- The manufacturer of the commercial motor vehicle
Understanding how trucking companies operate helps give us an advantage when pursuing actual and punitive damages for our clients. We have consistently demonstrated how trucking companies and drivers have caused not only severe injuries but also deaths that were avoidable and unnecessary.
ECM AND GPS DEVICES: WHY THEY ARE IMPORTANT TO YOUR TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE
Found on many commercial motor vehicles and Department of Transportation-regulated vehicles, Electronic Control Modules (ECM) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) can prove to be a great asset when pursuing your trucking injury case. These devices are electronic systems designed to track and record the movement of a truck, including the speed it was traveling prior to an impact. This information is vital to determining negligence and fault in a trucking accident.
ECM and GPS devices also can reveal the habits of the truck driver and determine the routes the driver took prior to the crash. The information found on these devices are crucial, and Thomas J. Henry will immediately file a lawsuit and restraining order to not only obtain these devices but also all of the driver’s Federal Motor Carrier documents. Our experienced trucking attorneys understand the importance of acquiring this data and how it can affect the achievement of a positive verdict or settlement.
WHAT CAUSES TRUCK ACCIDENTS TO HAPPEN?
Semi-truck accidents can be caused by several different factors — most of which are preventable. When truck drivers violate traffic laws, severe accidents can occur and leave other motorists with debilitating injuries. Common violations that lead to Kansas trucking accidents include:
- Driver fatigue (drowsy driving)
- Improper loading
- When large trucks fail to secure their loads properly, motorists are put at an extreme danger. Contents from these trucks, including hazardous materials, could spill onto the roadways, causing serious accidents.
- Distracted driving
- Commercial vehicle regulations ban drivers from using mobile devices while driving. Doing so is considered a serious traffic violation and could lead to a CDL suspension.
- Failure to maintain vehicle
- Improper lane changing or turning
- Following too closely
- The average stopping distance for a loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 55 mph is 196 feet, compared with 133 feet for an automobile.
- Driving while impaired
IMPORTANT FEDERAL COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE REGULATIONS
Federal trucking guidelines and regulations are there to keep other drivers safe on the roadways alongside semi-trucks. Severe trucking accidents and loss of life can occur when truck drivers and trucking companies fail to abide by these laws, putting Kansas drivers at risk. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains these commercial motor vehicle regulations.
Commercial motor vehicle operators are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL holders are held to a higher standard and can lose their licensure by committing serious traffic violations.
At Thomas J. Henry, we believe it is important to be informed about the various regulations that are in place to keep us safe. Here are a few of the important federal commercial motor vehicle regulations:
- Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
- In Kansas, commercial motor vehicle operators must be at least 18 years old to drive within state lines.
- To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
- Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
- In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
- For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
- Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
- Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.
HOURS OF SERVICE REGULATIONS
One of the leading causes of truck accidents is drowsy or fatigued drivers. Insufficient sleep can have the same negative effects on driving as operating while under the influence of alcohol. The Hours of Service (HOS) regulations attempt to prevent drowsy truck drivers from getting behind the wheel. Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,
- may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
- may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
- Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
In addition, passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,
- may drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
- may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following eight consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
- may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
- Drivers using a sleeper berth provision must take at least eight hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED KANSAS TRUCK ACCIDENT AND INJURY LAWYER
Every year in the United States, more than 100,000 people are injured in trucking accidents. Thomas J. Henry has assisted trucking accident victims from across the country obtain significant verdicts and settlements and bring the largest trucking companies in the world to justice. When truck drivers and trucking companies fail to comply with safety regulations, the lives of you and your loved ones are put in jeopardy. If you were injured in a trucking accident in Kansas, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced trucking injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your case.
Disclaimer: Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only. Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.