Understanding Kentucky Truck Accident Liability: Who Can Be Held Responsible

May 1, 2024

With the amount of freight moving along Kentucky’s roadway system increasing every year, so too is the number of truck-involved accidents. When accidents involving commercial trucks happen, the aftermath can be complex and overwhelming. For Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC, Paducah, KY truck accident lawyers, discovering who is at fault for the injuries you’ve suffered is important to ensuring that you receive proper and sufficient compensation.    

Why a Truck Accident is More Complicated than the Average Auto Accident

Truck accidents involve multiple layers of laws and regulations, making them inherently more complex than accidents involving typical passenger vehicles. Trucks operate under both federal and state regulations, which can affect everything from how the truck is maintained to how long a driver can be on the road. Kentucky, with its location serving as a crossroads for several major interstate highways, sees a substantial amount of truck traffic and, consequently, truck accidents.

Parties Who May Be Potentially Liable

In truck accidents, the responsibility isn’t always solely on the drivers of each vehicle; there may be other parties involved as well.

The Truck Driver

The most visible figure in any truck accident, the truck driver, is often examined first. Drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles safely and adhering to all traffic laws. In Kentucky, if a truck driver is found to have violated traffic laws—such as speeding, driving under the influence, or fatigue (not adhering to rest requirements)—they can be held personally liable. Moreover, distracted driving, like texting, can also impact a driver’s liability in the event of an accident. 

The Trucking Company

The company that employs the truck driver may also carry a portion of the liability for the accident. Trucking companies are required to follow strict federal and state regulations regarding vehicle maintenance, driver training, and hours of service. In Kentucky, if a trucking company failed to properly maintain a truck or pushed a driver to skip a required break to meet delivery deadlines, the company could also be found liable for negligence.

The Truck Owner

Sometimes the owner of the truck is different from the driver and the driver’s employer. The truck owner’s responsibility is to ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy. This includes regular maintenance checks and repairs. If an accident occurs because the truck was not adequately maintained (for instance, failed brakes or worn-out tires), the company that owns the truck itself might be held liable.

Cargo Loaders

The safety of a truck can also depend on how it is loaded. Improperly loaded or secured cargo can cause a truck to become unbalanced or for cargo to fall off, causing an accident. In those cases, the party responsible for loading the truck could be potentially liable. This could be the trucking company itself or perhaps an independent contractor.

Parts Manufacturers

In cases where a truck accident was caused by a mechanical failure, the manufacturer of the faulty part could be held responsible. For instance, if a new tire bursts shortly after installation, causing the truck to lose control, the tire manufacturer might be liable for selling a defective product.

Other Vehicle Drivers

Sometimes, other drivers on the road contribute to accidents involving trucks. For example, if another motorist cuts off a truck, causing it to swerve and crash, that motorist could also be held liable. In Kentucky, the principle of comparative fault may reduce the compensation you can receive based on your percentage of fault in the accident. We previously discussed comparative fault in another article, Kentucky Car Accident Law: Understanding No-Fault, No-Fault Insurance, and Your Right to Sue. 

Why Understanding Liability is Important

Knowing who might be responsible for a truck accident is important for determining compensation and accountability. Properly identifying liable parties can increase the chances of receiving fair and adequate compensation for injuries, damages, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  

Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC, Paducah, KY Truck Accident Lawyers

Navigating the aftermath of a truck accident by yourself can be daunting and we’re here to help you through the claims process. As your Paducah, KY truck accident lawyers, we want you to focus on your recovery with the peace of mind that your legal rights are being protected.

At Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC, our team is here to help you understand your rights, explore your options and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.  Call us at (270) 444-0406 or (270) 753-1529 for a free consultation.  Our offices are conveniently located in Paducah and Murray.




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Collision scene involving a truck and a car - Saladino & Schaaf, Paducah KY Truck Accident Lawyers




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Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC is dedicated to providing high quality, aggressive legal representation to victims of personal injury and wrongful death. Since 1984, this firm and its predecessors have had one goal in mind – to help the victims of personal injury put the pieces of their lives back together.

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