Missouri Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents can be extremely serious because trucks are large and heavy. For example, a commercial truck's sheer mass means that any collision will cause more damage than an equal crash involving smaller vehicles.
Our personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have extensive experience representing injured truck accident victims.
Our commercial truck accident attorneys know that this can be difficult for many people, and we do everything we can to make the process as stress-free as possible.
Our tractor-trailer accident lawyers understand what you are going through. Our legal team is standing by 24/7, ready to fight for every penny of compensation you deserve.
Call a personal injury lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation.
If you're a truck driver, your biggest concern is the safety of yourself and your cargo. Of course, you must get from point A to point B as quickly as possible without incident.
But if you're an occupant in a passenger vehicle or not riding in a vehicle at all – pedestrians hit or bicyclists – then your biggest concern should be avoiding accidents with large trucks.
Large-truck crashes are responsible for more deaths than any other type of motor vehicle accident in the US, and that number has increased steadily since 2009.
The number of deaths from large truck accidents has increased 51 percent since 2009!
In 2018 alone, 112,000 large trucks were involved in crashes resulting in 4,951 deaths and 150,000 injuries.
National and Missouri Truck Accident Statistics
Truck accidents are some of the most catastrophic on the roadways.
Because a tractor-trailer is bigger than an average automobile, truck collisions are more violent and cause more serious injuries. In addition, the other vehicle's passengers usually suffer the most damage.
It's tempting to assign blame quickly after a truck accident. Naturally, the most likely target is the truck driver. But, unfortunately, the trucker may very well be at fault.
Semi-truck accidents, on the other hand, are not like automobile collisions.
Many individuals are involved in preparing a vehicle for transport, some of whom might share responsibility for the accident involving that truck and other commercial vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of catastrophic accidents involving large commercial trucks is rising.
Data reveals that:
- There were 4,591 large truck fatalities in 2016, increasing 6 percent from 2015.
- Eighty-three percent of all large truck fatalities occurred on weekdays.
- The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 1.51 for large trucks in 2016, increasing 5 percent from 2015.
- In 2016, 1,909 occupants of other vehicles died due to large truck crashes.
- Among those killed in fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2016, 78 percent were occupants of other vehicles.
- The number of large truck occupants killed in all crashes increased by 3 percent to 3,081 in 2016.
In Missouri, there were 968 crashes involving large commercial trucks in 2017. These crashes resulted in 16 fatalities and 352 injuries. In 2017, there were a total of 4,769 crashes in Missouri that involved heavy-duty trucks with at least one fatality and 2,642 injuries.
Statistics from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis Reveal that in 2017:
- Five thousand six hundred thirty-six large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, killing 4,761 people. It is the highest number of fatalities involving large trucks since 2006 when 6,106 people were killed.
- There were 116,000 large trucks involved in injury crashes, which resulted in 179,000 people being injured.
What Caused the Increase in Truck Accidents?
- Fatigued driving: Many truck drivers work long hours crisscrossing the nation, hauling goods, products, and materials between destinations. Sometimes, driving fatigued is a factor in crashes. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that fatigued driving is responsible for 1 in 5 large truck crashes, resulting in 450 deaths and 4,000 injuries annually.
- Crash avoidance technologies: While these devices are not mandatory, they can detect accidents before they happen. Collision warning systems will deploy, sound an alarm, and even apply the brakes if a crash is imminent. These technologies can prevent accidents, but drivers need to be aware of their capabilities and use them properly.
- Inexperienced truck drivers: The American Trucking Associations (ATA) report that the truck driving workforce is aging. As more experienced drivers retire, there is a growing demand for new drivers, and many are inexperienced. It can lead to driver error, a leading factor in traffic accidents.
- Unsafe loads: When trucks are improperly loaded, the weight can cause them to sway and lose control. It can be especially dangerous on curves and hills. In addition, improperly loaded trucks have been known to jackknife, resulting in devastating crashes.
- Driver distractions: Cell phone use, texting, eating, and conversing with passengers are common distractions for truck drivers. These activities can take a driver's attention away from the road, leading to truck accidents.
- Poor road conditions: Icy roads, potholes, and construction can contribute to a truck driver losing control.
- Reckless driving: Truck drivers who speed, run stop signs, and drive aggressively are dangerous to everyone on the road.
Overloaded Truck Trailer Accidents
According to the NHTSA, overloaded semi-trucks and tractor-trailers can cause catastrophic accidents leaving truck accident victims with severe, life-threatening injuries or death.
Data reveals that overloaded commercial vehicles have caused serious truck accidents in which people have died.
Therefore, it is extremely important to check whether your truck driver or trucking company had the correct permits and documentation to carry the load before letting them on the road.
Overloaded semi-truck accident claims are complex cases involving physics, engineering, and expert testimony; only experienced St. Louis truck accident attorneys should handle these types of cases because of the vast resources needed to do so successfully.
If you have lost a loved one in a truck crash, please contact a St Louis truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
An overloaded truck may be the cause of your loved one's death, and you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver, trucking company, or both.
Defective Component-Caused Truck Accidents: When Strict Liability Is Involved
Many serious truck accident cases are filed due to defective truck components distributed by truck manufacturers.
In these cases, strict liability is usually involved where the injured victim or surviving family members can file a claim against the manufacturer and their insurance company.
Under Missouri's strict liability laws, the manufacturer of a defective product can be held liable for injuries and property damage. There is no need to prove fault-they will be held responsible regardless of what caused the defect or who manufactures the component.
How Can an Attorney Help With My Defective Truck Accident Claim?
A Missouri truck accident lawyer can help ensure you get full compensation for your injuries and losses.
They will work with you to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and file a claim against the responsible parties. So if you've been injured in a truck accident, don't wait-contact an attorney today.
When Missouri drivers share the road with large commercial vehicles, they're putting their safety at risk.
These vehicles are much larger and heavier than the average car, and the results can be catastrophic when involved in a crash.
How to Reduce Missouri Truck Accidents
There are many steps the trucking industry can take to reduce truck accidents involving semi-trucks on the nation's highways, roads, and city streets.
According to the FMCSA, companies and their employees must follow the rules and regulations to ensure public safety when sharing the roads.
The most significant ways to reduce truck/car accidents include:
- Driver safety training: All truck drivers should receive comprehensive safety training before hitting the road. This training should include information on avoiding crashes, properly loading a truck, and responding in emergency situations.
- Truck driver regulations: Truck drivers are restricted from driving for more than 11 hours per day, and they must take a break after 8 hours of at least 30 minutes.
- Safe trucking practices: Companies must enforce safe trucking practices, such as driving at safe speeds, using proper turning techniques, and staying aware of their surroundings.
- Maintenance: Trucking companies must ensure that their trucks are properly maintained, including regular inspections and necessary repairs.
- Inspection: A certified inspector must inspect all commercial tractor-trailers annually.
- Driver log books: Drivers must keep accurate, up-to-date records of their driving hours in a log.
- Drug and alcohol testing: Drivers must pass a drug and alcohol test before being hired, and they are subject to random testing while on the job.
The Missouri Trucking Association (MTA) is committed to promoting safety on the state's roads.
In addition to the measures above, the MTA supports additional initiatives such as increased enforcement of traffic laws, improved infrastructure, and public education.
While truck drivers and their employers are responsible for following safety regulations, it's also important for Missouri drivers to be aware of these large vehicles on the road.
We can all work together to make our roads safer for everyone by following these simple tips.
Third-Party Claims: Who Might Be at Fault for a Missouri Truck Accident?
Commercial truck accidents are among the most severe on the roadways. Because a tractor-trailer is so much larger than a standard vehicle, truck collisions are more violent and likely to result in more serious injuries.
The other vehicle occupants usually endure the most damage in these situations.
It's all too easy to point a finger after a truck accident. Most likely, the driver of the vehicle will take the blame. But, the trucker could be at fault.
Semi-truck accidents, on the other hand, aren't like car accidents. Several people are involved in preparing a truck for travel, including both operators and manufacturers
Potential defendants in a truck accident suit might include:
- Truck drivers
- Trucking companies
- Truck manufacturers
- Component manufacturers
- Government agencies
- Property owners
- Other drivers
It takes time and study to figure out who is at fault. After an accident, trucking businesses have teams of investigators standing by to get started immediately.
Their objective isn't to protect you; it's to safeguard the trucking company.
Once we've completed our initial consultation, our attorneys can start working on your case.
The first step is to identify all involved parties in the collision. More than one insurance policy may be implicated in truck accident claims.
In addition, trucking companies frequently have more than one insurance carrier on their own.
Filing Against Every Defendant Responsible for Your Damages
A different insurance company might cover the cargo. If the fender-bender includes several cars, you must also consider each person's insurer.
You'll also need to consider whether someone other than the trucker was at fault.
For example, if the accident occurred in a construction zone, you might hold either the property owner or contractor responsible for any damages.
Property damage claims are another common aspect of these truck accident cases. Under Missouri law, when someone fails to control their vehicle to interfere with another's rights, they are liable for the damage.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Worth?
Many contributing factors determine a truck accident's worth when resolving a personal injury claim.
In many incidents, the claims adjuster will attempt to resolve the case with a low settlement offer within the first days or weeks after the crash.
Unfortunately, many truck accident victims are unaware of the extent of their injuries, the amount of property damage done to their vehicle, and if they'll need additional medical care, surgery, therapy, or treatments in the future.
Typically, a personal injury attorney working on behalf of the injured party will attempt to slow down the process, negotiate with the insurance company, and meet to resolve the case for its actual worth.
Sometimes, the insurance company will make a bad faith offer, even during the negotiated meeting, leaving no alternative but filing a truck accident lawsuit and taking the case to court.
Should that occur, a St. Louis truck accident lawyer from our law offices will begin building a case for trial, handled by our trial attorneys to ensure that the injured party (plaintiff) successfully resolves their case with the responsible party (defendant).
The Missouri Statute of Limitations
The Missouri State Legislature enacted the statute of limitations that restricts the amount of time the injured parties can file a personal injury lawsuit against those who caused the accident. The law is found at Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516.120.
The statute of limitations in a Missouri truck accident case is five years from the date of the accident, meaning that you have until 2026 to file your lawsuit should you not reach a resolution with the insurance company or defendants before then.
Remember, it's important to contact an experienced Missouri personal injury attorney to consult about your accident and how it may be best resolved.
You can't determine how much compensation you deserve before consulting with an experienced truck accident attorney.
Compensation for a Missouri trucking accident claim is based on the extent of your injuries and losses, but many other factors also influence it.
Remember that the claims adjuster working for the insurance company was hired to protect their profits, often at the injured victims' expense. Our attorneys will always seek to maximize your financial recovery under the law.
The Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Case in Missouri Is Five Years
Truck accident cases can take months or years to resolve since multiple parties are involved, including the trucking company; its insurer; the insurance company (or companies) that insured the cargo; and other parties whose negligence also contributed to the accident.
What Is Comparative Negligence in Missouri Personal Injury Cases?
There's a good chance that you're confused about comparative negligence or how it works, especially if this is your first time dealing with a personal injury case.
Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine that allows an injured person to recover damages, even if they were partially at fault for the accident.
For example, suppose you're driving down the road and are hit by a truck that ran a red light. In that case, you may be able to hold the commercial truck driver responsible for your injuries, as well as their employer (the trucking company), even though you were illegally in the intersection.
However, your damages would be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you for entering the intersection on a red light. This reduction would likely be determined as 50% at fault (unless there are some extenuating circumstances).
Don't Gamble With the Future of Your Family
If you've been injured in a truck accident, don't wait to speak with an attorney. The sooner you act, the sooner your Missouri truck accident attorney can start building your claim and negotiating with all the insurance companies involved in your case.
These truck accident cases are complex and can take time to resolve. So don't gamble with the future of your family. Instead, contact our Missouri truck accident lawyers today for the immediate legal help you deserve.
Missouri Truck Accident FAQs
Our personal injury law firm understands that many families have unanswered questions when dealing with the insurance company to resolve a truck accident case. A St Louis truck accident attorney from our law office has answered some of those questions below.
Call our legal team at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for additional information, legal assistance, or schedule a free consultation.
What Is Strict Liability?
Strict liability can be applied outside of a criminal law context, and it allows an individual to file suit against someone who has caused them harm.
The plaintiff only has to prove that their injuries directly resulted from another party's action in a personal injury case. The defendant will be held liable regardless of what caused the damage.
What Is Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Insurance?
Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance covers damages that result from an accident with a driver who does not have liability insurance or does not have enough coverage to pay for all the damages.
This type of insurance is optional, but it's a good idea to have it if you're involved in an accident with someone who doesn't have adequate coverage.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit as established by state law. The standard personal injury statute of limitations in Missouri is five years, but this can vary depending on other factors.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Truck Accident Case?
If you're involved in a truck accident and have concerns about your legal rights, it is a good idea to contact an experienced St. Louis truck accident lawyer. Your lawyer can guide you through the process and help you understand your options for filing a lawsuit and collecting compensation.
What Can I Expect to Receive for My Missouri Truck Accident Claim?
The value of your claim is entirely dependent on the facts of your case, the truck accident injuries you sustained, and the total costs associated with your recovery.
This amount includes medical bills and lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, physical disabilities, disfigurement, scarring, or any other negative consequences resulting from the accident.
The settlement amounts in an accident involving semi-trucks and trucking company negligence are often based on the policy limits of coverage of all the insurance companies involved in the case.
Can I Recover Money for Pain and Suffering?
Missouri law allows individuals to recover compensation for short-term and long-term physical injury, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of limb or function, scarring, etc.
There is no maximum limit on the number of damages an individual can receive in Missouri. The value of your claim will depend on the severity of your injuries.
Hiring a Missouri Truck Accident Lawyer to Resolve Your Compensation Lawsuit
Are you the victim of a severe trucking accident, or did you lose a loved one through another's negligence?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our St. Louis truck accident lawyers will work aggressively on your behalf to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
Call our St. Louis, MO law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for immediate legal representation or schedule a free case evaluation.
Our law office accepts all personal injury claims and truck accident lawsuits on a contingency fee basis.
This arrangement ensures you pay nothing until your truck accident attorneys resolve your trucking accident case through a jury trial or negotiated settlement.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with experienced truck accident lawyers remains private through an attorney-client relationship.