Truck accidents in Missouri claimed 61 lives and severely injured more than 1,100 motorists in 2020. These numbers are far too high, but, unfortunately, they’re in line with recent averages. If you’ve suffered a severe injury in a truck collision caused by someone else, contact Penn Kestner & McEwen online or call (800) 732-3070 for a free consultation. Our firm has the skill and experience to help you get the compensation you have coming.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Missouri
These are just some of the many reasons wrecks involving trucks occur in our state.
- Inadequate driver training: Lack of proper training can lead to inexperienced drivers making mistakes and increasing the risk of accidents.
- Weather conditions: Poor weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and ice, can make it more challenging to control a truck.
- Distracted driving: Truck drivers can become distracted by cell phones, navigation systems, or other electronic devices while operating their vehicles.
- Improper maintenance: Neglecting routine maintenance can lead to mechanical failure.
- Reckless or aggressive driving: Speeding, tailgating, and other reckless driving behaviors put other drivers at risk.
- Driver fatigue: Long hours on the road can lead to driver fatigue, which makes it almost impossible to be able to react to sudden changes.
Missouri State Trucking Regulations
The Missouri Department of Transportation sets several trucking regulations to increase the safety of truck drivers and other motorists. These include the following:
- Truckers who operate on any Missouri road are subject to alcohol and drug testing.
- Trucks may not weigh more than 80,000 pounds.
- Drivers can’t stay behind the wheel for more than 11 consecutive hours and can’t be on duty for more than 14 hours in one day.
- Trucking companies must carry liability coverage of at least $750,000.
- All commercial vehicles must meet minimum safety standards.
Federal Trucking Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) establishes federal trucking regulations. These are some of the more important ones. Some of the essential regulations include:
- Drivers must hold a valid commercial driver’s license, pass regular drug and alcohol tests, and meet other qualifications to operate a commercial vehicle.
- Companies must maintain their vehicles in good working order, regularly inspect brakes, tires, and other safety-critical systems, and keep detailed maintenance records.
- All commercial vehicles must use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to track Hours of Service and improve compliance accurately.
Who’s Liable for My Injuries After a Truck Accident in Missouri?
Several factors determine liability in a truck accident. These factors include the cause of the accident, the parties involved, and applicable state or federal laws. Parties who may be liable in a truck accident include:
- The truck driver: If the truck driver was at fault, they might be liable for damages caused by the accident.
- The trucking company: The company may be held responsible if a maintenance issue caused the accident or if the driver was inadequately trained or supervised.
- The vehicle manufacturer: You could sue the manufacturer if the accident occurred due to a defect in the truck.
- The cargo loading company: The cargo owner might be liable if improperly loaded or secured cargo caused the accident.
Common Injuries Associated with Missouri Truck Accidents
- Head and brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries and concussions are common in truck accidents, particularly high-impact collisions.
- Spinal cord injuries: Whiplash, herniated discs, and paralysis are common in truck accidents.
- Bone fractures: Broken bones and fractures are also common, particularly in the limbs and pelvis.
- Burns: Truck accidents can cause severe burns if the truck’s fuel tank or other hazardous materials are involved.
- Internal injuries: Truck accidents can also cause internal injuries, including lacerations to the spleen, liver, and other organs.
Steps to Take After a Missouri Trucking Accident
If you’re involved in a truck accident, taking specific steps to ensure your safety and protect your rights is essential.
- Seek medical attention. If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Report the accident. Report the accident to the police and provide your statement to the responding officer.
- Gather evidence. Take photos or videos of the scene, including the damage to the vehicles, skid marks, and any other relevant details.
- Consult with an attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claims process and protect your rights.
- Keep detailed records. Keep records of any medical treatment you receive, expenses you incur, and other expenses related to the accident.
How Much Compensation Will I Get in a Missouri Truck Accident Claim?
The compensation you can claim after a truck accident will depend on various factors, including the extent of your injuries, the damages sustained, and applicable state laws. Some common types of compensation you may be able to claim include:
- Medical expenses (Including emergency room bills, hospital stays, rehabilitation costs, and prescription drug costs)
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
The compensation you can claim will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine the amount of compensation you may be able to recover and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the claims process.
Will My Truck Crash Case go to Trial?
Whether your truck accident case will go to trial depends on several factors, including the specific circumstances of your case, the stance of the insurance company and other parties involved, and the outcome of negotiations or other alternative dispute resolution methods. Truck accident cases are often resolved through negotiations with the insurance company or alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration.
However, if the plaintiff and defendant can’t settle, it may be necessary to go to trial. The decision to go to trial is usually made by the injured party, in consultation with their attorney, after considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the potential outcomes of a trial.