Are Truck Accident Claims Different Than Other Types of Injury Claims?
Trucks are important for the movement of goods around the St. Louis area and throughout the state of Missouri. However, they still pose a threat on major highways in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Transportation reports that 130 lives were lost in accidents involving commercial motor vehicles in 2020.
Those injured in truck accidents and their families need compensation for their losses with a truck accident claim. A truck accident claim can become complex with the scale of the accident between the truck and the car. Federal regulations and multiple liable parties can also factor into a truck accident claim.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with the United States Department of Transportation regulates the trucking industry at the federal level. These rules govern vehicle safety and commercial driver’s license requirements for all commercial vehicle transportation of goods.
Missouri Carrier Services, along with the Missouri Department of Transportation, set the rules for trucking in Missouri. These rules include vehicle inspection and maintenance standards and driver safety requirements.
All motor carriers and their drivers must follow federal trucking regulations to ensure everyone stays safe on the road. An experienced truck accident lawyer knows which behaviors violate standards for safety and constitute negligence.
Commercial trucks can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds and sometimes operate heavier. Truck drivers must also maintain a gap of at least 4 seconds between their trucks and other vehicles in front of them for speeds going below 40 miles per hour. In comparison, a compact passenger car can weigh anywhere between 2,500 and 2,999 pounds. If a truck hits a compact passenger car, the difference in size and weight causes more severe injuries in the passenger car than in the semi-truck
Aside from the truck driver, multiple people might bear liability in a truck accident. This possibility leads to a more extensive investigation that examines the records of all potentially liable people and companies.
Drivers are liable when their actions cause the crash. Negligent acts include speeding, distracted driving, tailgating, fatigued driving, and failure to adjust to road conditions.
Trucking companies control operating hours and routes and monitor trucks through GPS systems. They sometimes push drivers into unsafe practices to meet deadlines or make more money. They could be held responsible if they pushed a driver to drive while fatigued.
Maintenance companies sometimes do a poor job on maintenance or use faulty parts in trucks. These actions can lead to accidents due to brake failure, steering failure, or issues with the trailer. A maintenance company may be held accountable for brake failure on a speeding truck.
The cargo loading company and its workers might make a mistake in overloading trucks. The weight of the truck can make its trailer sway and strike a car in the adjoining lanes. Improperly secured cargo can fall off the truck and crush cars or cause them to crash.
The possibility of multiple liable parties means your attorney must investigate all the potential people involved. This investigation includes:
- The operator’s driving history and medical records
- The trucking company’s history, including route information and hours worked by drivers
- Truck maintenance records
- The history of cargo loaders and handlers
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, hire a lawyer as soon as possible. The trucking company will have investigators on the scene while you’re still in the hospital in an attempt to deny liability.
These records can help your personal injury attorney identify all the people responsible for your accident.
Trucking companies carry a high liability policy limit of $750,000 for most freight carriers. As a result, the trucking companies and their legal teams and insurance adjusters will attempt to deny or delay your claim. They may also minimize your compensation for your injuries. A personal injury attorney can protect your legal rights to a fair settlement.
The complexity of truck accident claims requires the expertise of a lawyer knowledgeable in navigating trucking laws and negotiating with insurance companies. The St. Louis truck crash lawyers with Cofman Townsley understand what it takes to win maximum compensation for a truck accident claim.
Contact us to schedule a free, no-risk consultation to learn how we can help you get started.