Missouri Truck Accident Attorneys
Based in Osage Beach & Serving Clients across Camden, Miller, Morgan & Laclede Counties
Semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, tankers, and other commercial vehicles fill the highways in Missouri and across the country. Being involved in an accident with one can be a devastating experience, leading to serious and life-threatening injuries. These massive vehicles can weigh in at 80,000 pounds, as opposed to the average 5,000 pounds of a passenger car. Furthermore, it takes them 40 percent longer to brake than an automobile. When colliding with a large, commercial truck, the occupants of passenger cars are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured than the trucker.
Whether you are driving along I-44—the busiest trucking corridor in the nation—or on I-70 when a truck crash happens, you and your family suddenly face a major crisis. You are forced to deal with serious and possibly life-changing injuries that can take weeks, months, or years to recover from. While you work toward recovery, you don’t have to fight the trucking companies on your own. Price & Randle is here to handle all of the complicated details of your personal injury claim. We can thoroughly investigate your accident to begin building a compelling case on your behalf.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Collisions with commercial trucks happen frequently on I-44 (the biggest conduit for trucking in the country), Highway 54, and I-70. After a Missouri truck crash on one of these major roadways, there is a lot to prove. You must demonstrate that the truck driver, trucking company, or another party acted negligently. This can be difficult to do, especially as time progresses, repairs are made, and the accident scene changes.
One consideration that can help you in negotiating your claim is to understand why truck accidents happen. Knowing the common causes of truck accidents can help you determine and prove how your truck accident in Missouri occurred and who is at fault for your severe injuries.
Some of the top causes of Missouri trucking accidents include:
- Inexperienced drivers. When a truck driver is not experienced behind the wheel of a large vehicle, such as an eighteen-wheeler or commercial truck, technique and safety concerns are not always adhered to. This can lead to serious mistakes in judgment, and catastrophic truck crashes.
- Drowsy drivers. Truck drivers are under significant pressure to get their goods to market on time. This can cause them drive for longer periods of time than they should. When a truck driver is drowsy, they are less aware of what is happening on the road and more likely to cause a collision.
- Improperly secured goods. Heavy loads and awkwardly shaped items can cause a truck to lose control if the load is not correctly balanced and secured. When a truck driver fails to adequately set up his truck to drive safely on the road, one turn or shift in the cargo can cause a serious accident.
- Driving impaired. Impaired driving is dangerous regardless of the size of vehicle. When a truck driver drinks or takes drugs and then gets behind the wheel, his mental and physical capabilities are impaired, causing him to potentially be involved in a truck accident.
Additional causes of truck collisions include brake malfunction or failure, other mechanical failures, poor truck maintenance, blind spots, driver violations, and a host of other factors. No matter what the cause of your accident, you have legal rights. Contact a Missouri truck accident attorney at Price & Randle, LLC, to put an experienced advocate on your side.
Who is Liable for a Truck Accident?
Determining liability after a truck accident can take some amount of investigation. Unlike a car accident where the liable party is usually the driver of the car that caused the crash, a truck accident can have multiple parties who could potentially be held responsible for your injuries.
The party most often held liable for a truck accident is the trucking company. While there are several reasons for this, one of the main reasons is trucking companies are often caught encouraging their drivers to break trucking regulations in order to help save their company time, money or both. There are situations where the truck driver himself will be held liable such as is if the accident was caused by the direct negligence of a trucker. For example, drinking while driving or driving while distracted. There are parties who can be found responsible in rarer occasions, such as the truck manufacturer.
Our firm is experienced in handling truck accident claims and has the knowledge and skill to identify the appropriate party who can be held responsible for your injuries. Call us today to get started on your case.
Common Missouri Truck Accident Defenses
Whether you remember all of the details of your accident, or a subsequent accident investigation has helped you understand your crash, you know that you were not at fault. The trucker who hit you caused your truck accident and the resulting injuries. Yet, the trucker, the trucking company, and their insurers are not willing to accept responsibility, nor are they are willing to compensate you fairly for your injuries. Instead, they are trying to defend themselves and avoid liability.
Two of the most common defenses that you may hear from truckers, trucking companies, or insurance companies include:
- Lack of causation. The defense may argue that the defendant did not cause the crash. They may try to place the blame on you, on the truck manufacturer, or on someone else. You will not be able to recover damages if the defendant is successful in proving a lack of causation.
- Comparative Fault. The defendant may argue that you were also at fault for the accident. Through negotiations or at trial, a percentage of fault will be assigned to you if the defendant is successful. Your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Thus, if it determined that your speed was 20% responsible for the accident, then your damage award will be reduced by 20%.
All of these arguments are made for the same reason. The defendant in your
case wants to avoid liability., and they do not want to compensate you
for your injuries. If you have been hurt in a truck accident, then one
of the things that you need to do to protect your claim is to anticipate
the defenses that will be raised in your case. An experienced Missouri
truck accident attorney can help you do that and can help you protect
your right to a fair recovery.
Truck Driver Regulations
Truck drivers and the company they work for are heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). One of these regulations is called the hours of service regulations. This rule outlines when and how long drivers can be on the road since tired drivers are much more likely to cause an accident. The hours of service regulation can be broken up into three main parts:
14 Hour Rule: Truckers are allowed to work up to 14-hour in a day however, only 11 of these hours can be spent driving. The remaining three hours must be spent on meal or rest breaks.
Rest Periods: After the 14-hour workday is over, drivers must rest for at least 10 hours before returning to another day at work.
60 / 70 Rule: Truck drivers must take days completely off work at regular intervals. If a trucking company is open seven days a week a driver is only allowed to work 70 hours in an eight-day period before taking at least 34 consecutive hours off. If a trucking company is open less than seven days a week than a driver is only allowed to work 60 hours in a seven-day period before taking 34 hours off.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for truckers to break these rules by their own volition or at the encouragement of the company they work for. At times the FMCSA will modify the hours of service regulations times of national emergency, such as in the recent COVID-19 crisis. While many people see this as necessary to move supplies across the country faster, it often results in tired drivers who are more prone to accidents.
Contact an Experienced Attorney As Soon As Possible
Our knowledgeable legal team knows the confusion you face immediately following a truck accident. You may want to trust the insurance companies, but they are businesses that have a bottom line to protect. Their financial gain takes priority over helping you get the money you deserve after the trauma of such an accident.
When you work with Price & Randle, you put our experience on your side. After a trucking accident, much needs to be done to determine who is at fault, what went wrong, and who is responsible for paying you the money you deserve. The longer you wait, the greater the likelihood that vehicles are repaired, accident scenes are changed, and other vital evidence for your claim is mislaid or forgotten. That is why we recommend that you contact us as soon as possible so that we can get started on putting your claim together.
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We represent injury victims throughout the Lake of the Ozarks & All of Missouri.
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We listen to you as we help you walk through the process of healing and recovery after an accident.
We are available by phone, email, 24/7 chat, and we make house calls.