Truck accidents can occur anywhere, at any time. If you have been injured in a truck accident in Missouri, you are not alone. Your experienced lawyer can guide your case and has likely handled similar accidents to yours in the past. The Dixon Injury Firm has put together the following collection of Missouri truck accident statistics to hopefully make the truck accident process easier on you and your family.
More Than 3,000 People are Injured in Missouri Every Year in Commercial Truck Accidents
The number of people that are injured in commercial truck accidents in Missouri every year (3,185) is significantly lower than in 2005 (5,484), but most of these accidents are entirely preventable. Another 109 people were killed in fatal commercial truck accidents in Missouri in 2016. There are various reasons why accidents occur, but the actions that should be taken afterward remain the same. If you are one of the 12,000 Missouri residents that is in an accident every year, it’s critical to speak to an attorney about your crash. CDL drivers in Missouri are required to adhere to strict federal regulations while operating a commercial vehicle, and if a truck driver causes an accident, the consequences can be severe.
If you are injured in a truck accident in Missouri, you could be eligible to recover compensation from both the truck driver that caused your crash and their employer. Missouri is an at-fault state and follows the negligence rule of “pure comparative fault.” Pure comparative fault states that injury victims can recover compensation from an accident that correlates directly to the amount of responsibility they played in the crash. For example, if a truck driver is 80% at fault for an accident and a passenger vehicle driver is 20% responsible for an accident that resulted in $100,000 in damages, the passenger vehicle driver could claim $80,000 in damages, while the truck driver could claim the remaining 20%. If one driver is solely at fault for an accident, only the injured party can recover damages.
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Missouri
The leading causes of truck accidents in Missouri are speeding, driving under the influence, and distracted driving, all of which can be extremely hazardous to other drivers on the road. In 493 commercial truck accidents that involved alcohol use in Missouri in 2017, 75% involved drivers that had a BAC higher than the legal limit of 0.08. Speeding is a common cause of accidents in Missouri with 22,474 crashes caused per year involving speeding as a factor. If you are in a commercial truck accident that involves any of the above factors, you could be eligible to recover damages including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. It can be overwhelming to keep track of the different elements involved in a truck accident, but hiring an attorney provides guidance for your case. An experienced attorney can analyze your case, determine if you are eligible to recover damages, and help you file a powerful insurance claim against the liable truck driver to recover damages.
Missouri Truck Driving Laws and Penalties
Penalties under Missouri commercial motor vehicle requirements can range from a temporary suspension of one’s CDL license to having your license completely revoked and losing your job. Under Title 49 of Federal Regulations regarding commercial vehicles (section 383.1-383.155), there are different consequences and procedures that are mandatory for truck drivers to follow. If you are in a crash caused by a commercial truck driver, you could be eligible to recover damages from the truck driver and their employer.
Vicarious Liability in regards to commercial vehicles states that trucking companies are responsible for any negligence caused by an employee. The trucking company might try to use the defense that the driver is an independent contractor for their company, but federal regulations have been revised over the years to include independent contractors. Today’s revised statute states that if an accident is caused by a commercial truck driver, whether an independent contractor or a direct employee of a company, while they are on the clock and operating a vehicle with the company’s logo or name, the trucking company can be held liable in addition to the truck driver for the accident. If you are in a commercial truck accident, with proof of the truck driver’s employment and supporting evidence to back your claim, your lawyer can prove that you are eligible to recover damages from both the at-fault truck driver and the trucking company that they work for.
Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer in Missouri About Your Case
If you are injured in a truck accident in Missouri, it’s crucial to consult an experienced lawyer immediately about the accident. A truck accident lawyer can push against the other driver’s insurance company and negotiate for the highest settlement possible for your damages. If the settlement that the other party is offering is too low and they aren’t budging, your lawyer can advise you to settle or file a truck accident lawsuit depending on the circumstances of your case. If you need a truck accident lawyer in Missouri to represent your case, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today. Our Missouri lawyers are passionate about helping injury victims and will do everything possible to recover the maximum amount of compensation for your truck accident case.