Commercial Truck Accidents
December 1, 2021 | Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks including big rigs and tractor-trailers frequently travel on interstate highways and other roadways in and around St. Louis, Missouri. Interstates 44, 270, 55, 64, and 70 frequently see heavy tractor-trailer traffic. The same goes for U.S. Highways 40, 61, 50, and 67.
Commercial trucks are very large vehicles and travel at high rates of speed especially when they are on busy highways. When a large commercial truck strikes a smaller vehicle, it is usually the occupants of the smaller vehicle who suffer more significant injuries.
Commercial truck drivers who operate tractor-trailers, big rigs, and 18- wheelers owe other drivers a high duty of care. Specifically, these commercial truck drivers must always operate their vehicles in a reasonably prudent manner.
They must also refrain from operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol and from engaging in distracted driving. When a commercial truck driver behaves negligently and causes an accident with another vehicle, the accident victim can hold both the at-fault driver and the trucking company that employs the driver responsible.
A knowledgeable and experienced St. Louis personal injury attorney can help if you have suffered injuries in a commercial truck accident. A lawyer can be helpful when it comes to filing a claim against the at-fault truck driver or trucking company’s insurer. Suppose the insurance company refuses to pay you the damages that you deserve. In that case, your attorney can file a lawsuit in the Missouri court system, and if necessary, take it to trial or binding arbitration.
Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents in St. Louis
Commercial truck accidents happen for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is driver error and negligence. Commercial truck drivers, for example, might violate a traffic law or regulation while they are out on the road, such as by running a red light or stop sign, speeding, tailgating other vehicles, or weaving in and out of busy highway traffic.
Truck drivers are also negligent when they engage in distracted driving. This means failing to give proper care and sufficient attention to the roadway. For example, the at-fault driver might be using a cellular device to send or receive text messages while driving. Even when a truck driver turns their attention away from the road for a second or two, that is enough time for a serious collision to happen.
Finally, commercial truck driver negligence includes operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When it comes to alcohol intoxication, commercial truck drivers must follow a higher standard of care than non-commercial drivers. Specifically, a 0.04 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) cut-off applies to commercial truck drivers. If a Breathalyzer test or other testing equipment shows that the driver’s BAC exceeds 0.04 percent, then the driver is intoxicated per se.
In addition to receiving criminal penalties for driving under the influence, the truck driver’s insurance company can be financially liable for any injuries and damages that the accident victim suffers.
In some instances, the trucking companies that employ drivers are fully or partially responsible for accidents that occur. For example, the trucking company may not have properly vetted their drivers to ensure that they have the necessary experience, training, and qualifications. They might also hire a driver with little experience or who has a record of prior moving violations while driving. Finally, the trucking company might fail to supervise and monitor their drivers, contributing to a collision later on.
An experienced commercial truck accident lawyer in St. Louis can determine who likely caused your truck accident. Your attorney can then file a claim or lawsuit with the necessary insurance company and pursue the compensation and damages that you deserve.
What Are Some Common Injuries in Commercial Truck Accidents?
Commercial truck accidents, especially those that happen at higher rates of speed, can lead to severe injuries. Some commercial truck accidents are head-on collisions, while others are rear-end impacts or side impacts.
In any case, the accident victim’s body can move around inside the vehicle at the time of impact. Furthermore, a part of the accident victim’s body might strike something in the vehicle, such as the steering wheel, headrest, or window, bringing about significant injuries.
Victims of commercial truck accidents can suffer any of the following injuries:
- Traumatic head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue contusions
- Internal damage
If you or someone you care about sustained any of these injuries in a commercial truck accident, you should first seek prompt medical treatment with a qualified healthcare provider. Next, you should speak with a St. Louis truck accident attorney who can determine your legal options and help you execute them promptly.
Filing a Claim or Lawsuit for Damages following a Commercial Truck Accident
Specifically, when it comes to commercial truck accidents, an accident victim might be eligible to pursue a claim against the truck driver or trucking company’s insurer. If that is the case, your lawyer can gather up all of your medical records, wage loss documentation, police report, photographs, and other important pieces of evidence and submit them to the insurance company.
The insurance company adjuster will review these documents, and if they accept liability, can make an offer to resolve your case through settlement. Your attorney can negotiate with the adjuster and work to pursue a favorable settlement resolution that compensates you fairly.
Suppose the insurance company refuses to award you favorable compensation for your injuries. In that case, your attorney can file a lawsuit in the Missouri court system and litigate your case to a prompt resolution. The majority of commercial truck accident claims settle at some point, either before or after litigation. However, if you need to take your case to trial or binding arbitration, your lawyer will be right there with you, representing you and zealously advocating for your legal rights.
Speak with a St. Louis Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Suffering injuries in a truck accident and getting medical treatment can be time-consuming, painful, and have long-term consequences. You want to make sure that you recover damages that both fully and fairly compensate you for everything you went through following your accident. A St. Louis commercial truck accident attorney will work to maximize your damages and get you the compensation that you need to feel whole again.