Large commercial trucks, often referred to as big rigs, semi-trucks, and 18-wheelers, are very large, very heavy, and powerful vehicles that can cause significant damage in the event of a collision. Especially if the vehicle they collide with is an ordinary passenger vehicle, the consequences for occupants in small vehicles are often devastating injuries or death. An accident with a commercial truck can be life-changing. It is important that you contact a knowledgeable truck accident attorney who can help you explore your legal options.
If you were injured in a truck accident in Kansas City and want to know what to do, contact a Kansas City attorney who can evaluate your case and help you file a personal injury claim. Contact a Kansas City truck accident attorney at (816) 578-0580 and they can help guide you.
Who Can Be Sued in Missouri Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents can be very complex cases to determine who is responsible for the accident. There are many different political parties who may be responsible for the crash. It is also important to note that more than one party may end up being held liable, as multiple parties may have contributed to the accident through negligence. The laws governing trucking safety and traffic control can be tricky to navigate, which is why you want to make sure you have an experienced truck accident attorney who knows the ins and outs of the law. They can help you gather the necessary evidence to prove the other party’s negligence so you can get the compensation you deserve. Here are some potential parties who could be held accountable:
Truck owners are responsible for making sure their vehicles are properly maintained. For example, failure to maintain a truck’s brakes or tires and replace them if necessary can lead to an accident, putting both the truck driver and other drivers on the road at significant risk.
owner of freight company
If the truck involved in the crash belongs to a larger fleet or company, the owner of that company may in some cases be liable for the crash. For example, the owner may require delivery of the goods in an unreasonably short time. Because of these deadlines, truck drivers may be forced to drive non-stop for longer than legally allowed. Tired drivers are more prone to accidents. A lawyer can help document this negligent action to prove the trucking company’s liability.
Truck drivers must obey the rules of the road, just like any other driver. If they violated traffic laws (i.e. failing to stop at a red light or speeding at the speed limit) while driving their truck and caused an accident, they could be liable for the injuries caused. Any negligent behavior they engage in, such as texting while driving, or using drugs or alcohol, can make them liable.
Employees responsible for loading trucks
When fully loaded, trucks carry a lot of weight. If the truck is overloaded or loaded unevenly, it can lead to improper handling of the truck. It could be pulling to one side due to uneven weight distribution, or being overloaded and making it harder to stop. Trucks must adhere to a maximum weight limit. Those responsible for loading the truck must ensure that these maximum weight limits are respected and that one side is not heavier than the other. If these rules are not strictly followed and accidents occur, employees may be held liable.
If the truck itself was poorly designed or known to commonly cause accidents, a claim could be filed against the manufacturer for a design defect.
truck maintenance company
The company that maintains the truck could also be held liable if it is not maintained to the proper standards. Lawyers can help prove this by looking at maintenance records and asking the right questions during the discovery process.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Missouri
The trucking industry is strictly regulated by federal (FMCSA) and state laws. These laws are designed to protect public safety and minimize the number of truck accidents on American roads. However, failure to follow these laws increases the likelihood of truck accidents. Unfortunately, accidents involving large trucks have increased dramatically over the years. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Improperly loaded cargo
- insufficient driver training
- Equipment failure due to lack of maintenance
- Careless driving in adverse weather conditions
- expedited delivery deadlines
- Drivers are not forced to rest
- illegal drunk
- driver error
Kansas City Truck Accident Lawyers
Getting into a truck accident can be a scary experience that can leave you seriously injured. You may be unable to work due to your injury, and medical bills and other costs will increase. Victims also often experience severe and lasting emotional trauma. The emotional and physical damage you leave behind can last a lifetime. Getting fair compensation from trucking companies and insurance companies is critical to getting on with your life. However, this can be a challenging task without the help of an experienced attorney. Even when it becomes clear that the truck company or some aspect of its operation is at fault, insurance companies will do everything they can to minimize what they pay. Legal action may be required to seek just compensation for the injuries and damages you have suffered.
The attorneys at Peterson & Associates PC can help you file your claim and get the compensation you deserve. Contact our Kansas City personal injury attorneys today to learn more about your legal options. Contact Peterson and Associates PC at (816) 578-0580 to speak with a Kansas City truck accident attorney for a free consultation. Our team of lawyers is always ready to help you.