Trucking accidents can cause considerable damage and loss of life. A trucking crash at a high rate of speed can result in some of the most unimaginable suffering, including burns, broken bones, paralysis, head trauma, and even loss of life. These accidents occur on a daily basis in St. Louis County and surrounding Missouri and Illinois counties. Just surviving a trucking accident can be considered a miracle.
Differences between Trucking and Automobile Accidents
A large automobile weighs around 3,500 lbs. However, a fully-loaded 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. The importance of this difference is that even a slight impact at a low rate of speed can prove catastrophic when the weight disparity between vehicles is this large. In many instances, one 18-wheeler truck can injure victims in 10 or more vehicles in the same accident. Even smaller trucks such as delivery trucks, small flatbeds, and pickups, have this propensity.
The difference in weight means that trucks can completely destroy ordinary motor vehicles. Sometimes the damage to the truck is only minimal whereas the damage to the vehicle is a total loss, with incredible pain and suffering for the occupants.
Liability and Insurance
In an ordinary automobile accident, the negligent driver may carry insurance. Missouri policy limits require minimum coverage of $25,000. However, when damages arise in a trucking accident, the insurance coverage almost always vastly exceeds the Missouri minimum for automobile policies. Additionally, even smaller trucking companies are self-insured for $1,000,000 or more.
One benefit in litigating a trucking accident case is that the number of negligent parties can, and often does, expand beyond the driver. For example, the trucking company may have encouraged the driver to exceed hour limits, fabricate log books, drive without proper vehicle maintenance, or included some type of onboard electronic distraction.
Trucking companies hire some of the best lawyers in America and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t benefit from the same high-caliber truck accident lawyer. Neil Smith was born and raised in St. Louis, and actually prefers to battle the biggest law firms in America.
What should I do if I’ve been injured in a trucking accident?
If you or a loved one is involved in a trucking accident, money is probably not your most immediate concern. You always want to seek treatment and get the best medical treatment possible. In the meantime, your lawyer can conduct a tireless investigation of every possible cause of the accident and every source of financial compensation for you or your loved one. When you hire our firm, we’ll work together to maximize the recovery. At the same time, you should delegate the difficult work to us, so you can focus on your recovery.
An experienced St. Louis truck accident attorney is trained to tirelessly uncover and investigate every possible cause and source of liability in a trucking accident case.
Was the accident merely caused by trucker inattentiveness, or is there more involved? Maybe the trucking company fabricated hourly log books and maybe the driver was forced to exceed the maximum number of hours permitted behind the wheel. Maybe the truck malfunctioned or the trucking company failed to maintain the steering or braking system. Your trucking accident lawyer will get to the bottom of what happened and hold accountable whoever is at fault.
We will never charge you a fee to represent you in a trucking accident case. So you will never be required to pay for our service with your own money. If we win, we’ll keep a percentage (normally one-third or 33%) of any the money that we get from the negligent driver or trucking company. This is a huge incentive for us to maximize your recovery.
In some situations, we’ll agree to a fee that is lower than one-third. This often occurs when the damages are so incredibly large, or liability so incredibly clear, that we anticipate reaching a staggeringly large settlement in a short period of time.
If you have questions regarding a trucking accident, or any other type of vehicular or personal injury case, please call us for free. We’re always happy to discuss your case confidentially either over the phone or in person. There’s never a charge for this. We can be reached every day of the week at (314) 725-4400.