Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks and truck drivers must abide by established safety regulations that are quite different from those of passenger vehicles. These commercial trucks receive guidance and regulation as an entire industry due to the fact that they are such dangerous vehicles. Any deviation from these standards can result in catastrophic accidents, causing serious injuries or even death. Some of the causes of truck accidents that result in the most severe of injuries include:
- Driver fatigue
- Reckless behavior of the driver (speeding, etc.)
- Improperly loaded or unsecured cargo
- Driver operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Manufacturing defects
- Inadequate or complete absence of truck maintenance
- Inadequate truck driver training
- Unqualified or unlicensed drivers
These causes of commercial truck accidents prove avoidable if the regulations and laws are followed.
Determination of Liability
Just as commercial trucks operate under different guidelines and standards, filing a claim following a commercial trucking accident is much different than filing a claim with an insurance company after a car accident. In a passenger car accident, typically a victim is able to sue the driver for negligence and receive compensation from their insurance company. In the instance of a commercial trucking accident, there are actually several different parties that may have responsibility and liability regarding injuries and damages.
If you were involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you may have the legal right to sue the following parties:
- Truck driver (as an individual)
- Truck manufacturer (for defective components or parts)
- Trucking company (for negligent hiring, or for negligent supervision)
- Truck maintenance company (for negligent maintenance)
- Truck loading company (for negligent loading of cargo)
- The leaseholder of the truck (as the owner of the commercial vehicle)
Oftentimes, a victim may have the legal right to hold more than one of these parties responsible for their injuries or damages. Deciding which parties remain legally responsible for your accident can involve a complex and challenging legal process. If you were injured in a trucking accident and want help attempting to hold all the correct parties responsible for compensating you for your injuries, contact a commercial truck accident lawyer in St. Louis at Schultz & Meyers, LLC. Call us at 314-444-4444 to help you determine which parties are legally liable in your case.
Types of Injuries in Commercial Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, commercial trucking accidents can result in catastrophic injuries and property damage. Some types of injuries involved in a commercial trucking accident may include the following:
The severe impact and collision between passenger vehicles and commercial trucks oftentimes result in severe brain injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI). These can range from minor brain injuries lasting a few weeks to serious brain injuries that require hospitalization and life-long therapy.
Whiplash is often thought of as a minor injury; however, some instances of whiplash can be very serious. When a large commercial truck directly hits a passenger vehicle, the victim may suffer from whiplash along with other injuries.
Internal Organ Damage
Due to the forceful impact, some victims of commercial truck accidents suffer internal organ damage. Always seek medical treatment following a severe accident, as sometimes serious and life-threatening injuries such as internal organ damage are not immediately noticeable by the victim.
Burns, Lacerations, Cuts and Bruising
In any accident, a victim may receive lacerations, cuts, and bruising. However, commercial trucks may carry toxic or flammable materials, which may leave a victim burned. Burn victims suffer intense pain and can spend months or years in therapy.
Statute of Limitations in Missouri
Missouri’s statute of limitations for commercial trucking accidents is five years from the date of the accident. While this may seem like a long period of time, trucking accidents often require an extensive investigation. Immediate action must be taken to ensure that trucking records such as log reports, and the “black box” of a truck remains intact and undamaged.
Although you may have five years from the date of the injury to make your claim, you should never wait this long. Serious commercial trucking accidents oftentimes also require expert testimony from accident reconstruction experts and medical experts regarding your injuries. Building a strong commercial trucking accident case takes time, and to ensure you have the opportunity to receive the compensation you deserve, immediate action should be taken to begin to develop your personal injury case.
Contact a Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer in St. Louis
If you were involved in a commercial truck accident, you may suffer from some serious injuries and have resulting medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages due to your inability to return to work.
Contacting an attorney may help you understand which parties may be held liable for your injuries. We may also help you begin an immediate investigation. Contact a commercial truck accident lawyer in St. Louis at Schultz & Meyers, LLC by calling 314-444-4444. We may help you build a personal injury case and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.