Every driver has a duty to drive safely. However, semi truck drivers have an increased duty to do so. Truck drivers in St. Louis must follow rules and regulations established by both the United States Department of Transportation and the Missouri Department of Transportation. These laws and regulations require truck drivers to undergo specific training and licensing and limit the amount of time they are on the road.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact a St. Louis semi truck accident lawyer today to discuss your case. A compassionate and capable truck accident attorney may be able to address the complexities of a truck accident and work to hold large truck companies liable for their negligence.
Why do Trucks have a High Crash and Injury Rate?
Trucks can weigh as much as twenty to thirty times more than a standard car. Missouri Annotated Statute §304.170 to §304.260 provides that trucks can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This weight differential is often a major reason for accidents that cause injuries.
Another reason semi trucks have such high crash rates is that they have large blind spots, which make it difficult for truck drivers to see other motorists. Other factors that can lead to truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
- Lack of driver training
- Driving while intoxicated
- Aggressive driving
Complexities of Semi Truck Accidents
Legally, truck accidents are similar to other accidents on the road, and generally, fall under negligence theory. Under negligence theory, an injured party will need to establish the defendant’s duty to care for their well-being, a breach of that duty, and that this breach caused an accident and resulting injuries. An experienced semi truck accident attorney can help explain this further.
Semi truck drivers have the same duties and obligations as other drivers—namely, to operate their vehicles as a reasonable person would and to exercise the highest degree of care towards other drivers. However, truck drivers have additional requirements and duties they must follow such as licensure, training, and hours of service.
Liability in Truck Accidents
Additional requirements for truck drivers complicate liability issues in truck accidents. In addition, accidents often involve multiple parties that may share liability, including the truck driver, other motorists, the semi truck company, the truck’s owner, and the truck’s manufacturer.
Establishing the degree of liability for all involved parties is often critical after a truck accident in St. Louis. St. Louis courts apply a philosophy of pure comparative fault to semi truck accidents, which means that anyone considered liable for any percentage of an accident must compensate the other drivers. Trucking and insurance companies use St. Louis’ liability laws to their advantage and attempt to shift liability from their drivers onto other drivers.
Recovering Compensation for Truck Accidents in St. Louis
According to the United States Department of Transportation, the average costs associated with a non-fatal truck accident total $195,258. If there was a fatality associated with a truck accident, the cost jumps to over $3.5 million. This is one of the main reasons that semi truck drivers must carry more insurance than other drivers.
Truck accident victims may recover costs for property damage, medical bills, lost wages, disabilities, and pain and suffering. A St. Louis truck accident lawyer could help individuals pursue compensation for their injuries.
Consulting a St. Louis Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a semi truck accident in St. Louis, contact a St. Louis truck accident attorney that can advocate for you. Your attorney could collect the necessary evidence to build your personal injury case. A capable semi truck accident lawyer could help you aggressively pursue compensation for your injuries and losses.