What Regulations Must Commercial Truck Drivers Follow?
Commercial truck accidents
What Regulations Must St. Louis and Missouri Truck Drivers Follow?
Commercial truck accidents in St. Louis, Missouri, and Illinois differ from typical passenger accidents because drivers and owners of semi trucks and other large commercial vehicles must follow certain rules. Federal and State Regulations dictate the rules that truck drivers must follow. 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. Truck Drivers must log their miles, drive only a certain amount of time, and must thoroughly maintain their vehicles. Here are several regulations every truck driver has to follow:
Regulations such as these were enacted to reduce the number of accidents caused by truck drivers. Your accident was caused by a negligent driver who broke one of these rules, and we can prove that they acted negligently. Our truck accident lawyers in St. Louis use proven and effective methods to fight for our clients' rights, and we never settle for less than what our clients deserve. Legally, truck accidents are similar to other accidents on the road when it comes to negligence, as they generally fall under the comparative negligence rule. This means an injured party and their St. Louis truck accident lawyer will generally need to establish the defendant’s duty of care for their well-being, a breach of that duty, and that this breach caused an accident and resulting injuries.
Burger Law's Missouri truck accident lawyers in St. Louis are here to get you the best possible settlement in your commercial truck accident case and make the negligent parties pay for the harm they have inflicted upon you. Take the first step toward justice and a full recovery by calling a St. Louis, Missouri trucking accidents attorney today at (314) 500-HURT.
Liability in Truck Accidents
Liability in St. Louis and Missouri 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 trucking company, the truck’s owner, the truck’s manufacturer and the cargo loading company.
Establishing the degree of liability for all involved parties is often critical after a truck accident in Missouri. 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 Missouri’ liability laws to their advantage and attempt to shift liability from their drivers onto other drivers. Commercial truck accidents are challenging, but the commercial truck accident attorneys of Burger Law know how to argue your case and hold all responsible parties accountable.
Who Can I Sue for my Truck Accident Injuries
Who Can I Sue for my St. Louis, Missouri Truck Accident Injuries?
Determining liability in St. Louis and Missouri truck accidents is complicated because there are so many parties responsible for a truck's performance, but holding the right parties accountable is critical to your full recovery. Who you can sue after a truck accident depends on the actions different parties took. You may be able to make a claim against:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck owner
- The manufacturers of the truck or parts used on the truck
- The truck's cargo loader
To make matters more complicated, the parties that can be responsible in an accident depend on how the truck in question is owned and how the driver of the truck is employed. For example, some drivers are independent contractors who own and operate their own vehicles and are not actually employed by a company. Many truck drivers work for trucking companies, which other businesses hire to ship their goods, but the trucks that trucking companies use are often owned by someone else. Sometimes the driver is directly employed by the company for which they are delivering goods. The truck drivers who drive for Walmart are employees of Walmart. In the case of Walmart, the company that employs the driver of the truck also happens to own the truck itself.
Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies
There are many possible combinations of organizations and individuals involved in truck accidents. Truck drivers and trucking companies are liable when there is evidence of the improper operation of the vehicle. If the driver fails to obey a traffic law or is driving while distracted or drowsy, he could be faulted for making such mistakes. The company that employs him could be faulted as well for improper training, hiring someone who is unqualified, or enforcing unrealistic deadlines or expectations that push the driver beyond a reasonable limit.
The person or organization that owns the truck is responsible for the maintenance and inspections of their vehicles. They must schedule regular inspections in accordance with federal guidelines and make sure that the truck is always in good working order. This means making sure the engine is healthy, fluids are at the proper levels, and things like lights, turn signals, windshield wipers, brakes, tires, and other components are functioning properly. If the truck's tail lights weren't working and an accident happened because another driver could not see the truck in the dark, or if a truck wasn't able to stop in time due to its bald tires or malfunctioning brakes, the truck owner is, at least in part, responsible for the accident.
Manufacturers and Cargo Companies
While maintenance of the truck and all its components is the responsibility of the owner of the truck, the manufacturer can hold blame if the part is faulty or does not perform as promised as long as proper maintenance has been practiced. Some common component failures are tire blowouts, brake failures, steering mechanism defects, and fuel tank fires. In addition, improper loading of cargo on the truck can also contribute to an accident. Loaders who do not properly secure items or put too much weight on a vehicle can be liable, as it is more likely that the truck will roll over or that the goods will spill into traffic. It is especially important with hazardous materials that the people who load the truck take extra care and follow regulations.
The potential at-fault parties in a truck accident can vary greatly depending on the conditions that contributed to the accident as well as the ownership and operating status of the truck involved. It takes someone with experience in truck accidents to successfully navigate a truck accident case. You should always consult an experienced St. Louis truck accident lawyer after being in a truck accident. The St. Louis truck accident attorneys of Burger Law have fought against insurance companies in the name of justice for the injured and vulnerable, and we have helped our St. Louis and Missouri truck accident clients recover the full compensation they deserve. Call (314) 500-HURT to speak to a St. Louis, MO truck accident lawyer about your case for free today.
Types of Truck Accident Cases
Types of Truck Crash Cases in St. Louis and Missouri
As experienced truck accident lawyers in Missouri, we have seen truck accident cases resulting from many different negligent behaviors and leading to a wide variety of serious and life-threatening injuries. We are committed to helping truck accident victims like you hold the trucking company, insurance company and other negligent parties accountable for the harm they have caused and we have the experience to do just that. View some of the types of truck accident cases we have seen in Missouri and Illinois.
What are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
What are the Most Common Causes of St. Louis and Missouri Truck Accidents?
As with most accidents, the common causes of truck accidents are almost always avoidable. Whether it's driver fatigue, texting and driving, the truck is in poor condition, speeding, or another reason, these causes are avoidable. Listed below are some of the most common causes of truck accidents:
- Truck Driver Fatigue - Drivers, by law, are only supposed to operate a set number of hours per day. This law was created to keep tired drivers from getting behind the wheel of their truck and causing accidents. When a truck driver operates their truck while tired, they are maneuvering an 80,000lb vehicle, not a small passenger car that maybe weighs 3,000lb. There is a massive difference between the two, and if a truck causes an accident, the injuries are more likely to be fatal, and horrific.
- Texting and Driving - Texting and driving is dangerous regardless of the circumstances. Whether you are behind the wheel of a truck or car doesn't matter, it's dangerous and is just as deadly if not more so than drinking and driving or smoking and driving.
- Truck Equipment Failure - Tractor trailers are massive vehicles with large parts that need to be inspect routinely. They carry thousands of pounds of cargo, and when one of their parts fails it can lead to the failure of the vehicle and even an accident. Brake and tire failure in trucks is especially common. Truck drivers must routinely inspect their vehicles to make sure all of their parts are in a safe working order, and ensure that any parts that are not up to code are replaced or repaired.
- Speeding - By law, truck drivers are required to go no faster than certain speeds while operating their vehicles. This seems simple enough, as you have to abide by traffic laws when you drive your car, however, your vehicle does not weigh 10,000lbs + and is not carrying extremely heavy cargo that can make it even more dangerous to operate. Truck drivers absolutely have to follow speed laws because when they don't they can lose control of their vehicles and cause catastrophic damage to others as a result.
- Overloaded Truck - This is yet another law that is designed to make trucking safer in the US, and yet not all truckers follow the law. When a truck is overweight, it can fishtail easily, or the driver can lose control of the truck when driving through tight corners. Overweight trucks are also more prone to flipping and other accidents that arise from overweight trucks. To prevent this, weigh stations are implemented on interstates to make sure truck drivers are following the law.
If a truck driver or trucking company's negligence led to a St. Louis or Missouri truck accident that injured you, you can recover damages in a Missouri truck accident claim. Contact a reputable and fierce St. Louis truck accident lawyer with Burger Law now so you can make a full recovery and be made whole again. It is free to speak to our St. Louis, Missouri truck accident attorneys. Call us now at (314) 500-HURT.
How Will My Truck Accident Lawyer Investigate My Claim?
How Will My St. Louis, MO Truck Accident Lawyer Investigate My Claim?
To build a strong case and firmly demand your complete recovery for your St. Louis, Missouri truck accident damages, your St. Louis truck accident lawyer will turn to the evidence. In a truck accident or any other kind of motor vehicle accident in Missouri, there will be direct physical evidence such as tire marks and traffic camera footage of the accident and logged or notated evidence which, in a St. Louis, Missouri truck accident case will include records about the driver's hours and miles, the weight of the vehicle, etc.
As your St. Louis truck accident attorney, our job is to track down and comprehend all available evidence to identify what factors contributed to your MO truck accident. Burger Law St. Louis, Missouri truck accident lawyers use the following kinds of evidence in truck accident cases to hold the right people accountable and demand full compensation for our clients.
- Log books from the defendant driver - The log books are going to directly detail how many hours the driver had been logging, where they had been driving, and any other events that occurred along their route.
- Hours of Service of when they were allowed to drive and when they were not - Truck drivers have certain hours they are allowed to drive, and when they go over those hours they run a risk of driving fatigued or tired, which can increase the chances of an accident happening.
- Vehicle inspection records and requirements - Commercial Trucks have to undergo several inspections throughout the year. These inspections guarantee that the truck is safe to operate on the highway. If a truck driver hasn't had their truck inspected it's either because they forgot, or because they are trying to skip the costs that can come with the inspection.
- Weigh-in records along the driver's route - If the driver claimed to weigh in at certain weigh stations, those logs can be checked to make sure that they either did weigh in there, or that the driver lied on their logs and did not weigh in.
- Cargo records - Was the truck driver deadheading at any point? Deadheading — driving a truck with an empty trailer — is quite dangerous and can significantly increase the chances of an accident. Empty trailers are prone to rolling over, so if the driver was deadheading during the accident this definitely places more blame on their actions.
- Black box - One of the most important pieces of evidence is the data from the truck's black box. These black boxes perform the same functions as the ones in planes. It lets us now how fast the driver was driving, what the state of the vehicle was, and any other pieces of data that only a computer can log.
- Inspections of the vehicle post-crash - Knowing the state of the vehicle after the accident helps determine how the accident happened, how severe the accident was, and the actions the driver took before, during, and after the accident.
- Evidence from the scene, such as photos, witness statements and skid marks on the road - Every other piece of possible information is also collected. Were there any witnesses? If so, we get their statements. Are there any other photos? We get those photos. We collect everything piece of information and evidence that we can.
You need the expertise of a seasoned St. Louis truck accident lawyer on your side — one who has the knowledge and experience to build an impenetrable case and demand nothing less than full compensation for your damages. Review your Missouri truck accident case with a Burger Law truck accident lawyer in St. Louis now at (314) 500-HURT. We answer your questions for free and lead the way in your full recovery.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
What to Do After a St. Louis Truck Accident
Being in a truck accident can be jarring, but it is important to try and stay calm, both for your safety and the success of the claim. We recommend taking the following steps:
- Get to safety
Stay at the scene of the accident so it can be properly documented, but do what you can to keep yourself, your passengers, and other roadway users safe.
- Call 911
Get first responders to the scene of the accident as quickly as possible. Stay in a safe spot and wait for medical responders to examine you. Even if you do not think you are seriously injured, make sure to get emergency medical attention because you could be in shock or have injuries that are not readily visible, like whiplash or a concussion.
You also want to give an accident report by speaking to the police right away.
- Collect evidence
If you require serious medical attention right away, disregard these next steps. Allow the ambulance to take you to the hospital to receive the necessary medical care. But if you're physically able to, take pictures of the road and traffic conditions, the damage to your vehicle, and your injuries. This evidence could be vital in your truck accident claim.
- Exchange information
Get information from the driver of the truck as well as any available witnesses. Do not rely on the police to collect witness accounts and contact information for every witness. When you speak to the truck driver, be polite but be careful what you say. Get their:
- Name, address, phone number, and email address
- Driver's license number
- Insurance card information
- Name and contact information for the trucking company and truck driver's employer
- License plate number of the truck and any other identifying information
- Contact a truck accident lawyer
As soon as possible after the accident and once you have left the scene and returned to safety, you need to contact a qualified truck accident lawyer. With a free initial consultation, a lawyer like Gary Burger of Burger Law can get a sense of your situation to determine whether you have a truck accident case and whether you need a lawyer. In most cases, because of how destructive large trucks are and the parties involved in commercial vehicles, you will need legal representation to successfully settle your case. Once you have hired a lawyer, they will advise you on additional steps to take during your case and will help take care of the intricacies of filing an auto accident case for you.
- Receive medical treatment
Once you have hired a lawyer and filed your accident claim, follow your lawyer's advice. One important thing to do is to continue to get medical treatment for your injuries. The medical files and documentation will help you prove your case. Plus, you want to get the prompt medical treatment that will help you make as full a recovery as possible.
Follow these steps any time you get in an accident with a commercial vehicle like a semi truck, delivery van, or bus. If you are injured in a truck accident, get the medical treatment you need and make sure to contact a reputable St. Louis truck accident lawyer like Gary Burger and the attorneys of Burger Law right away.
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Our experienced truck accident and commercial motor vehicle accident attorneys in St. Louis, MO serving all of Missouri and Illinois have decades years of experience representing truck accident injury victims and securing full and fair compensation for them. We stand up to the large trucking companies and their insurance companies; they do not intimidate us. Our role is to hold reckless and negligent drivers accountable for breaking the safety rules and regulations for operating trucks and other commercial vehicles and making their scheming, irresponsible insurance companies pay for the damages their client has caused. When you are hurt in a truck accident in Missouri or Illinois, our St. Louis truck accident lawyers work on your behalf with unwavering commitment, never resting until you have full compensation for your injuries and other damages in hand. We have dedicated our lives toward honing our litigation and trial skills and cultivating advanced knowledge of the Missouri personal injury legal system so that we can be effective in negotiating for you and demanding a great recovery. Hire Burger Law's capable truck accident lawyers to represent you and handle all responsibilities related to your claim while you work at your physical and emotional recovery.
Our truck accident attorneys and paralegals have a true and deep understanding of Missouri truck accidents and other personal injury laws and statutes and we are available to answer your truck accident injury questions for free at (314) 500-HURT. However, when going through a truck accident claim in St. Louis, it can put your mind at ease and help you prepare for the outcome of your case by taking the time to educate yourself and learn more about the civil court process. In addition to our extensive library of answers to frequently asked questions and videos addressing common questions and topics, we offer a number of other blog posts and resources to help you in your truck accident injury suit. Check out additional truck accident resources below.
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