If you or your loved one find yourself a victim of a commercial truck accident in the greater St. Louis area, in Missouri or across the country, you need an experienced law firm on your side. These accidents usually generate difficult and complex litigation against several corporate defendants involved in different aspects of the trucking industry. The services of an experienced truck accident lawyer can be crucial.
Our attorneys can offer advice and representation about your legal options for recovering money damages. We cut through the tangle of liability issues by finding violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations whenever they might have occurred with respect to commercial vehicle maintenance and inspection, driver’s hours behind the wheel, and handling of particular cargos. Our ability to relate particular violations of the federal trucking regulations to your accident, injuries and pain and suffering can lead to highly productive settlement negotiations with the responsible defendant’s insurance company.
Types of Truck Accidents
- Construction vehicles ranging from dump trucks to mobile cranes
- Repair and maintenance vans
- Delivery and parcel express trucks
- Buses, mobility vans, airport shuttles, hospitality vans, and other passenger vehicles
- Emergency response vehicles, such as fire engines or police cars
- Garbage trucks
- Snow plows and mobiles
- Tractor trailers
- Other large trucks
Who Pays For the Damages
If you can prove driver negligence, then the driver or the company they work for could be held liable. The company could also come under scrutiny if you can show it neglected to keep its vehicles up to standards, which then resulted in a semi truck accident.
Sometimes there are more than one reason an accident has occurred. We often find ourselves suing the State Department of Transportation for poorly maintained highways, inadequate guardrails or safety mechanisms, poor markings or lack of signage on roadways or at railroad crossings. Other motorists or faulty road conditions could be contributing causes to the auto accident. You need a team of experienced semi truck accident attorneys who can look over the accident claims, fully analyze the situation and try to reconstruct what happened.
How We’ve Helped Our Clients
Learn more about the compensation our truck accident lawyers have won for clients.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
Commercial truck accidents happen for a variety of reasons that can be the fault of a driver, corporation, or insurance company. Each incident presents a unique set of challenges that are difficult to navigate on your own. Our team has worked on a wide array of truck accident cases and can help you get through the tangle of complexities and maximize what you can recover. We work with a team of experts including accident reconstructionists, safety engineers, highway, bridge and railroad crossing civil engineers, and trucking regulation experts to get to the bottom of what happened.
Many people don’t realize that large commercial trucks are usually equipped with electronic data recording systems, commonly known as black boxes, that will electronically record what took place in the moments before impact. Usually, these systems are self contained and record to an internal hard drive. What we often see in truck crashes is that the 3,000 pound family sedan is completely totalled but the fully loaded 80,000 pound semi truck can drive away from the scene. If the electronic data is not immediately downloaded and preserved, driving the truck will record over the critical electronic data stored on the hard drive. In addition, many companies equip their vehicle with proprietary GPS tracking or logistics software that allows us to see where the truck has been and how far it has travelled over a period of time. This can be key information in a truck accident investigation that the company will not just voluntarily give up. It is imperative to get access to this valuable electronic information immediately. In addition, busses and many commercial trucks now have built in video recording systems – not to mention the thousands of cameras along our nation’s highways.
Tired Or Impaired Truck Drivers
Most commercial drivers get paid by the load. The faster they can deliver, the more they can earn in any given week. Recognizing the risks inherent in this type of compensation system, the Federal government has set limits on how many hours over the road truck drivers can spend behind the wheel and how much rest they must take between drives. Unfortunately, there are always those who are willing to play games and cheat the system if it is their financial advantage. Many drivers push themselves to the limit, choosing to ignore rest periods mandated by federal regulations. We have even had cases where drivers keep two sets of records or logs in case they get stopped. These types of violations can result in overly tired or impaired truck drivers who can cause devastating damage to the cars they share the highway with.
Truck drivers have many tasks in addition to operating their vehicles. Many use laptop computers to help them keep logs, prepare reports, and track expenses. A distracted truck driver can cause a catastrophic accident. Use of a laptop, cell phone or DVD player while driving is foolish, yet it happens every day on highways in Missouri and Illinois.
When a trucking company or driver fails to secure a load, debris can spread over a wide area and lead to a serious accident. Though the negligence might seem obvious, commercial truck companies and their insurance agencies may try to avoid paying adequate compensation for the losses of accident victims. It is important to obtain legal representation as soon as possible to inspect the accident site and examine the evidence.
Failure to Maintain Truck Driver Logs and Regulations
Federal regulations require truck drivers to keep detailed logs of their activities to help ensure they get enough rest and avoid driving while fatigued.
Log book violations by truckers include (1) failure to keep logs as required (2) keeping two separate logs — one accurate and one kept to show investigators and (3) failure to surrender the driver’s log as requested and required by law.
Semi truck brakes and tires must be regularly inspected and kept in good shape before and during travel. When these precautions are not taken, serious accidents can occur.
Accidents Caused By Overloading or Falling Debris
Trucking regulations spell out how cargo should be loaded and secured. Weight regulations, tie-down regulations and red-flag rules for irregular size cargo all work to keep us safe. When these regulations are overlooked, accidents can occur.
What Our Clients Say
I was referred to Mr. Fernandez by a family member who is an attorney, for assistance with my elderly mother’s claim for injuries resulting from an accident involving an 18-wheeler. He was direct, honest, and very kind as he spoke with my mother, helping her to understand what his work would entail. An obviously talented negotiator, he presented appropriate research to support the claim for my mother’s injuries and it settled with an offer that brought the case to a quick resolution.
Call Our Team Today
To speak with an attorney to represent you, contact the firm of Devereaux, Stokes, Fernandez, Leonard today. Call 314-433-9131 or toll free 866-285-4611 to find out what your accident claim is worth. We’re ready to help you get the compensation you deserve.