St. Louis Truck Accident Attorneys
Let Us Provide the Support You Need After a Serious Accident
Commercial trucks are massive machines that can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Because of their size and weight, 18-wheelers are difficult to maneuver, slow to stop, and an ever-present danger on our roadways. An analysis of crash data gathered between 2012 and 2016 found that 9% of the state’s accidents involved commercial vehicles. However, these vehicles accounted for 14% of fatal accidents.
Big rigs and semi-trucks are dangerous—and if you’ve been injured, we are here to help.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident that was not your fault—or if you have lost a loved one in a fatal tractor-trailer accident—Meyerkord & Kurth wants to review your case to see if we can help. Our firm is committed to fighting on behalf of victims and families harmed by others' negligent and wrongful acts, and we always strive to recover the maximum compensation possible.
Want to know your legal actions after a truck accident? Contact us at (800) 391-4318 for a free case evaluation.
Why Choose Us for Your Truck Accident Case?
Having a team of strong litigators on your side is important, especially when you will be fighting big corporations and insurers. An attorney who just plans to settle your case may not deliver the results you were hoping for.
Our team is well-known in the St. Louis area for providing quality representation.
- $450 million in compensation recovered
- Over 95 years of combined experience
- Named to the Missouri Super Lawyers® list
- No fee unless we win your case
Contact our truck accident lawyers in St. Louis at Meyerkord & Kurth if you have been injured or lost a loved one in a trucking accident. When a trucker or trucking company is negligent, you deserve compensation to help you receive treatment and provide a financial safety net while you adjust to the changes in your life. Additionally, the parties behind your accident should be held accountable.
Holding Truck Drivers & Companies Accountable
Pursuing compensation after a truck accident can be difficult, especially if more than one party was at fault. Working with commercial insurers takes a lot of time—which you may not have if you’re still recovering. Our team can investigate to find evidence and liability in your case. Although trucking companies may fight these claims aggressively, we have the resources and experience to stand up to them on your behalf.
Backed by a proven record of success, our St. Louis truck accident attorneys have the experience and resources to handle even the toughest cases. As part of every case we handle, we focus our efforts on determining the underlying cause and ensuring the at-fault party is held responsible. Because there are many potential causes of truck accidents and many factors at play, liability can vary depending on the issues involved.
For example, the following parties can all be liable for a truck accident:
- Drivers – Statistics show that driver error is a leading cause of truck and commercial vehicle accidents, which is why truckers must abide by a number of regulations. These include regulations that prohibit them from using drug and alcohol, hours-of-service (HOS) rules that limit the amount of hours they can drive consecutively or in a given day, and more. Truckers also have a legal obligation to safely operate their vehicles, and can be held liable for any violations or acts of negligence that lead to preventable wrecks.
- Operators – Trucking companies are ultimately responsible for their fleet and their employees. Should they commit violations, including those regarding vehicle maintenance, HOS rules, cargo loading and securements, and more, they increase risks of accidents. They are also responsible for ensuring they hire and retain properly trained and qualified drivers and employees. Trucking companies are often held liable in truck accident cases where their negligence or prioritization of profits over people causes preventable harm.
- Product Manufacturers – Not every trucking accident stems from the negligence of drivers or trucking companies; some are the result of defective and unsafe products or auto parts. For example, defective tires, faulty brakes, and other parts of a truck can malfunction or fail and cause wrecks. In these cases, victims may be able to hold the product manufacturer liable for their damages.
- Third Parties – The trucking industry is comprised of many companies that work to transport goods, which means third parties that contract with trucking operators may sometimes be liable for damages resulting from their own negligence. This may include distributors or shippers who violate cargo loading and securement regulations or maintenance companies that fail to address potential hazards on trucks. In cases where a truck accident is caused or contributed to by another motorist, those drivers may also be held liable.
- Government Agencies – When commercial truck and vehicle accidents involve motor vehicles operated by government agencies, such as public utilities or public transportation, victims may need to hold the appropriate government agency liable for their damages. Personal injury cases against the government are subject to different rules and procedures than other types of injury cases, however, which is why victims need to work with proven lawyers and bring their case to the attention of qualified attorneys as soon as possible.
Our firm has helped more than 40,000 victims and their families. We are prepared to help those harmed in trucking accidents throughout St. Louis, Missouri, Illinois, and beyond. Contact us to discuss your potential case in a FREE consultation.
Injuries Commonly Suffered in Truck Accidents
Any type of motor vehicle collision is capable of causing life-changing injuries, but this is especially true of accidents involving semi-trucks, which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. It is not uncommon for the victims of such accidents to suffer injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Crushed or severed limbs
- Severe burn injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractured bones
- Internal organ damage
- Fatal injuries
Whatever type of injury you have suffered, you should not be forced to pay the price for the trucker's negligence. Let us fight for your right to fair compensation. With our help, you may be able to secure an insurance settlement or jury verdict to pay for all of your medical expenses, including emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgery, ongoing rehabilitative care and any type of equipment or medication you may require. You can also receive compensation for your lost income and reduced earning power, as well as damages for your pain, suffering and mental anguish.
Fighting Against Trucking Insurance Companies
Insurance is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and the company responsible for paying on your claim has vast resources for defending its bottom line. For example, trucking insurance companies typically have their own team of investigators who travel to the scene of the accident, evaluate the road conditions, inspect the physical damage to the vehicles, and collect statements from the accident victims.
Their goal in everything they do is to gather evidence that will minimize or eliminate the insurance company's liability to pay on claims such as yours. In light of this fact, it is advisable to hire an attorney at the outset of the case. You should at all costs avoid speaking directly with an adjuster, investigator, or claims representative, as you are at risk of saying things that would make it difficult or impossible for you to recover a fair settlement.
Rules and Regulations to Prevent Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for enforcing a number of different regulations. These rules are in place to reduce the number of accidents, and failure to abide by them may be used as grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Hours of Service Regulations
The driver is only permitted to drive for a maximum of 11 hours following 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time and may not be on duty for more than 14 hours consecutively. The hours of service rules also place limits on the total number of hours a driver can spend behind the wheel in a seven- or eight-day period, as well as imposing conditions on whether he or she rests in a sleeper berth in the truck cab or elsewhere. The FMCSA reports that approximately 16% of roadside truck driver inspections resulted in a citation for hours of service violations in 2011.
Cell Phone Use
The FMCSA has recently enacted a ban on all use of handheld cell phones or handheld personal electronic devices for truck drivers who carry loads of hazardous materials. This includes using the phone to talk or text. Violations can result in the driver being subjected to steep fines ranging into the thousands of dollars.
Alcohol and Drug Testing
Under federal law, trucking companies are required to perform pre-employment testing, random testing, and post-accident testing of their drivers to screen for possible drug or alcohol abuse. Such tests are also required when there is a basis to suspect the trucker of drunk driving or using drugs on the job.
The loads and cargoes of semi-trucks are required to be fastened in such a way that they will remain secure and not fall off the truck or interfere with its operation. The fastenings must be able to withstand at least 80% of the full cargo weight when braking, 50% of the weight when accelerating or turning, and 20% of the weight when traversing a bump or cresting a hill.
Inspection and Maintenance
The FMCSA imposes numerous regulations concerning the routine inspection of commercial trucks, such as a requirement that the driver conduct a visual inspection of the vehicle before taking it out on the road. Any defects or worn components that are discovered must be repaired at the earliest convenience, as failure to maintain the truck can lead to accidents.
To learn more about how we can help, call us at (800) 391-4318. We serve clients throughout the states of Missouri and Illinois.
Q:Do I have grounds to sue for my accident?
A:Some truck accidents are unavoidable but many can be directly attributed to negligence on the part of the truck driver. If your accident was caused by the trucker's careless or reckless actions, then you most likely have grounds to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim to recover monetary damages. You simply should not be forced to pay the price for an accident that you did not cause.
Q:How do you prove that the trucker caused the accident?
A:When we represent a client in legal action over a truck accident, we conduct an exhaustive accident investigation to find any and all evidence to support our client's claim for damages. Any failure on the part of the driver to take reasonable precautions to avoid an accident may be used as evidence of fault. For example, if the trucker was drinking and driving or was distracted by texting on a cell phone, then this could be used to demonstrate that he or she was negligent. We frequently engage the services of accident recreation specialists and engineers who assist us by providing expert testimony to prove that the trucker's actions are the cause of the accident.
Q:What if the accident was caused by a mechanical breakdown?
A:While truck accident claims are often based on evidence that the truck driver is at fault for causing the accident, there are also many cases in which the trucking company is responsible for the collision. For example, the company may be at fault for a failure to maintain the truck, for loading unsecure cargo , or for various types of trucking regulation violations. The goal in the case is to accurately determine who is responsible for the accident and to hold that party accountable.
Q:How much is my truck accident case worth?
A:There is no way to predict with certainty how much you will receive if you win your case, but there are guidelines for estimating how much you have a right to demand in a settlement. The purpose of claiming monetary damages for your accident is to restore you as near as possible to your pre-accident condition and to ensure that you are not forced to shoulder the economic burden of the other party's negligent actions. You can claim compensation for all of your medical expenses for emergency treatment, hospitalization, and surgery, as well as for any type of rehabilitative care, medication, or equipment you may require. Your claim can additionally include compensation for your lost income and reduced earning power. You could also receive damages for the pain, suffering, and emotional distress that you have been forced to experience.
Q:What can I do to increase my chances of success?
A:Keep records of every aspect of the impact that your accident has had on your life. This includes all receipts and bills for medical expenses as well as notes about the income you have lost during your recovery. You should also keep a journal of how your injuries have impacted your ability to enjoy your life. This type of evidence can be useful in proving the scope of the losses you have suffered. Contact us at Meyerkord & Kurth as soon as possible after your accident to discuss your legal options and to take the first steps in your case.
Medical Malpractice $4,000,000
Personal Injury $2,500,000
Trucking Accident $2,000,000
Medical Malpractice $2,000,000
Medical Malpractice $2,000,000
Medical Malpractice $2,000,000
Medical Malpractice $1,900,000
Medical Malpractice $1,800,000
Medical Malpractice $1,700,000
Medical Malpractice $1,700,000