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A Legacy of Legal Innovation

Truck Accident FAQ

Answers from Proven Truck Accident Lawyers

Do I have grounds to sue for my accident?

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.

How do you prove that the trucker caused the accident?

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.

Aren't there rules to prevent tired truck driving?

Trucker fatigue is a major problem on the roads and highways of the U.S. as tired drivers have longer reaction times and reduced judgment capability. To combat this threat, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces hours of service regulations. These rules place limits on the amount of time a trucker can spend behind the wheel before stopping to rest.

Many drivers, however, violate these regulations and attempt to get away with it by falsifying their logbooks. The FMCSA has recently proposed a new rule which would require trucking companies to install electronic on-board recorders, devices which would automatically monitor and report the hours when the vehicle was on the road and when it was stopped. The fact that the driver was in violation of the hours of service regulations may be used as evidence in an accident claim.

What if the accident was caused by a mechanical breakdown?

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.

How much is my case worth?

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.

What can I do to increase my chances of success?

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 & Meyerkord as soon as possible after your accident to discuss your legal options and to take the first steps in your case.

What is a jackknife accident?

A jackknife accident is so called because the motion of the truck trailer swinging up towards the cab resembles the folding of a jackknife. Semi-trucks are some of the few vehicles with a design that allows them to fold in this manner. The two-part design, in which the trailer is attached to the cab by a pivoting hitch, allows the units to turn more sharply and more precisely. Unfortunately, it also allows the truck parts to move or stop at different speeds in the case of equipment failure, bad road or weather conditions or improper braking.

This type of accident occurs most frequently when the truck driver hits the brakes suddenly while traveling at high speed. As the front unit skids or rapidly stops, the rear trailer continues to move forward at a faster rate. This will either push the front unit and spin it around or cause the rear unit to move forward at such an angle that they fold together. As the trailer swings forward, it may sweep smaller vehicles up in its path and pin them against the cab, as well as presenting a wall which blocks the highway for oncoming traffic.

If you or a loved one has had the misfortunate of being involved in a jackknife accident, you can come to our firm for help in claiming compensation for your losses. Our Missouri truck accident attorneys can help you seek compensation for your damages, including financial and noneconomic damages.

Contact our Missouri Truck Accident Lawyers. The father-and-son team at Meyerkord & Meyerkord is dedicated to helping families and individuals in St. Louis rebuild their lives after tragic accidents.

What is a Rollover Accident?

Large commercial trucks have the potential for rollover accidents, and when this occurs, there are frequently many other drivers and passengers who become involved in the accident. Large trucks such as delivery trucks, vans and 18-wheelers may have been loaded in such a manner that they are incorrectly balanced or are carrying unsecured cargo. When the truck driver swerves, the entire load will tend to shift, causing the truck to fall on its side, potentially crushing some vehicles and presenting a barrier across the roadway for others.

These are deadly and dangerous accidents, and they frequently result in many injuries and fatalities. If you or a loved one has been involved in a rollover accident, it is strongly advised that you contact a truck accident attorney at Meyerkord & Meyerkord to provide you with the legal support necessary for a serious injury claim. Our team of Missouri truck accident attorneys have more than 100 years of collective legal experience. Let us put this expertise to work for you. We provide free case evaluations, so call our office today to schedule your initial meeting with a lawyer.

What is an Underride Accident?

Traffic collisions involving semi-trucks can be terrifying and will often end in tragedy for the accident victims. Any type of truck accident can be a fearsome experience, whether it be a head-on collision, a jackknife accident, or a truck rollover, but perhaps the most horrific type is the underride accident. The mechanism of an underride accident is simple to understand. Semi-truck trailers generally sit about four feet above the ground, nearly as tall or even taller than the height of most passenger vehicles. When the truck brakes suddenly, a following vehicle is prone to slide underneath the back of the trailer. The engine compartment and forward passenger area of the smaller vehicle may be crushed, potentially causing severe injury or death to the driver and passenger. This type of accident can occur even at relatively low speeds on city streets.

What can our Missouri truck accident lawyers do for you?

The insurance or claims process can become very complex, with overlapping insurance policies and multiple parties being held liable. For example, if the accident was related to driver fatigue, the driver, the trucking firm and their insurer may be facing a claim or lawsuit on behalf of the injured party. If the accident was the result of a dangerous road hazard that should have been resolved by the city, county or state, the responsible governmental agency may be named in the claim. There may also be other liable parties, such as when a safety system on the truck fails and contributes to the accident.

All cases must be carefully analyzed to determine the parties that will be named in the claim. Our legal team is interested in assisting the injured or their families in obtaining the maximum possible compensation. As serious injuries always result in expensive medical care and treatment, this is naturally part of the claim. There are also non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life in cases of catastrophic injury.

We are prepared to evaluate your case and advise you how the claims process works. We invite you to contact us and discuss the case.

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