Experienced And Aggressive Legal Help For Victims Of Truck Accidents
A person dies in a truck accident every 16 minutes in the United States. A trucking accident is a vehicle collision involving a tractor-trailer, an 18-wheeler, a semi truck or another commercial vehicle, causing personal injury, death and/or property damage.
Needless to say, a truck accident can change your life instantaneously. If you have been seriously injured or lost someone you love in a truck accident, contact The McCallister Law Firm, P.C., today. Our lead attorney, Brian McCallister, brings more than 30 years of legal experience to each case, and our firm is exclusively focused on injury law. We have been helping clients just like you in Kansas City, Missouri, and the surrounding areas in Kansas and Missouri since we opened our doors in 1996.
Truck Accidents Are Common Despite Strict Safety Regulations
Crashes can often be attributed to truck driver or trucking company negligence or flat-out disregard for safety, putting profits ahead of human life. This is unacceptable, especially when you consider that truck drivers and trucking companies are held to higher standards than most drivers.
There are trucking rules in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations that must be followed. If a truck accident occurs, then sometimes either the trucker or the trucking company can be held liable, and the victims may be compensated. Whether they are compensated to the fullest extent depends on the investigation conducted by the family’s lawyer, who must know how to navigate the rules governing trucking companies and their drivers.
The trucking company has risk managers on the scene within a few hours of a crash. The family should act quickly so that evidence is not altered, destroyed or covered up by the trucking company risk managers.
Information To Collect At The Scene Of A Truck Accident
First and foremost, you should always call 911 if you’ve been involved in a truck crash. Then, collect as much of the following information as possible:
- The license plate of the truck and any other identifying information, such as the make and model
- The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) motor carrier number or placard
- The name of the trucking company
- The exact location of the truck crash
- Notes regarding weather/traffic conditions and the time of day that the crash occurred
- The police/highway patrol accident report number for the truck crash
- Names and addresses of drivers and passengers in all vehicles involved in the truck crash
- Insurance company information and policy number
- Phone numbers, names and addresses of any witnesses
If you are involved in a truck accident, stay at the accident scene until help arrives. Leaving could open you up to criminal charges for what’s known as a “hit-and-run.” However, you shouldn’t rely on the police alone to give a full and accurate report. They may be influenced by the truck driver’s version of events.
Common Causes Of Serious And Fatal Truck Accidents
The following factors and behaviors lead to truck accidents:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Speeding and dangerous driving
- Negligent hiring and supervision of drivers by the trucking company
- Failing to properly train drivers
- Failing to observe or enforce mandatory rest periods for drivers
- Failing to audit and monitor a truck driver’s logs and driving times
- Drunk driving
When you contact our firm, we conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into the crash and its causes.
What Damages Can You Collect For A Truck Accident?
If you qualify for financial compensation, you may seek economic damages, noneconomic damages or both to help you stabilize your finances and move forward with your recovery process.
If you reside in an at-fault state or exceed the limits of your no-fault insurance coverage and can prove the other driver’s liability, you may qualify for damages for your truck accident. The types vary depending on the details of your case, including the at-fault driver, the factors involved in the accident, the extent of the injuries, the seriousness of the negligence of the big rig truck driver and/or trucking company, and where the accident occurred.
Parties That May Be Liable For Your Injuries
A collision between a commercial truck and a passenger car may cause severe injuries. There is a risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury and other catastrophic injuries, which may leave victims permanently disabled. These life care and medical costs can abruptly bankrupt your family.
You should not have to suffer twice during your truck accident claim. When a big rig crashes with a passenger vehicle, it involves a 40-ton death machine swallowing up a 1-ton passenger vehicle. It’s no contest. The big rig causes catastrophic damage.
We may be able to help you seek compensation from numerous parties, including:
- The truck company
- The truck driver
- The truck’s owner
- A party who hired the transported load
- The truck, trailer or parts manufacturer
- The party releasing the truck or trailer
You have the right to consult a Kansas City law firm to build your truck accident case and seek maximum compensation. Acting quickly is critical.
Holding Truck Drivers And Insurers Accountable
You must first determine how the insurance laws in your state apply to your truck accident case to collect an award for a truck accident claim. The driver who caused the accident must use their insurance to pay for your serious personal injuries in an at-fault state.
To pursue financial awards from the driver or trucking company, you must first prove liability. Insurance companies often launch investigations into the truck accident to determine the at-fault driver and, if necessary, immediately offer a settlement amount. Insurance companies do NOT have the injured victim’s best interests in mind when trying to settle. Only the insurance company’s profits and stockholders matter to them and their job is to settle for as little as possible, no matter how catastrophically injured the victims are.
A lawyer might be able to help you establish liability and seek the financial recovery you deserve from your truck crash case. We can activate a team of experts and investigators quickly to respond to the scene of the truck crash.
Trucking companies may also be held liable if the accident was due to an error in the truck’s dispatching or maintenance, a manufacturing defect or something other than human error.
Proving Your Truck Accident Case
If you know that you are not at fault for your accident, then you must prove this in your insurance claim or court. There are four basic elements regarding negligence in personal injury cases involving vehicle accidents. A person who has been injured in a large truck accident must prove all the following:
- The truck driver owed you a duty of care to drive safely and reasonably.
- The truck violated or breached that duty of care.
- You or your loved one suffered damages that resulted in injuries or potentially high medical expenses.
- The breach of care caused you or your loved one’s injuries.
We are more than ready to help you prove these allegations and seek maximum compensation.
Building A Compelling Trucking Accident Claim
Whether presenting your case to a jury in a court or compiling a claim to present to your insurance company, a truck accident lawyer can do all the following as you focus on recovery:
- Investigate and collect all evidence in your case, like police reports, photos or videos of the accident scene, data from the truck’s onboard electronic information system, expert testimony, eyewitness statements, etc.
- Gather and compile all your medical bills and expenses relating to the injury and any documents that prove loss
- Identify all potentially liable parties and insurance carriers
- Negotiate with the insurance companies for a fair settlement on your behalf
We are fully prepared to take the case to trial if the insurance companies refuse to offer a reasonable settlement.
FAQ About Truck Accidents
Below, we’ve answered questions that prospective clients regularly ask. Call us now if you have additional questions that a truck accident attorney can answer for you.
If I need to travel to a specialist for my truck accident injuries, can I be compensated for travel expenses?
Yes. In truck accident claims, you can recover compensation for all expenses related to your medical care. If you suffered serious injuries and had to travel outside of Kansas City to get treatment, then you can talk to an attorney about calculating the costs of the trip, whether you had to drive, fly or take a train.
Economic damages are meant to make you financially whole after an accident and to compensate you for medical expenses that you would not have incurred had you not been in an accident and suffered broken bones, nerve damage, etc.
What federal laws must big trucking companies follow?
The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and it takes accidents involving negligence very seriously.
Just about every state has laws about drunk driving that all drivers, especially truck drivers, must abide by. Intoxication makes semi-truck accidents more likely because alcohol slows down brain activity, leading to poorer coordination and functioning. Trucking companies are supposed to have drivers drug tested at a federally certified lab during the preemployment process and at random.
Under the FMCSA 49 CFR Part 391 and Part 383, all drivers must have the proper qualifications to operate a tractor-trailer or commercial vehicle. The driver’s employer, if they own the truck, must do their due diligence by looking into the driver’s driving and employment history, verifying that they have a valid commercial motor vehicle license and that they have successfully completed a road test.
Commercial truck drivers are required to take regular breaks to prevent driver fatigue, which could lead to serious accidents. According to the hours-of-service regulations for property-carrying and passenger-carrying drivers, drivers cannot drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
There are also cargo securement rules. Failure to properly load cargo can cause it to shift in transit, throwing the truck off balance and making it more prone to overturning.
When truckers or truck companies are negligent or knowingly violate federal regulations, leading to a tractor-trailer accident, they hire a legal team to defend them or even cover up the driver’s error.
How much does it cost to hire your personal injury firm?
You don’t pay any fees unless we recover compensation for you. During your free initial consultation, we will go over the fee structure so that you are crystal clear, and we will go over what to expect from the attorney-client relationship.
How many commercial vehicle and car accidents occur in Kansas City?
In 2022 there were 77 fatal crashes in Kansas City and 4,478 personal injury crashes, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Statistical Analysis Center.
Contact A Truck Accident Lawyer To Get Started On Your Case
The causes of most truck accidents can lead to complex lawsuits, especially if there are several vehicles involved. It is sometimes difficult to determine liability, and often, a big rig trucker, the trucking company or both may have been acting negligently and can be held accountable for their actions.
With the many potential causes of truck accidents or truck crashes, drivers may feel overwhelmed by the thought of seeking compensation. That’s one of the many reasons why you should contact The McCallister Law Firm, P.C. Whether the trucker or the trucking company is at fault, our lead attorney will use federal and state laws to obtain the maximum compensation you are entitled to. To take advantage of a free initial consultation, call our firm in Kansas City, Missouri, at 816-492-2963. You can also reach out online.