Truck Accident Attorney Kansas City
Truck accidents can change your life instantaneously. These trucking accidents increase the likelihood that you and your family will suffer permanent serious injuries and perhaps death.
Every 16 minutes in the United States, a person dies in a truck accident. A trucking accident is a vehicle collision involving tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, and other commercial vehicles that cause personal injury and property damage. Truck drivers and manufacturers are held to higher standards than most other drivers. In fact, truck drivers and big trucking companies are regulated by the federal government. There are trucking rules in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) that must be followed. If a truck accident occurs, either the truck driver or the trucking company will be held liable, and the victims will be compensated to the fullest extent. What causes truck accidents?
Commercial trucks, such as big rigs, box trucks, dump trucks, flatbeds, and delivery trucks, present unique dangers to smaller vehicles and passengers. Commercial truck drivers need to be aware of the dangers presented by their large and cumbersome vehicles and other drivers. Statistics from Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show that many truck accidents occurred due to truck drivers not paying attention, becoming sleepy or sick, and not adjusting the speed to prevailing road conditions. Truck accidents can also occur due to a driver’s or company’s negligence or flat-out disregard for safety, putting profits ahead of human life. In a 2017 summary on commercial trucks and bus crash facts conducted by the FMCSA, large commercial vehicles—including large trucks—accounted for almost 5,000 accidents that resulted in deaths.
Information to Collect After A Truck Accident
FIRST, ALWAYS CALL 911 AFTER A TRUCK CRASH!!!
- 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
- 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
What To Do After A Truck Crash
If you are involved in a truck accident, stay at the accident scene until help arrives. Leaving the accident scene could open you up to criminal charges for what’s known as a “hit-and-run.” ALWAYS CALL 911 AFTER A TRUCK CRASH. BE SURE THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONDS TO THE SCENE OF YOUR TRUCK CRASH.
If you need to move your car because it is blocking traffic or for blanketed safety reasons—and the car is drivable—pull it over to the side of the road. Turn your hazard lights on to ensure other drivers see you and are notified that you have just been in an accident.
Stay away from traffic to avoid injury. If you or anyone else is injured, and even if you don’t know if someone is injured, call 911 immediately for medical and law enforcement assistance with your truck crash. Tend to those who need first aid but don’t move anyone who has been severely injured unless the person is in imminent danger.
If you can, get the names and insurance information of other parties involved in the truck crash. Make a note of the location of the truck crash and conditions at the time of the truck crash, including weather conditions and time of day.
Causes of A Truck Accident or Truck Crash
Some instances where a truck driver or company may be held responsible and held responsible for negligence:
- Truck Driver Fatigue
- Distracted Driving/Texting Truck Drivers
- Failing to Adjust Driving to Road and Weather Conditions
- Speeding and Dangerous Driving
- Negligent Hiring By the Truck Company
- Failing To Properly Train Drivers
- Failing To Maintain Trucks To A Quality Standard
- Failing To Observe or Enforce The Break Periods of Drivers
- Failing to Audit and Monitor Truck Driver’s Logs and Driving Times
- Failing to Audit and Monitor Truck Drivers’ Location at All Times
- Driving Under the Influence of Alchohol and Drugs
What Damages Can I Collect For A Truck Accident?
The amount and types of damages you can collect for a truck accident or truck crash depend on the circumstances of your case and the extent of your truck accident or truck crash injuries. If you qualify for financial awards, you may seek economic damages, non-economic damages, or both to help you stabilize your finances after your truck accident case and move forward with your recovery process.
Human error is one of the reasons for a truck accident to occur. Sometimes, it is the human error of the big rig truck driver. Sometimes, it is the human error of the trucking company that put the big rig truck driver on the road. If you or someone in your family has suffered severe injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, or fatal injuries in a truck accident or truck crash accident caused by a truck driver, truck accident attorneys can help you. They will assist in determining the damages you may qualify for and help you pursue just compensation from the at-fault driver.
Compensation For Truck Accident Victims
If you reside in an in-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, factors involved in the accident, the extent of injuries, the seriousness of the negligence of the big rig truck driver and/or trucking company, and where the accident occurred. Victims of their families often seek economic damages, non-economic damages, or both.
The court refers to the measurable; monetary losses you suffered as a result of your truck accident or truck crash as economic damages.
The type of damages that you can document and calculate are these and others:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future wages
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Transportation to and from medical facilities
- The cost of medication
- Additional healthcare expenses
- Medical bills
Loses that the jury in your truck crash case can also award involve physical and emotional harm instead of personal finances. A lawyer can help you assess the value of these non-economic damages, which may include:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- The agony of losing your loved one in a truck crash
The jury may also impose punitive damages if there are aggravating circumstances involved, which is when the jury finds the at-fault driver’s actions particularly heinous. This type of compensation directly refers to the payment that the driver must provide in addition to non-economic and economic damages as a form of deterrent or punishment, called punitive damages. This can happen when a truck driver is consistently cheating on his driver logs when a truck driver consistently drives when he or she is fatigued (a tired trucker) or when the trucking company consistently looks the other way when they are aware of a truck driver cheating on his truck driver logs. These are just some examples of the behavior of a truck driver and trucking company that can cause a jury to award punitive damages.
Getting Legal Help After A Truck Accident
The causes of most truck accidents and truck crashes can lead to complex lawsuits, especially if there are several vehicles involved. It is not easy to determine liability, and often a big rig truck driver, 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 seeking compensation. Seeking legal help is imperative to ensure you get justice and any owed compensation you may have because of a sleepy truck driver or other negligence by the big rig truck driver.
Parties That May Be Liable For Your Injuries
A collision between a commercial truck and a passenger car may cause serious significant injuries during a trucking accident or truck crash. There is a risk of traumatic brain injury, 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.
Truck accident attorneys may seek compensation from the involved parties such as:
- Truck company
- Truck driver
- Truck’s owner
- A party who hired the transported load
- Truck, trailer, or parts manufacturer
- Party releasing the truck or trailer
You have the right to consult a Kansas City, MO law firm to handle your truck accident cases in the event to build your case and seek maximum compensation.
Proving the Liability of the Truck Driver
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. In the U.S, states have an option to mandate one of two different types of car insurance: no-fault or at-fault. Kentucky, New Jersey, and Pennslyvania remain the only exceptions as drivers can choose the coverage they prefer. In no-fault states, your insurance covers your serious injuries and property damage up to a certain amount. States typically have minimum limits for coverage to ensure adequate protection. Still, suppose you or a passenger exceed the limits allotted by your insurance policy and meet the specific requirements set forth by your state. In that case, you may be able to seek compensation from the truck driver or trucking company for the remainder of your damages from the serious accidents.
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. Be aware that trucking companies and insurance companies that insure truck drivers in over-the-road truck crashes have investigators at their disposal 24/7. They will respond to the scene of the truck crash within hours of the truck crash, even minutes of the truck crash. Sometimes, the evidence goes missing. You need legal help in a truck crash to combat these things and you need it fast. We have the same resources available to us that the trucking companies and insurance companies do. We can activate a team of investigators quickly to respond to the scene of the truck crash.
However, the victim often has not had an opportunity to assess their damages for the accident claim, and the settlement may not cover all of their losses. Suppose you suffered serious injuries in a car accident. In that case, a lawyer might be able to help you establish liability and seek the financial recovery you deserve from your truck crash case.
Trucking companies may also be held liable if the accident was an error in the truck’s dispatching, the truck maintenance or a manufacturing defect, or something other than human error.
Proving Your Truck Accident or Truck Crash Case
If you know that you are not at fault for your accident, 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 that has been injured in a large truck accident must prove:
- 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
Building Compelling Trucking Accident Cases
Whether presenting your case to a jury in a court or compiling a claim to present to your insurance company, truck accident lawyers can do all of the following as you focus on recovery.
- Investigate and collect all evidence in your case. These items may include a police report, photos or videos at the accident scene, data from the truck’s onboard electronic information system, expert testimony, eyewitness statements, etc.
- Gather and compile all of your medical bills and expenses relating to the injury and any documents that prove loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accident injuries often require emergency medical care in a hospital.
- Identify all potentially liable parties and insurance carriers.
- Negotiate with the insurance companies for a fair settlement on your behalf.
- Take the case to trial if the insurance companies refuse to settle.
This is why you or your loved one may face serious injuries requiring hospitalization, multiple surgeries, assistive medical devices, and costly rehabilitation.
You should not have to battle with the insurance companies on your own to receive the compensation you deserve. A truck accident lawyer can take on the insurance adjuster and file all relevant documents in your case to rest and recover while you focus on your family’s needs.
Contact A Truck Accident Lawyer To Get Started On Your Case
According to the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS), 4,000 people suffered fatal injuries in large truck accidents in 2018. The occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists accounted for 82% of the victims and their families long-term.
A good truck accident attorney in Kansas City will guide you through the legal process of serious legal claims. A truck collision can be quite catastrophic and cause grave damage to the average driver’s mental and physical state, as smaller passenger vehicles will take the brunt of the accident due to the immense weight difference. A legal team will provide legal advice on who is liable for your accident. Whether the trucker is at fault or the trucking company, an attorney will use federal and state laws to obtain the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Accident victims have to deal with a lot in the event of a truck accident. Personal Injury attorneys will represent you and your loved ones with the utmost respect as an attorney-client relationship is constructed.
Truck Accidents Additional Information
- Trucking Regulations
- Improper Maintenance
- Truck Driver Negligence
- Trucking Company Negligence
- What to Do if You Are Injured in a Truck Accident
- Overview of Federal Trucking Regulations
- Lawsuit Chronology
- Common Causes of Truck Accidents
- Truck Accidents Resource Links
- Frequently Asked Questions about Truck Accidents