Automobile wrecks of any kind have the potential to cause significant damage. This potential increases when oversized commercial vehicles are involved. A typical rig weighs 80,000 pounds, twenty times the average car. Collisions involving these commercial trucks often result in catastrophic injury and, sometimes, wrongful death.

If a semi-truck driver was responsible for your accident and resulting injuries, you have the right to take legal action with the help of a dedicated personal injury attorney. A Eureka truck accident lawyer could assess the details of an incident, negotiate with insurance carriers, and represent your needs to pursue an adequate amount of compensation. Call our firm today to learn more about our individualized and dedicated approach to helping you recover for your losses.

Establishing Liability for a Semi-Truck Accident

In the commercial trucking industry, profit is driven by getting goods to their destination as quickly as possible. The faster truckers are, the more loads they can carry, adding to the trucking companies’ profits. Unfortunately, this can lead to drivers and their employers cutting corners and skirting some of the federal and Missouri laws.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits the number of hours truckers can drive both in a day and in a week. Log and mileage records can help an attorney establish how many hours a trucker spends on the road to determine if they were potentially driving while fatigued or in violation of other industry regulations.

Additionally, commercial trucks are equipped with black boxes like those used on airplanes to record how the vehicle is functioning. Many trucks also use onboard cameras that begin recording when certain motions are detected, such as if the truck suddenly stops or swerves, which could indicate an accident in progress. A savvy Eureka attorney has the connections and experience to retrieve this evidence to establish liability following a crash with an 18-wheeler.

Missouri Commercial Vehicle Safety Measures

Missouri has regulations for truck drivers holding a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Drivers must be at least 18 years old and cannot drive outside Missouri until they are 21. Before applying for a CDL, prospective truckers must hold a Commercial Learner Permit (CLP) for at least 14 days before taking the CDL written exam and the tests for road signs and adequate vision. Missouri issues three classes of CDLs. The most desirable class requires additional testing, including an on-road driving and truck control test, as well as a vehicle inspection. Other safety measures Missouri and the federal government require include:

  • Limiting time driven to 11 hours in a day with a 30-minute break after 8 hours and not driving at all after working 70 hours in eight consecutive days
  • Maintenance logs to prove inspections of tires, fuel, brakes, and lights before and after a run
  • Reducing speed by one-third of the speed limit in inclement weather because commercial trucks require more braking time to stop
  • Maintaining a 360-degree view of the surrounding road

A tenacious Eureka attorney could scrutinize every move prior to a semi-truck collision to hold a negligent driver and trucking company responsible for compensating an injured party.

Insurance Minimums for Commercial Trucks

Commercial trucking companies must carry far more liability insurance than auto owners in Missouri, who must carry at least $25,000 in bodily injury. Under the US Code of Federal Regulations § 387.9, trucking companies that travel beyond Missouri’s borders must carry at least $750,000 in liability insurance and up to $5 million if they carry hazardous materials.

Let Our Truck Accident Attorneys Be Your Allies

Although laws and regulations for commercial truckers and the companies that employ them are stringent, accidents still happen, and those injured face a long physical, emotional, and financial recovery. Let our firm help.

At The Law Offices of Kevin J. Roach, LLC, we are ready to assist you in pursuing and maximizing your potential compensation and getting your life back on track. Contact a Eureka truck accident lawyer today.