Commercial trucks play a vital part in moving goods across the country. For the most part, truckers are safe drivers who must carry a particular driver’s license to operate in Missouri. However, when these large vehicles are involved in a collision, the results can be catastrophic.
If you were struck by a negligent truck driver, a Wildwood truck accident lawyer could try to negotiate a settlement for financial compensation. If the negligent trucker or their employer do not offer a fair settlement award, a hardworking attorney could hold them liable in court.
Driver fatigue is one of the main causes of big rig accidents in the area. Fatigue usually occurs when trucking companies reward drivers for delivering cargo on or ahead of schedule, sometimes encouraging drivers to exceed allowable driving hours. Other causes of truck wrecks include:
There could be numerous liable parties in a semi-truck accident case. For instance, a truck driver’s employer could be liable under the doctrine of vicarious liability, so long as the accident occurs during the course of the truck driver’s job.
A dedicated attorney could review driving logs, black box information, and the employee-employer relationship to determine what defendants should be named in a truck wreck lawsuit in Wildwood.
The Missouri Department of Revenue requires truck drivers to carry a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). To qualify for a CDL, truckers must first secure a valid Missouri driver’s license followed by a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). Citizenship or permanent residency is also required, and truckers must successfully pass written and driving skills tests.
Truckers and their employers are governed by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which creates rules based on research into trucking accidents and limits how many hours truckers can drive in a 24-hour and seven-day period to ward off fatigue. Big rigs are also equipped with computer systems, called black boxes, to monitor truck function on the road. Many trucks feature cameras that record what is happening if a truck stops abruptly, which could signal an accident. A local attorney could collect this black box as evidence in an ensuing truck wreck claim.
Commercial trucking companies are required by federal law to carry a minimum amount of insurance that far exceeds the amount other vehicles must carry in each state. If they are engaged in interstate commerce, commercial carriers must carry $750,000 in liability insurance and up to $5 million if they are carrying hazardous cargo, according to the US Code of Federal Regulations § 387.9. A civil lawsuit is the second avenue of compensation a lawyer in the area could pursue if a plaintiff’s financial needs will be greater than the insurance payout after a truck accident.
Plaintiffs seeking compensation from defendants responsible for a personal injury have five years to file a lawsuit under Missouri’s statute of limitations. The tolling period usually begins the day of the accident. If a potential plaintiff waits beyond the five-year limit, the court can bar any action being filed in the future.
Since trucking accidents are likely to cause catastrophic injuries due to their large size, injured drivers should make sure the compensation they receive is adequate. Our legal team is familiar with these types of injuries and how much you deserve from the people who caused them. Call our office today to speak with a truck accident lawyer at our firm.