When Trucks Derail Life, We Steer You Back.
Have you or a loved one been in a commercial delivery truck accident? The aftermath of an accident can be stressful. From medical costs to lost wages, you need the right legal representation. Our commercial delivery truck accident attorney in Kansas City, MO, can help you through these difficult times.
Our legal team at Ricket Law Firm, LLC, has witnessed firsthand how commercial delivery truck accidents can be devastating. Our knowledge and experience in personal injury law allow us to represent our clients and get them the compensation they deserve. The intricacies of these matters require a Kansas City legal team that knows the law.
Ready to discuss your case? Contact us at Ricket Law Firm, LLC, today for personalized assistance.
Understanding Commercial Delivery Truck Accidents
Thousands of UPS, FedEx, and Amazon Prime trucks visit Kansas City, MO, daily. Their main goal? Making sure residents get their shipments quickly. These delivery services have transformed shopping and receiving items by bringing convenience to our doorsteps. However, more huge trucks on our roads increase road accident danger. When massive trucks collide, the results might be worse than an automobile crash. What causes these accidents, and what should victims know?
Common Causes Behind Delivery Truck Accidents
Accidents involving commercial delivery trucks can stem from multiple factors. Among the leading causes are:
- Pressure to Meet Deadlines: Drivers from companies like UPS and FedEx often operate under strict timelines. This pressure can sometimes lead them to:
- Take unnecessary risks on the road
- Increase in Delivery Vehicles: The growth of services like Amazon Prime means more delivery trucks on our streets. With this comes challenges like:
- A mix of experienced and less-experienced drivers
- Greater potential for congestion and mishaps
- Third-Party Drivers: As demand rises, companies use third-party drivers who may not be as well trained or supervised as those directly employed by larger companies.
- Dimension of the Truck: Larger trucks have more blind spots, making it harder for drivers to see surrounding vehicles or pedestrians. Their size can also make them harder to maneuver in tight spaces.
- Truck’s Braking System: More heavy trucks take longer to stop. A failing braking system can potentially cause accidents, especially if the driver cannot stop in time.
The Role of Third-Party Drivers
The rise of e-commerce has increased delivery service demand. This demand has encouraged corporations to recruit third-party drivers, who may not have the same training or monitoring as FedEx or UPS drivers. Third-party drivers, eager to finish their routes and paid per delivery, may take shortcuts, posing safety risks.
Types of Injuries Often Sustained in Truck Accidents
Due to their size and heft, commercial delivery truck accidents can cause minor scrapes to life-altering injuries. Common injuries in such accidents include:
- Brain Injury: Traumatic brain injuries, from mild concussions to severe cognitive impairments, can result from the force of impact in high-speed collisions.
- Neck Injury: Whiplash and other neck strains or sprains are common, caused by the sudden jerk experienced in a collision.
- Back Injury: Beyond herniated discs and fractures, individuals might suffer from lumbar spine injuries, which can lead to chronic pain or mobility issues.
- Broken Bones: Limbs, especially arms and legs, are at risk during a truck accident. Broken or fractured bones can take months to heal and may require surgery.
- Lacerations and Abrasions: Broken glass, metal fragments, or even the force of impact can lead to deep cuts or skin scrapes, which can sometimes lead to scarring.
- Internal Injuries: These can be especially dangerous as they might not be immediately noticeable. Organs like the liver, lungs, or kidneys might be damaged upon impact.
- Burns: If a vehicle catches fire after an accident, occupants can sustain first-, second, or even third-degree burns.
- Spinal Cord Damage: This can lead to paralysis, either partial or complete, depending on the area and severity of the injury.
- Wrongful Death: The most heartbreaking outcome is wrongful death in a business delivery truck accident. This occurs when someone dies due to another’s irresponsibility. Just compensation is needed to help families cope with the emotional and financial difficulties.
It’s vital to understand that not all injuries present symptoms immediately after the accident. Always seek medical attention following a collision to ensure no underlying injuries go unnoticed.
What are Possible Commercial Delivery Truck Damages?
Commercial delivery truck accidents can cause significant financial emotional and physical damage. The damages are usually economic or non-economic.
- Vehicle Repair or Replacement Costs: Commercial delivery trucks are large and can inflict significant damage on other vehicles, infrastructure, or property. The cost to repair or replace these can be immense.
- Medical Expenses: This can be significant for victims of delivery truck accidents, from immediate emergency care to long-term treatments or surgery.
- Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity: If an individual gets injured and cannot return to work, they may lose income due to lost wages. This may be mild or severe.
- Lost Earning Capacity: If the accident permanently limits the victim’s ability to work or professional chances, they may seek compensation for lost earning capacity.
- Property Damage: Damage to personal property, including electronics, belongings, and other items in the car or vicinity of the accident, is considered property damage.
- Pain and Suffering: This refers to the discomfort that accident victims feel on a physical and mental level. It’s hard to quantify, yet it’s important in compensation claims.
- Emotional Distress: Accidents can cause psychological trauma such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder, in addition to physical injuries.
- Loss of Consortium: This refers to the unfavorable impact of the injury on the relationship between the injured party and their spouse. It includes loss of friendship, love, and other relationships.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: The victim may experience a deterioration in quality of life due to the inability to engage in previously enjoyed activities or hobbies due to the injury.
- Disfigurement or Permanent Disability: If an accident causes permanent physical changes or disability, victims can seek compensation for the emotional and psychological impact.
What is the Limitation Period in Missouri for Filing a Personal Injury Claim?
Understanding the limitation period for filing personal injury claims after a delivery truck accident is critical. Each state has its timeframe laws, including Missouri. The following are important Missouri laws:
Missouri as an At-Fault State
Missouri uses an “at-fault” system for motor vehicle accidents, including delivery truck accidents. The person at fault for the accident is responsible for damages. Victims can sue the at-fault driver, their insurance company, or both. Understanding that Missouri is an at-fault state affects how you can seek economic and non-economic damages.
Statute of Limitation and Exceptions
- General Time Frame: In Missouri, filing personal injury claims has a five-year statute of limitations from the accident date. This time frame is generous compared to other states but should not be procrastinated. Failure to file within this time usually forfeits your legal rights.
- Exceptions for Minors: If a minor is involved in a truck accident, the statute of limitations does not begin until they are 21. Parents or guardians must be aware of this extended timeframe, especially if their child was injured in an accident, to avoid losing their child’s right to compensation.
- Discovery Rule: The discovery rule states that injuries may not be immediately obvious or may take time to appear. In such cases, Missouri law may commence the statute of limitations from the injury’s “discovery date” rather than the accident date.
- Exceptions for the Disabled or Mentally Incapacitated: If a victim is mentally incapacitated or disabled, special rules may apply to extend the statute of limitations.
- Wrongful Death Claims: In the case of a fatal accident, the family has three years from the victim’s death date to submit a wrongful death claim.
To negotiate the challenging limitation period and exemptions, consult a Missouri personal injury attorney. Not following the time limits may result in losing one’s right to seek compensation, emphasizing the significance of acting fast.
Accidents in Delivery Transportation Vehicles Under the Law
Missouri delivery vehicle accidents provide specific legal issues to consider. The driver or employer determines liability. Commercial insurance policies in the state have higher coverage limits, making claims difficult.
Commercial vehicle restrictions in Missouri are extremely important, and violations can have legal consequences. The state may adjust compensation if the victim contributed to the accident through comparative negligence.
The Complexities of Delivery Truck Accidents and Personal Injury Claims
Delivery truck accidents are complex due to their commercial nature. Delivery truck accidents, especially those involving poor training or vehicle upkeep, may fall on the employer rather than the driver.
Commercial insurance adds another layer due to larger coverage limits and more complicated terms. Comparative negligence in Missouri adjusts compensation based on the victim’s role in the accident.
Commercial vehicle laws are tight, and violations might affect a claim. Due to these intricacies, prosecuting a delivery truck accident personal injury claim involves careful navigation and often the talents of an experienced attorney.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Commercial Delivery Truck Accidents?
Commercial delivery truck accidents often involve a web of potential liabilities that differ from standard car accidents. Determining fault requires meticulous investigation. Among those who can be held liable include:
- The driver of the Truck: If negligence like speeding, impaired, or distracted driving was involved, the driver can be held directly accountable.
- Employing Company: The company can be at fault if:
- They failed to provide proper training or enforce safety protocols.
- Neglected to maintain their vehicles adequately, leading to mechanical failures.
- Truck or Parts Manufacturer: If a product defect, such as faulty brakes or a malfunctioning steering system, contributed to the accident, the manufacturer might be held responsible.
- Third-Party Maintenance Providers: If improper maintenance led to the truck’s malfunction and the subsequent accident, these providers could be implicated.
- Cargo Loaders: Incorrectly loaded cargo can destabilize a truck. If this is found to be a contributing factor, cargo loaders can also be brought into a claim.
The Doctrine of Respondeat Superior
The Latin phrase “respondeat superior,” meaning “let the superior answer,” is crucial to employment and tort law. It holds employers vicariously accountable for their workers’ activities within the scope of their employment.
If a delivery driver unintentionally causes a car accident while completing a scheduled route, the employing company may be liable for the damages, even if the company did not do anything illegal. The rationale behind this doctrine is twofold:
- Accountability: Employers benefit from the actions of their employees, so it’s equitable for them to bear the responsibility for any harm those actions might cause.
- Compensation: Victims stand a better chance of receiving adequate compensation from a company, which typically has more financial resources than an individual employee.
Respondeat superior requires proof that the employee was acting within their employment boundaries when the wrongdoing happened. The doctrine may not apply to personal errands.
The concept highlights the need for organizations to ensure their personnel operate ethically and safely due to legal implications.
Recovering Damages Under Respondeat Superior
Here’s how one might approach recovering damages under the doctrine of “respondeat superior”
- Establishing the Employment Relationship: It’s crucial to demonstrate that the individual who caused harm was indeed an employee of the company at the time of the incident.
- Scope of Employment: The scope of employment requires victims to prove the wrongful act happened while the employee was executing job-related responsibilities. If a delivery driver crashes on a scheduled route, it’s considered work.
- Types of Damages: Victims can pursue various damages, including:
- Medical bills and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Missouri’s Trucking Law
Missouri’s trucking laws protect the public and ensure commercial vehicle safety. These regulations cover a wide spectrum. Missouri’s trucking law highlights:
- Licensing: Commercial drivers in Missouri must possess a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) after undergoing specialized training and passing rigorous tests.
- Hours of Service: To combat driver fatigue, there are strict limits on how many hours a truck driver can operate without taking mandated rest breaks.
- Vehicle Maintenance: Regular inspections and maintenance of commercial vehicles are compulsory to ensure they meet safety standards.
- Cargo Restrictions: Weight and size limits are imposed on cargo to prevent overloading and ensure stability during transit.
Violations of Missouri’s trucking laws can result in heavy fines, license suspensions, and even criminal charges. Additionally, these violations can be pivotal in personal injury claims following a trucking accident.
Truck Driver’s Log
Commercial drivers must keep a “logbook” or “duty status log,” which details their daily actions. This log enforces federal and state hours-of-service laws. Key truck driver log items:
- Driving Hours: The log records the actual hours a driver spends behind the wheel, ensuring they don’t exceed the maximum hours without mandatory rest breaks.
- On-duty but not Driving: This records time spent on tasks like loading, unloading, or inspecting the vehicle.
- Rest Periods: Drivers are required to log their rest and sleep breaks, ensuring they get adequate rest to combat fatigue.
- Location and Date: Every entry should have a date and the location where the driver starts and ends their shift.
Ensuring accuracy in the truck driver’s log is crucial. Any discrepancies or violations can result in penalties, disqualification, or even legal implications in the event of an accident.
Inspection Requirements of Trucking Companies
Commercial vehicles must be safe and reliable for public and driver safety. Federal and state rules compel trucking companies to undergo rigorous inspections. These requirements’ main elements:
- Routine Maintenance: Trucks should undergo scheduled maintenance to identify potential issues before they escalate into more significant problems.
- Pre-Trip Inspections: Before any journey, drivers must inspect vital components such as brakes, tires, lights, and mirrors to ensure they are in working order.
- Annual Inspections: Every commercial vehicle should be subjected to a comprehensive annual inspection, assessing its overall condition and safety standards.
- Record Keeping: Companies must keep complete records of inspections, repairs, and maintenance activities. After an accident, regulatory authorities may inspect these documents, which may be crucial in litigation.
Failure to comply with these inspection criteria can result in penalties, increased accident liability, and trucking company license revocation.
Truck Size and Weight Restrictions in Missouri
Missouri requires commercial trucks to follow size and weight regulations for safe and efficient road use. These rules reduce infrastructure damage and severe accidents:
- Gross Weight Limits: Missouri law stipulates a maximum gross weight limit for trucks. Overloading is a punishable offense and can harm the state’s roads and bridges.
- Axle Weight Limits: The state defines precise weight limits for individual or tandem axles, ensuring that trucks are balanced properly to avoid undue strain on road surfaces.
- Height and Width Restrictions: In Missouri, commercial vehicles must adhere to specific height and width limits to guarantee safe passage under bridges and through tunnels.
- Length Limits: Missouri regulates the aggregate length of trucks and trailers to ensure maneuverability on highways and local roads.
Missouri’s Department of Transportation diligently monitors these restrictions. Non-compliance not only leads to heavy fines but, if involved in an accident, can result in increased liabilities for the violating party.
What Should I Do After a Commercial Delivery Truck Accident?
If you find yourself in such a situation in Missouri, follow these steps to guarantee your safety and protect your rights:
- Ensure Safety: Immediately check on all involved parties. If possible and safe to do so, move vehicles out of traffic.
- Call 911: Report the accident to law enforcement, even if damages seem minor. An official police report can be invaluable for insurance and legal purposes.
- Gather Evidence: Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damages, license plates, and any injuries sustained. If there are witnesses, collect their contact information.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if injuries aren’t immediately apparent, get a medical evaluation. Some injuries manifest symptoms later.
- Document Details: Write down specifics about the accident while they’re fresh in your mind, including weather conditions, the sequence of events, and any potential contributing factors.
- Consult an Attorney: Consulting a personal injury lawyer, especially one experienced in truck accidents, can guide you through the complexities of claims and ensure you receive rightful compensation.
Avoid discussing fault at the scene or with insurance representatives without consulting your attorney.
Why Do I Need a Commercial Delivery Trucks Accident Attorney in Kansas City, MO?
Commercial delivery truck accidents are difficult to recover from. Medical bills, recovery from injuries, and insurance company interactions can be stressful. Why a Missouri Commercial Delivery Truck Accident Attorney is helpful:
- Knowledge of Local Laws: Delivery trucks follow specific regulations. An attorney familiar with these rules can effectively represent your interests.
- Dealing with Insurance Companies: These insurance firms often want to minimize their payouts. A lawyer can ensure you receive a fair settlement.
- Finding Out Who’s Responsible: With the truck driver, their employer, and other parties involved, identifying responsibility can be difficult. An attorney can sort through the details and determine who is at fault.
- Ensuring Comprehensive Compensation: Beyond current medical bills, a lawyer can factor in future expenses, missed wages, and emotional distress to ensure you’re adequately compensated.
- Resource Network: Lawyers often have connections to professionals, like accident analysts or medical experts, who can strengthen your case.
- Representation in Court: If a fair settlement isn’t reached, your lawyer can represent you in court, ensuring your side of the story is heard and you get the justice you deserve.
- Guidance and Support: With a legal professional handling the case, you can focus on recovery, knowing your interests are being taken care of.
When faced with the consequences of a truck accident, having an experienced attorney by your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
If you’re dealing with the challenges of a truck accident, remember, you’re not alone. Our attorneys at Ricket Law Firm, LLC, are ready to help.
Call our Commercial Delivery Trucks Accident Attorney in Kansas City, MO Now!
When you or a loved one encounters accident-related issues, you need a legal team. Ricket Law Firm, LLC, handles more than commercial delivery truck personal injury cases. Our lawyers also handle nursing home abuse claims. We value protecting the rights and dignity of our elderly people. If you suspect this type of maltreatment, contact us.
We handle medical malpractice. Medical professionals must deliver quality care. When they fail, we hold them accountable.
Not everyone must go alone to justice. Ricket Law Firm, LLC, is your reliable partner for commercial delivery truck accidents, nursing home abuse, and medical malpractice cases. Contact us today to defend your rights. We treat our clients like family.