What You Need to Know About Semi-Truck Accidents
Semi-trucking accidents in Kansas City, MO, present unique challenges due to their massive size and weight. These accidents occur when a semi-truck, also known as a tractor-trailer, collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, or stationary object. The impact of the collision can be devastating, resulting in severe injuries, fatalities, and significant property damage.
At Ricket Law Firm, we understand the complexities that arise after a semi-trucking accident. Our Missouri personal injury attorneys are dedicated to providing legal support to victims and their families during these difficult times. If you or a loved one has been involved in a semi-trucking accident, our personal injury law firm is here to help. Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation, and let us guide you through the legal process, providing the support and advocacy you need.
What are the Factors Contributing to Semi-Trucking Accidents?
Semi-truck accidents can have devastating consequences due to the sheer size and weight of these commercial vehicles. Understanding the factors contributing to these accidents is essential for improving road safety and reducing the risk of collisions involving semi-trucks. Our Kansas City, semi-trucking accidents attorney, can explain the common causes of semi-truck accidents, and they include:
Commercial truck drivers often need more time to deliver goods, which may push them to drive for extended periods without adequate rest. Long hours on the road and demanding schedules can lead to driver fatigue, a significant factor in semi-truck accidents. Fatigued drivers can experience decreased attention, slower reaction times, and impaired decision-making, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
Although semi-trucks undergo rigorous maintenance, mechanical failures can still occur. Brake failures, tire blowouts, steering problems, and other mechanical issues can lead to loss of control, making it challenging for the driver to navigate the vehicle safely. Regular maintenance and pre-trip inspections are critical to identifying and addressing potential mechanical problems before they escalate into accidents.
Inclement weather, such as heavy rain, snow, ice, or fog, can create hazardous driving conditions for all vehicles, but semi-trucks are particularly vulnerable due to their size and weight. Reduced visibility and slippery road surfaces increase the risk of skidding, hydroplaning, and difficulty in maneuvering, making accidents more likely during adverse weather conditions.
Road Design and Conditions
The design and condition of roads can also contribute to semi-truck accidents. Sharp curves, narrow lanes, poorly marked construction zones, and inadequate infrastructure can challenge even experienced semi-truck drivers. Insufficient road maintenance can lead to potholes and uneven surfaces, potentially causing accidents if the driver loses control of the vehicle.
Human error in semi-trucking accidents refers to mistakes or negligent actions made by the truck driver that lead to the occurrence of the accident. Some common examples of driver errors in semi-trucking accidents include:
- distracted driving
- aggressive driving
- driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Improper lane changes
- failure to observe traffic rules
Inexperienced or inadequately trained semi-truck drivers may need more skills and knowledge to handle the complexities of safely operating a semi-truck. Proper training on driving techniques, cargo loading, and handling emergencies is crucial to reducing the likelihood of accidents.
Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Cargo
Loading a semi-truck improperly or exceeding weight limits can affect the vehicle’s stability and handling. An overloaded trailer can lead to issues like braking problems and rollovers, posing significant risks on the road.
What are the Common Injuries Sustained from Semi-Trucking Accidents?
Semi-trucking accidents can lead to a wide range of injuries. The large size and weight of semi-trucks can crush smaller passenger vehicles in a collision. These accidents can be particularly severe and result in life-altering consequences for victims. If you or a loved one suffered any of the following injuries in a recent semi-truck accident, seek legal advice from our Kansas City personal injury lawyers as soon as possible.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
The impact of a semi-truck collision can cause the head to strike hard surfaces, leading to traumatic brain injuries. TBIs can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage, causing cognitive impairment, memory loss, and changes in mood and behavior.
Fractures and Broken Bones
Semi-trucking accidents can lead to fractures and broken bones in the victim’s arms, legs, ribs, and other body parts.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The force of a semi-trucking accident can cause damage to the spinal cord, resulting in partial or complete paralysis. Spinal cord injuries can lead to a loss of sensation and function in various parts of the body. Furthermore, it can also lead to back injuries such as herniated discs and spinal fractures, causing chronic pain and reduced mobility.
Internal Organ Injuries
The violent nature of semi-trucking accidents can cause internal injuries, such as damage to organs like the liver, spleen, kidneys, or lungs. Internal bleeding may also occur, which can be life-threatening if not promptly treated.
Burns and Lacerations
In accidents involving fires or explosions, victims may sustain burns or lacerations that can result in scarring and disfigurement.
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
The sudden impact in a semi-trucking accident can cause the neck to jerk violently, resulting in whiplash injuries. These injuries can cause pain, stiffness, and a limited range of motion in the neck.
Besides physical injuries, victims of semi-trucking accidents may also experience psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Semi-Trucking Accidents?
Determining liability for semi-trucking accidents can be complex due to the involvement of multiple parties and the various factors that can contribute to these accidents. Depending on the specific circumstances of the accident, several parties may share liability. Our Kansas City personal injury attorney can help identify the liable parties and build a solid case to pursue fair compensation for the victims of semi-trucking accidents.
In many cases, the semi-truck driver may bear partial or total liability for the accident. If the driver was negligent, distracted, tired, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or violated traffic laws, they could be held responsible for the collision.
The trucking company that owns or operates the semi-truck may also be liable for the accident. If the company failed to properly train its drivers, provided unrealistic delivery schedules leading to driver fatigue, neglected to maintain the semi-truck adequately, or allowed unqualified or unfit drivers to operate the vehicles, they may share liability.
Improperly loaded or unsecured cargo can shift during transit and lead to accidents. In such cases, the cargo loaders or the company responsible for loading the semi-truck may share liability.
If the accident resulted from mechanical failure due to improper maintenance or repairs, the maintenance contractors responsible for servicing the semi-truck may be liable.
In some cases, poorly designed or maintained roads, hazardous road conditions, or inadequate signage may contribute to semi-trucking accidents. In such instances, the government entities responsible for road maintenance and safety may share liability.
If the accident resulted from a defective semi-truck part or equipment, the manufacturer of the faulty component may be held liable for the damages caused.
What Compensation Can I Recover After a Semi-Trucking Accident in Missouri?
After a semi-trucking accident in Kansas City, MO, victims may be eligible to seek compensation for damages if the accident was caused by the negligence or fault of another party. These damages are designed to provide financial relief for the losses and hardships experienced by the injured party.
Missouri follows a comparative fault system, meaning the compensation awarded to the victim may be reduced if they were partially at fault for the accident. Consulting with our Kansas City semi-trucking accident attorney is crucial to accurately assess the full extent of your damages and pursue fair compensation for economic and non-economic losses. The balance available after a semi-trucking accident may include the following:
Economic damages refer to the measurable and tangible financial losses incurred due to the accident. These damages are quantifiable and have a specific monetary value. Examples of economic damages in a semi-trucking accident may include:
These cover compensation for all past and future medical bills related to the injuries sustained in the accident, including hospitalization, surgeries, doctor’s visits, prescription medications, physical therapy, and any necessary medical equipment.
The compensation covers repairing or replacing the victim’s vehicle or other personal property damaged in the semi-trucking accident.
Compensation for the income lost due to the inability to work during recovery. This may also include future lost earning capacity if the injuries result in a long-term or permanent disability that affects the victim’s ability to earn a living.
Compensation for the costs of ongoing rehabilitation and therapy needed to recover from the injuries sustained in the accident.
Non-economic damages are more subjective and difficult to quantify as they do not have a direct monetary value. These damages are intended to compensate for the emotional and intangible losses experienced by the victim. Examples of non-economic injuries in a semi-trucking accident may include:
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering cover physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish endured by the victim due to the accident and their injuries.
Loss of Consortium
In cases where the injuries affect the victim’s relationship with their spouse or family members, compensation may be awarded to the affected family members for the loss of companionship and support.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The damages for the loss of ability to participate in activities and hobbies that the victim enjoyed before the accident due to their injuries.
This refers to the compensation for the accident’s psychological trauma and emotional impact.
How Long Do I File a Semi-Truck Accident Injury Lawsuit in Missouri?
Missouri’s statute of limitations for filing a semi-truck accident injury lawsuit is generally five years from the accident date. This means that you have five years from the date of the semi-truck accident to initiate a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. Please file a lawsuit within the specified time frame to avoid losing your right to seek compensation through the court system.
However, there are some exceptions and variations to the statute of limitations in certain situations. For instance, if the semi-truck accident resulted in a wrongful death, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit may differ from the standard personal injury statute of limitations. It’s advisable to consult with our Kansas City, MO, semi-truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
Why Do I Need a Semi-Trucking Accident Attorney in Missouri?
- Being involved in a semi-trucking accident in Missouri can be a traumatic and life-altering experience. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, here are compelling reasons why you need an attorney to represent your interests:
- In-Depth Knowledge of Trucking Regulations: We deeply understand the federal and state regulations that govern the commercial trucking industry, which can help determine potential violations and liabilities of the involved trucking company and driver.
- Comprehensive Investigation and Evidence Gathering: We will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and surveillance footage which can be critical in proving fault and establishing the extent of damages you have suffered.
- Determining Liability and Responsible Parties: We will analyze the evidence to identify all responsible parties and hold them accountable for their actions, increasing the likelihood of receiving fair compensation.
- Dealing with Insurance Companies: We will ensure that your rights are protected, and we can negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to pursue a fair settlement.
- Maximizing Compensation: We can help you calculate the full extent of your losses and will work diligently to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries and hardships.
Working with our personal injury law firm lets you focus on your recovery and well-being. Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation, and let us help you secure the justice and compensation you need to move forward.
Call Our Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys Now!
Semi-trucking accidents continue to be a significant concern, posing grave risks to road users and leading to devastating consequences, emotional trauma, and financial hardships. If you or a loved one is involved in a semi-trucking accident, our Kansas City semi-trucking accident lawyers at the Ricket Law Firm can help you protect your rights and explore your legal options.
Our personal injury law firm is committed to seeking justice for victims of semi-trucking accidents in Missouri. We have in-depth knowledge of the trucking regulations, conduct comprehensive investigations, and leverage our negotiation and litigation skills to maximize compensation on your behalf.
Let us be your advocate during this challenging time, fighting for your rights and helping you secure the compensation you need to move forward with your life. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation, and let us stand by your side through this difficult journey. We also have extensive experience handling nursing home abuse and medical malpractice cases.