ESTABLISHING FAULT IN
A TRUCKING ACCIDENT

In 2019, semi-trucks were involved in 179,509 crashes. Their size and weight make truck accidents among the most severe. Nearly 5,000 people were killed in trucking-related crashes in 2019 and thousands more injured, some critically. Lives are lost and others changed forever when someone is negligent while operating a 40-ton vehicle.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, or if a loved one has been incapacitated or killed, you may be entitled to compensation. Gartner Law Firm helps clients with personal injury claims in St. Peters and St. Charles, Missouri, and the surrounding communities obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and wrongful death. We help people overwhelmed by injury or death find a way to move on with their lives.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, most semi-truck accidents are caused by the truck driver. Reasons include fatigue, poor training, use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs, distracted and inattentive driving, overcompensation or slow reactions, following too closely, and excessive speed. Other frequent causes are mechanical failures, roadway conditions, and shifting cargo.

Establishing Fault

Because Missouri is a fault state, you can file a claim against your own auto insurer for medical payment benefits, or for uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits. You can also file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the truck driver, trucking company, truck or parts manufacturer, and others responsible for the crash.

Liability or “fault” for an 18-wheeler accident can lie with more than one person or entity: 

  • The crash might be the fault of a driver who failed to inspect the truck properly, logged excessive hours on the road, or simply failed to pay attention.
  • The trucking company might be liable for inadequate driver training and supervision, or for placing profit over safety. In most cases, the company’s insurer pays the damages and losses of someone injured or killed in a crash.
  • The manufacturer of the semi-truck, trailer, or parts used on the vehicle could have provided faulty parts, like defective brakes, or a compromised coupling mechanism, which led to the crash. 
  • Maintenance personnel who failed to inspect, repair, and maintain the vehicle could also be liable. Even the person who loaded cargo could be at fault if he did so improperly and shifting cargo contributed to the crash.

In most truck crash cases, you need to file a civil suit to allow adequate discovery of information critical to your claim. Determining liability requires a thorough investigation of all factors, including driver fatigue and qualifications, road and weather conditions, mechanical conditions of the truck, and any potential liability on your part or on other vehicles involved.

What Steps Should I Take Next?

To help your personal injury claim:

  • Make sure you get all necessary medical treatment for your crash-related injuries;
  • Don’t admit any fault to anyone;
  • Don’t post photos or other information about the crash on social media;
  • Don’t speak to anyone representing any potentially liable party. Tell them you are consulting an attorney; and,
  • Retain an attorney with experience in pursuing trucking-related claims.

If a loved one was incapacitated or killed in a trucking crash, talk to an attorney right away. Preserving evidence is key to your claim.

Your Personal Injury
Attorney’s Role

If you’ve been injured in a crash involving a semi-truck, or if a loved one has been incapacitated or killed, you need an experienced attorney to tackle the complicated task of investigating the crash and proving liability. This might require a crash reconstructionist, witness interviews, and inspections of the truck, trailer, and other vehicles involved. The federal government requires the trucking industry to comply with rigorous safety standards. You need an attorney who is knowledgeable about these regulations and experienced in determining if those standards were breached.

Trucking companies typically carry high liability insurance limits, which means there can be a lot of money at stake. It also means the insurer will have highly compensated attorneys on their side, so it’s important you have an attorney on yours.

You need someone with the best legal expertise and experience fighting for you to make sure everyone liable for your injuries or your loved one’s death are held accountable.

Gartner Law Firm has provided aggressive legal representation for dozens of trucking accident victims and their families in St. Peters and St. Charles, Missouri. Put our experience to work for you. Consultation is free, and you pay us nothing unless you recover a settlement or judgment, so call now.

 The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be decided solely upon advertising.


Recent Posts