If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, contact OnderLaw. Our skilled and experienced truck accident attorneys will help you recover the financial compensation you’re owed for your medical expenses, lost wages, and mental anguish. We understand the process of holding a truck driver or trucking company accountable for their careless actions. You shouldn’t pay for your expenses or suffer the consequences of someone else’s negligence.

Our O’Fallon truck accident lawyers will fight to protect your rights and get you the maximum financial reward you deserve. We have the resources and experience to efficiently resolve cases for our clients so they can move forward with their lives. We know you want to put this traumatic ordeal behind you. You can depend on us to help you put the pieces of your life back together.

To get on the road to recovery after your truck accident, call OnderLaw to schedule a free consultation with our award-winning injury attorneys. We’re ready to help.

Types of Truck Accidents

Whether it’s a tractor-trailer, flatbed truck, or big rig, commercial vehicles are dangerous. There are many types of accidents that could occur. Various factors, such as driver distraction or error, could lead to a crash and severe injuries or fatalities. The most common types of truck accidents in O’Fallon include:

  • Blind spots: Commercial trucks are large, and the driver might not be able to see passenger vehicles traveling in their blind spots. If the truck driver doesn’t check their blind spot, they could sideswipe a car while changing lanes.
  • T-bone: T-bone collisions are one of the most dangerous truck accidents. It happens when a truck crashes into the side of another vehicle. It’s common in intersections if the truck driver blows through a stop sign or red light.
  • Tire blowout: Tires that are defective, overinflated, or underinflated could explode and result in the driver losing control of their truck. If there’s a car in its path, severe injuries could occur.
  • Jackknife: When a car jackknifes, the front cab and trailer fold towards each other to form an angle. It often happens when a truck driver implements poor maneuvering tactics or brakes suddenly.
  • Lost load: There are federal regulations that require how the trucking company should load and secure its cargo. If there are damaged tie-downs or loose cargo on the trailer, it could fall off the truck and cause a crash.
  • Head-on: This is the deadliest type of truck accident. It’s typically due to driver inattention and causes the commercial vehicle to drift across the center lane into oncoming traffic.
  • Rollover: Rollover accidents occur when the driver loses control or makes contact with a stationary object that lifts the tires off the road and forces the vehicle onto its side.

Trucks are everywhere. It’s difficult to drive anywhere without seeing one. They’re necessary for our economy to supply us with the goods we need. Unfortunately, they pose risks to motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. They can create hazardous situations and cause severe injuries and fatalities. If the truck driver or their employer doesn’t comply with specific regulations, other people end up in harm’s way.

What Should I Do If I’m Injured in a Truck Accident?

If you were the victim of a truck accident, you might not know what to do next. It’s a traumatic experience, and the initial shock could cause you to make poor decisions that compromise the compensation you’re entitled to. If you want to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party, follow the following steps:

  • Call 911 to report the crash. Wait at the scene for law enforcement to arrive and complete an investigation. Contact the Missouri State Highway Patrol for a copy of the traffic crash report.
  • Ask the truck driver for their name, contact information, employer’s name, and insurance details.
  • If your injury isn’t too severe, take pictures of the crash scene. Include photos of vehicle damage, debris in the road, and anything else you see that might strengthen your case.
  • Go to the hospital immediately after leaving the accident site. Don’t wait days or weeks for an initial evaluation of your injuries. Insurance companies use medical records to determine someone’s eligibility for a settlement. If you didn’t seek immediate care, they will assume you didn’t suffer anything serious.
  • Recall all information related to the truck accident. Write down the date and time it happened, where it occurred, anyone who witnessed it, their contact information, and other relevant details.
  • Maintain records of your prescriptions, medical bills, physician notes, imaging reports, and other documents proving the injuries you sustained.
  • Hire an O’Fallon truck accident attorney from OnderLaw. We’ll help you with the steps above and obtain the necessary evidence to show someone else was at fault.

What’s the Value of My Case?

Proving fault after an O’Fallon truck accident is one of the most important factors in a case. If we’re able to show that the truck driver, trucking company, or another party caused the crash, we can file a claim with their insurance company.

Missouri uses a fault system for accident cases. That means the person who was at fault for the crash automatically becomes responsible for the resulting injuries and expenses. Typically, their liability insurance company will compensate the injured victim.

State laws require all motor vehicle operators to hold auto insurance with minimum limits for bodily injury and property damage. If you file an insurance claim with the truck driver’s insurance company, you could recover compensation up to the limits listed on their policy.

The compensation aims to reimburse injured parties for their total economic and non-economic damages. They include the following:

  • Vehicle repairs
  • Rental car costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Disability
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost wages and lost earning capacity
  • Loss of consortium

Economic damages, such as medical expenses, are easy to monetize because there’s typically some type of document that lists the cost. Non-economic damages are more challenging because damages such as pain and suffering aren’t quantifiable. The insurance company will consider the following factors when choosing an appropriate settlement amount to offer for non-economic damages:

  • Total economic damages incurred
  • Type and extent of the injury
  • Length of required medical treatment
  • If the victim fully recovered or reached MMI
  • Mental or physical disability due to the injury
  • How the injury affects the quality of life
  • Insurance coverage listed on the liability policy
  • Income the injured party was unable to earn because they couldn’t work
  • Medical records proving the accident caused the injury instead of a preexisting medical condition
  • Details included in the traffic crash report
  • Accident scene evidence
  • Eyewitness statements

Can I Sue the Truck Driver If My Loved One Died?

Yes. If your loved one died in an O’Fallon truck crash or suffered a fatal injury, you could file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This type of case is known as wrongful death. There are laws in Missouri that determine who can file suit and the available damages.

According to statute 537.080, wrongful death is the death of someone caused by an occurrence, act, conduct, circumstance, or transaction that would have resulted in the recovery of damages if they didn’t die. You can pursue compensation in a wrongful death case if you’re able to prove that the defendant’s actions were negligent, reckless, malicious, or egregious.

The following surviving family members could sue the at-fault party for their loved one’s fatal truck accident:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving children
  • Surviving grandchildren
  • Surviving parent (if the deceased victim was a minor child)

If there are no surviving family members, the estate’s personal representative would become responsible for pursuing compensation in a wrongful death case.

The damages you could claim for compensation include:

  • Medical bills associated with your loved one’s injury
  • Pain and suffering they experienced right before passing away
  • The value of any income and benefits they would have earned if they had survived the accident
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The value of companionship, guidance, support, services, and comfort they would have provided if they were still alive

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is three years. The “clock” starts on the date your loved one died. If you don’t pursue your wrongful death case by the three-year deadline, you’ll lose your right to compensation.

Choose Our O’Fallon Truck Accident Attorneys

Our O’Fallon truck accident lawyers care about our clients. We will treat you with compassion and respect at all times. Our legal team dedicates their time and attention to each case and works diligently to reach a favorable outcome. When you hire us, we’ll get to know you so we can create an individualized plan that meets your needs.

OnderLaw offers free consultations to our prospective clients. You can meet with us at no risk and discuss the details of your truck accident. We’ll review the information you provide and let you know the legal options available to you. The decision you make is entirely up to you. We never pressure anyone into making choices they don’t feel comfortable making.

If you or your loved one was the victim of a truck accident, call us today. One of our O’Fallon tractor-trailer collision attorneys will speak with you about your accident and help you determine your next steps.