Were you the victim of a truck accident in St. Charles? Did you sustain injuries and need to seek medical treatment? If so, contact OnderLaw. Our award-winning personal injury attorneys will fight to uphold your rights and secure the full compensation you’re owed for your injuries, medical expenses, losses, pain and suffering, and more.

Compared to passenger vehicles, commercial trucks are extraordinarily large and heavy. They can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and have a length of up to 48 feet. When they crash into another vehicle, the damage can be devastating. Truck accidents often lead to severe injuries and fatalities. The impact is usually too traumatic for anyone to walk away with just a minor injury.

At OnderLaw, we are passionate about helping individuals injured in truck accidents caused by a negligent party. You deserve financial compensation for the suffering you had to endure. Call to schedule a free consultation with one of our St. Charles truck accident lawyers.

Common Types of Commercial Vehicles

Some of the most common types of commercial trucks that you’ll find on the roads of St. Charles include:

  • Tractor-trailer
  • Dump truck
  • Flatbed
  • Tanker
  • Cement mixer
  • Garbage truck
  • Heavy hauler
  • Box truck
  • Firetruck
  • Delivery van

Who’s Liable in a Truck Accident?

Multiple parties could be responsible for your truck accident. That makes seeking compensation a confusing process. Most of the time, the truck driver made an error or did something to cause the crash; however, some other people and entities could also be to blame.

The trucking company may be responsible if they fail to properly train their drivers, for example, or a cargo company may be responsible for improperly loading the cargo onto the truck. You could hold any of the following parties liable for the injuries you sustained:

  • Truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • Cab owner
  • Trailer owner
  • Company responsible for repairs and maintenance
  • Cargo loading company

When a truck accident occurs, many people will base their claim on negligence. Negligence is the legal theory that a person’s unreasonable actions led to another’s injury. If you can show the following elements existed at the time of the crash, you could base your case on negligence:

  1. Duty: The at-fault party owed you a legal duty of care to prevent you from harm;
  2. Breach of duty: They breached their duty;
  3. Cause in fact: If it wasn’t for their actions, you wouldn’t have suffered injuries;
  4. Proximate cause: Your injury was the direct result of their breach of duty; and
  5. Damages: You incurred damages.

Trucking Industry Regulations

If you work in the trucking industry, there are federal and state regulations you must follow. These regulations ensure that truck drivers drive safely and trucking companies hire experienced and qualified employees. They must adhere to limited service hours, vehicle weight and size requirements, and other rules.

All truck drivers in St. Charles are supposed to comply with the following guidelines:

  • If carrying property, limit driving to 11 hours and a 14-hour consecutive duty period, with a 10-hour rest period between shifts.
  • Take a minimum break of 30 minutes after driving for 8 hours
  • Work a shift up to 70 hours in 7 days or up to 80 hours in 8 days
  • Be at least 18 years old to drive within Missouri or at least 21 years old to drive outside the state
  • Hold a valid commercial driver’s license
  • Read, write, and speak English at an adequate level for communicating with other people, maintaining driving logs, and reading traffic signs
  • Pass all certifications and tests required to drive a commercial truck
  • Don’t consume alcohol or drugs before a driving shift
  • Be physically able to operate a commercial vehicle
  • Maintain driving logs that include total hours on and off duty, damage or defects to the vehicle, and maintenance performed
  • Report issues to a supervisor, such as accidents, injuries, and property damage

Trucking companies also have regulations they must follow so their employees and other drivers are safe. They should hire drivers with the experience and qualifications to operate a commercial vehicle. They’re supposed to provide ongoing training so drivers understand current state regulations and can effectively handle dangerous situations on the road. They must also maintain their fleet of trucks and ensure all cargo is within size and weight limits.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Commercial vehicles are difficult to drive. That’s why a special driver’s license is necessary for anyone who operates one. Truck drivers must go through extensive education, training, and supervision when they first begin their careers. If they become distracted or make a mistake behind the wheel, they could cause a devastating accident.

Collisions with a large truck are typically catastrophic simply because of their size and weight. Many commercial vehicles contain a front cab, trailer, and cargo load. If they’re carrying toxic chemicals, that adds a level of danger if an accident occurs. Besides the initial impact of the crash, you could also suffer severe burns from the hazardous substance.

The most common reasons truck accidents occur include:

  • Speeding
  • Mechanical issues
  • Failure to check blind spots
  • Tailgating
  • Distracted driving
  • Overweight or overloaded cargo
  • Lack of vehicle maintenance
  • Taking turns too quickly

Whether the truck driver, trucking company, or another party was responsible for the accident, you deserve to pursue compensation from them. The St. Charles truck accident attorneys from OnderLaw understand the laws within the trucking industry. We’ll use our experience and knowledge to hold the liable party financially responsible for their actions.

We never back down from a fight, and we’ll build a strong case and aggressively protect your rights to ensure the at-fault party pays you what they owe you.

How Much Compensation Could I Receive?

Trucking companies and their drivers have liability insurance policies that compensate injured victims for their damages. Commercial trucks tend to cause more expensive and severe physical injuries and property damage than passenger vehicles. Some injuries lead to permanent disability or require lifelong medical care.

Damages fall under two main categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are expenses, while non-economic damages are intangible losses. The most common damages injured victims claim after a truck accident include:

  • Past and future medical treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Car repairs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement or disability
  • Loss of companionship

Economic damages are easy to calculate because there’s a bill or invoice to go with it. Non-economic damages are more challenging to determine. It takes experience to understand the monetary value of things like physical pain and psychological suffering, such as PTSD.

When reviewing the facts of the case, your attorney and the insurance adjuster will consider the following information to decide how much money the injured party deserves:

  • Type of injury and how serious it is
  • Length of required medical care
  • If the victim made a full recovery or ended up disabled
  • Insurance coverage available
  • Medical evidence of injuries
  • Actions the at-fault party exhibited that led to the crash
  • Effect of the accident on quality of life

Many truck accidents become fatal for the victim. In those situations, a surviving family member could pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages in a wrongful death case could include funeral and burial costs, emotional anguish, and medical expenses.

What If I Want to Sue the Truck Driver or Trucking Company?

If the insurance company of the at-fault party fails to offer the settlement you deserve, your attorneys will be prepared to take your case to court, and they will navigate the complex legal proceedings for you. It’s crucial that you’re able to prove the legal theory of negligence and have enough evidence that shows the truck driver, the trucking company, and/or another party was responsible for the crash. Hiring a truck accident lawyer in St. Charles could benefit you greatly. OnderLaw knows how to effectively pursue compensation in the civil court system.

There’s a deadline you have to comply with to sue another party in the state of Missouri. It’s known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for truck accidents is five years. That means you have five years from the crash date to pursue legal action against someone else. After five years pass, a judge will likely dismiss your case if you try to file a lawsuit.

The Impact of Pure Comparative Negligence

Missouri operates within a pure comparative fault system when it comes to injury cases that involve negligence. Under this rule, an injured party can collect compensation based on the percentage of fault they share for an accident.

If you suffered injuries in a truck accident and incurred $100,000 in damages, you could pursue compensation for your total damages. However, if an insurance adjuster or jury finds that you share 20% of the blame, they will reduce your maximum compensation by 20%. That means you could only recover up to $80,000 at the most.

Contact a St. Charles Truck Accident Attorney

We believe in fighting for justice for our clients. When you hire us, we’ll provide dependable legal services and support you through this traumatic experience. We know you’re in pain and struggling to pay your medical bills. You deserve compensation that will cover your past and future damages. It’s our goal to recover the maximum financial award available.

Our truck collision lawyers have the experience, knowledge, and skills to hold truck drivers and their employers responsible for negligence. We will protect your rights and ensure you receive fair treatment throughout your case. You can count on us to remain dedicated to reaching an outcome that fulfills your needs.

If you got hurt in a truck accident, call OnderLaw. We’ll schedule your free consultation so you can meet with a St. Charles truck accident lawyer at no risk and discuss the details of your case.