If you or a loved one have been a victim of an accident involving a tractor-trailer, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer. Companies push truck drivers beyond their limits and cut corners at the cost of safety to save money. Their actions and negligence have greatly impacted your life, and they must be held accountable. However, insurance companies will try to pressure you to take a settlement without consulting a lawyer. This settlement is only a fraction of what you’re owed.
The attorneys at OnderLaw, LLC have the experience and resources to take on trucking and insurance companies. We understand what you’re going through and will work with you to seek out justice and secure the compensation you need and deserve. A highly skilled attorney will know what kind of compensation you should expect for your accident and won’t settle for anything less.
Give us a call today at (314) 963-9000 for a free consultation. We’re ready to answer all your questions and get started on your case.
Why You Need a Truck Accident Attorney
Insurance companies will immediately appear at the scene of your accident to conduct their own investigation. They’ll offer you a settlement very quickly in hopes that you’ll take it and drop the case altogether. This settlement is going to be a lot less than what you deserve.
A lawyer specializing in tractor-trailer accidents will know every trick that insurance companies use to lower the settlement you receive. Insurance companies, for example, may try to make you feel responsible for the accident, or they may try to get you to say something they can use against you. Your attorney will handle the insurance companies for you, so you can focus on recovering after your accident.
An experienced attorney will thoroughly investigate your accident to prove fault in your case. This may include hiring accident reconstruction specialists to determine how your accident occurred. Your attorney will meticulously gather evidence to support your case, such as driver’s logs, truck maintenance records, and the driver’s training history. They will determine all the parties liable for your accident, such as the truck driver, the trucking company, and possibly a maintenance company, if a maintenance issue contributed to your accident. They will negotiate firmly and assertively with the insurance companies. They’ll also prepare to take your case to court, if necessary, to secure maximum compensation.
You deserve to get every dollar you’re owed deserved after your accident, and a lawyer will help make that happen.
Why Choose OnderLaw, LLC
The attorneys at OnderLaw, LLC are dedicated to winning your case, no matter how unique or difficult the situation may seem. Our attorneys are understanding, compassionate, and strive to make personal connections with our clients.
OnderLaw, LLC has won over $3 billion for our clients in settlements and verdicts. One case against Johnson & Johnson resulted in a $110 million verdict for our client. So far, our largest personal injury settlement was just over $22 million. Our clients have won the most money in a settlements in several counties in Missouri, and we don’t plan to slow down.
We are an award-winning firm, recognized by our peers for being one of the best. Call us today for a free consultation, and we will discuss how we can help you with your case.
Tractor-Trailer Accidents Aren’t the Same as Passenger Vehicle Accidents
Tractor-trailers are often referred to as semi-trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, and similar names that reference their size. A fully loaded tractor-trailer usually weighs around 80,000 pounds while the average family-sized vehicle weighs about 3,000 pounds. Any accident can be life-changing, but crashes with tractor-trailers are almost always disasters.
Some of the most common injuries suffered in tractor-trailer accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Muscle and ligaments strains
- Bone fractures
- Internal damage, including damage to vital organs
- Puncture wounds
- Cuts, scrapes, and lacerations
Truck drivers work to meet tight deadlines, which can result in long hours on the road, lack of sleep, and stress. This can be a dangerous combination, given that driving a tractor-trailer requires careful attention and quick decision-making. Commercial drivers and trucking companies track information such as driver’s logs, load manifests, truck maintenance records, hours spent training, drug and alcohol tests, and other evidence critical to your case. Our attorneys will ensure that all relevant evidence is preserved and made available in order to strengthen your case.
Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released a study showing that 87% of large truck accidents are caused by the truck driver. Here is a more comprehensive breakdown of the causes of large truck accidents:
- Bad decisions cause 38% of large truck accidents. Bad decisions that cause accidents may include, for example, aggressive driving, speeding, or following vehicles too closely.
- Poor recognition causes 28% of large truck accidents. This refers to drivers not paying attention or becoming distracted.
- Driver’s non-performance makes up 12% of large truck accidents. These situations are when the driver is incapacitated, meaning they fell asleep at the wheel, suffered a heart attack, or another reason for impairment.
- Poor performance causes 9% of truck accidents. These are situations where the driver overcompensated, panicked, or generally lost control of the vehicle.
There are other factors often involved in these large truck accidents, including poor maintenance, prescription drugs, recreational drugs, or alcohol, environmental factors such as weather, and exhaustion. We’ll take everything into consideration when building your case.
Sadly, fatality rates for crashes with tractor-trailers are very high. According to the FMCSA, 65.4% of all large vehicle crashes in 2015 resulting in fatalities were from semi-trucks. In 2016, this figure went down to 62% and went down further in 2017 to 58.8%. Regardless, semi-trucks are the largest contributor to fatal crashes out of all large truck accidents.
From 2015 to 2017, tractor-trailers were involved in over 8,000 accidents that caused fatalities. In 2017 alone, that figure was at 2,736. In the same year, semi-truck crashes that resulted in injuries totaled 27,156 or 48.1% of all large truck accidents.
This study proves that tractor-trailers are extremely dangerous vehicles if handled incorrectly. Proper training, maintenance, and trucking laws must be followed to make the roads safe for everyone. When these vehicles fail to keep others safe, someone should be held accountable.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should be as informed as possible about your case. If you have any questions about your accident, we’re eager to answer them. This is a stressful time in your life, and having questions about the legal process is completely normal. We’ve included answers to some of the most common questions our clients have.
How long do I have to file a claim?
In Missouri, the statute of limitations, or time limit you have to file your case in a civil court, is five years. Under some rare circumstances, the deadline can be extended, but, usually, you will not be able to file a case if you miss this deadline. If you accept a settlement, however, you cannot file a claim at all.
Don’t take this to mean that you should wait to contact an attorney, however. It’s important that an attorney begins gathering evidence as soon as possible after your accident. Filing a claim as early as possible is the best thing you can do for your case.
How do I know I have a case?
Insurance companies will try to tell you that you don’t have a case, even while trying to make you take a settlement. Don’t listen to them. If you were injured in an accident caused by a negligent party, then you likely have a case.
We offer a free consultation with no obligation for a follow-up meeting. We will discuss your accident in detail and provide you with an honest assessment of your case and your legal options.
How much is my case worth?
Every case is different, and your compensation will depend on the details of your accident and your injuries. However, tractor-trailer accident victims will usually be entitled to the following types of compensation:
- Medical expenses (present and future)
- Lost wages (present and future)
- Property damage
- Transportation costs
- Child care costs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental Anguish
We will determine the full extent of your expenses and losses, and we’ll work strategically to negotiate for a full, fair settlement.
What should I do after being involved in a tractor-trailer accident?
The first thing you should do is call 911 if someone is injured, or call the police. The police report will provide important evidence for your case.
It’s also crucial that you seek medical attention right away. Even if you feel fine, some internal injuries could take days to present themselves. If you don’t receive medical attention at the scene of the accident, see a doctor as soon as you can. Having a doctor’s record of your injuries after the incident is also important for your case.
At the scene of the accident, you should also collect information related to the crash, including the contact information of drivers and eyewitnesses and photographs of the accident scene. Be sure to write down the circumstances of what you and the truck driver were doing. Then call a lawyer to represent your case.
Insurance companies will call you for a settlement and will ask for a statement. You’re under no obligation to tell them anything. Ask for their contact information and politely tell them that your attorney will get in touch with them soon.
Have you or a loved one been involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer? If so, you’re likely struggling with medical costs, lost wages, damaged property, and mental anguish, all while trying to keep your family afloat. You and your situation are worth more than what the insurance companies want you to believe.
Our St. Louis truck accident attorneys want to help you get through this difficult time in your life with the best results possible. Call OnderLaw, LLC today at (314) 963-9000 for a free consultation. You may be entitled to substantial compensation.