Dealing with the aftermath of truck accidents in St. Louis can be overwhelming. From understanding the laws to knowing your rights, there’s a lot to digest. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know. Even so, it’s always a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney in St. Louis to help you with the legal process after a collision. So, let’s get started.
St Louis: A Hub for Transport
With a prime location in the heartland of America, St. Louis serves as a critical intersection for transportation. The bustling highways and thoroughfares make it a hotspot for commerce. But as traffic increases, so does the potential for accidents – especially those involving large trucks.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are unfortunately not uncommon, but understanding their causes can help in both prevention and in understanding your rights if you are involved in one. Some common causes are as follows:
- Driver fatigue: Many truck drivers operate under tight schedules. As a result, some push beyond their limits, leading to fatigue and impaired judgement.
- Poor maintenance: Trucks require regular maintenance. Failing to do this can result in malfunctioning brakes, worn-out tires, or other issues that might cause an accident.
- Overloading: Trucks carrying more than their recommended weight can struggle with braking or maneuvering.
- Distracted driving: As with any vehicle, distraction is a major concern. Truckers who are using phones or other devices risk not only their own safety but that of others on the road.
Missouri’s Laws on Truck Accidents
Being aware of the specific laws in Missouri can be crucial for anybody involved in an accident. Some of the main things to know include:
- Fault-based system: Missouri operates on a fault-based system, meaning the party responsible for causing the accident is also liable for damages.
- Statute of limitations: In Missouri, there is a five-year limit from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. This is crucial to keep in mind to ensure timely legal action.
- Comparative fault: Missouri employs a ‘pure comparative fault’ rule. If you are found to be partially responsible for the accident, any compensation awarded will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of a truck accident in St. Louis, here’s a step-by-step approach to ensure that your safety and rights are protected.
- Ensure safety: The wellbeing of everybody involved should always be the top priority. If possible, move to a safe location, and seek medical attention for any injuries.
- Report the accident: Call the police and provide an accurate account of events. This report will be essential when seeking compensation or in legal proceedings with a vehicle accident lawyer.
- Gather evidence: Photos, witness testimonies, and any relevant details can be beneficial later, and may help strengthen your case if you employ a vehicle accident lawyer. It’s important to document the scene as much as you can, including getting photos of the road conditions, damage, and injuries. Gather witness contact information at the scene, if possible.
- Notify insurance: Contact your insurance provider to report the accident. You should do this as soon as possible.
Compensation and Recovery
When you’re involved in a truck accident, the aftermath can be physically, emotionally, and financially taxing. Understanding the nuances of compensation can alleviate some of the stress, ensuring that you are adequately compensated for your losses and can focus on your recovery.
The legal term ‘damages’ refers to the monetary compensation awarded to victims for injuries or loss. In truck accidents, there are different types of damages to consider:
These are tangible, out-of-pocket expenses that you can quantify.
- Medical expenses: This includes hospital bills, doctor visits, therapy sessions, prescription medications, and any future medical treatments related to the accident.
- Lost wages: If you are unable to work due to injuries, you can claim compensation for the money you would have earned during that time.
- Property damage: Compensation for repairs to your vehicle or the replacement value if its totaled.
- Rehabilitation costs: Some injuries require long-term physical therapy or rehabilitation to regain full function.
These are intangible and relate to the pain and suffering you undergo after an accident.
- Pain and suffering: This refers to the physical pain and emotional distress you may experience after an accident.
- Loss of enjoyment: If injuries from the accident hinder you from enjoying daily activities or hobbies, you can claim compensation.
- Emotional distress: Post-traumatic stress, anxiety, or depression resulting from the accident can qualify for compensation.
- Loss of consortium: This refers to the negative effects an accident might have on the relationship between you and your spouse.
These are less common and are awarded to punish the responsible party rather than compensate the victim. They come into play in cases where the defendant’s actions were exceptionally negligent or malicious.
Factors Influencing the Compensation Amount
- Severity of injuries: More severe injuries typically result in higher compensation.
- Long-term impact: Chronic injuries or disabilities that affect future earning potential can lead to more significant claims.
- Liability: The clearer it is that the other party was at fault, the stronger your claim.
Your truck accident lawyer will be able to help evaluate the worth of your claim and guide you through the legal process to seek just compensation.
Let Us Help You Get Compensation
Truck accidents can turn your world upside down. But with the right support by your side, you can focus on your recovery with peace of mind that your case is being handled with professionalism and commitment to justice.
At Monge & Associates, we’re here to guide you through the legal landscape after a truck accident, fighting for your rights every step of the way. With a proven track record and an unwavering commitment to our clients, we’re ready to be the ally you need.
We have offices in over 32 locations in 19 states, including Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, don’t go through the aftermath alone.
Contact us today for a free consultation on 800 421 0174 and let us fight for you.