Learn about the steps to take after a Missouri truck accident, the claim process, and the importance of hiring a St. Louis truck accident lawyer.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Missouri, you may wonder how to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on Missouri truck accident claims, including what they are, common causes of truck accidents in Missouri, steps to take after an accident, the claim process, damages available, and why it is crucial to hire a St. Louis truck accident lawyer to help with your claim.
A Missouri truck accident claim is a legal action taken by an individual who has been involved in an accident with a commercial truck in Missouri. Truck accidents can result in severe injuries and damages, and Missouri law allows victims to seek compensation for their losses. However, the process can be complex, and it is crucial to understand the legal system and have proper legal representation to navigate it successfully. In the following sections, we will provide you with the information you need to know about Missouri truck accident claims.
Causes of Missouri Truck Accidents
Various factors, including driver error, equipment failure, and poor road conditions, can cause truck accidents. In Missouri, some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
Distracted driving: Truck drivers who are texting, eating, or engaging in other distractions are more likely to cause an accident.
Speeding: When truck drivers exceed the speed limit, they may be unable to stop in time to avoid a collision.
Fatigue: Long hours on the road can lead to fatigue, impairing a driver’s ability to react to changing road conditions.
Improper maintenance: Trucks require regular maintenance to ensure their brakes, tires, and other equipment are in good working condition. When maintenance is neglected, equipment failure can lead to an accident.
Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo: Trucks carrying too much weight or improperly loaded cargo can be more difficult to control and more likely to tip over.
According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, there were 8,204 truck accidents in Missouri in 2020, resulting in 142 fatalities and 3,377 injuries. These statistics highlight the seriousness of truck accidents and the need to take action to prevent them.
In a Missouri truck accident claim, it is crucial to prove liability. This means demonstrating that the truck driver or another party was responsible for the accident. Liability can be established through evidence such as witness statements, police reports, and data from the truck’s black box. The importance of proving liability cannot be overstated, as it is necessary to obtain compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A St. Louis truck accident lawyer can help gather evidence and build a strong case for liability.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident in Missouri
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Missouri, it is important to take the following steps:
Stay at the accident scene: If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location and turn on hazard lights to warn other drivers. Do not leave the scene of the accident.
Call 911: Even if no one appears injured, reporting the accident to the authorities is crucial. The police can file a report and gather information from all parties involved.
Gather evidence: Take photos of the accident scene, including the vehicles involved, damage, and visible injuries. Get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident.
Seek medical attention: Even if you do not feel injured, it is important to get a medical evaluation as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent.
Report the accident to your insurance company: Call your insurance company to report the accident and provide them with the details of what happened. However, do not admit fault or agree to a settlement without consulting a lawyer.
It is important to take these steps as soon as possible after a truck accident, as evidence can quickly disappear, and the statute of limitations for filing a claim in Missouri is five years. A St. Louis truck accident lawyer can help you navigate the process and protect your rights.
Missouri Truck Accident Claim Process
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Missouri, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. The process typically involves the following steps:
Filing a claim with the insurance company: Your attorney will need to contact the at-fault party’s insurance company and provide them with the details of the accident. They will conduct an investigation and may offer you a settlement. It is important to consult with a St. Louis truck accident lawyer before accepting any settlement offer.
Hiring a St. Louis truck accident lawyer: An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process and protect your rights. They can also help you gather evidence and negotiate with insurance adjusters.
Negotiating with insurance adjusters: Insurance adjusters may try to offer you a low settlement or deny your claim altogether. A lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement covering all of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Filing a lawsuit: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, your lawyer may recommend filing a lawsuit. This may involve going to court and presenting evidence to a judge or jury.
It is important to note that the Missouri statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is five years from the accident date. Failing to file within this period can result in losing your right to seek compensation. Therefore, consulting with a lawyer as soon as possible after a truck accident is important. A St. Louis truck accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Damages Available in a Missouri Truck Accident Claim
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Missouri, you may be eligible to seek compensation for various damages. Damages can be divided into three main categories:
Economic damages: These are damages that have a clear monetary value, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Economic damages are typically easier to calculate as they are based on actual financial losses.
Non-economic damages: These are damages that do not have a clear monetary value, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages can be more challenging to calculate as they are based on subjective factors.
Punitive damages: These are damages that are intended to punish the at-fault party for their actions. Punitive damages are typically only awarded in cases where the at-fault party acted with gross negligence or intentional harm.
In Missouri, there is no cap on economic or non-economic damages in personal injury cases. However, punitive damages are limited to a maximum of five times the net amount of damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.
Working with a St. Louis truck accident lawyer is important to ensure that all of your damages are properly documented and accounted for. An experienced lawyer can help you calculate your damages and work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Why Speak With a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Truck accident claims can be complex and involve multiple parties, including trucking companies, insurance companies, and government entities. It is important to work with a St. Louis truck accident lawyer who has experience handling these types of cases. Here are some of the reasons why:
Legal complexities: Truck accident claims can involve complex legal and technical issues, including federal and state regulations, accident reconstruction, and multiple insurance policies. A lawyer can help you navigate these complexities and protect your rights.
Benefits of hiring a lawyer: An experienced lawyer can help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and represent you in court if necessary. They can also work to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible for your injuries and damages.
Role of a lawyer in the claim process: A lawyer can handle all aspects of your claim, including filing paperwork, communicating with insurance companies and other parties, and representing you in court if necessary. They can also help you understand your legal options and guide you throughout the process.
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Missouri, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Truck accident claims can be complex and involve multiple parties, and an experienced St. Louis truck accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.
Remember, the steps you take after a truck accident can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. It is important to gather evidence, seek medical attention, and report the accident to the authorities. Additionally, filing a claim with the insurance company and hiring a lawyer can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
St. Louis Truck Accident Attorney
The St. Louis truck accident attorneys at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann can help you hold the responsible party accountable and seek the full amount of compensation you are entitled to. Give us a call today for a FREE case evaluation.