Missouri is a fault state when motor vehicle accidents occur. This means whomever is at fault for causing the collision is required to pay for all losses and damages that victims of the crash experienced. While all accidents can cause serious injuries and result in accident claims, truck accidents are especially likely to cause victims to be hurt or even killed. This is because trucks are much larger than passenger cars and significantly outweigh passenger vehicles.
Since those at fault for a truck collision are responsible for compensating injured victims, it is necessary to determine who is to blame after any accident with a commercial motor vehicle. A St. Louis truck accident lawyer at Carey, Danis & Lowe can help victims of truck accidents to determine who is at fault and to take legal action.
Determining Fault in Truck Accident Claims
In many truck accidents in St. Louis, it is the trucker driving the commercial motor vehicle who is to blame for causing the collision. Drivers can make careless decisions or dangerous mistakes including:
- Driving while drowsy
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or by legal or illegal drugs
- Speeding or driving too fast for the current conditions on the road
- Driving while distracted by electronic devices, maps, in-vehicle controls or other distractions
- Tailgating or aggressive driving behavior
In any situation where a truck driver is unreasonably careless and operates the vehicle in a way that no reasonable trucker would, that driver can be held legally responsible for a resulting accident.
Truckers may also be at fault for collisions in cases where the driver violates safety rules. Truckers are expected to obey state laws, including speed limit laws and right-of-way rules. Truck drivers also must obey safety regulations set on the federal level by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These regulations limit the number of hours truckers can drive before taking a break; and impose requirements regarding truck maintenance and loading of tractor trailers and other commercial motor vehicles.
If a trucker has violated the safety regulations on the federal or state level, this creates a presumption that he is negligent or unreasonably careless. Victims of any resulting collision do not have to prove negligence to obtain compensation, but can simply show that the driver’s violation of the safety laws was the direct cause of the wreck.
Other Defendants in Truck Accidents in St. Louis
In addition to the truck driver, there may be others who are at fault in truck accidents as well. For example, the victim of a collision could pursue a claim for damage against the manufacturer of a truck that had defective parts if the vehicle defect caused the crash. In many cases, trucking companies that employ drivers are also considered at fault for the accident either because of the company’s substandard safety policies or because the company is responsible for the actions of employees on-the-job.
An experienced St. Louis truck accident attorney can help those who have been injured in a collision to take legal action against those at fault for the truck accident. Call Carey Danis & Lowe today to speak with a member of our legal team and learn how we can help with your truck accident case.