As a Missouri tractor-trailer accident attorney, I was interested to see an item announcing a lawsuit over a fatal trucking crash. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the wife and teenaged sons of Kyle Brown, of Lake St. Louis, are suing a truck driver for negligent driving and negligent securing of his load that allegedly led to Brown’s death. Brown, 40, was killed last December when logging equipment fell off the truck he was following on the Champ Clark Bridge in Louisiana, Mo. The load loss was triggered when the truck hit a guardrail on the westbound side of the two-lane bridge, knocking the equipment into the eastbound lane. The Brown family says trucker Kenneth Davis of Pleasant Hill, Ill., failed to adequately secure the equipment; was driving too fast; drifted from his lane; and failed to keep a proper lookout.
The Champ Clark Bridge spans the Mississippi River, allowing Highway 54 drivers to travel between Illinois and Missouri. According to articles from the time of the incident, Davis was carrying a piece of equipment called a skid loader, which is considered a wide load, across the two-lane bridge. He reportedly tried to move over for an eastbound car and went too far to the side, hitting the guardrail with the skid loader. This snapped the chains holding the equipment onto the semi truck, dumping it into the oncoming traffic lane. Brown, who was heading to work at a plant nursery in Louisiana, Mo., struck the skid loader and died at the scene. Davis was ticketed for improper lane use because he left his lane; the Post-Dispatch story at the time reported that he could also be charged for using too wide a vehicle on the narrow bridge.
News reports say the Brown family is suing only Davis, alleging he was responsible for securing his load properly. As a St. Louis semi truck accident lawyer, I wonder whether his employer — who was not named in the stories — could also share responsibility. Of course, drivers are responsible for their own decisions on the road, but those decisions are rarely made without input from their employers. For example, a driver who is pressured by the trucking company to make an impossible shipping deadline might take a too-narrow bridge because it’s faster, or choose to drive under other unsafe conditions like a bad snowstorm. Trucking companies can also make cost-cutting decisions that result in inadequate or missing safety equipment, which can trigger an accident or make accidents worse. That’s why it’s vital to do a full investigation into the circumstances of the crash, so that each party that bears some blame can be held responsible.
At Carey, Danis & Lowe, we focus our practice on semi truck accidents because we understand just how devastating they can be. Accidents with large trucks aren’t like crashes with passenger cars and trucks; because the commercial trucks are so much heavier, they can do significant damage even in a relatively minor accident. As a result, a crash that victims might otherwise have walked away from can be catastrophic when the other vehicle is a big rig. To make matters worse, trucking companies are frequently aggressive in the way they treat accident victims, hoping to minimize their financial costs by misleading shocked or grieving people into signing away their legal rights. Our southern Illinois 18-wheeler accident attorneys are just as aggressive in defending our clients’ rights, when necessary, from this kind of overreaching. We help get clients full compensation for their losses, including money to cover all past and future medical bills, funeral costs, loss of a loved one and more.
Carey, Danis & Lowe offers free, confidential consultations, so you can tell us your story and learn more about your rights at no further risk to you. To set one up, call us today at 1-877-678-3400 or send us a message through our website.
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