In 2016, 114 fatal truck accidents (involving semi-trucks, also known as 18-wheelers or big rigs) occurred across the state of Missouri, accounting for nearly 3 percent of the 3,864 fatal truck accidents that occurred across the US that same year. Severe injury, heavy property damage, permanent disability and multiple deaths are a few of the many devastating consequences of a truck accident, and these serious consequences mean that damages tend to run high.
Because of this, trucking companies will staunchly defend themselves to make sure that they do not have to pay you for their negligence. At Wagstaff & Cartmell, our team is dedicated to making sure that you recover full compensation in any truck accident case you have been involved in, while also holding truck companies accountable for their actions.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or suffered a wrongful death due to a truck accident, our experienced attorneys are here to help. We believe in helping you by building your case, fighting for your rights, and seeing that you are justly compensated for your medical expenses, as well as any additional damages that may have been incurred as a result of a truck accident.
Causes and Risks of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are usually much more serious than the average car accident due to the truck’s massive size and weight. An average semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds—about 20 times heavier than an average car—making semi-trucks generally take longer to stop. Trucks that carry hazardous materials, like gasoline, pose an even greater risk of injury in the case of an accident.
Other factors—like road hazards and distracted driving—can also contribute to semi-truck accidents. When truck drivers are forced to work through the night, or work for long periods of time without breaks, they can become fatigued and less alert to dangers on the road. Common causes of traffic accidents include speeding, malfunctions, distracted or exhausted driving, weather conditions, unstable cargo and poor roads.
Kansas City, MO Truck Accident Statistics
- In 2016, truck accident-related deaths increased 8 percent across the state of Missouri compared to 2015 (up from 105 fatalities in 2015 to 114 fatalities in 2016).
- Between 2014 and 2016, there were 363 fatalities involving trucks or other commercial motor vehicles across the state of Missouri. This accounted for nearly 3 percent of all truck accident-related fatalities (13,098) across the country during this time.
- Of the approximately 475,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks across the country in 2016, there were 3,864 (0.8 percent) fatal crashes and 104,000 (22 percent) injury crashes. The majority of these truck-related crashes (62 percent) involved two or more vehicles.
- Three of the most common causes of truck accidents are distracted driving, speeding, and poor weather/road conditions.
What Makes Truck Accidents Different?
Trucking accident cases are unique in the sense that large semi-trucks differ from other vehicles in significant ways; for example, semi-trucks are prone to jackknifing, which usually occurs when the truck is forced to make a sudden brake or turn. If a truck-driver brakes suddenly on a slippery road, or turns suddenly to avoid hitting another vehicle, the truck driver may not be entirely at fault because in many cases, conditions that require sudden braking or turning are unforeseeable.
Semi-trucks also tend to have trouble turning, and some truck drivers will use two lanes in order to make a right turn. Sometimes the truck driver will be held responsible for an accident if he or she was trying to turn from an inside lane or trying to make a turn while taking up two lanes.
Another difference between a truck accident and an accident between two cars is the presence of a third party—the trucking company itself. Because truck drivers often answer to a trucking or shipping company, the company may be held responsible for the accident rather than the individual driver.
How We Can Help
If the truck driver or another party connected to the driver is found to be at fault for an accident, then that party may be legally required to compensate the plaintiff for damages caused by the accident. This may include compensation for medical bills related to injuries sustained in the accident, lost wages for any time taken off work for recovery, as well as pain and suffering damages. In a fatal accident, the victim’s family may be entitled to recover damages on behalf of the deceased.
When an accident of any kind occurs, it is critical to take appropriate action as soon as possible. Above anything else, ensuring the safety of all involved parties should be a priority, followed by gathering the names and contact information of all involved parties, as well as any eyewitnesses. No matter who is at fault in an accident, it is important to know your rights and ensure that each negligent party is held accountable for their actions.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Over years of representing truck accident plaintiffs, we have come to know how traumatic a truck accident can be for a victim and their family. When you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, retaining an experienced truck accident attorney is highly recommended before making any kind of statement or settlement. Wagstaff & Cartmell is dedicated to putting in the legwork with the courts and insurance providers so that you can focus on what’s important—rest, recovery and peace of mind.
At Wagstaff & Cartmell, our success is defined by representing and winning cases on behalf of our clients. Contact us for a free case evaluation, and to learn more about seeking compensation for your truck accident claim today.