Truck Accident Lawyer & Truck Accident Attorney St Louis
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The government has established a different set of “rules of the road” covering trucks, trucking companies, and truck driver training and conduct. Among other things:
- Commercial truck drivers are limited in the number of hours they can drive before they must rest. They are required to keep an accurate logbook that documents this and many other aspects of each trip.
- Trucks themselves have weight restrictions, road restrictions and maintenance requirements.
- Trucking companies are required to follow federal regulations in hiring, training, scheduling and maintenance. They must transport cargo safely, including proper containment of hazardous materials (HAZMAT regulations).
When these regulations are violated, everyone is at risk and commercial trucking accidents are much more likely to occur.
There are an estimated 500,000 truck accidents in the U.S. each year. Nearly 5,000 of these result in fatalities. The remainder often result in injuries of varying degrees. With three major interstates running through the Missouri-Illinois border in St. Louis — I-44, I-64 and I-70 — Missouri and Illinois see more than their fair share of trucking accidents. Unfortunately, many of these accidents are caused by the negligence of truck drivers or trucking companies.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The trucking industry involves many parties — drivers, owners, warehouses, and vehicle maintenance crews are just a few. Accidents are therefore susceptible to a variety of causes. The most common causes include:
Truck Driver Fatigue: Truck driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck accidents in Missouri and Illinois. Although laws are designed to limit truck driving activity, many drivers either disobey the law or engage in physical activity during the time they should be resting to drive.
Drunk Driving Accidents: A significant number of truck accidents are caused by the use of alcohol or drugs by the truck driver. Some truck drivers ignore the stringent laws against drunk driving or drug use, and their lawbreaking may lead to a catastrophic semi truck accident.
Brake Failure: Brake failure, tire blowouts, brake light failure or other dangerous conditions that go undetected because of the truck owner’s failure to properly inspect or maintain the vehicle. It should be noted that the truck rig and the truck trailer are often owned by different people, each of whom has a responsibility to properly maintain their part.
We understand how insurance companies work to limit your recovery after a tractor trailer accident. Insurance companies will immediately have people on the scene of an accident to gather evidence to limit their liability. The sooner you hire a lawyer to protect your interests, the sooner we can have our investigators working to build your case.
With more than 20 years of truck accident and personal injury experience, attorney Christopher Hoffmann understands the causes of truck accidents and the many factors that make truck accident claims so complex. He personally handles every truck accident case, including those involving:
- Faulty brakes and defective parts
- Commercial trucks colliding with vans or shuttle buses
- Bucket truck wrecks
- Fire truck accidents
- Pick-up truck accidents
- Tanker truck crashes
Who Was Really Responsible for the Accident?
In truck accident cases there could be multiple parties responsible for the accident. If you fail to include any of these parties in a lawsuit, you may lose your opportunity to secure the full financial recovery that you need. Attorney Chris Hoffmann thoroughly investigates every case in order to identify every potentially liable party, including:
- The truck driver
- Truck loaders
- The trucking company that hires or pays the driver
- The truck owner
- The trailer owner
- Truck manufacturers
- Truck and trailer maintenance personnel
For a more thorough explanation of how some of these parties could be involved in a trucking accident, please see causes of truck accidents.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in a serious truck accident in Missouri, you can call our office 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (314) 361-4242. We offer a free initial consultation in all personal injury cases and you never pay attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.