One out of every eight crashes in Missouri involves a truck or tractor trailer. Accidents involving these vehicles are almost always catastrophic because of their sheer size and weight in comparison to the traditional passenger vehicles. Often, people sustain very serious injuries or die in these crashes.
Truck accidents are not like other car accidents, and should not be treated as such. When you are involved in a trucking accident, you need a a competent Missouri truck accident attorney to assess the circumstances of your crash and determine what investigation needs to be undertaken. Truck accident investigation involves an in-depth evaluation of the regulations and the truck drivers’ violations of those regulations. Most of the time, a truck accident is caused by a violations of one or more of these laws. However, the true cause of a truck crash is not always apparent and is only revealed after a skilled truck accident lawyer demands the trucking company turn over internal documents.
Because trucking laws are so detailed, Missouri truck accident investigations require careful attention to whether the trucking company and its driver-operators have complied with all rules and regulations. For example, large truck companies are only required to preserve evidence for a short period of time. After this period has expired, this information can be lost forever. If you are involved in a large truck accident in Missouri, you need to work with an experienced Missouri truck accident attorney to ensure your case is properly handled and to make sure that immediate action is taken by someone working for your interests who has the experience to follow through.
When most people think of large trucks, they think of semis and tractor trailers, such as those manufactured by Freightliner, Kenworth, or Mack. However, large trucks can also be school buses, garbage trucks, delivery trucks, passenger and tour buses, medical transport vehicles, construction vehicles, and emergency service vehicles. In all of these cases, the little guy&mdash:even the one driving the full-size SUV&mdash:is at a distinct disadvantage.
Most large vehicles are operated for commercial purposes, such as delivery trucks and freight carriers. Because of their commercial nature, and because of the special dangers on our nation’s highways associated with the operation of these large trucks, the federal government has enacted special rules and regulations, called the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations, that govern how these large vehicles must operate. These Regulations control the interstate operation of commercial vehicles.
Interstate Federal Motor Carrier Regulations and Tractor Trailer Crashes
The regulations governing interstate transportation are extremely detailed, and address a broad spectrum of safety matters. For example, there are regulations governing the physical aspects of the vehicles themselves, such as how they must be maintained, what sort of braking systems and back-up braking systems must be installed and maintained, the mandatory installation of rear impact guards, how loads must be tied down, and special rules related to the carriage of hazardous materials.
Additionally, there are regulations that govern the operation of large commercial vehicles, such as licensing requirements for drivers, limits on hours of operation, when operators must submit to inspection, and when drivers are not permitted to operate vehicles. The federal government is constantly revising these regulations to keep current with new safety technologies and new concerns. For example, the regulations were recently modified to prohibit all truck drivers from texting while driving.
Intrastate Motor Carriers
Often, defense lawyers representing the trucking industry will argue the interstate regulations do not apply to intrastate motor carriers, or even interstate carriers who are on an intrastate delivery. This is wrong and unfortunately many lawyers who do not specialize in commercial truck cases fall for this false conclusion.
Unfortunately, some trucking companies do not follow these rules and regulations and do not require their drivers to follow these regulations. Both trucking company employers and their trucker employees can let the economic pressure of delivering loads quickly impel them to make poor judgments about when it is safe to operate their vehicles. All too often, the unfortunate result of this bad judgment is a deadly truck accident.
A review of Missouri personal injury lawsuits involving large commercial trucks reveals truckers operate far too frequently when drivers are fatigued or drive in excess of the limits permitted by law. Many times, truckers operate their vehicles without sufficient training or experience, overload their tractor trailers, or operate poorly maintained vehicles or without required safety equipment.
After a tractor trailer accident, you must ensure your lawyer has the experience and capability to fully investigate the crash. E. Ryan Bradley has personally handled numerous cases where the Highway Patrol determined the truck was not at fault. Further investigation by our lawyers, in conjunction with our experts, revealed numerous regulation violations, forcing the truck companies to pay settlements in excess of $1,000,000.00.
We will gladly provide you with more than one reference to past clients who were initially told the crash was not the truck driver’s fault. After our investigation, the truck companies paid 7 figure settlements.
The attorneys at E. Ryan Bradley know the trucking industry, the trucking laws, and trucking accidents inside and out. Our Missouri personal injury law firm handles complex truck accident cases and has recovered millions of dollars for victims.
At E. Ryan Bradley, we hold truck drivers and their employers responsible for carelessness and willful disregard for the safety of other Missouri drivers. When Missouri truck drivers and their employers break any of the many rules and regulations designed to make Missouri’s roadways safe, our attorneys will do everything in their power to ensure victims not only recover damages related to medical costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering, but, if necessary, punitive damages as well. Once bad trucking companies and their drivers know they will be held responsible for all damages they cause, it is our hope they will finally realize it is cheaper for them to do things the right way.
E. Ryan Bradley has recovered millions of dollars in settlements and awards in trucking accident cases for numerous clients. Contact E. Ryan Bradley today and speak to an experienced Missouri truck accident attorney about your case.