TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER ST. LOUIS
18 wheeler semi-Trucks accidents can be horrific. When 80,000 pounds of steel slams into a car the consequences can be deadly. If you’ve been injured in a semi-truck accident or someone you know has been injured or killed, we can help.
Do You Need A Truck Accident Attorney?
With its ideal location, St. Louis and the entire state of Missouri is a central trafficking hub for commercial semi-trucks and the cargo they carry. Millions of 18-wheelers travel the Missouri roads each and every year, and many will pass through the St. Louis area highways. St. Louis is also a major logistical hub for many big retailers or industrial companies. The result is a high volume of 18-wheelers traveling the St. Louis roads on any given day and the potential for anyone to be involved in an accident with one of those semi-trucks.
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, there are 7 to 8 thousand 18-wheeler semi-truck accidents each year in Missouri, and about 20% of those accidents will have injuries. And, unfortunately, about 1.5% of those accidents will result in a fatality. So if you are one of the unfortunate ones and have recently been in a truck-related accident, or someone you know was in an 18 wheeler semi-truck accident, you might be trying to figure out what to do next. If so, you’ve landed in the right place. The Personal Injury Lawyer Center provides, St. Louis area residents and residents across Missouri, best in class legal representation for personal injuries resulting from 18-wheeler semi-truck accidents. If there were injuries in the accident and you were not at fault, you may be entitled to a personal injury settlement.
But what do you do next? How do you begin to think about the next best step in this complicated legal process? The easy thing to do is to pick up the phone right now or fill out a contact form to discuss your case with the truck accident lawyers at the Personal Injury Lawyer Center. We can help you today by answering any questions related to your case and our process. We will then schedule a time to discuss your case in greater detail. But feel free to continue reading if you’re looking to gather as much information before talking with us directly.
Fact: Each Year There Are Appromixately 8,000 18 weeler truck-related accidents in Missouri
Our Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help You Now
When clients come to us for legal representation in their truck accident injury cases they are usually trying to find out what options are available to them. Most people will go an entire lifetime without being involved or injured in a truck accident. However, for the unlucky ones, the entire event can put them in unfamiliar territory. Don’t worry, there is help available to you today. In fact, there are hundreds of track accident injury attorneys in and around the St. Louis area. All would be very happy to discuss your case and the truck wreck with you and provide you with a free evaluation. And truth be told, you will find some of the St. Louis truck crash injury attorneys to be very helpful and qualified. However, it can be very difficult for you to decide which truck crash lawyer is right for you and your circumstances. Just a quick glance at a few semi-truck accident lawyers in the St. Louis area, you’ll notice a similarity with the value proposition across most of these lawyers. They promise big crash injury settlement dollars, which are meant to put dollar signs in your eyes with hopes of getting you to sign with them. And this tactic works generally speaking. That’s because who doesn’t like the idea of a big truck accident settlement? What they won’t tell you is that there are no guarantees when it comes to 18 wheeler crash settlements, and the process can be painstaking in itself. Your case might settle quickly or it may take months or even years before you see any reward. Furthermore, the amount of your truck accident settlement will depend on several factors in your case.
At the Personal Injury Lawyer Center, we don’t and won’t make any guarantees upfront about the amount of your truck accident settlement. We will, however, guarantee our full commitment to getting you a successful outcome as fast as possible. We will do this without taking any legal fees from you upfront. Like most other personal injury firms, we have a contingency-based fee structure, which means we won’t get paid until you receive your reward. Typically this is % of your settlement that can range between 30% and 40%, depending on the circumstances of your case. We also don’t publish the settlement numbers from our previous clients. That’s because we strongly believe in client privacy, and because it can be considered unethical in some legal circles.
So as you begin to navigate the waters and look to interview and ultimately hire a St. Louis truck accident injury lawyer, don’t just follow the money. Keep in mind our truck accident lawyers are more than capable and experienced in the areas of truck-accident injury cases. Here are some of the key reasons why our clients typically choose the Personal Injury Lawyer Center for their 18 wheeler truck accident injury cases:
- Personal Attention – If you want to be treated as an individual and get direct access to your truck accident injury attorney, then we are the law firm for you. At other larger personal injury lawyers in St. Louis, you won’t get the personal attention you will get at the Personal Injury Lawyer Center. We limit the number of cases we take on at any given time so that we can provide our current clients with the best client experience possible. Many truck accident lawyers in St. Louis will spend 80% of their time signing up new clients and 20% on managing the cases they sign up. They will typically have paralegals handle the work once the case is signed up. With the Personal Injury Lawyer Center, you will have direct 24/7 access to your dedicated truck accident lawyer. So if you have questions or concerns you will be able to pick up the phone anytime and call them directly.
- Impartial Objectivity – After you’re involved in a truck accident you can be somewhat emotional about the whole experience. Sometimes we see clients who are angry about their circumstances, and some can be happy about the possibility of a settlement. Both are natural given the fact that you’ve just been hit by an 80,000-pound truck. Our job as your truck accident lawyer is to take some of that emotion out of the equation so that we are just dealing with the facts of your case. That’s why we emphasize our ability to be objective throughout the entire process. It’s crucial for you to have that stable advice when dealing with the insurance companies and the other parties lawyers. In most cases, the facts are enough to justify the healthy settlement that repays you for your pain and suffering, both physically and emotionally.
- Access To Resources – We service a wide diverse set of clients from all over St. Louis. Many of our clients are just hardworking people who are just getting by each week from paycheck to paycheck. Then all of a sudden they are thrown into a traumatic truck accident that has caused them a substantial amount of pain, suffering, and inconvenience. It can also hit people hard who are struggling already. Which is why we built a strong network of resources from which our clients can tap into. When you hire us you will have access to a highly qualified truck accident injury attorney, as well as doctors, lawyers, chiropractors, counselors, etc.
- Research & Discovery – The evidence discovery process is a critical component of any legal case, and truck accident injury cases are no exception. We do an exhaustive search for documentation that can support your claims. That includes medical records, police accident reports, and any witness statements from the scene. We will also search for photo or video evidence that was taken at the scene. When an 18 wheeler truck is in an accident it can be a major ordeal that’s covered by the news. Many times there are aerial videos of the scene which can be valuable in your case. Once we get all the documentation we provide you with our initial recommendations on how to proceed with your case.
- Knowledge – When you need a knee replacement you don’t go to a heart surgeon, right? So when you’re looking for a lawyer to help you with your truck accident injury case, it’s crucial you work with a personal injury firm who knows personal injury law. You will find that we bring a wealth of legal knowledge to the table But you would be surprised at how many lawyers don’t know personal injury law. Over the past several years there have been some significant changes to personal injury law in Missouri. The personal injury lawyers at the Personal Injury Lawyer Center are well versed in these new laws as well as the long-standing laws that govern truck accident injury cases.
- Excellent Negotiation Skills – They say “Don’t go bring a knife to a gunfight.”, and that can’t ring true when it comes to personal injury cases. When it comes time to negotiate your award you will want a lawyer who has done his homework and is prepared to go to battle for you. When we go to negotiate on your behalf we hold no prisoners. The insurance companies are looking out for one thing – their bottom line. And they can be ruthless if it means they don’t have to pay you the money you deserve. On the other hand, we can also adapt to the circumstances, and in cases where we may not have as much leverage, we can take a softer approach if necessary. Our ability to negotiate great outcomes for our clients is what sets us apart from the rest of the truck accident injury lawyers in St. Louis.
- Strong Litigators – If we agree on a truck accident injury settlement agreement with the insurance companies it’s likely we will take your case to trial. 95 % of personal injury cases will end up settling out of court, so if you happen to be in that 95% you want a truck accident injury attorney who is capable of litigating your case. Our attorneys have years of experience of successfully litigating semi-truck injury cases.
St. Louis Truck Accident Lawyer On Your Side
18 wheeler truck accidents are unique from other automative accidents because more often than not you’re dealing with a commercial entity who owns the sem-truck. Typically these commercial entities are well insured and they have dedicated legal staff that handles any legal problems. So when you end up getting injured because of the negligence of one of their drivers it can be a big problem for them financially. Just a few years ago Tracy Morgan, a famous comedian, was involved in a very serious accident with a Walmart semi-truck. One of the passengers in his vehicle was killed and Tracy was seriously injured. The driver of the semi-truck had been driving for over 24 hours straight and as a result, slammed into the back of Tracy’s vehicle. Ultimately, Walmart settled out of court for $90 million and then ended up settling with the insurance company. The point here is that in these types of circumstances the insurance companies will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying out money they owe to the injured party. In this case, Walmart did the right thing and paid Tracy for his pain, suffering and lost income, while the insurance company dragged their feet. Ultimately Walmart had to sue their own insurance company for the money. So although your case may not be for $90 million, you can bet the insurance company will not part ways with their money very easily. So by hiring us as your truck accident injury lawyer, you immediately put them on notice that you mean business. Here are some things to keep in mind when talking with the insurance people after your truck crash:
- The insurance companies are not on your side and that includes your insurance company. They are always looking out for their own bottom lines.
- DO NOT agree to provide a recorded statement to the insurance companies before you’ve spoken with one of our truck accident lawyers.
- If they ask you who was at fault for the accident, just decline to answer the question. The easy thing to say is “I would prefer to speak with an attorney before answering that question.” If you want to say something you can say “I believe I was not at fault for the accident.”
- DO NOT allow the insurance companies to refer you to their doctors or specialists for dealing with your injuries.
- If you have other people in the vehicle like family members, advise them that they should do the same and avoid providing witness statements to the insurance companies. They may have their own legal claims, so they should discuss their circumstances with a truck accident attorney themselves.
Things get much easier once you’ve hired us as your 18 wheeler semi-truck accident injury lawyer. We will immediately call the insurance companies and let them know you’ve retained legal counsel. At that point, they won’t contact you directly. So call us today and get the representation you need for your truck accident injury case.
18-Wheeler Truck Crash Attorney You Can Trust
Thankfully, most people have never hired a personal injury lawyer before, especially one that specializes in 18-wheeler semi-truck accidents. So when you’re required to hire a semi-truck crash attorney for the first time you really have no idea who to trust. And let’s be honest, personal injury lawyers have questionable reputations anyway. That’s why at the Personal Injury Lawyer Center we work hard to separate ourselves from other firms by establishing a core set of principles within our practice. We want to be the best 18 wheeler accident lawyers in St. Louis, and we want to give our clients the best advice so that they get the best outcomes from their cases. We achieve this by maintaining a high standard with the following areas of our practice:
Skills & Expertise – You want a lawyer who knows what he’s talking about, which is why our attorneys maintain a high level of knowledge about the law. Our firm is extremely knowledgeable about Missouri personal injury law and Missouri traffic laws. We are also bringing a wealth of experience to the table with 18-wheeler semi-truck injury cases. But what’s sets us apart is our ability to learn the specifics of your case and dissect everything about how your 18 wheeler truck accident occurred. We will do a thorough crash analysis and then apply both personal injury law with traffic law to create a case strategy that’s hard to defend.
Integrity – Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, especially when you’re dealing with an adversary who will do what it takes to win. So while we believe winning is important, we won’t compromise our principles or ethics while doing so. But be careful because there are plenty of truck accident lawyers in St. Louis who will gladly bend the rules in order to win and they can be effective at times. But you have to ask yourself what are willing to do to you if given the opportunity to make a few extra bucks. For years, lawyers had a mindset that clients need them more than they need clients. That caused people to have a negative view of the entire experience with legal representation. That’s changed in recent years with the advent of the internet and the increase in competition in the legal industry. We understand this at the Personal Injury Lawyer Center and that’s why we are client-centric in all of our cases. We focus on providing a good client experience from start to finish and a big part of that is being honest with our clients. In Missouri, we take an oath when we are licensed to practice. Here’s the oath:
“I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Missouri; That I will maintain the respect due courts of justice, judicial officers and members of my profession and will at all times conduct myself with dignity becoming of an officer of the court in which I appear; That I will never seek to mislead the judge or jury by any artifice or false statement of fact or law; That I will at all times conduct myself in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct; and, That I will practice law to the best of my knowledge and ability and with consideration for the defenseless and oppressed. So help me God.“
- 24/7 Access – We believe that having direct access to your 18 wheeler truck accident attorney. During the course of your case, you will have the opportunity to ask questions, Availability is an important aspect of building a trustworthy and personal relationship with your personal injury lawyer. We strive to create a one on one relationship between you the client and truck accident injury lawyer who is handling your case. With other personal injury firms you will sometimes meet with an attorney initially but then be handed off to a paralegal, and end up having very little communication with the lawyer assigned to your case. These are typically high volume personal injury firms that are focused on generating volume. Typically these lawyers are constantly looking for and opening new cases while their paralegals are working the cases they open. This allows them to stack cases up and the result is that you end up waiting unnecessarily. These lawyers will avoid you and push you off until they are ready to work your case. We recommend staying away from these firms because they tend to accept a lower settlement amount for your injuries. We are not a churn and burn firm, which means we may not take on as many cases in the hopes of providing higher service levels to our clients.
- Transparency – This is a stressful time for you and we understand that which is why we strive to be as open and honest with you throughout the process. Some motorcycle accident attorneys will avoid delivering bad news to their clients and hope for the best. We think that’s a mistake in most cases. We want you to be as up-to-date about what’s happening in your case each day. We set realistic expectations from the start and then we work extremely hard to meet those expectations. We won’t make any promises and we suggest you avoid St. Louis truck accident injury attorneys who are willing to make you promises about your truck accident settlement. Yes, some the cases are open and shut cases, but for the most part, maximizing your truck injury settlement will require hard work on our part(and patience on your part), and that’s what we are willing to promise our clients.
- Compassion & Empathy – 18 wheeler semi-truck accidents are usually very traumatic events for everyone involved, especially the fatal ones. When you are injured in an 18 wheeler semi-truck crash it will affect you both physically and mentally for months if not years. Not only that, the months that supersede the accident can be very stressful for you and your family. You may have to miss work for weeks or months, you might be put on short or long term disability, and you might be without transportation. You might also be dealing with financial difficulties due to missing work from your injuries. Which is why we strive to be truck accident injury lawyers who care about our clients; and believe us when we say that not all St. Louis 18 wheeler semi-truck accident injury lawyers care about their clients that way.
- Confidentiality – If you have a strong 18 wheeler truck accident injury case, where you clearly had zero responsibility in the accident, you likely have your pick of any truck accident lawyers in St. Louis. If you’re like other clients you will gravitate to firms who are showing up on your TV screen claiming they’ve won trillions of dollars for their other clients. We at the Personal Injury Lawyer Center don’t do that and there is a reason why. We value your privacy and will maintain total confidentiality for you before, during, and after the case. Don’t be fooled by these big claims that other firms make. For one there isn’t a way for you to verify that information as true, and the fact is that just because a personal injury lawyer is able to get a big settlement doesn’t mean he was able to maximize the settlement. Don’t get us wrong we are 100% focused on maximizing your financial outcomes because that’s what we are here to do.
Federal Motor Carrier Laws & Rules
Truck drivers and trucking companies all across the country are bound by specific laws and rules that are aimed at maintaining a high level of highway safety. There are also license and training requirements/rules that are not always followed 100% of the time. It’s not uncommon for an 18 wheeler truck accident injury lawyer to uncover noncompliance with these rules when investigating a crash injury claim. Surprisingly, the law doesn’t mandate driver training for 18 wheeler semi-truck drivers.
Limit Driving Hours
Commercial drivers are limited to 14 hours of duty and 11 hours of duty in a 24 hour day.
Drivers are restricted from driving more than 34 hours in a 7 day work week.
Maintain Log Books
Drivers must maintain current and accurate logbooks regarding their driving times.
Licensing & Training
The law requires a state-issued CDL to drive an 18 wheeler semi-truck.
What should I do right after an 18 wheeler truck accident?
If you’re injured you should get to the hospital immediately to receive medical treatment. It’s in your best interest to call an attorney right away and let them know you’ve been involved in an accident. In some cases, you may hire an attorney right away and have that attorney go to the scene to retrieve as much evidence while the scene is still intact and witnesses are still on scene. If you’re not rushed to the hospital right away, you might consider gathering your own information while at the scene. This can include photos or videos, witness statements or recordings, and any statements from the other drivers or passengers. One thing you want to avoid at all costs is providing any statements of fault to the other driver, to the police, or to anyone else for that matter. If they ask you if you were speeding, don’t answer. If they ask you if you were on the phone or texting, don’t answer. Just provide a brief statement to the police officer that generally explains how the other driver hit your car. Missouri law requires that you provide your license, insurance, and contact information. If you’re asked for anything else, you have the right to decline until you have retained a St. Louis car accident lawyer.
If you’re seriously hurt as a result of the accident you should go to the hospital for evaluation and treatment. Even if you incurred minor injuries like a sore neck, you should go ahead and go to the hospital. One big mistake people often make is underplaying the extent of the pain at the scene, especially men. What people don’t realize is that it’s crucial to connect your injuries to the 18-wheeler semi-truck accident event. Even the best tractor-trailer truck injury lawyer can struggle to prove that injuries were caused by the semi-truck drivers negligence if you wait 2 months to get diagnosed. But better late than never, so if you’re now exploring your options because of on-going pain caused by the semi-truck crash don’t wait any longer. Call us today and we can get you seen by our trusted network of doctors and specialists.
So the most crucial step you will make after you’ve gone home from the hospital will be to find yourself a qualified 18 wheeler tractor truck wreck attorney. So if you are someone who was recently injured in an 18 wheeler accident and you believe the other party was at fault, call the Personal Injury Lawyer Center of Missouri to speak with one of our semi-truck accident injury lawyers. We are located in St. Louis, and handle mostly St. Louis truck accident injury claims, but will gladly help you if your accident occurred on Missouri roads.
What information should I get when I’m in a 18 wheeler semi truck accident?
If you’re not rushed away to the hospital immediately after your accident you might be wondering what information you should gather at the scene. Or you could be a family member who is acting on behalf of someone else who was injured during the 18 wheeler tractor-trailer accident. Here are some of the key items you could attempt to gather:
- In semi-truck accidents, the driver of the truck is typically held to a very high standard because he’s a professional driver. So the first thing you want to do is make sure the police are called to the scene and that the driver is not intoxicated, that he has a commercial drivers license, and that his log files are all in order.
- Write down the license plate number as well as the DOT number which is on the side of the door, and on the trailer.
- If there are witnesses at the scene, write down their names, phone numbers, and address information. If they give you statements, write them down and have them sign and date them. If you have a cell phone go ahead and take the photos of their picture id’s and take recorded statements from them.
- Pictures of the scene are extremely valuable so try to get as many photos of the vehicles as they lay in their final resting place. Try to take photos of the surrounding areas as well. Photos of the tractor-trailers tires and any tire marks on the road can be very useful in your case.
How do I deal with minor or major semi-truck accident injuries?
You’re driving to work one day and all of sudden someone rear-ends your car going 30 MPH. If you’re unlucky you suffer whiplash and unknown back injuries as well as face abrasions from the air-bag. If you’re lucky you just sprain a wrist and jammed a finger. Regardless, in both of these situations, you will want to get medical attention at the scene. Your insurance company or the other parties insurance company would prefer you not get medical attention because it will strengthen their position in a car injury settlement.
The insurance companies will always question your decisions when it comes to whether you go get medical treatment right after or you wait for weeks or months after the car accident. We advise you to go to the ER to get evaluated by a doctor. If that doctor doesn’t do extensive tests like x-rays or MRI’s you will want to get a referral to a specialist so you can get those done as soon as you are discharged from the ER. The insurance companies will have their own doctors on staff that will question why you didn’t get your injuries checked by a doctor quickly. Remember the insurance companies are not on your side, so you should avoid going to doctors they refer you to.
Lastly, if you don’t have your own medical insurance and will be required to pay out of pocket you have options to get some help. You could ask the medical provider or specialist to see you and set up a payment plan with them. You could also ask them to cover the cost until you get your car accident settlement. If we decide to take your case and you have not been seen by a medical specialist, we can help you by referring you to one of the doctors in our network.
What are the most common causes of semi-truck crashes
At the Personal Injury Lawyer Center, we have seen a variety of accidents that involved tractor-trailers. Here are some of the more common accidents we handle:
- Driver Fatigue – Semi-truck drivers make their money by driving. The more they drive the more money they make, which is why it’s not uncommon for them to break the law and drive beyond the max hours/day. The result is drivers becoming tired or falling asleep at the wheel. When this happens it’s a recipe for disaster more often than not. A good semi-truck accident attorney will investigate whether the driver of the 18 wheeler was following the federal guidelines.
- Distracted Drivers – “Don’t Text and Drive” is something we all have to adhere to these days. When you’re texting or even talking on your phone you are not 100% focused on the road. Unfortunately, texting and driving is still a major problem in today’s roads and semi-truck drivers are no exception. In order to tell whether the driver was texting or talking at the time of the accident, we will request their cell phone records.
- Jackknife Accidents – Jackknifes often occur because the driver has to slam on his breaks abruptly. This can sometimes indicate that the semi-truck was going to fast. These accidents can create a series of accidents on the road as others attempt to avoid the trailer as it swings violently along the road.
- Overloaded or Overweight Truck – Again, drivers and trucking companies will sometimes push the limits on federal weight restrictions because it’s financially beneficial.
- Blown Tires – If you spend a decent amount of time on the highways you have probably seen an 18 wheeler semi-truck blow a tire. It can be a pretty violent event and typically it doesn’t cause an accident. However, there are instances of the tire blowing up and the shredded pieces flying into other cars, which then causes accidents.
- Speeding & Reckless Driving – Drivers of commercial vehicles are supposed to be held to a higher standard when it comes to driving on the roads. They are supposed to drive in a prudent and careful manner putting the safety of other drivers first and foremost. However, there are negligent drivers who are not careful and they engage in reckless driving. When this causes an accident they should be held responsible and the companies that hired them should be held responsible.
How do I deal with the insurance companies after an accident?
This is a great question that so many people ask us after it’s too late. Insurance companies are not on your side when there is a semi-truck accident, especially the insurance company of the other driver. That’s why we advise everyone to avoid speaking with any insurance representatives before you speak with your 18-wheeler semi-truck accident lawyer. They will be calling you asking you to make statements on the record and in some cases, they will want you to admit fault for the accident. Just remember that when asked to give a statement, you have a right to decline. Keep in mind that the insurance companies are not on your side, including your own insurance company. Insurance companies hate personal injury lawyers and we typically don’t like insurance companies. We find in most cases that insurance companies don’t care about their customers. They are simply looking to limit the amount of money they will have to pay out to you.
When it comes to 18-wheeler truck accidents, insurance companies can be even more ruthless. Their clients are paying them to cover these types of issues and insurance companies will look for every loophole to avoid having to pay. Now don’t get us wrong, we understand that insurance companies have a right to make money, but in many cases, their interests will conflict with our clients’ interest. our services with the hope of making money. However, our interests are aligned with our clients because the more money you make on the settlements the more money we make. So we will fight for your best interest, whereas insurance companies are out to take advantage of your situation with the hope of minimizing their financial exposure. You deserve to get compensated for your pain and suffering, your lost wages, medical bills, and any other bills you incurred from their drivers’ negligence.