18-Wheeler Truck Accident Lawyer St. Louis. 18-wheelers are important to our society in St. Louis and across the US, but they are also unquestionably dangerous. Despite state and federal laws and efforts to make our roads safer, we saw a nearly fifty percent increase in fatal commercial truck accidents from 2009 to 2018. These accidents disproportionately threaten the lives of other vehicle occupants; in other words, the victims in 18-wheeler accidents. Ninety seven percent of deaths in 18-wheeler accidents are the occupants of passenger cars and other vehicles–not the occupants of the truck.
Combs Law Group is the thoughtful, skilled, and experienced 18-wheeler truck accident law firm prepared to help St. Louis victims and their families. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in an 18-wheeler accident, it is important that you hire an 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer you can trust to guide you through the aftermath of your accident and help you move forward with full compensation for your damages. St. Louis truck accident lawyer Chris Combs and the dedicated legal professionals of the Combs Law Group will stand up against the trucking agencies and their giant insurance companies to get you the financial recovery you deserve. Reach out to us today for a free consultation online or at (314) 900-HELP. Let us start fighting for you.
18-Wheeler Truck Accident Cases
18-wheeler accidents are distinguished from passenger vehicle accidents by the general amount of destruction they cause. Weighing twenty to thirty times more than a typical passenger vehicle, 18-wheeler accidents are devastating. Accidents involving these mammoth machines are different from other vehicle accidents and, thus, call for a specialized 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer who has the skill, expertise, and knowledge to meet the unique challenges of a commercial big rig accident case.
18-wheeler truck accidents:
- cause more serious injuries
- result in more property damage
- cost more money in medical costs and other damages
- are more likely to result in death
The insurance limits on big rigs and other commercial trucks are typically much higher than regular car policies, and for a good reason. But to obtain your rightful compensation, you need the right 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer in St. Louis working for you. It is important to look for an attorney that has experience in cases like yours. Your 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer must have the confidence and aptness required to bring your case against large corporations involved in commercial truck accidents. The Combs Law Group is not afraid to demand everything you deserve as the victim of an 18-wheeler accident and will work tirelessly to argue for payment from all parties responsible.
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
Progress has been made in reducing the number of auto accidents in the US over the last decade, yet the number of 18-wheeler accidents has, in fact, increased. Like is the case with auto accidents as a whole, the vast majority of 18-wheeler truck accidents are attributed to driver error. This fact is especially troubling in these big rig accidents because of the sheer size of these commercial vehicles and the amount of time truck drivers spend on the road. These vehicles of tremendous size often carry heavy loads, have huge blind spots, and have a much farther breaking distance. There is no question as to the destructive potential of an 18-wheeler accident.
18-wheeler truck drivers and trucking companies are governed by a set of federal and Missouri state trucking laws and regulations meant to keep all road users safe. Laws include restrictions on consecutive hours spent driving, drug and alcohol testing requirements, maintenance and performance standards, and others. Whether due to an outright breach of these laws or circumstances outside of the driver’s control, these are some of the top causes of 18-wheeler truck accidents in St. Louis, Missouri, and throughout the United States:
- Driver fatigue
Driving while fatigued and falling asleep at the wheel are behaviors that occur all too often in commercial drivers like 18-wheeler truck drivers. This is despite the fact that federal laws restrict commercial truck drivers from driving too many consecutive hours without rest. For example, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a commercial vehicle driver such as an 18-wheeler truck driver can drive no more than 11 consecutive hours, which must follow ten consecutive hours off duty. For every 8 hours of driving, the driver must take a 30-minute break.
Though such laws exist to protect truck drivers and the travelers with whom they share the roads, driver fatigue is still a major contributor to 18-wheeler truck accidents. Commercial truck drivers are often subject to pressure and unreasonable expectations from their employers to complete runs in as little time as possible. If driver fatigue caused your accident, your 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer might discover that the trucking company is liable for requiring or encouraging their drivers to work beyond the regulated hours.
Another common error that plagues our roads among passenger drivers and 18-wheeler commercial truck drivers is speeding. This is especially problematic in 18-wheeler truck accidents, which already involve many times the force of a typical car accident due to the sheer size of an 18-wheeler. Put excess speed behind a 40 to 60,000-pound big rig, and the outcome is never good.
Speeding among 18-wheeler drivers may be another side effect of the trucking agency’s high demands on their drivers. If it is discovered that the company had unreasonable time requirements for their drivers or that they hired a driver with a history of excessive speeding, your 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer can hold the trucking company liable for your injuries as well.
- Maintenance issues
Laws also exist to ensure that commercial vehicles, including 18-wheelers, are in proper condition to drive. Commercial truck companies and other commercial truck owners are required to have their vehicles regularly maintained and should keep extensive records of all servicing. 18-wheeler trucks differ from passenger vehicles when it comes to maintenance because of the sheer size of the machine and the performance requirements of such vehicles. Big rigs and similar commercial trucks are typically driven thousands of miles per week, every week. What may seem like a minor, negligible instance of disrepair can quickly become a dangerous issue.
- Equipment failure
18-wheelers are enormous machines that rely on their many individual parts and components to function properly at all times. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. And due to the enormity of 18-wheelers, one small equipment failure can result in devastating damage. Some common equipment failures in 18-wheeler are tire blowouts, brake failures, steering component malfunctions, and trailer or cargo hauling problems.
Equipment failures are the responsibility of the part manufacturer rather than the truck driver or trucking company. If a tire blowout, brake failure, or other part malfunction caused your accident, your 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer will work to hold the manufacturer accountable for their defective product as well.
Other factors that contribute to auto accidents, such as driving under the influence, improper training, or weather-related road conditions, are made worse and result in compounded damage when an 18-wheeler is involved. As a big-rig accident victim, it is important that you hire an experienced 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer in St. Louis who has the skill and insight to understand and prove the combination of factors that caused your truck accident.
18-Wheeler Truck Accident Liability
18-wheeler accidents are distinct from other auto accidents in part because of the nature of the accidents and the extent of damage they cause. Another distinction between an 18-wheeler truck accident and a regular car accident is that 18-wheelers are operated commercially. When you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an 18-wheeler accident, you may have claims against parties other than the truck driver. To be successful in these additional claims, you must have a dedicated 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer by your side. Chris Combs and the Combs Law Group is up to the task and is ready to pursue justice for you.
The parties that are liable in your 18-wheeler accident depend on the circumstances and causes that contributed to the accident. Though most auto accidents, in general, are due to driver error, there may be other factors responsible for your damages in part or in full. For example, if the truck driver was under the influence at the time of your accident, the driver is clearly negligent. However, if the trucking company the driver was working for did not perform and record drug and alcohol tests according to law or hired the driver in spite of their record of DUIs, then you have a case against the trucking company as well. To understand which parties are liable and hold them accountable, speak to your St. Louis 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer right away.
The parties that may be liable in an 18-wheeler truck accident include:
- Truck driver
- Truck company
- Owner of the truck
- Company leasing the truck
- Company leasing the trailer
- Company who is having the cargo transported
- Company or workers who loaded the truck
- Manufacturer of the truck, trailer, or a faulty truck or trailer component
18-Wheeler Truck Accident Lawyers St. Louis | Combs Law Group
There is no denying the destructive nature of 18-wheeler trucks when they get into accidents. Yet, the insurance companies that cover these vehicles work hard to minimize their payout to 18-wheeler truck accident victims like you. For you and your family to receive your rightful compensation for the devastating physical and emotional damages you’ve been left with, you need the right 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer demanding what you are owed. St. Louis 18-wheeler accident lawyer Chris Combs and the Combs Law Group legal team have your best interests in mind and are dedicated to obtaining the settlement that will allow you to move forward in your life. Speak to one of our St. Louis 18-wheeler truck accident lawyers today for free at (314) 900-HELP or online.