Trucking accidents are an all too common occurrence in St. Louis and throughout the United States. When these crashes occur within city limits, they devastate the victims and their families because of the severity of injuries sustained by passengers riding in passenger cars or light-duty vehicles colliding with commercial trucks.
Based on the information provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), around 415,000 crashes involving large trucks were reported by the police in 2020. Among these incidents were 4,444 fatal crashes, accounting for approximately 1 percent of the total, and 101,000 injury crashes, making up around 24 percent.
Notably, the leading cause of fatal crashes involving large trucks, at 72 percent, was a collision with another vehicle in transport.
In this article, we will delve into the legal and insurance considerations specific to commercial truck accidents in St. Louis.
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Overview of Commercial Trucking Accident Laws in St. Louis
TorHoerman Law notes that St. Louis serves as a pivotal hub for the transportation of cargo and freight across the nation, facilitating a significant volume of goods movement. With more than 140,000 trucking-related jobs in Missouri, accounting for approximately 1 in 17 jobs statewide, the commercial logistics and freight industry contributes to the local economy while creating employment opportunities.
However, the extensive presence of semi-trucks on the city’s highways, driven by the thriving industry, has led to a notable rise in trucking accidents occurring in and around St. Louis over time.
Familiarizing oneself with commercial trucking accident laws is essential for victims seeking legal recourse, trucking companies aiming to ensure compliance and legal professionals advocating for their client’s rights.
The key aspects covered within the commercial trucking accident laws in St. Louis, Missouri, include:
- The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim after a truck accident in Missouri is 5 years.
- Missouri is a comparative fault state, meaning your compensation may be reduced if you were partially at fault for the accident.
- Common damages that can be awarded in a truck accident case include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.
Liability Considerations for Commercial Trucking Accidents in St. Louis
According to AllLaw, commercial truck accidents present a higher complexity level than typical car accident claims. In a standard two-car accident, the process usually involves suing the responsible driver and filing an insurance claim.
However, in the case of a commercial truck accident, the legal landscape expands, allowing for claims against multiple individuals and entities, which may include:
- The truck driver
- The truck driver’s employer
- The owner of the truck
- The owner and loader of the cargo
- The truck maintenance company
Understanding the nuances of liability considerations in St. Louis commercial trucking accidents is crucial for victims seeking compensation and for legal professionals representing their interests.
Comparative Negligence and Its Impact on Commercial Truck Accident Cases
Comparative negligence is a legal concept that allows a victim to recover damages even if they are partially at fault. In commercial truck accident cases, this means that both the truck driver and other involved parties may share responsibility for the collision.
The application of comparative negligence affects the determination of damages and compensation awarded to the injured parties. Awareness of how comparative negligence influences commercial truck accident cases is vital for victims, trucking companies, and legal professionals navigating the complex legal landscape in St. Louis.
Insurance Coverage Requirements for Commercial Trucks in St. Louis
According to Business.com, in Missouri, the insurance coverage limits for commercial vehicles are as follows:
- Tow trucks: $500,000 combined single limit (CSL).
- Interstate vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or more: $750,000 CSL.
- Intrastate vehicles (excluding hazardous waste): 100/300/50 coverage.
- Transportation of hazardous materials: CSL ranges from $1 million to $5 million, depending on the specific materials being transported.
Understanding the insurance coverage requirements is crucial for trucking companies to comply with the law and for accident victims to navigate the claims process effectively, seeking appropriate reimbursement for their losses.
Importance of Legal Representation in Commercial Truck Accident Cases in St. Louis
Seeking the guidance of a skilled truck accident attorney in St. Louis is crucial to navigating the complex legal process. These attorneys specialize in handling truck accident cases and possess extensive knowledge of the applicable laws, regulations, and insurance requirements specific to St. Louis.
They provide invaluable support by conducting thorough investigations, gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and advocating for the rights of victims.
With a truck accident attorney by their side, victims in St. Louis can significantly increase their chances of obtaining fair compensation and achieving justice.
Damages and Compensation for Commercial Trucking Accidents in St. Louis
Victims of commercial trucking accidents in St. Louis may be entitled to various damages and compensation. These can include economic damages such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. Additionally, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life may be sought.
In severe cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the negligent party. Understanding the types of compensation available and the legal factors influencing their calculation is crucial for victims and their legal representation. It ensures that victims receive fair and adequate compensation to help them rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a commercial trucking accident.
In this article, we’ve talked about some of the legal and insurance factors in St. Louis commercial truck accidents. If you’re involved in one of these accidents, you must know what to do next.
Contacting an attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and that all necessary paperwork is filed correctly with the court system.