|Our St. Louis Trucking Accident Attorneys Will Fight for You
St. Louis truck accident injury lawyer Patrick O’Brien is a dedicated trial attorney specializing in personal injury cases. He has tried cases to verdict in 16 states and represented clients in more than 30 states.
Over four decades, Patrick O’Brien has recovered full and fair compensation for countless personal injury victims. He applies for admission pro hac vice in states where he does not have a license to practice law.
Americans love cars. Per capita ownership of automobiles by U.S. citizens is the highest in the world. We share the highways with over-the-road truck drivers. Most of us drive for pleasure or to commute. Truckers, on the other hand, drive for a living.
Truck drivers are most concerned with getting their freight delivered quickly. They tend to drive too fast under challenging weather conditions and will drive more hours in a day than is reasonably safe. Given the size of their trucks, a collision with an automobile often results in catastrophic injuries to the drivers and often the car’s passengers, including death.
|How We Can Help
The Law Offices of Patrick S. O’Brien specializes in truck accident injuries and advocates for your rights and rightful compensation. We possess an in-depth understanding of Missouri laws and federal trucking regulations pertaining to your case. Our firm is committed to going the extra mile to secure your most favorable outcome.
If you or a family member sustained an injury in a trucking accident, reach out to us for a complimentary evaluation, with no obligation on your part.
| Potential Injuries
Victims of trucking accidents often suffer from severe, life-altering injuries from the magnitude of these collisions. Potential injuries that could occur include the following:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Collisions with large commercial trucks can result in head injuries, possibly leading to TBIs. These can cause cognitive impairment, behavioral changes, and other long-term complications.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries can result in temporary or permanent paralysis, significantly impacting the victim’s mobility and quality of life.
- Broken Bones and Fractures: The force exerted in a trucking accident can lead to broken bones and fractures, which could require surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
- Internal Injuries: Internal injuries can affect vital organs like the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. They are typically difficult to diagnose initially and could lead to lasting complications if not treated promptly.
- Burns: If a collision results in a fire, victims could suffer severe burns, leading to long-term physical and emotional scars.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Beyond the physical injuries, victims of trucking accidents often deal with psychological trauma, such as PTSD.
Our St. Louis truck accident lawyer provides thorough legal guidance to secure compensation for victims with significant injuries.
The Do’s and Don’ts of a Trucking Collision
- Stay at the scene of the collision until the police show up to do a report
- Get contact information from witnesses who saw the event
- Obtain a copy of the police report.
- Take pictures of your damaged vehicle
- Seek medical attention at the ER or from your family doctor if you sustain any injury, no matter how slight.
- Take your care to a repair facility of your choice
- Admit fault to the truck driver
- Move your vehicle from the scene until the police arrive.
- Provide a statement to the insurance representative of the trucking company.
- Sign a release that would allow the trucking company’s insurance carrier to obtain your medical records
- Sign a release allowing the trucking company’s insurance carrier to obtain your medical records.
| Missouri Laws & Trucking Accidents
In Missouri, various laws and regulations govern trucking accidents, including liability, insurance coverage, and accident reporting. If you experience a truck accident in Missouri, knowing and abiding by the following laws to protect your rights is essential.
Comparative Fault in Missouri
Missouri employs the principle of “comparative fault” in truck accident cases. In situations where you share partial responsibility for the accident, you can still be eligible for compensation proportionate to the extent of the other party’s liability. Understanding and applying these laws requires expertise, which a St. Louis truck accident injury lawyer like Patrick O’Brien possesses.
Liability Insurance Requirements
Missouri legislation mandates that all drivers, including truck operators, maintain a minimum level of liability insurance. Given the potential for significant harm from large trucks, they must carry higher insurance coverage than standard passenger cars. This insurance serves as a vital means of compensation for those impacted by accidents.
Prompt Reporting Mandate
Finally, the state law mandates prompt reporting of truck accidents. You must swiftly report truck accidents in Missouri if they cause harm, death, or $500 worth of damage or more. You should report it to the police, sheriff, or Highway Patrol.
Patrick O’Brien, our St. Louis truck accident injury attorney, stands ready to help you navigate the law and ensure you’re well-informed.
|Federal Laws & Regulations for Trucks
At the federal level, the U.S. government regulates commercial trucks and trucking companies through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
These federal laws and regulations include:
- The Hours of Service Regulations restrict the number of consecutive operating hours for truck drivers. These regulations also mandate rest periods and off-duty time. The main goal is to prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue.
- Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Requirements: Truck drivers must obtain a CDL to operate commercial trucks legally. It involves rigorous testing and training to ensure competency in handling large vehicles and understanding safety regulations.
- Trucking companies must implement random drug and alcohol testing programs for their drivers to ensure they are not operating vehicles under the influence.
- Regular inspections and maintenance of commercial trucks are required to ensure they remain in safe operating condition. Any issues must be addressed before the vehicle returns to the road.
- Cargo Securement Rules: Detailed guidelines exist for adequately securing cargo to prevent it from shifting or falling off the vehicle, which could cause accidents.
Non-compliance with these federal laws and regulations can result in significant consequences. The results could include fines, legal charges, company closure, and more responsibility if an accident occurs. These federal statutes can prove negligence in a personal injury lawsuit following a truck accident.
|Why You Need a St. Louis Truck Accident Injury Lawyer
If you are involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, whether you realize it or not, you are up against a multi-billion dollar insurance industry that does not have your best interests in mind. They spend millions each year to employ attorneys and adjusters whose only job is getting your claim out of their system by paying you as little as possible.
If you’ve been in a truck accident, you may have a right to seek damages from the driver and their employer but don’t expect their insurance companies to help. They may sound friendly and caring on the phone but are not on your team.
Insurance companies count on the fact that most people don’t know their rights and are willing to settle for far less than they deserve. If you don’t receive representation from a St. Louis truck accident injury lawyer who understands the law and how to fight for the compensation you need, you will likely settle for less than you deserve. You need someone who is just as good at negotiating and knows the law as the trained negotiators employed by insurance companies.
We at The Law Offices of Patrick S. O’Brien have decades of experience fighting for our clients’ rights. We care for your well-being and will address your case with the diligence and compassion you deserve.
Patrick O’Brien is a highly experienced St. Louis trucking accident attorney who works on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay us unless you win your case. Before you settle with an insurance company, visit us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
|Contact Our Experienced St. Louis Trucking Accident Lawyer
It’s vital to hire a St. Louis trucking accident attorney when you’re involved in a collision with a truck. The sophisticated trucking industry will make it difficult to recover for your property loss and any personal injuries you may have sustained.
Patrick O’Brien has handled trucking claims where the injury was caused by the driver dropping their cell phone, speeding, driving too fast for the weather conditions, inattention to their surroundings, and failure to keep a careful lookout.
Under federal law, each truck must have liability insurance of at least $750,000. Our office has handled cases where collection was challenging because the trucker’s insurance carrier filed for bankruptcy. We have you covered in numerous “what if” scenarios.
Don’t try to take on the trucking industry by yourself. Call our St. Louis truck accident injury lawyers for advice on handling your unique situation.