Kansas City Truck Accident Attorneys
Helping Maximize Your Compensation After a Truck Accident in Missouri
After a serious trucking accident, you need the right lawyer on your side. Recovering the compensation you need and deserve may not be easy. Trucking companies know exactly how expensive these claims can be, and do their best to fight them, often sending investigators to the scene of the accident as soon as they hear about a collision.
Your Kansas City truck accident lawyers must be prepared to match their investigative prowess and fight hard during negotiations.
At DiPasquale Moore, we are committed to helping our clients find justice, no matter who was at fault in the accident. We know how to handle complex cases against companies with enough resources to challenge your claim at every step.
Our job is to show them you will not give up on what you are owed. From medical costs to property damage and beyond, our attorneys will fight to have your damages realized and compensated by the at-fault party.
Accidents Caused By Truck Driver Negligence
Truck drivers have many responsibilities. They're responsible for transporting commercial goods and delivering them on time while following all the rules of the road. Anyone who drives an eighteen-wheeler or big rig has to undergo special training before they receive their driver’s license. However, this extra education does not protect drivers from making mistakes.
Common mistakes made by truck drivers include:
- Cell phone use
- Distractions on the road
- Driver fatigue
- Drug or alcohol use
More often than not, truck drivers must drive for long periods of time. This can lead to drowsiness or fatigue, which impairs their ability to properly operate their vehicle.
While there are federal regulations that limit how long a trucker may drive in one 24-hour period and over the course of a 7- or 8-day work period, employers often pressure drivers to break these rules. These violations often lead to accidents, and when they do, the accountable parties must face consequences.
Accidents Caused By Trucking Company Negligence
Truck accident investigations often show an employer’s actions played a rather large role in the accident: Sometimes they scheduled a delivery so tight the driver had to work overtime to make it. Other times, they failed to monitor their drivers for unsafe cell phone use or do proper drug testing.
A trucking company may be liable for other types of negligence, such as:
- Improperly Loaded Trucks - If a truck was incorrectly loaded, a driver may lose control. In this case, the liability would rest with the company responsible for sending a driver out with an unbalanced load.
- Lack of Proper Maintenance - If a mechanic overlooks a warning sign in their pre-road check of the vehicle, the truck could break down mid-drive. Likewise, if they attempt to make a repair but do so poorly, their work could fail while the trucker is on the road.
- Negligent Hiring Practices - If a trucking company hires a driver with a history of drug or alcohol abuse or other infractions, or fails to monitor their driving habits, it could be argued that they failed in their duty of care.
These types of liability may not always be immediately obvious, but it is worth launching an investigation to ensure you know where to bring your suit. We do not want the legal process to take any longer than is necessary to secure the compensation you need.
Truck Accidents Caused By Defective Vehicle Parts
Some accidents happen when a truck’s parts fail because they were not designed or made well. Faulty brakes, tire blowouts, powertrain failure, and other major mechanical issues can leave a driver in a spot where their only hope is to mitigate the damage. In these cases, you can hold the truck or parts manufacturer responsible for selling defective goods.
These cases are especially important because they may have a ripple effect on the industry. A truck maker that has to face a lawsuit and pay a large settlement is more likely to QC its design and manufacturing process to ensure nothing of the sort happens again.
A defective big rig is one of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Anything that can be done to spur recalls or repair work can save many lives.
Important Evidence for an Attorney to Gather After a Truck Accident
Most trucking companies are protected from facing any potential consequences for their negligence by high-powered defense attorneys and large insurance companies. However, with the right legal team on your side, you can gather everything you need to have a strong case for recovering compensation.
The evidence your Kansas City truck accident attorney should gather after a truck accident includes:
#1. Electronic Control Modules
Many trucks are now equipped with Electronic Control Modules (ECMs) that record data about a truck’s trip, much how a Flight Data Recorder records data from an airplane’s flight. Gathering the ECM is vital to demonstrating whether the trucker traveled too fast for conditions at the time of the accident, failed to apply the brakes when necessary, or committed some other error that led to the crash. Additionally, the ECM may provide information as to whether a malfunction in the truck contributed to the accident.
#2. Electronic Logbooks
In addition to ECMs, many trucks are now equipped with electronic logbooks, as opposed to paper logbooks of the past. These electronic logbooks track when a trucker drives and when they take a break automatically.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented hours-of-service regulations that limit the number of hours a trucker may drive without a break. Because data is recorded into the electronic logbooks automatically, there is very little chance of fraudulent entries. Therefore, the electronic logbooks can provide insight into whether the trucker actually did stop and take a break per federal mandates.
If it can be shown, through the electronic logbooks, that a trucker did not take a break when they were supposed to, it may provide evidence that they were drowsy when they crashed into another vehicle.
#3. Truck Cameras
Video evidence is key. Cameras located inside the truck’s driver bay can provide insight as to whether the trucker was drowsy at the time of the crash, or ingested drugs or alcohol while driving. Either situation would make the trucker liable for the accident, as well as their employer via the legal principle of “respondeat superior,” which holds an employer vicariously liable for their employees’ negligence.
#4. Service Logs
Trucks must be routinely inspected and serviced in order to remain in safe working condition. If trucking companies do not service their vehicles regularly, it may cause a malfunction on the road and a subsequent crash. Looking at the trucking company’s service logs can determine whether the trucks in their fleet were serviced according to schedule, or whether the trucking company failed in this key duty.
#5. Witness Statements
Sometimes, witness statements can be key to proving a case. If two or more witnesses observed the same thing about a truck driver or the truck itself in the lead-up to the crash, this may provide supporting evidence that something wrong with either the trucker or the truck caused the crash.
Going Against a Trucking Company Requires Qualified Representation
Gathering all this evidence is not the only thing you must do to protect your rights. Often, these trucking companies have experienced defense teams whose expertise can only be matched by a qualified personal injury law firm. With the help of the right legal team, you may be able to recover the following damages after a truck accident:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Our team at DiPasquale Moore has what it takes to take on large trucking companies and their insurers and help you get the funds you need to recover. We have a strong track record of success in cases like these, and we’re here to help you through this.
Hold Negligent Truck Drivers Accountable for Your Damages
If you were injured in a truck accident, it’s likely the trucking company’s insurer has already investigated the crash and made a settlement offer. However, based on our past experience, the amount they are currently proposing may not be sufficient to meet your needs.
With a lawyer by your side, you can determine what a fair settlement looks like. Then, you can focus on your health with the knowledge you have a team negotiating to ensure the compensation you secure will meet your needs.
As experienced Kansas City truck accident lawyers, we understand how frightening a truck accident can be. We strive to make the legal process as easy and uncomplicated as possible. Our team is here for you any time, day or night, to answer your questions and update you on your case.
With an impressive record of victories in past semi-truck and 18-wheeler accidents, our experience speaks for itself. Reach out today to enlist our qualified team on your side.