When you have been involved in a semi-truck accident in Kansas City, you need immediate legal help. Knowing your truck accident claim is in the best hands is crucial to the outcome of your case. Large truck accidents are much more devastating in terms of injuries and death to those in the passenger vehicle, as well as more complex than a typical car accident. Because of this, a truck accident should always be handled by law firms with experience and knowledge, as well as the necessary skills and a record of success handling truck accidents. A Kansas City truck accident attorney from Finney Injury Law will be skilled in handling these complex, heavily defended truck accident claims. We are trial lawyers, not afraid to go to trial and fight for your rights. Let us help you fight the insurance companies and recover what has been taken from you.
We have represented many truck accident victims and are dedicated to aggressively pursuing the justice and compensation you need and deserve. The Finney Injury Law team will know which defendants to target and how to negotiate for the best settlement possible on your behalf. We understand that the aftermath of a trucking accident is traumatic and that no one should handle this on their own. You may be dealing with physical injuries, pain, and emotional trauma. Having a trusted legal representative from Finney Injury Law who will tirelessly advocate on your behalf can make a significant difference in the final outcome of your truck accident case.
When you choose Finney Injury Law you will get a law firm that:
- Has more than 100 positive reviews
- Is available to clients 24/7
- Makes meeting with a lawyer easy and free – starting with a free case review
- Comes to you when you are too injured to travel
- Are deeply involved with the community
- Are an award-winning trial law firm
- Have English and Spanish speaking staff
Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer Serving Kansas City, Missouri
When you are the victim of negligence that resulted in a serious Kansas City truck accident, you may be facing months, years, or a lifetime of recovery. Recovery from serious or catastrophic injuries can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, often exceeding a victim’s health insurance policy limits. In other instances, health insurance may not pay for treatments you need to fully recover. Because of this, it is essential that you hold the negligent party financially responsible for your injuries.
A truck accident attorney from Finney Injury Law will do just that. We will vigorously pursue justice, finding the responsible party or parties, then ensuring their insurance companies pay you what your injuries and pain and suffering are actually worth. You can spend your time recovering and recuperating while experienced Finney Injury Law attorneys ensure your rights and future are protected at every turn. It takes a highly experienced lawyer to secure a fair settlement on your behalf—as well as one with the necessary resources to fund the lawsuit until it settles.
What Defines a “Commercial” Truck?
Only trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds, those that carry eight passengers in return for compensation, those that carry 16 or more passengers for no compensation, or trucks carrying hazardous materials are considered commercial trucks. The following are considered commercial trucks and must be licensed accordingly:
- Government vehicles
- Flatbed trucks
- Mass transit buses
- Box trucks
- Recreational RVs
- Garbage trucks
- Tow trucks
- Tour buses
Kansas City Truck Accident Facts
According to modot.org, in 2020, Missouri experienced a decrease of 16 fatalities resulting from commercial motor vehicle accidents as compared to 2019. Across the nation, out of the approximately 37,133 traffic fatalities due to motor vehicle collisions each year, about 4,102 involve a large commercial truck. Semi-trucks crash and injure or kill a person every 15 minutes in the United States each year. If you or a loved one has been involved in a Kansas City truck accident, contacting an experienced Kansas City truck accident attorney is extremely important.
Who’s Responsible for Your Truck Accident?
Truck accidents are unique in that there may be more than one defendant—more than one person or entity that is responsible for your injuries. The truck driver could be at fault if he or she was overly fatigued, impaired, distracted, or driving recklessly. The trucking company could be held responsible if it hired an inexperienced driver or failed to do a proper background check. The truck manufacturer or the manufacturer of a truck part could be at fault if a defective part caused the accident.
This would be a product liability claim, which Finney Injury Law also has experience and skill in pursuing. The loading company could be found at fault if they failed to properly load the truck and an accident occurred as a result. Finally, if the maintenance company failed to do their job, sending a driver out in a dangerous truck, then they could be held liable as well. Only a highly experienced, extremely knowledgeable truck accident attorney can determine who is liable for your accident, then hold them accountable.
What Are the Primary Causes of Truck Accidents?
In some cases, a truck accident is caused by things that are beyond anyone’s control, such as inclement weather, unexpected poor road conditions, or even road construction. If the truck driver fails to respond appropriately to these issues, however, the blame could lie with the truck driver. The driver may be inexperienced or may lack the proper training—issues which lie with the trucking company. The truck’s trailer may be overloaded, causing an improper balance that causes an accident when the truck stops suddenly or makes a sharp turn.
One of the most common causes of Missouri truck accidents are improper lane changes by the truck driver. Truck drivers—by virtue of their size—have an obligation to ensure there is not a vehicle in the lane they are changing to. Other driver-related issues that cause truck accidents include excessive speed, impaired driving, distracted or aggressive driving, tailgating, improper turns, and failure to obey the rules of the road.
What Types of Truck Accidents Are Most Common?
While truck accidents can happen under many different circumstances—and every accident is unique in some way, the following are the most common types of truck accidents:
- Rear-end collisions occur when a truck driver is driving too close to the vehicle in front—or when a smaller passenger vehicle is driving too close to the truck and is also in the truck driver’s blind spot. A truck requires a significant length of road to come to a complete stop. If the truck driver is not paying attention, a serious rear-end collision can occur.
- Blindspot accidents—also known as “no zone accidents,” occur fairly often because the truck driver cannot see a vehicle directly in front or back of the truck as well as for a portion on each side. While better mirrors can help limit blind spots, they still exist and can lead to serious accidents when the truck driver changes lanes without taking extra precautions.
- Jackknife accidents occur when a large truck “folds in” on itself at a 90-degree angle, usually caused when the truck driver has to come to a sudden stop and the trailer swings into the cab, pushing it to one side.
- Head-on collisions are often the result of a truck driver falling asleep or a distracted truck driver. Truck drivers are almost universally lacking sleep, therefore, are often driving while overly tired.
- Underride accidents occur when the truck slows or stops and a passenger vehicle slams into the side or rear of the truck, sliding under the truck and shearing away the top of the vehicle. Rear underride bars are now required, although there is some dispute regarding how strong those bars must be. Few trucks have underride bars on the sides as they are not yet legally required.
- Rollovers usually occur when a large truck travels along a sharp curve. Centrifugal force causes the truck to lean away from the direction of the curve. When the truck leans too far, a rollover can occur where the truck overturns. Unstable loads and a trailer’s high center of gravity can contribute to rollover accidents.
- Lost loads occur when a trailer was not properly loaded, or the load was not properly secured. When the truck shifts suddenly, the entire load can fall off the trailer, causing multiple accidents.
- T-bone truck accidents are particularly dangerous. Also known as “broadside” collisions, a T-bone truck accident occurs when the truck hits a smaller vehicle squarely on one side of the vehicle. Since there is little in the way of protection on the side of a vehicle, those on the side that is hit can suffer catastrophic injuries.
- Wide turn accidents occur when a large truck and trailer must swing wide to make a 90- degree right turn. The truck must start from the second lane to the left; smaller vehicles can be “trapped” in the space in between the curb and the truck, eventually hit by the trailer.
What Are the Common Damages That Can Be Collected Following a Kansas City Truck Accident?
Your truck accident attorney will determine what damages you are entitled to receive following your truck accident. Your exact damages will depend on who is liable for your accident as well as the extent of your injuries and how long your injuries can be expected to alter your life. Medical expenses are virtually always a part of the damages collected following a truck accident. This includes expenses for your ambulance transport to the hospital, surgical expenses, hospital costs, the costs associated with prescription drugs, physician expenses, rehabilitative therapy expenses, or assistive devices necessary due to your injuries. Medical expenses are known as “special” damages because they are easy to quantify—that is, they have specific amounts attached to them and they are not subjective costs. You may also be entitled to “general” damages, like pain and suffering.
What Are the Rules and Regulations Associated with Commercial Truck Accidents?
There are specific rules and regulations that all truck drivers must follow regarding their hours behind the wheel. Long-haul truckers may drive a maximum of 11 hours following an off-duty time of at least 10 consecutive hours. At the 8-mile mark, the driver must take a 30-minute break. The driver may not drive after 60 hours on duty in 7 consecutive days, or 70 hours on duty in 8 consecutive days. This period can be restarted after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. When adverse driving conditions—like bad weather—are encountered, the driver can extend the 11-hour maximum driving limit and the 14-hour driving window by up to two hours.
Truck drivers must all have a CDL license if they drive trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds. There are also health requirements that must be met for all truck drivers. Truck drivers will need to have a complete physical exam by a physician every two years—and must pass that physical exam. The driver’s overall physical health, including eyes, ears, blood pressure, and limb impairment is checked, requiring vision of at least 20/40 (or corrected vision of 20/40 with glasses or contacts). A drug and alcohol screen will also be included in the physical. Prior to employment as a truck driver must also have a physical fitness test to make sure he or she can handle the physical aspects of the job, as well as a drug screen. Finally, truck drivers are required to have sufficient command of the English language to allow them to read road signs, communicate with others, and fill out reports and documents.
How Can a Kansas City Truck Accident Attorney Help You with the Legal Process?
Unfortunately, it is all-too common to find overworked, overtired, or inexperienced truck drivers on the roadways. When you are the victim of a Kansas City truck accident, your life can be changed forever. Because truck drivers are usually insured in the millions—and because more than one party can be held responsible—having an experienced lawyer from Finney Injury Law by your side is essential.
This will ensure your claim is handled in the most professional manner and that all defendants are properly identified. Our Kansas City truck attorneys are deeply familiar with the tactics often used by insurance companies to deny or devalue your claim. We have the necessary resources, including investigators, accident re-constructionists, and expert witnesses to help investigate your truck accident.
Your truck accident attorney may:
- Record witness statements
- Take photos of the accident scene
- Examine the vehicles
- Review camera footage (when available)
- Review police and accident reports
- Analyze and review medical records
- Interview medical professionals
- Recreate the accident
- Obtain alcohol and drug testing from the truck driver
- Obtain data from the truck’s “black box”
- Ensure evidence is properly preserved
- Protect evidence from being corrupted
Are There Deadlines for Filing a Truck Accident Claim in Missouri?
There are specific deadlines, known as statutes of limitations, that determine the amount of time you have to file a truck accident claim. Each state sets its own statutes, usually ranging from one year to ten years. In the state of Missouri, you have five years from the date of the accident to file your claim, and three years in the case of a wrongful death. The sooner you can file your claim, the better outcome you can expect. People may move, or their memories may fade, so the sooner you can file your claim, the better evidence you will have to prove your claim—and you will receive your settlement sooner.
How do I find the best Kansas City truck accident attorney?
When you are choosing a truck accident attorney, you want an attorney who regularly handles this type of accident. The injuries and damages from trucking accidents are much worse than the damages and injuries from “regular” car accidents. The trucking industry is subject to different regulations and large semi-trucks pose a unique set of hazards. You will want to ask your Kansas City truck accident attorney about his or her contingency fees and specific experience (and success) with truck accident claims. Your truck accident attorney must have significant trial experience—while most claim settlements are negotiated, occasionally one does go to trial so you want to ensure your attorney can easily handle a trial. Of equal importance, is your compatibility with the attorney. While you certainly do not need to be best friends, you do want to be able to have a good relationship—and good communication is essential for that. People often ask friends, family members, and co-workers whether they have used a local truck accident attorney when making their choice. You may also want to look online or check with the Missouri Bar.
How do I know if I have a valid truck accident claim?
Even if the insurance company has denied your claim—or severely undervalued it—this does not mean your claim is invalid. You need to speak with a highly experienced truck accident lawyer who can look at the facts surrounding your accident, along with your injuries and medical reports, and determine the validity of your claim. The insurance company wants you to believe you do not have a good case, but this is in the interest of paying out the least amount of money possible. The only way to know if your claim is valid is to speak to a Kansas City truck accident attorney from Finney Injury Law.
What Are the Benefits of Choosing a Kansas City Truck Accident Attorney from Finney Injury Law?
When you choose a truck accident attorney from Finney Injury Law, you can rest easy, knowing you have a highly-skilled, highly experienced professional in your corner who always has your best interests at heart and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive equitable compensation for your injuries. We will fight for you and for your future because we believe you should not pay for another’s negligence. Contact Finney Injury Law today for a free consultation. We are here for you when you need it most.