Motor accidents are a common occurrence on U.S. roads, affecting and often killing those involved. As for St. Louis, Missouri, a 2021 report found that figures stood at 178 deaths and 14,000 injuries. Unfortunately, there are cities with more accidents and hence a higher number of fatalities and injuries than here.
Getting hit by a commercial truck is one of the most unfortunate and dangerous situations one may face. Only after being in one can you realize that it’s no joke.
Considering you’ve overcome the initial shock, the question of a lawsuit might be hovering in your mind. But before you slam into your opponent with a truck accident lawsuit in St. Louis, read this.
Getting Insurance Claim vs. Instituting a Lawsuit For A Truck Accident
There are two legal ways to claim compensation after suffering in a truck accident in St. Louis. The first way is to demand compensation from the insurance company of the party at fault. Your personal injury lawyer will help you prove that your injuries are a direct result of the accident and negotiate a settlement.
This means avoiding litigation and trials altogether. But if you are not getting favorable compensation, you may file a lawsuit. With the right evidence and your lawyer’s assistance, you may sue the party (or parties) at fault for the accident you’ve suffered in St. Louis and claim damages.
What Fundamentals Should You Examine Before Going For a Lawsuit?
The compensation one can claim in a St. Louis trucking accident lawsuit can help recover from the financial burden of the injuries. But the compensation is not guaranteed.
Here are the components that will help you decide whether to take things to a trial:
Evaluate Legal Assistance
When you’re taking on your opponent in a St. Louis truck accident lawsuit, legal assistance is of prime importance. So before anything, you must enlist a lawyer to help you in every stage of the process.
Negotiating a claim with the insurer or proving the negligence of the party at fault and claiming damages in court – you probably don’t have experience in either. But these are indeed vital components of the lawsuit, which a lawyer will be experienced in.
Only with the right legal assistance can you hope to achieve anything through trucking accident litigation. Prefer attorneys with a history of tackling trucking accident lawsuits and insurance negotiation.
Who Are You Suing?
Let’s say you now have a reliable St. Louis trucking accident lawyer on board. But do you know who your opponent is?
The occurrence of a commercial truck accident can be a result of various faults, for which several parties can be responsible. TorHoerman Law, LLC has attorneys that fight for the rights of St. Louis truck accident victims in lawsuits.
The law firm lists several parties that can be held liable other than the driver:
- The owner of the semi-truck or commercial truck
- The trucking company that employs the driver
- The company responsible for the truck’s maintenance
- The company that loads cargo in the truck and more
Whether these other parties can be held liable depends on the nature of the accident and if you can present appropriate evidence. Your lawyer will also aid in simplifying this complexity and prove their direct or indirect involvement. This will help you get higher compensation.
Understand the Legal Dimensions
Truck accident laws are slightly different than those covering regular ones, so it’s best you know the legalities from the beginning. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates several aspects of the trucking industry like hours of service, alcohol or drug use, medical fitness tests for drivers, and so on.
Other than that, there are several state laws applicable in Missouri that will be relevant for your St. Louis trucking accident lawsuit. In most cases, it is the driver of the truck who is at fault, while poor roads, bad weather, and more are also considered. Your responsibility in the accident, if any, will also be taken into consideration.
Knowing these will help you build a strong case by proving the cause of injury. Moreover, there is a time frame of 5 years within which you must file your truck accident claim.
If you are unaware of these laws or need help comprehending them, you can always resort to your lawyer.
Consider the Evidence You Can Produce in Court
Like in all personal injury lawsuits, evidence will be your greatest weapon here. So before you initiate the lawsuit, do you have proper evidence in your support?
Even if you haven’t taken a picture or documented yourself at the scene of the accident, there are other forms of evidence you may produce in court. Some of the instances are dash cam footage, statements of witnesses at the scene, medical bills to treat the injuries resulting from the accident, and the like.
But don’t panic if one or more of such resources aren’t available to you. Your truck accident lawyer will assist you in finding and preserving whatever evidence can help you win.
Anybody that has suffered in a truck accident is permitted by St. Louis law to institute a lawsuit. But, the gravity of the injuries and other considerations mentioned above determine whether a lawsuit is indeed viable.
Newer technology and accident prevention systems promise fewer road accidents, by overcoming human or mechanical errors. But accident lawsuits are not going away anytime soon.