Cars and trucks must share the road, but they do not always do so in harmony. Though many residents find Kansas City conveniently located in the center of the country, its placement also leads to a heavy volume of semi-truck traffic. Simply driving on the road next to a truck can be nerve-wracking, but even more complicated are accidents involving trucks. Sadly, trucks are big and heavy and in a car vs. truck accident, the driver of the car can sustain severe injuries. Additionally, because there are more parties involved in a trucking accident than a normal car accident, sorting out liability and recovering compensation can be more taxing than in an accident between two passenger vehicles.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 73,000 large truck injury crashes between a truck and a passenger vehicle in 2013. That number is down from 77,000 in 2012. As a result of these accidents, nationwide there were 3,906 fatalities recorded. In Missouri, for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, there were 101, 92, and 85 fatal truck accidents. Though the statistics show that the number of trucking accidents and fatalities are declining year over year, these numbers remain alarming.
What Causes Semi-Truck Accidents?
Like accidents between two passenger vehicles, accidents between trucks and cars are attributed to a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons specifically include:
- Driving with overloaded trucks;
- Improperly loading or securing cargo, leading to a load shift in route;
- Driving while fatigued and driving more hours than allowed under law;
- Driving without proper training or license to operate the vehicle;
- Traveling at excessive speeds;
- Failing to ensure trucks have received the proper maintenance;
- Failing to follow safety procedures or follow vehicle inspection requirements;
- Driving inattentively;
- Driving while distracted; and
- Following too closely.
What Makes Recovering Compensation in Trucking Accidents More Complicated?
Trucking accidents can be more complicated because of two main reasons. First, there are more parties involved in a trucking accident. In addition to the driver, the driver’s employer and the employer’s insurer are involved. Additionally, a driver’s employer may contract out certain responsibilities and ownership of equipment. Each case is different and determining which party you can recover from can involve sorting out many different legal relationships.
Second, determining the cause of the accident can require a thorough investigation. In addition to the rules of the road that apply to all motorists, the trucking industry is governed by very specific and unique laws and regulations. For example, drivers are required to keep logs and are required to rest and sleep a certain amount. An investigation into the cause of the accident may require a detailed review of the driver’s activity log, may require reviewing GPS data, and interviewing anyone involved with performing maintenance on the truck or loading the truck.
How Can an Attorney Help?
The attorneys at the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm are familiar with the specific rules and regulations applicable to the trucking industry and can conduct a thorough investigation to determine if a violation of one of these laws led to a trucking accident. If you were involved in an accident with a semi-truck, it is important to have successful car accident attorney working on your case to recover compensation for the injuries you suffered. Call us today for a free case evaluation at 816-200-2900 or contact us online to see how we can help.
Robert Kinsman is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Robert Kinsman is passionate about normalizing the life of his clients after they have been seriously injured. Learn more about his experience here.