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Category Archive: Semi-Truck Accidents

  1. Nonprofit Focused on Transportation Safety Schedules Annual Check

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    Tractor Trailer

    The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has announced that this year’s Operation Safe Driver will occur from October 16-22, 2016. Last year, law enforcement agencies conducted almost 20,000 roadside inspections during the Operation week focused on transportation safety. Driving in excess of the speed limit was the main reason that warnings and citations were issued to commercial vehicle drivers. Other reasons that drivers were cited were for failure to wear a seatbelt, failure to obey a traffic control device, and for using a handheld phone. All together, 4,062 citations were issued, as were 3,929 warnings.

    These safety inspections, aimed at reducing injuries and deaths caused by commercial vehicles, are warranted in the protection of drivers and their passengers on Missouri roadways. The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) reports crash data annually, and in its most recent report (2014), they indicated that 109 people were killed in commercial vehicle crashes, along with 3,185 people who were injured. Its definition of commercial vehicles includes “trucks having a gross vehicle weight of 10,001 pounds or more, cargo vans, vans with less than nine occupants, limousines having 9 to 15 occupant capacity, buses having occupant capacities of 16 or more, and vehicles displaying hazardous materials placards.” These efforts, along with other inspections, can help to make highways in St. Louis and throughout Missouri safer.

     

     

     

     

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  2. Federal Panel to Review Deadly Truck and Bus Accidents

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    As a St. Louis personal injury attorney, I was happy to see that the federal government recently convened a panel to focus on deadly bus accidents and truck accidents. In May of this year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a two-day panel to focus on ways to reduce the number of fatal truck accidents and bus accidents.

    One proposal put forth by the government involves reducing the number of driving hours from 11 to 10 a day. The proposal also includes requiring mandatory rest breaks for drivers, limiting the work day to 14 hours and requiring drivers to take more time off to rest after reaching their weekly driving limit.

    The Associated Press article discussing the NTSB focus group highlighted the tragic nature of many tractor-trailer, bus and truck accidents. The article discussed a tragic accident in which a 76 year old tractor-trailer driver who had slept only about five hours the previous night and had been driving almost 10 hours failed to see a line of cars stopped on the highway for a fender bender and plowed into and over several vehicles killing 10 people.

    As any Missouri lawyer knows, truck accident cases and bus accident cases usually involve serious injury and death. The citizens of Missouri would be well served by increasing the safety of our highways through reasonable regulation.

    Panel to Focus on Deadly Truck, Bus Accidents, Associated Press, May 10, 2011

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  3. Semi-Truck Accident Closes Highway 40 in St. Louis

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    As a Missouri truck accident lawyer, I took note of a KMOV report regarding an accident involving a semi-truck that closed portions of Highway 40 in St. Louis, Missouri last Saturday. The truck crash occurred on eastbound Interstate 64 on the Kingshighway exit ramp in St. Louis. According to authorities, the accident involved a car and a tractor-trailer. KMOV reports that two people were taken to the hospital with injuries. The news report shows the big rig overturned on the exit ramp.

    The article does not discuss the suspected cause of the car/truck accident. Many times truck accident attorneys will use witness statements, physical evidence and information provided by first responders to get an initial impression as to the causes of an automobile accident. Through the formal discovery process in Missouri litigation, Missouri personal injury lawyers will develop additional evidence that may point to other causes of a collision involving a large truck, such as the one in this St. Louis accident.

    Most St. Louis personal injury attorneys will investigate truck and auto accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that if the injury lawyer agrees to represent an injury victim involved in an accident, there would be no payment of any attorney’s fee unless a recovery were obtained in the case. This type of attorney fee is permitted in Missouri.

    The victims of serious car and truck accidents in Missouri should consider having a Missouri accident lawyer investigate the claim as soon as possible after the accident. Early investigation may help in documenting the facts of an accident. If you would like a free consultation with Mr. Cichelero, please call 314-205-2886. 

    Two Injured in Accident Involving Overturned Tractor-Trailer, KMOV, May 7, 2011

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  4. Tractor-Trailer Accident on I-270 in St. Louis County Causes Injuries

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    A tractor-trailer was involved in a car accident on April 15, 2011, on Interstate 270 near the I-70 and I-270 interchange in St. Louis County, Missouri. St. Louis area personal injury lawyers are quite familiar with this interchange. The Maryland Heights police responded to the call. A spokesman for the police said that a semi-truck tried to exit the highway at the last minute causing the tractor trailer accident. The news video showed several cars involved including a mini-van. Several people were injured with one person sustaining serious injuries. The police indicated that the driver of the tractor-trailer may be charged.

    Tractor trailer accidents can cause serious injuries because of the size of these big rigs. Accidents involving large commercial trucks often involve different issues than motor vehicle collisions between passenger cars. The operation of a semi-truck is subject to additional state and federal regulation. Missouri personal injury attorneys who have handled big truck and tractor-trailer accidents will be familiar with the regulations. On the federal level, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has rules and regulations in place governing vehicle operation and driver conduct. For an example click here.

    In 2006 the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a large-truck crash causation study. The study highlights the factors involved in large truck crashes. To view the study, click here. One finding of the NHTSA study was that, of large-truck drivers involved in crashes, 3% had driven their large truck for the first time within 6 months of the truck crash and another 7% had driven their large truck 10 times or less prior to the truck accident. One factor that a Missouri personal injury lawyer might consider is the tractor-trailer or large truck driver’s history.

    Anyone injured in a trucking accident in Missouri should consult a Missouri truck accident lawyer. Because of the additional complexity involved in truck accidents, the advice or consultation of a personal injury attorney should be considered.

    Semi and Multiple Vehicles Collide on I-270, kmov.com, April 15, 2011

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  5. Worker Injured in Tractor-Trailer Accident in St. Charles County

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    KMOV news in St. Louis reports that a Missouri Department of Transportation worker was injured in an accident involving a tractor-trailer in St. Charles County, Missouri, on Interstate 70 near the Zumbehl Road exit. Apparently, the tractor-trailer crashed into a Missouri Department of Transportation truck that was being used to work on Highway 70. The injured worker was in the MoDot truck at the time.

    When a worker is injured in the course of their employment through the negligence of another automobile driver, the injured worker may have both a workers’ compensation claim against his or her employer as well as a liability claim against the driver causing the injury. A Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer might file a claim on behalf of the injured worker. Generally, Missouri workers’ compensation law provides benefits to Missouri workers in the form of payment of medical costs, payment of temporary disability benefits and payment of any permanent disability benefits. For more information on Missouri workers’ compensation benefits, click here.

    A Missouri personal injury lawyer, in this case a truck accident lawyer, might also pursue a claim against the tractor-trailer driver as well as the company the driver was working for at the time of the accident. This might be a liability-based claim arising out of the negligent actions of the tractor-trailer driver. The KMOV article does not go into details about the facts of the semi-truck accident, but the driver’s conduct would be relevant in determining whether any punitive damage factors were present.

    While both Missouri workers’ compensation claims and third-party liability claims may be pursued, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier may be entitled to some reimbursement from proceeds of the third-party claim for benefits paid to the injured worker. It usually is helpful, if not necessary, to have a Missouri personal injury attorney advise as to the relationship between the workers’ compensation claim and third-party truck accident case.

    MoDot Worker Injured in Crash on I-70, KMOV, April 1, 2011

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  6. St. Charles Man Injured in Car Accident with Tractor-Trailer in St. Louis County

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    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a St. Charles man was seriously injured when the car he was operating was involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 west of the Missouri bridge in St. Louis County. The news report indicates that the man was driving a passenger vehicle at a high rate of speed when he attempted to change lanes and struck the front of a semi-truck. The car then hit the median, bounced off and struck the trailer of another semi. The car was apparently totaled while both tractor-trailers had minimal damage. The driver of the car was not wearing his seat belt.

    As everyone knows, St. Louis is a transportation crossroads. Tractor-trailers and large trucks pass through St. Louis every day en route to various parts of the country. Large semis and trucks heavily use Interstate 55, Interstate 44, Interstate 70, Interstate 40 as well as Highways 270 and 170 as they pass through the greater St. Louis area. With all of this large truck traffic, truck and semi-truck accidents are common in the St. Louis area.

    Due to the number of area car accidents involving large, commercial trucks, St. Louis personal injury attorneys are experienced in handling truck and tractor-trailer accidents. Lawyers representing the victims of these types of car wrecks may need to familiarize themselves with the various state and federal rules and regulations that apply to the operation of large commercial trucks and common carriers. These types of vehicles, because of their size and potential for danger, are closely regulated. Often times, a personal injury attorney will discover that a violation of a safety rule or regulation by a large truck may have contributed in whole, or in part, to a car crash. For a sample of the various federal rules that apply to common carriers, click here.

    In addition to federal regulations, commercial trucks are also subject to Missouri law when they operate in this state. For an example of certain Missouri statutory requirements, click here. Regulations are designed in part to increase safety and reduce the number of truck accidents on Missouri roadways. Truck accident attorneys can utilize these rules in their investigation of truck accident cases.

    If you or a loved one have been injured in such an accident, call 314-205-2886 for a free consultation.

    Man Injured in Crash That Closed Lanes on I-70 in Earth City, stltoday.com, February 11, 2011

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  7. Tractor-Trailer Involved in School Bus Accident

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    CNN reports that a tractor-trailer was involved in a fatal school bus accident in the South earlier this week. The semi truck struck a school bus on a narrow bridge, and then collided with another school bus. The school buses had high school students on board who were visiting an area college. Several people were killed and injured in this truck/school bus accident.

    St. Louis personal injury attorneys have seen several school bus accidents in the greater St. Louis area in the past few years. Each time a Missouri school bus accident takes place, we stop and pause over concern for the youth that are normally passengers on these buses. When a tractor-trailer, or any large truck, and a school bus collide we are even more horrified at the prospects. As everyone knows, accidents involving tractor-trailers and large trucks can cause serious personal injury.

    Like certain other states, Missouri does not require seat belts on school buses. In addition, the state regulatory scheme involved in checking the credentials of Missouri school bus drivers has changed over the years. While the majority of school bus drivers may be competent to transport our children and youth, constant vigilance is still needed. For information on Missouri’s school bus license requirements click here.

    Missouri personal injury lawyers representing the victims of school bus accidents will familiarize themselves with both the state and federal laws that apply to the operation and maintenance of the school bus. While a personal injury lawyer is involved in obtaining compensation for the victims of truck and bus accidents, the threat of civil lawsuits and liability may cause bus operators, owners and drivers to employ safer policies and practices to the benefit of their passengers.

    Mississippi Bus Crash, CNN.com, February 8, 2011

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  8. Three Killed in Tractor-Trailer Crash Near Bonne Terre in St. Francois County

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    As a St. Louis personal injury attorney, I took note of a particularly bad accident last week in St. Francois County. Three people were killed last week in an accident involving a tractor-trailer and a car on Highway 67 north of Bonne Terre, Missouri, in St. Francois County. The accident occurred near Highway 67 and Berry Road and involved a man from DeSoto and two individuals from Bonne Terre.

    This accident follows a recent string of tractor-trailer accidents in the St. Louis area. News reports state that the Bonne Terre accident involved a semi-truck driver who had a suspended driver’s license. The driver of the semi-truck has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

    When a loved one is lost as the result of another’s negligence, Missouri statutes provide a cause of action for wrongful death. The Missouri personal injury attorney would most likely pursue Missouri wrongful death claims against the tractor trailer driver, his employer and anyone else responsible for causing the accident. Although one can never truly value the loss of a life, under Missouri’s wrongful death statute certain persons can seek compensation for pecuniary loss suffered including the value of lost services, consortium, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training and support.

    Early investigation by a truck accident attorney can be critical in preserving and discovering evidence relevant to any civil lawsuit arising out of a tractor-trailer crash. The personal injury lawyer, through investigation and formal discovery, may uncover whether driver fatigue, driving in excess of the required hours, chemical impairment, sleep deprivation or other health conditions played a role in the driver’s conduct. The injury lawyer will also be looking at the conduct and practices of the tractor-trailer driver’s employer.

    A Missouri attorney involved in a semi-truck accident case may also want access to the tractor trailer for inspection and examination. The truck might also be equipped with electronic onboard recorders. This “black box” type of recorder may contain important information on the truck’s movement prior to the accident.

    Three Dead in St. Francois County Crash, KMOV.com, January 20, 2011

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