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18-wheeler Accident Lawyer in Missouri

LEGAL HELP FOR MISSOURI TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS

Located in the heart of the United States, Missouri borders a whopping eight states. The Show Me State is famously home to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery and biotechnology giant Monsanto, both located in St. Louis. Missouri is a top national producer of limestone and lead.

Four of the nation’s largest interstate highways cross through Missouri, including I-35, I-44, I-70, and Interstate 55. The state is well connected the rest of the nation, allowing its utilization of the trucking industry to move its goods and products freely. Trucking may help the state economy, but every year tragedy strike thousands of motorists on Missouri roadways. In 2014, nationally an estimated 111,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks. In Missouri alone, 100 people were killed in trucking accidents in 2014.

Missouri trucking accidents are largely unnecessary and avoidable. Negligence on the part of truck drivers, trucking companies, and commercial motor vehicle manufacturers leads to devastating accidents, leaving motorists with life-altering, debilitating injuries and even death.

We understand how trucking injuries can affect your quality of life. Catastrophic injuries or a death of a loved one can throw your family into a physical and financial bind. Thomas J. Henry is dedicated to our clients’ well-being, so we advance your court costs and litigation expenses. We can also advance you money for living and medical expenses — interest free. And lastly, you will not be charged anything unless we win your trucking injury case. We do this because we have the confidence and proven history of achieving record-breaking verdicts and compensation for our clients after taking on the largest trucking companies in the world.

Your choice matters when it comes to hiring a law firm after your Missouri trucking accident. To win your case, you need a firm that has the financial resources necessary to develop your case properly. You need a trucking injury attorney that is available to take your calls 24/7, nights and weekends. Thomas J. Henry understands the trucking industry and how drivers and companies operate and has the knowledge and expertise to make sure your case is handled with care from intake to resolution.

LEGAL RESOURCES TO WIN YOUR STATE TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE

  • Technology
    • A complete case profile is active in our modern computer system after the first time we meet a client, whether it is at our office or at the client’s home, workplace, or hospital. We employ leading-edge case management, client interaction, and information security solutions to make sure your case files are always readily available and secure. Case information can be expedited to you or anyone on our team with a click of a mouse, ensuring everyone is kept informed with the most up-to-date information.
  • Mobility
    • Our Missouri truck accident lawyers are available to you 24/7, nights and weekends, to discuss your case. Thomas J. Henry makes sure your attorney is as accessible as possible. We can visit you wherever you live in Missouri through jet services or converse with you via satellite and mobile technologies. Our trucking injury attorneys can hold meetings and draft and review files from anywhere in the country.
  • Experts
    • Thomas J. Henry has demonstrated through massive use of experts how trucking companies and drivers have negligently caused severe injuries and deaths. We use only the best experts from across the country in every personal injury case we handle. Trucking experts provide invaluable reports and testimony for judges, lawyers, law firms, and government agencies in trials and arbitration. Having the right expert can be vital in advancing your case, and Thomas J. Henry has spent years selecting only the best through extensive examinations and questioning. Examples of trucking experts include:
      • Transportation safety specialists
      • Human factors forensic science experts
      • Physicians, surgeons, psychologists, toxicologists, and other medical professionals
      • Accident investigation experts

WHAT DO I DO AFTER A TRUCK ACCIDENT IN MISSOURI?

Your rights as a victim of a trucking accident are important. There are certain steps you can take to help protect those rights and preserve evidence that is pertinent to your future case. Trucking accidents can be overwhelming and cause major trauma, physically and emotionally. That’s why choosing the right trucking injury attorney is important. Thomas J. Henry will advocate for your financial and physical well-being from the beginning to the end of your case.

If you have been in a Missouri trucking accident, you should:

  • Immediately stop after the crash.
    • Assess the situation by checking yourself and your passengers for injuries. If you plan on leaving the vehicle, make sure it is safe outside before doing so. Serious injuries often occur from drivers colliding with vehicles involved in a previous crash.
  • If possible, make the accident scene visible.
    • Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights, set out reflectors, or light road flares to let oncoming drivers know they are approaching an accident scene.
  • Notify the police.
    • Contact the police and call 911 if there is an emergency. An important step in filing insurance claims is filing a police report. Be sure that paramedics are sent if anyone was injured in the crash.
  • Record the facts and take pictures.
    • Speak with responding officers and be truthful and accurate. Do not speculate about accident or injury details. Take pictures of your vehicle, the truck, the accident scene, and any injuries you or your passengers sustained in the accident.
  • Gather and exchange information.
    • Collect names and contact information of all parties involved in the trucking accident. If there were any witnesses, collect their information as well. Obtain the insurance information of all drivers involved in the accident.
  • Seek medical attention.
    • Sometimes injuries or pain from the accident won’t become apparent until days after the crash. If you are uncertain if you suffered an injury, err on the side of caution and schedule an appointment with a primary care physician.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company.
    • Contact your insurance company as soon as you can. As your claim is processed, keep a log of any medical expenses or crash-related expenses as well as any changes in health. Avoid speaking with other insurance companies or trucking company claims adjusters.
  • Contact an experienced Missouri trucking accident attorney.
    • Attorneys are responsible for protecting your rights as an accident victim and for making sure insurance companies are acting in your best interest. Our injury attorneys will immediately work to obtain and preserve evidence from the accident, give you legal advice, and ensure you receive ample medical attention. Experienced Missouri trucking injury lawyers will make sure you are comfortable and informed throughout the entire process and pursue every measure available to obtain the compensation you deserve.

WHAT ARE ECM AND GPS DEVICES?

Commercial trucks and other vehicles regulated by the Department of Transportation oftentimes contain Electronic Control Modules (ECM) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) devices. These devices are electronic systems that record and track the movement of the truck, which can be vital data and information pertaining to your trucking accident case. ECM and GPS devices can record the speed of a truck at the point of an impact. In addition, these devices can reveal the habits of the driver and the routes taken prior to the accident, which can shed light on negligence and fault in the accident.

At Thomas J. Henry, our experienced Missouri trucking injury attorneys will immediately file a lawsuit and restraining order to obtain the ECM and GPS devices on board the truck involved in your accident. We will also acquire all of the driver’s required Federal Motor Carrier documents, which can provide additional information vital to achieving the verdict you or your injured family members deserve.

COMMON MISSOURI TRUCKING VIOLATIONS THAT RESULT IN ACCIDENTS

Several factors can lead to a serious semi-truck accident. Due to the size differential between large trucks and passenger cars, small mistakes can turn catastrophic in the blink of an eye. In the United States, semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 lbs., or 40 tons. When the average car weights around two tons, disastrous injuries and death can result from simple traffic infractions.

Common causes of Missouri trucking accidents include:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Speeding
    • Perhaps the most common traffic violation, speeding was a contributing factor in at least 30 percent of annual fatal crash totals between 2003 and 2012.
  • Drowsiness
  • Unsecured loads
    • Motorists are put in danger when truck drivers and trucking companies fail to secure cargo. When cargo, including hazardous materials, spill onto the highway, serious accidents can occur.
  • Failure to maintain vehicle
    • Truck drivers are compelled to perform daily inspections on their vehicles. Even the smallest mechanical issue can turn deadly at 65 mph on the highway.
  • Improper lane changing
  • Improper turns
  • Distracted driving

WHO CAN BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR TRUCKING ACCIDENTS IN MISSOURI?

Trucking accidents can be complex, and knowing who and where to sue can be a crucial aspect to the success of your case. These types of personal injury cases are complex because there are several different parties that may be at fault in the accident, including:

  • The commercial motor vehicle/truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • Commercial motor vehicle manufacturer

Thomas J. Henry has the knowledge and experience to make sure your case is handled correctly. Our experienced truck accident attorneys will make sure all the details of your trucking accident have been researched and discovered so you are in the best possible position to receive the compensation you deserve for your trucking accident injuries. For years, our firm has demonstrated how commercial motor vehicle operators and trucking companies across the United States have caused catastrophic injuries and deaths that were completely preventable.

FEDERAL GUIDELINES HELP PREVENT MISSOURI TRUCKING ACCIDENTS

Every commercial motor vehicle company and truck driver in Missouri are required to follow regulations and safety guidelines found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. If followed, these regulations can prevent many trucking accidents from occurring that could potentially result in severe, debilitating injuries and wrongful deaths.

Truck drivers are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license, or CDL. Drivers with a CDL are held to higher standards, meaning their license can be suspended by committing serious traffic violations, such as using a handheld mobile phone while driving. Other important commercial motor vehicle guidelines include:

  • Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
    • If operating in Missouri intrastate commerce, drivers must be at least 18 years of age.
  • To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
  • Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
  • In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
  • For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
  • Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
    • Texting and driving is illegal for all drivers under 21 years of age in Missouri.
  • Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.

HOURS OF SERVICE REGULATIONS

All commercial motor vehicle operators (passenger-carrying and property carrying) are required to comply with the hours of service regulations. Drowsy and fatigued drivers cause many catastrophic trucking accidents each year in Missouri. These regulations ensure drivers are receiving enough rest to safely operate their trucks.

Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
  • Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

Passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • may drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following eight consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
  • Drivers using a sleeper berth provision must take at least eight hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED MISSOURI TRUCKING ACCIDENT AND INJURY ATTORNEY

For decades, Thomas J. Henry has assisted trucking injury victims throughout the United States stand up against some of the largest trucking companies and obtain record-breaking verdicts. If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a trucking accident in Missouri, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our Missouri truck accident lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your case.

Disclaimer: Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only.  Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.

HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED?

Contact Us for a FREE Case Review

877-969-8159 • info@tjhlaw.com

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