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If you or a loved one suffered injuries, property damages, or other losses due to a commercial trucking accident in the Berkeley area – you may qualify to take legal action to seek compensation for the damages that you incurred.
Contact a Berkeley truck accident attorney from TorHoerman Law for a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss your legal options today.
Want to find out if you qualify for a Berkeley truck accident lawsuit right now?
Use our chatbot to receive a free instant online case evaluation now!
Trucking accidents differ from car accidents in that there is likely more than one liable party and the claim can get complicated very quickly.
The experienced truck accident lawyers at our Berkeley TorHoerman Law office can navigate the legal process on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your recovery!
Our firm works on a contingency basis – you don’t pay unless we win.
No compensation? No cost.
Our primary goal is to help you through this difficult situation in your life!
Keep detailed documentation of all expenses related to the accident – vehicle repairs and costs, medical bills, treatments needed in the future, and income lost during yours or the recovery of a loved one.
By keeping these records, it will help your lawyer assemble a solid case in your favor by summarizing what you or a loved one lost as a result of the accident!
When a semi-truck crashes into another vehicle, the collision often causes far more serious injuries than in other collisions.
A truck can weigh anywhere between 25 and 80 times more than the average passenger car – so even when there is minimal damage to the vehicle, injuries may be quite severe.
A semi-truck’s sheer size and weight makes it difficult to maneuver, which can lead to serious truck accidents.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a semi-truck accident – it is important to talk with an attorney about your legal options.
According to the American Trucking Association, there are more than 37.9 million trucks on the road today.
That means 1 out of every 15 vehicles you see on the road is a semi-truck.
Today, most accidents involving trucks are preventable.
That makes it all the more important that you understand your rights and options after a truck accident.
If you have been injured in a semi-truck accident, talk to an attorney to discuss your case!
Berkeley is a centralized hub where much of the nation’s cargo and freight moves through.
There are over 140,000 trucking-related jobs in Missouri – 1 in 17 jobs in the state.
While commercial logistics and freight bring business and jobs to Berkeley – it also means that many of the city’s highways are often filled with semi-trucks.
As a result, there are has been a steady increase of trucking accidents taking place in and around the city throughout the years.
If you are involved in a trucking accident in Berkeley, or a neighboring suburb – contact TorHoerman Law today for a free, no-obligation case consultation.
Want to find out if you qualify right away?
Use our chatbot below to get an instant online case evaluation from a trusted Berkeley truck accident law firm – TorHoerman Law!
One of the most important steps in this process is finding an lawyer to act as your Berkeley truck accident attorney.
You should seek representation from an attorney with the experience, resources, and commitment required to win your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
The choice of an attorney is an important decision.
Be sure to ask your potential Berkeley truck accident attorney any questions you deem necessary before making a decision.
Here are six (6) questions to ask when considering a law firm or attorney:
Feel free to contact TorHoerman Law to speak with one of the highly-skilled Berkeley truck accident attorneys from our firm and get your questions answered.
According to the Missouri Trucking Association, there were 89 fatal trucking accidents in the last year alone – representing eight percent of all fatal accidents in Missouri.
While Berkeley, MO truck accidents occur less often than other auto accidents, there are key differences setting the two dangerously apart…
Truck accidents are more likely to result in serious injury or death – likely due to the large size of the tractor-trailer vehicle which generally has a more destructive impact than smaller vehicles.
The party held liable for the accident may not be just the driver – it could the owner of the truck, the trucking company the driver is employed with, the company that maintains the truck, or the company the loads the truck’s cargo.
In a Berkeley truck accident claim, it is likely there will be more than one liable party.
For these reasons, trucking accidents generally warrant legal action to ensure that truck accident victims are made whole for the losses that they incur from the accident.
If you are involved in an accident, it can greatly benefit you to contact a Berkeley truck accident lawyer to discuss your legal options and determine the best avenue to financial recovery.
While statistics for Berkeley, MO truck accidents are limited, information is available at a nationwide level.
Here are five (5) shocking truck accident facts and statistics:
A semi-truck can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds without an oversize or overweight permit.
Comparatively, a car typically weighs about 5,000 pounds.
A semi-truck needs 40% more time to stop than a car
If a truck is driving without a trailer, this is referred to as ‘bobtailing’.
Surprisingly, driving without a trailer is more dangerous, especially in bad weather.
The average cost of all large truck crashes is about $91,000 per crash. If the accident resulted in a fatality, the cost of the truck accident skyrockets to $3.6 million per crash.
Highway deaths have fluctuated over the years, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, deaths are even more common when a large truck is involved.
Deaths involving a large truck steadily increased since 2010, and over 4,100 people were killed in 2019 in crashes involving semi-trucks.
The NHTSA defines a large truck as any vehicle, commercial or non-commercial, with gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was founded in 2000 and “partners with industry safety advocates, and state and local governments, to keep our nation’s roadways safe.”
Specifically, the FMCSA has enacted strict laws regulating the trucking industry in hopes of reducing the number of accidents.
Federal regulations state that each driver:
Weight limits are to be strictly followed, but if carrying a tractor load that is overweight, special permits can be issued by the chief engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation either for a single trip or a definite time period.
It is required by law that all semi-trucks undergo routine “systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance” – but how often is dependent on the fleet and type of vehicle.
If the company fails to properly maintain the truck, they could be held liable for any accidents that occur.
In Missouri specifically, drivers must first pass a skill and knowledge test before obtaining their commercial driver’s license (CDL).
While drivers must be 21 to cross state lines while transporting goods in a large truck, each state can pass its own state laws regulating the age of an individual driving only on state roads.
In Missouri, 18 is the legal age a person can drive a semi-truck.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), ran by the U.S. Department of Labor since 1970, sets strict regulations for many industries, including trucking.
OSHA works alongside other trucking regulators such as FMCSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation – it often depends on the incident and where it happened to decide which regulator will handle the investigation.
While companies are required to follow OSHA guidelines, violations can and do occur.
As a driver on the roadways, you have no way of knowing what kind of cargo is in the truck’s cargo hold.
If a trucking company or warehouse violated safety regulations, those actions can have implications on the roadways.
For example, if the cargo catches fire, the fire poses a great risk to other vehicles.
The legal team working on your truck accident claims will evaluate the police report and previous OSHA citations to decide on further action.
In a city like Berkeley, and any city for that matter, there can be an infinite amount of causes for truck accidents.
The 8 most common causes of truck accidents in Berkeley (MO) are:
Likely inevitable when turning at a 45-degree angle, a truck will jackknife which basically means the “trailer contacts the tractor by the ailer ‘coming around’ on the driver”.
Although it’s more common on wet or icy roads – jackknifing can also occur if a tractor is empty and the driver is forced to brake hard.
Truck drivers are required to adhere to a strict schedule, one that allows for proper resting time.
If a driver fails to do this, their driving ability may be severely lacking.
Aggressive driving is one of the most common causes of truck accidents and collisions.
Aggressive driving is considered to be any driving behavior that can be reasonably viewed as dangerous or in blatant disregard of road and safety laws.
This behavior is typically due to being late, being angry or upset, or just being impatient – among many other possible reasons.
Trucking regulations require companies to maintain proper care of the truck and follow maintenance schedules and inspections.
Large trucks require very sophisticated equipment, and if any of this equipment becomes damaged or malfunctions, the truck will not be able to operate safely.
Even something as simple as a broken headlight or taillight can cause someone to become involved in an accident.
Truck drivers are required by law to inspect their truck before they drive it.
If there is any type of mechanical defect, the driver must fix it before they are allowed to operate the vehicle.
In some truck accident cases, the company and driver may have done everything right, but equipment or parts could be defective – placing blame on the manufacturer of those parts.
These cases are rare, but can warrant a product liability lawsuit.
Several things can equate to negligence on the part of the trucking company.
Allowing drivers to violate hours of service limits, failing to properly train drivers, or negligent hiring practices can all lead to trucking company negligence – among other factors.
Trucks are not equipped with the ability to stop suddenly or change lanes quickly if the need arises.
A careless driver can cause a truck driver to make defensive moves that could otherwise put other travelers on the road in danger.
They can cause this by zooming in and out of traffic, failing to pay attention and stopping quickly, or simply driving in the blind spot of a truck – to name a few.
Cell phone usage is strictly prohibited while driving a semi-truck.
TorHoerman Law has created the Let’s End Distracted Driving advocacy campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while distracted.
A large number of truck accidents in Berkeley occur as a result of drivers not paying attention to what is going on around them.
This is often referred to as “failure to maintain a proper lookout.”
Truck drivers are taught that they must constantly be aware of what is going on in their environment.
A truck driver who fails to maintain a proper lookout may not see something that causes them to swerve into another lane, or they may be unable to avoid colliding with another vehicle that cuts them off.
The affects of a commercial trucking accident can be devastating, both physically and financially.
However, a Berkeley truck accident lawyer can help you to recover from these damages by seeking compensation for the losses that you incurred.
Before filing a Berkeley truck accident claim or personal injury lawsuit – it is important that you take the initial steps to build a strong case in your favor.
Your Berkeley truck accident lawyer can help you to accomplish each of the following steps once you have hired a Berkeley truck accident attorney to represent you!
The four (4) steps to take when filing a truck accident lawsuit include:
The first step is to mitigate the damages of your accident.
Mitigation is the process of limiting the losses, costs, and injuries that result from an accident.
The most important part of mitigation is seeking medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident, no matter how minor your injuries may seem.
You should follow your doctor’s orders and, if possible, get more than one medical opinion for any injuries diagnosed.
You should also have an assessment of property damage conducted as soon as possible after the accident.
Do not further damage your property after the accident and make sure that you get everything fixed before using it again.
In other words, do not drive your car after the accident until it has been worked on by a mechanic.
Finally, do not try to exaggerate your injuries or other losses.
Be honest and up-front about your damages.
The gathering of evidence in the aftermath of a truck accident is imperative to a future claim.
This is one of the most important steps of the civil lawsuit process.
While most of the leg work will be done by your Berkeley truck accident lawyers, there are a few things that can be done immediately following the accident, if you are able to do so:
After discussing your case with the Berkeley truck accident lawyers at TorHoerman Law – they will begin the process of documenting evidence which will potentially include a number of the following items:
While the evidence is not limited to those listed, it provides a baseline for the kinds of things you can expect to be gathered and investigated.
Each case is different and varying factors are involved warranting different evidence.
Trucking accidents can be confusing because there may be more than one liable party.
Depending on what caused the accident, the liable party may be in question.
The following are common parties, often more than one, that can be held liable in a trucking accident:
In Berkeley, the courts follow the pure comparative fault rule.
Essentially, a jury will decide how much of the accident was your fault and reduce the damages awarded by that percentage.
For example, a jury may decide you were 10% at fault because of your failure to reduce speed in wet conditions, but the driver of the semi-truck was 90% at fault for the accident.
If the jury awards you $50,000 in damages, you will only be eligible to receive $45,000 because 10% was deducted because of your 10% responsibility in the accident.
It is not uncommon for the insurance and trucking companies to use the Berkeley liability laws to their advantage by attempting to place at least some blame on another party – resulting in a lesser payment for those companies and less compensation for the victim.
For that reason, it is important to hire an experienced Berkeley personal injury lawyer who will fight for your case and fight to help you receive the compensation you deserve!
Your damages are the total losses that you incurred as a result of your accident.
Your damages can include costs related to physical damages, emotional damages, property damages, and future costs.
Your Berkeley truck accident attorney will be able to help you determine what your total damages are valued at.
This will help you come up with a demand for compensation to cover the costs of your accident.
You can use evidence to help prove your economic and non-economic damages.
Receipts, bills, paychecks, property damage estimations, medical records, and other documents used as evidence are often-times used to prove the severity of your losses.
Depending of the specifics of your case, your attorney may choose to try to gain compensation in the form of both compensatory damages and punitive damages.
As Berkeley truck accident attorneys, our job is to keep you informed of the lawsuit process through every step – this starts from the minute you contact our firm to the conclusion of your case.
If you have any questions about a potential lawsuit, please contact our office!
At TorHoerman Law, our experienced team of attorneys can help address any concerns you may have regarding a Berkeley (MO) truck accident lawsuit.
Our Berkeley truck accident law firm operates on a contingency fee basis.
Thus, you do not make any payments until you have been awarded compensation.
No compensation? No legal fees.
That’s right – if we don’t win you financial compensation, we foot the entire bill for your case.
This is a guarantee of our commitment to your case.
Our team of experienced and award-winning St. Louis truck accident lawyers have been awarded more than $4 billion in verdicts and negotiated settlements to date.
If you or someone you love has been in a serious truck accident – you need the best truck accident attorney Berkeley has to offer.
Contact our team today for a free, no-obligation consultation and find out why TorHoerman Law is the best Berkeley truck accident law firm!
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