Driver Dies in Crash Involving Multiple Semi-Trucks on I-44 in Springfield, MO
This past Thursday evening, a driver was killed in a car accident on I-44 in Missouri involving two semi-trucks. The crash occurred when a tractor-trailer rolled over on the highway, causing the driver of the passenger vehicle to slow down abruptly on the highway. A second semi-truck slammed into the passenger vehicle, pinning it to the rolled over tractor-trailer and catching fire. The driver of the passenger vehicle suffered critical injuries and later passed away at the hospital.
More than 3,000 Drivers are Killed Every Year Because of Accidents Involving Commercial Trucks
In 2010, 3,413 people died in commercial truck accidents. Of this number, 14-percent of these drivers was the driver of the commercial vehicle. The average commercial truck weighs in at around 80,000 pounds and is often carrying hazardous and toxic cargo that can make accidents even more dangerous. There are dozens of safety regulations and rules that commercial truck drivers must follow while operating large vehicles and towing cargo, but sometimes they are not followed or properly executed.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a commercial truck accident, you may be eligible to file a claim against both the negligent commercial truck driver and the company they’re employed with. Under the Vicarious Liability Law, if it can be proven that the driver of the commercial truck acted negligently while on the clock, their employer can be held at fault for the driver’s actions. It is essential to consult with your car accident lawyer to see if this applies to your case and to begin filing a personal injury claim against the negligent commercial truck driver.
Act Quickly After a Commerical Truck Accident
Time is of the essence in the moments after a crash. It is essential to gather as much information and evidence from the scene of the accident as possible to preserve the facts of the accident. Injuries can often prevent victims from gathering this information themselves, so it’s important to call the police, file a police report and send someone you trust to gather contact and insurance information from the other driver. A police report will include:
- Details of the accident such as who was involved, where it happened, what time it occurred, etc.
- Evidence such as photos of the scene of the accident, including damages done, debris, road marks and more
- Statements from drivers that were involved and what they believe happened in the accident
- Witness accounts of what they saw when the accident happened
- Details about what and who the responding officers believe caused the crash
A police report, while powerful evidence, should be accompanied by a medical report immediately after an accident involving a commercial truck. Serious injuries can occur from crashes involving passenger and commercial vehicles, so it is important to get checked out immediately by a physician. Failure to seek prompt medical attention could result in worsened injuries or further medical complications from not treating injuries. If you are involved in a car crash with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle, it is critical to speak with your lawyer immediately. Commercial truck companies are insured by large insurance companies who can be challenging to deal with so your lawyer will serve as a mediator between you and the other driver’s agent.
How to Prevent Being Involved in a Commercial Truck Accident
Unfortunately, car accidents aren’t always preventable. Accidents happen suddenly, sometimes for unforeseeable or unavoidable reasons. Some accidents, such as speeding or distracted driving accidents though are preventable. The main factor that can help prevent avoidable accidents with commercial trucks is to stay alert, aware of your surroundings and practice safe driving.
If you or the commercial truck driver is speeding, driving under the influence, texting or practicing other negligent driving habits, this heightens the risk of a crash. By staying alert and aware, following speed limits and other driving rules and regulations, you can avoid being involved in an otherwise preventable car accident with a commercial truck.
Proving Liability and Damages for an Accident Involving a Commercial Vehicle
Practicing safe driving as a passenger vehicle driver can certainly help prevent accidents and the same can be said for operators of commercial vehicles. Drivers of commercial trucks are obligated to follow several federal regulations while operating a commercial vehicle. A commercial truck must be:
- Up-to-code according to commercial truck regulations
- Cargo must be properly secured
- Safety practices such as turn signals and other signals must be used
If a commercial truck driver fails to follow these instructions while driving and is involved in an accident, the other driver may be eligible to receive compensation for damages. The other driver must prove that the commercial truck driver is liable for the crash with evidence and legal representation, and prove that the damages they’re claiming were directly caused by the accident and the driver of the commercial vehicle.
It is essential to have an experienced lawyer by your side during this process so that you are aware of your rights, what damages you’re eligible to claim and how you can receive the maximum amount of compensation for your damages. If you are ready to consult with a lawyer about your crash involving a commercial vehicle, feel free to contact the Dixon Injury Firm. Our attorneys are committed to helping victims of commercial vehicle accidents get justice for their suffering and receive the highest amount of compensation possible for their injuries.