Semi-Truck Accident on I-270 in St. Louis Spills Diesel Fuel and Causes Traffic Backup
Early Friday morning a semi-truck struck the rear-end of a stalled pickup truck on I-270 in St. Louis. The semi-truck spun out of control, struck a concrete barrier, and landed in the backyard of several Maryland Heights residents. The crash resulted in diesel fuel spillage on the highway. The Maryland Heights stretch of I-270 will be shut down for most of the morning, with four lanes blocked off and only one lane partially open.
Over 4,000 People Killed in Truck Accidents Every Year
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a total of 4,102 people died in car accidents involving large trucks in 2017. The average commercial truck weighs over 70,000 pounds, while the average passenger vehicle weighs around 4,000 pounds. In a truck accident involving a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle, the driver of the passenger vehicle will more than likely suffer significant damages, injuries or die. Out of the 4,102 people that were killed in commercial truck accidents in 2017, 17% of these deaths were truck drivers while 68% of these deaths were drivers of passenger vehicles. Commercial truck accident drivers are under strict state and federal regulations, but with the number of large truck accidents on the rise since 2009, this is a serious issue.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Large truck drivers have a slew of safety procedures and regulations that must be followed every time they are behind the wheel. If these safety regulations are not followed exactly, this puts other drivers on the road at risk, the truck driver at risk, and is extremely hazardous. Some of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents that occur due to negligent truck driving are:
- Lack of Sleep – truck drivers are on the road for hours at a time, which can be exhausting and cause drivers to think irrationally. If a truck driver is running on very little sleep this can cause them to run into other vehicles on the road, lose control of their truck, swerve off the road, and cause other severe accidents
- Distracted Driving – large trucks often travel at high speeds and take longer than other vehicles to come to a complete stop. If a truck driver is texting, eating, playing with the radio, or otherwise distracted, they may not be able to see road hazards, stalled vehicles, or road blockage in time to be able to stop
- Driving Under the Influence – some truck drivers may use illegal substances while driving to stay alert, awake, and focused on the road when running on little sleep. While this may keep them awake, these substances can cause them to think irrationally, become distracted, and make them a hazard to other drivers on the road
- Inexperience – if a driver improperly loads a vehicle with cargo or misses a step in their regulated pre-trip safety routine, they can lose control of their truck, their truck can jackknife, or swerve off the road or into other vehicles
- Improper maintenance – large trucks require regular maintenance to stay in good shape. If a driver doesn’t properly maintain their truck, bypasses weigh stations, or doesn’t have their truck examined regularly, it is dangerous to them and other drivers on the road to operate their truck
While there are certainly other causes of large truck accidents, the causes listed above are the most prominent. It’s crucial for truck drivers to strictly adhere to state and federal regulations while behind the wheel, and for passenger vehicle drivers to know what to do if they are in an accident with a commercial truck.
Who Can I Sue After a Truck Accident?
If you are involved in an accident with a large truck, it’s crucial to call the police and your lawyer immediately. A police report can preserve evidence from the accident that shows who is at fault and your lawyer can make sure that you aren’t taken advantage of by the commercial truck driver’s insurance company. Commercial trucks are often insured by large insurance companies that will attempt to get you to make an immediate statement about the accident. Your truck accident lawyer will defend you against them and make sure that your rights and best interests are protected.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident you are involved in, you may be able to seek compensation from the truck driver, their employer, or even the manufacturer of the goods they are hauling. If your lawyer proves that the truck driver isn’t an independent contractor of the company and that they were on the clock at the time of the accident, you may be eligible to recover damages from the truck driver and their employer. Most cargo that is hauled by large trucks is hazardous or can be harmful. If your truck accident lawyer can prove that the accident was caused by the cargo or equipment that the truck driver was hauling, you may have a valid claim against the cargo’s manufacturer.
Speak with a Lawyer About Your Truck Accident Today
Truck accidents can cause severe injuries that can be expensive to treat. If you or someone you care about has been hurt or killed in a truck accident, you could be eligible to recover damages for suffering. Some of the more common types of damages that can be recovered with a valid truck accident claim include:
- Medical bills, cost of medicine, medical accessories, etc.
- Mental, emotional, or physical distress from the accident
- Lost wages from the accident or other forms of income
- Property damage that occurred in the crash
- If your loved one was killed in a truck accident, you may be eligible to recover loss of affection damages, in addition to any damages that your deceased loved one could have claimed from the accident
Truck accidents can be traumatizing and cause injuries that can permanently alter your life and your family’s. If you have been in a truck accident, you deserve justice for your suffering. Your truck accident lawyer can provide you with the experienced and knowledgeable legal advice that you need to defend your case and your rights against the large truck company and their insurer.
Most lawyers use contingency plans to make their services more accessible, so if you’re worried about not being able to afford representation, don’t worry. A contingency plan allows for you to only pay for a lawyer’s services if and when they recover damages for your claim. If you are looking for a lawyer to represent you and your truck accident claim, feel free to contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation. Our Truck Accident Lawyers are passionate about helping truck accident victims and will do everything in their power to win the most for your case.