Can I Sue for Being Hit by a Semi-Truck in Kansas City?
Sharing the road with semi-trucks can be dangerous for occupants of passenger vehicles. Three-fourths of the people who die in large truck accidents are occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists. The people who survive being hit by a semi-truck can sustain catastrophic injuries and permanent impairments.
If you are hit by a semi-truck in Kansas City, suing the responsible party for causing the truck accident might be the only way for you to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. The circumstances of the truck accident determine who might be named in the lawsuit. More than one party could be responsible for your damages.
Identifying Liable Parties for a Semi-Truck Accident
Our Kansas City semi-truck accident lawyer begins with a comprehensive accident investigation to determine how the crash occurred. By determining the cause of the crash, we can identify the parties liable for your injuries and damages. We must have that information before pursuing an accident claim or filing a lawsuit.
Potentially liable parties for a semi-truck accident include:
Commercial Truck Drivers
Driving a semi-truck requires training and skill. Handling an 80,000-pound vehicle that dwarfs other vehicles on the road is a serious responsibility. One mistake or error could lead to a catastrophic truck accident.
However, many of the commercial truck accidents that occur are caused by truck driver negligence. Examples of truck driver negligence that can lead to a semi-truck crash include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Exceeding the federal regulations for hours of service, which can lead to fatigued and drowsy driving
- Exceeding safe speed limits to make deliveries faster
- Reckless driving and aggressive driving
- Driving while distracted, including watching videos, texting, talking on a cell phone, eating, and using electronic devices
- Failing to adjust speed during periods of poor weather conditions or hazardous road conditions
Truck drivers who cause accidents can be held personally liable for damages. However, unless a truck driver has individual insurance or assets to compensate the victim for those damages, it may be necessary to search for other parties who might share liability for the semi-truck accident.
Trucking companies often share liability for truck accidents. The trucking company is responsible for the maintenance of the truck, training drivers, and performing background checks to ensure truck drivers are qualified to operate a semi-truck.
If a trucking company requires drivers to ignore service hour regulations, drive trucks that are not safe, or take other risks that lead to a truck crash, the trucking company could be liable for damages. There are many ways a trucking company could be negligent.
Shippers and Loaders
Commercial trucks loaded improperly are dangerous. The trucks can flip over when making turns or going around curves if the load is too heavy or the load shifts. A truck driver could lose control of the vehicle because of improperly loaded trucks. It also takes the truck longer to stop when it is overloaded.
Maintenance Companies and Repair Shops
Semi-trucks require frequent inspections and maintenance to ensure all systems are working in good condition. Trucks that are on the road continuously also need repairs. Suppose a maintenance company or repair shop is negligent in performing services. In that case, they could be liable for a truck accident if their conduct contributed to the cause of the semi-truck crash.
Semi-trucks are very complex vehicles. A small defect in one of many systems could result in a tragic accident. Defective truck parts can cause the truck’s brakes to fail or the steering system to fail. Defective truck tires may blow out, causing the truck driver to lose control of the truck. When a defective truck part contributes to the cause of a semi-truck accident, the truck’s manufacturer could be liable for damages caused by the crash.
Injuries Caused by Semi-Truck Accidents
Semi-truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries for victims. Common injuries caused by accidents involving a semi-truck include:
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries, including coma and permanent brain damage
- Skull fractures and head injuries
- Multiple fractures and broken bones
- Severe burns, disfigurement, and scarring
- Back injuries, including broken bones and ruptured discs
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Severe damage to internal organs
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Wrongful death
In many cases, accident victims sustain permanent impairments and disabilities. The impact could decrease the person’s quality of life and could require 24/7 medical or personal care.
The cost of personal care and medical care could cost millions of dollars over a lifetime. Filing a personal injury claim is the first step in recovering compensation for a truck accident claim.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Kansas City Semi-Truck Accident
Our Kansas City semi-truck accident attorney investigates the crash to gather evidence of fault and liability. We identify all parties that could be liable for your damages and the insurance companies that have liability coverage for the crash during our investigation.
A claim is filed with each insurance provider and at-fault party demanding compensation for damages including:
- Past and future medical care and treatment
- Past and future loss of income and benefits, including decreases in earning potential
- Pain and suffering damages, including mental trauma, emotional distress, and physical discomfort
- Permanent impairments, disfigurements, scarring, and disabilities
- Cost of long-term personal care
- Modifications to a home and vehicle because of permanent impairments
Insurance companies and trucking companies aggressively investigate truck crashes and try to limit their liability for claims. If they refuse to negotiate in good faith to settle the claim for a fair amount, it may be necessary to sue the parties.
Get Help from a Kansas City Truck Accident Lawyer
We have answers to your questions about truck accidents. It is not in your best interest to talk to insurance adjusters or representatives for the trucking company. They are gathering information they can use to avoid paying full value for your claim. If you accept a settlement offer, you lose your right to sue the parties if your condition worsens or you incur additional damages. Instead, work with an experienced, trusted truck accident lawyer in Kansas City.
The Law Office of Kevin J. McManus represents clients in Missouri and Kansas who have been injured in commercial truck accidents. We aggressively fight to get you the money you deserve after being injured in a truck crash.
Contact our office to schedule your free consultation by calling 816-203-0143 or completing our online contact form.