Kansas City Truck Accident Lawyers
Most people who suffer an accident with a semi-trailer truck sustain significant injuries. The results can be devastating when a commercial vehicle weighing 80,000 pounds goes up against a roughly 3,000-pound passenger car.
Truck drivers are bound by numerous local, state, and federal laws that regulate how they operate their semi-trucks. Due to the complexities of interstate commerce, federal laws have been established that apply from state to state. Agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) oversee and regulate truck traffic that crosses state lines.
One of the most important federal laws requires any truck crossing state lines to carry specific amounts of insurance coverage. Because of the amount of insurance involved, pursuing a claim against a commercial truck driver and trucking company is not easy. However, the experienced truck accident lawyers at Foster Wallace are willing and able to take on these cases and fight for the compensation our clients deserve.
Common Semi-Truck Crash Injuries
Occupants of passenger cars can suffer catastrophic, if not fatal, injuries after a collision with a semi-truck. Victims who survive these devastating crashes often suffer from injuries including the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Facial injuries
- Fractured bones
- Limb amputation
- Psychological injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Some of these injuries could be severe enough to cause permanent disability. Emergency treatment immediately after the accident and ongoing care—potentially for life—can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If a loved one is killed in a truck crash, you likely have grounds for a wrongful death claim. We can help you hold the negligent driver and their employer responsible for covering these costs.
Determining the Cause of Your Kansas City Truck Accident
To hold a trucker and their employer accountable for your losses after a crash, you must be able to prove that their negligence caused the crash. According to the USDOT, human error is the most common cause of a crash involving a semi-truck—especially errors made by the commercial carrier. Mistakes made by the driver, the trucking company's inspectors or mechanics, or hiring managers are common causes of commercial truck crashes.
At Foster Wallace, we do everything we can to prepare a strong case, including an investigation of the crash site for evidence of negligence. This may include:
- Overweight truck or unsecured freight on the truck
- Improper maintenance (tires, breaks, lights, etc.)
- Violation of regulations on hours at the wheel
- Violation of laws (speeding, traffic violations, etc.)
- Driver fatigue or impairment
- Failure to adjust to changes in speed or traffic low
- Driver unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Illness of the driver
- Mechanical problems with the semi-truck
We will gather evidence such as video footage, witness statements, police reports, trucking company hiring and inspection records, and the driver's log book. Under federal trucking regulations, every driver must maintain a logbook that records the number of hours driven, the number of hours of rest and sleep, the route taken while working, and where and when the load was picked up and returned. These logs force truckers to exhibit accountability and can help prevent driver fatigue. These log books are essential in an investigation after a crash. However, federal law allows truck logs to be destroyed after only six months, which means you need to hire an attorney quickly so we can preserve this vital piece of evidence.
Determining Who Is at Fault in Your Truck Accident Case
Because all semi-trucks should be covered by insurance, the lawyers for big insurance companies that defend semi-truck operators know USDOT and FMCSA regulations very well. People injured in semi-truck crashes also need help from dedicated and tireless attorneys for these situations. At Foster Wallace, our truck accident attorneys will thoroughly interview witnesses and secure all maintenance records and driver logs. If the trucking accident is complicated, we would likely work with a reconstruction expert to determine how the accident occurred and prove whose negligence caused it.
Our investigation will identify all the potentially responsible parties, which could include:
- Truck driver
- Trailer owner
- Trucking company
- Freight shipper
- Freight loading crew
- Mechanics and inspectors
- Truck parts manufacturers
It is possible that more than one party was negligent. If so, we will build a case against every one of them to get you the maximum value of your claim.
Why You Need a Kansas City Truck Crash Lawyer
In crashes involving commercial semi-trucks, insurance companies and corporate lawyers immediately get to work defending the truck driver and trucking company. If there is any suggestion that their clients are at fault, they will likely reach out to you and offer you a settlement in exchange for signing a form that releases them from further liability. You can also be sure that the offer they make won't be anywhere close to what a lawyer working for you will be able to get on your behalf.
We urge you to call our Kansas City office as soon as possible after your crash to get a free evaluation of your case. In most cases, we will be able to significantly increase the value of your claim by collecting strong evidence of liability and gathering medical records to document the extent of your injuries.
The best part is that you won't owe us a dime until we resolve your case. At that point, we will collect our fees as a percentage of your award. We will let you know upfront if we can't add value to your claim, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by contacting our firm.
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Contact Kansas City Truck Accident Lawyers Michael Foster and Brian Wallace
If you have been injured in a truck accident in either Kansas or Missouri, you need to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.249.2101 to schedule your free consultation. If you're not ready to talk, but still want to learn more about your rights, allow us to mail you a complimentary copy of Anatomy of a Personal Injury Claim: A Guide to the Legal Process in Kansas and Missouri.