St. Louis is a central hub for commercial activity in the state. The second largest city in Missouri, it creates over 140,000 jobs in the trucking and freight industries.
Industrial and commercial activity is good for most towns and cities. They bring in more money in the form of investments and create more jobs for residents. However, in the freight and transport business, this also means the highways are more often than not, covered in trucks.
While all companies look to equip their drivers with the necessary training, sometimes mistakes could lead to accidents and sometimes, it could just be plain negligence. In the event that you face losses due to a trucking accident in St. Louis, you could file a lawsuit.
Steps To Follow
The first thing you should do if you are in a trucking accident is to try and reduce the damage or loss you face. If you are injured, try to get medical attention as soon as possible. If you were in a vehicle yourself, make sure that you do not operate it without getting it checked and repaired.
If you choose to proceed with a trucking accident lawsuit, you will require some evidence to prove the damage you incurred. Some common things you may need are pictures of the accident, any license plates (yours and the truck’s), and other documentation (if you filed a police complaint, for instance).
It is also worth noting that most trucks have a black box installed, and this data can be used as evidence. Similarly, they also have recordings and logbooks on hand.
Collecting and collating so much information can be a daunting task for one individual, and some might opt for a St. Louis trucking accident lawyer instead, who is generally better equipped to help with a lawsuit.
Each bit of evidence is imperative to your case, as it will help determine who is at fault, and to what degree – a decision that has a direct impact on the compensation you may receive.
Earlier, we discussed reducing the damages you face as much as possible. Determining the damages you faced is equally as important. Damages can be in the form of :
- Property damage like damage to your car.
- Additional costs like medical bills, repair costs for your vehicle, etc.
- Emotional damage
- Physical damage
It is important evidence collection is done correctly, as it has a direct impact on the assessment of the damage you faced. Holding onto your receipts, medical bills and estimates for the repair of any property damage might be a good idea.
Calculation of damages is not always straightforward. In addition to accounting for any property damage, any future damage caused directly or indirectly has to be factored in as well. When a teen volleyball player lost both her legs and sued the city of St. Louis (and 2 other parties), the damages awarded are likely to be much higher.
Not only did she face physical and emotional distress, but the accident also had a fatal effect on her future volleyball career. Damages of this kind are also accounted for.
TorHoerman Law notes the concept of shared liability when it comes to car accident damages, where both parties are held partly responsible, and the damages awarded are altered accordingly. With trucking accidents, determining liability is a little harder, due to the multiple parties (you, the truck driver, the trucking company, insurance company) involved.
It is important to make sure that you were not at fault when the accident took place. A St. Louis motorcyclist who died in a crash found that some of the liability falls on him as well due to him trying to weave through other vehicles.
In St Louis, the Pure Comparative Fault Rule is followed. According to this rule, a jury decides how much fault lies with the complainant, and the damages awarded are altered accordingly.
The driver of the truck, the loading company as well as the company that employed the truck driver can all be held liable. The company that manufactured parts for the track is at risk too.
If you are looking to file a trucking accident lawsuit, make sure that you are well aware of the process. Also, make sure that you have actually faced damages and are not suing simply to make a quick buck. The jury and other lawyers can make this out, and it could affect your case.
If you have been affected by a trucking accident in St. Louis or any other state, it is your right to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for the loss you faced.