Between the number of cars on the road and an increasing amount of distractions for drivers, motor vehicle accidents are on the rise. When semi-trucks are involved in these collisions, the results can be catastrophic.
In 2021, a shocking 117,300 trucks were involved in crashes that resulted in injuries. The large majority of these injuries occurred to occupants of other, smaller vehicles.
If you were involved in an accident with a semi-truck, it’s crucial to seek the expertise of a truck accident attorney. In Kansas City traffic, car accidents happen regularly, but trucking accidents are not routine for most attorneys. Only experienced truck accident lawyers will know how to overcome the challenges of these cases.
Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader is Kansas City’s trusted name for truck accident lawyers. Our attorneys deliver the answers, accountability, and justice for victims and families after trucking accidents. If you think you might have a case, use our free virtual case tool for guidance from our experts.
Keep reading to learn the complexities of trucking accidents and why they require specialized legal representation.
The Complexities of Trucking Accidents
Generally speaking, cars are relatively similar in size and weight. When collisions occur between cars, this allows for some level of protection. However, when a collision occurs between a car and a semi-truck (which are often 20 to 30 times heavier,) the outcomes are very different.
With more serious collisions come more complex cases. A truck accident lawsuit in Kansas City often involves:
More Serious Injuries
Due to the sheer size and weight of semi-trucks, the injuries we see from these accidents can be life altering and require long-term medical care. Additionally, many trucking accidents occur on the highway at high speeds. As a result, trucking collisions can lead to a range of serious injuries, including:
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Psychological trauma
A More Vigorous Defense
A catastrophic trucking accident can have millions of dollars on the line. When this amount of money is at stake, insurance companies will come out with a more vigorous defense in an effort to pay the least amount possible.
This is where an experienced truck accident attorney becomes critical. Insurance companies will take advantage of inexperienced attorneys by denying claims, shifting the blame, or valuing damages for less than they are worth.
More Individuals/Entities to Hold Liable
In a collision between cars, the responsible party is often straightforward. However, this is rarely the case for accidents that involve semi-trucks. Liable parties can include:
- The truck driver
- The company that hired the driver
- The company that commissioned the trip
- The company that owns the truck and/or box
- The company that owns the cargo
- The manufacturer of the truck or the truck’s components (brakes, tires, engine, etc.)
- The municipality responsible for the road conditions
Oftentimes, multiple parties share a degree of responsibility for a truck accident. A qualified attorney will determine the extent and involvement of all parties.
Experts Hired on Both Sides
Because there is more at stake, more people are usually involved in these cases. A qualified truck accident attorney in Kansas City will hire experts to prove your case and overcome the defenses advanced by the other side.
These experts can include a range of professionals, including:
- Accident reconstructionists
- Orthopedic surgeons
- Life care planners
- Biomechanical engineers
- Human factors experts
- Trucking experts
- Safety experts
The defense will also hire experts to support their side. If you don’t have a qualified team of experts on your side, your case may be jeopardized.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Companies are required to follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations for truck safety. Unfortunately, sometimes trucking companies do a poor job of implementing and enforcing these standards, leading to accidents that result from:
- Driver fatigue
- Improper hiring of drivers
- Improper training or supervision of drivers
- Improper trailer maintenance
- Unsafe driving conditions
- Improper safety policies
- Driving with freight that is overweight
- Unsecured cargo
- Equipment failure
- Speeding or traffic law violations
A truck accident attorney in Kansas City will sort out the causes of the accident and determine which parties are at fault.
What You Can Recover in Truck Accident Cases
The law allows you to recover economic and non-economic damages after a truck accident.
Economic damages are out-of-pocket expenses you incurred (or will incur in the future) as a result of the accident. These can include:
- Medical expenses (hospitalization, surgery, medications, rehabilitation, appointments, etc.)
- Lost wages (if the injured party is unable to work)
- Lost earning capacity (when injuries result in long-term or permanent disability)
- Property damage (the vehicle itself, belongings that were lost or destroyed as a result of the accident, etc.)
- Funeral costs
Non-economic damages don’t come with a clear price tag. These can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Trauma or psychological distress
- Mental anguish
- Decline in quality of life
Truck accident cases often require significant payouts from insurance companies. In order to avoid this, insurance companies tend to value damages for less than they are worth. This is particularly true for non-economic damages because there is not a clear cost associated with them.
A qualified truck accident attorney will use their experience from past litigations to determine fair value for non-economic damages. Attorneys without experience in this area will not know how to properly value the psychological damages and lifestyle changes that could impact you for the rest of your life.
What to Do After a Trucking Accident
If you were involved in a trucking accident, it’s important to take the following steps:
- Immediately call 911.
- Check yourself for injuries and, if possible, check your passengers for injuries.
- Remove yourself from danger and get to safety.
- Wait for help to arrive.
- If possible, document the scene with photographs or videos of the damage or any evidence that shows what happened.
- Work with the police and medical team to answer questions when they arrive.
- Contact a truck accident attorney in Kansas City to discuss your case. They will take care of issues with your insurance company as well as the insurance companies for any other drivers.
Why You Need a Truck Accident Attorney
A truck accident attorney will protect your rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation for damages. Truck accident attorneys will sort out what happened and why through:
- Obtaining all documented evidence (police reports, crash reports, first responder reports, ambulance and medical records, post-crash driver evaluations)
- Collecting video, photographs, and other recorded evidence
- A full accident reconstruction
- Working with relevant experts
It’s important to act timely after a truck accident. As time passes, crucial evidence, along with memories, can fade. Contacting a truck accident attorney in Kansas City can help preserve evidence and keep it from getting lost, damaged, or destroyed.
What to Look For in a Truck Accident Attorney
Hiring an attorney isn’t always easy. You need a qualified lawyer to support you through the legal process and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Trucking accident cases involve complex litigation, and attorneys need technical knowledge of these cases. Even if a case seems straightforward, it will require a team of experts to prove your case.
The larger the damages, the more the insurance company will fight. An experienced truck accident attorney in Kansas City will know the tactics insurance companies use as an attempt to pay less than a fair value. A qualified attorney will know how to navigate and overcome these challenges.
The Drive to Do It Right
Not only do you need an experienced attorney, but you need someone with the drive to perform the right investigation. Some attorneys, particularly those without experience in this area, may stop short of turning over every rock.
At BFRR, our attorneys are dedicated to investigating cases the right way—by answering every question and methodically working through each case. We work with victims and families going through some of life’s most challenging times, and we are here to do whatever possible to make the process easier for you and your family.
Contact Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader When You Need a Truck Accident Attorney in Kansas City
The lawyers at Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader understand that your case is your only case. When we represent a client or a family after a trucking accident, we devote the time, resources, and experience for the best possible result.
The above is not intended to be legal advice. Each individual case is different and must be analyzed on its own set of facts and circumstances. If you believe you may have a case, it is critically important that you timely contact a lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.