Posted on July 1st, 2014 by Zane Cagle
A 53-year Fenton old woman was injured Friday in a truck accident in Washington County on Highway 21. According to the report, the Missouri State Highway patrol reported a 2007 Volvo tractor trailer unit driven by a 55 year-old man of St. Louis was traveling northbound on Highway 21. Two other vehicles, a 2006 Buick Lacrosse driven by the 64 year-old woman of Mineral Point and a 2012 Honda Accord driven by 54-year old man of Fenton were in the southbound lanes of Highway 21.
According to the report, the tractor trailer driver braked hard causing the truck and trailer to skid sideways. While the tractor trailer skid sideways, the Buick Lacrosse struck the back-end of the trailer. As well, the Honda hit the trailer being towed. Both of the passenger vehicles, the Buick and the Honda, traveled off the right side of the road following the impact. It is reported that all three people were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
A passenger in the Buick Lacrosse, a 53 year old Fenton woman suffered minor injuries and was taken to Mercy Hospital Jefferson in Crystal City.
Tractor-Trailer accidents tend to be some of the most dangerous types of accidents especially when other passenger cars are involved. Of course, one of the main factors in increasing the force of impact is the size of the tractor trailer. Fully loaded trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, making them difficult to stop and maneuver and mores more likely to cause serious damage when they collide with a passenger car or truck weighing closer to 3,000 pounds. Other factors such as driver fatigue, distracted driving, driver impairment and driver error, can contribute to a truck accident. In the accident above, the reports describe the tractor trailer driver as braking too hard and going into a sideways skid. Investigators will have to examine the highway, vehicles involved in the accident, and terrain around the accident. As well, witness statements including the statements of the truck driver will all be important in determining “causes of the accident.
Considering Missouri has over 123,039 miles of public roads, it is well connected and includes five interstates that span the state helping connect travelers across the Midwest. Tractor trailers are common on the highways and interstates and when they crash with passenger vehicles, the injuries are often serious if not fatal. Truck accidents can be complicated when it comes to liability because not only may the driver be liable but often the transportation company may be liable as well. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implements rules and regulations for truck drivers and transportation companies in an attempt to reduce the number of tractor-trailer related accidents. Commercial carriers must follow the regulations regarding maintenance of vehicles, driver qualifications, and other areas such as hours of service (hours a driver may be behind the wheel with and with out rest breaks). If if is found that the driver made a driving error or that the vehicle had not been properly maintained or the brakes were faulty, there may be an issue of liability and victims of accidents may be able to recover compensation to assist with their medical bills and recovery.
Every accident is unique and has a unique set of facts, therefore, you cannot make assumptions. If you read about a trucking accident last week where the truck driver was liable for injuries because he or she fell asleep, you cannot assume that the truck driver is always at fault. Often, the initial reporting of accidents are not the full story. Since the stories are usually reported within hours of the accident, it would be impossible for investigators to have reached their findings. In fact, truck accident investigation and accident reconstruction can take many weeks. Sometimes, decisions made months ago (such as maintenance schedules or lack of maintenance) can have an impact on the accident. Each accident mush be investigated thoroughly and that includes maintenance records, driving logs and witness statements.
If you have been injured in a car accident or a truck accident, you may need legal representation. Obviously, after an accident, your first priority is medical treatment. However, the days and weeks following a truck accident are critical for evidence gathering and preserving the evidence. Most individuals are familiar with the process and generally are too hurt to be concerned with the investigation. Because you are busy putting your life back together, you may need an expert truck accident attorney to handle all of those issues for you. The attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm have represented many truck accident victims and we are experts in trucking regulations and rules. If you have questions, we have answers. Consultations are always free toll free (314) 276-1681 or locally (314) 276-1681