St. Louis Truck Accident Lawyer

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St. Louis Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck crash in Missouri or Illinois, you need a St. Louis truck accident attorney on your side to answer questions and help you through the complex personal injury claims process. Your St. Louis trucking accident attorney can provide support and guidance through all stages of your recovery efforts, from proving fault, filing a claim, or pursuing a lawsuit and meaningful outcome when an insurance company fails to deliver an acceptable settlement offer.

Truck accidents are extremely traumatic events that cause serious damage to those involved. It’s important to seek legal help to represent your best interests after a commercial carrier accident, which can be difficult when you’re injured and unable to work. You may be reluctant to contact an attorney due to the commitment of time and money involved.

However, if you were seriously injured, you deserve to recover compensation that will cover the losses caused by someone else’s actions. You may be entitled to a larger recovery than you initially expect, and trustworthy legal counsel is more accessible than most prospective plaintiffs believe. The Cagle Law Firm offers contingency fee billing and free initial consultations to eliminate upfront legal costs when you need representation to recover from an accident.

It’s important to get the right help after a truck accident so that you have a better chance of receiving the compensation you deserve. With The Cagle Law Firm, you can work with a personal injury lawyer experienced in handling truck accident cases who can help get you through this difficult time.

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Why You Need a Truck Accident Attorney

Commercial truck accidents are different from those involving personal vehicles. They often involve more severe injuries or devastating fatalities. The claims process and insurance policies involved can be very different and extremely complicated. When facing a trucking company and its insurance adjusters, you should have the assistance of an attorney familiar with state and federal trucking regulations and experienced in negotiating with those companies.

The two biggest differences between truck crashes and private passenger vehicles is, one, the severity of the injury. Due to the size differential, when someone is hit by a vehicle weighing up to 35,000 pounds versus 3,000 pounds of a passenger vehicle, the injuries are most often serious, if not deadly. Secondly, commercial vehicles are required by law to carry a minimum of $1,000,000 in coverage as opposed to the state liability minimum of $25,0000 for passenger vehicles. More complex cases with more serious injuries involving commercial coverage result in a defensive legal team entering the situation immediately. Likewise, you will want an aggressive legal team to look out for your best interest.

You will face many challenges in a truck accident claim. A St. Louis truck accident lawyer can guide you through the process of dealing with a trucking company, driver, and insurance company. It’s important to work with someone with extensive experience obtaining compensation from powerful organizations. Insurance carriers working directly with injured persons often deny or devalue your claim or make you a low-ball settlement offer that does not meet your needs. The Cagle Law Firm will not let these companies take advantage of you. We will stand by your side and guide you through the process from start to finish.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents can have many different causes. Trucks are large, complex machines manufactured by skilled technicians and operated by experienced drivers. However, errors can occur during maintenance or operation that result in dangerous accidents.

Driver error causes most truck accidents, but failure to maintain equipment or truck company negligence can also lead to accidents. Common causes of truck accidents include:

Most of the trucking accidents reported in the St. Louis area happen because of negligence, or failure to use reasonable care in specific situations. Liability for a negligent accident may fall on a truck driver or the driver of another vehicle who caused the accident with a nearby truck. It is also possible for the truck driver’s employer to face liability for their employee’s actions depending on the exact cause of the accident.

Whenever a truck driver causes an accident, it’s vital to investigate whether their employer performed a proper background check, ensured the driver had the requisite experience and training for their job, and that they followed all applicable industry regulations. Vicarious liability applies whenever a trucking company or other employer was negligent in the handling of their employee in a way that contributed to causing the accident.

Many parties participate in commercial trucking supply chains; it is also possible for a party within a supply chain to bear fault for an accident. For example, a party that performed improper truck maintenance could face liability for an accident from a mechanical failure. The party responsible for loading the truck could be responsible for an accident caused by unsecured and/or imbalanced cargo.

Determining the exact cause of your truck accident is an essential first step in recovering from your losses. If you are injured, you cannot be involved in a site inspection/investigation that most often occurs in the first few days after the crash. And, unless you have access to accident reconstruction experts, it can be almost impossible.

Our attorneys are invaluable for the help they can provide in gathering evidence to build the foundation of your claim, including involving experts, accident reconstructions, and various forms of digital evidence. Often, these reports and graphics are critical when sharing your story with a jury and even in mediation. You must identify the party responsible for causing the accident and prove exactly how they caused it, and then you must show evidence of the full extent of your resulting damages.

What Compensation Can You Receive?

When seeking compensation after a truck accident, it’s important to remember that you are up against insurance companies that want to minimize your claim. Trucking companies and insurance companies are often only interested in the bottom line. It is in their best interest to pay out as little as possible, even if you were severely injured. An experienced St. Louis trucking accident attorney can make sure that your insurance claim is handled in the best interest of your physical and financial recovery.

You need a skilled attorney by your side who best advocates for your complete losses, both economical and non-economical. The Cagle Law Firm can help you obtain the following compensation after a serious truck accident:

  • Medical costs. When another party is responsible for physically injuring you, they are liable for all related medical expenses. You can seek compensation for immediate and possibly future medical treatment costs arising from your accident. Your St. Louis trucking accident attorney can ensure that all the medical expenses are addressed and maximized in your claim.
  • Lost wages. Many victims of serious vehicle accidents are unable to work while they recover from their injuries. Your attorney can help hold the defendant’s insurance carrier accountable for any income you are unable to earn during this time.
  • Pain and suffering. Missouri law allows a personal injury plaintiff to seek financial compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress they experienced from their injuries. An attorney can help their client determine a suitable figure based on the severity of their injuries and the scope of their medical expenses. The right attorney will also know how to substantiate a claim for compensation for emotional distress.
  • Physical limitations. Unfortunately, many accident victims experience disabilities, diminished ability to work and earn income, and diminished ability to live independently after severe injuries. If this applies to your case, your St. Louis trucking accident attorney can help hold the defendant accountable for the economic and psychological impact of your medical limitations.
  • Suffering any type of permanent disfigurement from a serious accident is very traumatic. Your attorney can help ensure the defendant is held appropriately accountable if this applies to your situation.
  • Loss of future earning capacity. If your injuries have left you permanently disabled and you cannot return to work in the future, the defendant may be held liable for the income you are no longer able to earn. Your legal team can help calculate the future wages you would have reasonably expected to be able to earn in the future and add these projected losses to your claim. Our attorneys work with experts such as life-care planners to best explain life-changing injuries and the financial needs of the future.
  • Loss of consortium and companionship. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal trucking accident, you can rely on The Cagle Law Firm to help you file a wrongful death suit that seeks maximum compensation from the at-fault driver. A loss of consortium claim may also be claimed if the victim survives with severe physical incapacitations due to their injuries.
  • Punitive damages (when applicable). Punitive damages are awarded at the discretion of the court if a defendant’s behavior was egregiously negligent or illegal. Plaintiffs may make recommendations regarding punitive damages, and usually, a judge or jury will decide on appropriate amounts. The amount the defendant pays in punitive damages generally depends on the recklessness of their actions.
  • Compensation for Fatal Truck Accidents. The Cagle Law Firm not only provides comprehensive legal representation for personal injury cases but also for wrongful death claims when trucking accidents result in fatal injuries.

Commercial truck crashes–such as those involving 18-wheelers, box trucks, and delivery trucks–tend to cause more severe injuries than those involving personal vehicles due to the size and weight of commercial trucks. Unfortunately, many truck accidents result in death. If a Missouri or Illinois truck accident seriously injures you, a family member or worse results in a fatality, you may not be sure where to turn. The last thing on your mind is fighting a trucking company to recover compensation. However, it is important to seek legal assistance right away if you or your loved one is severely injured or killed. You will have substantial medical bills and other expenses that you will be expected to pay immediately. The Cagle Law Firm can start working with you right after the accident to help recover compensation to cover your losses.

The last thing on your mind is fighting a trucking company to recover compensation. However, it’s important to seek legal assistance right away if your loved one is severely injured or killed. You may have substantial medical bills and other expenses that you will be expected to pay immediately. The Cagle Law Firm can start working with you right after the accident to help recover compensation to cover your needs.

Recovery from any vehicle accident in St. Louis generally begins with an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver. Every driver in the state is required by law to have a minimum auto insurance that meets specific coverage requirements for bodily injury liability and property damage liability. All commercial trucking companies and their drivers are covered by more expansive commercial policies than you would expect from the average individual passenger vehicles. This higher level of coverage does not mean that filing your insurance claim will be easy. Insurance companies usually involve adjusters who are also attorneys at the beginning of your claim. Thus, the experience is very different than contacting your local adjuster on a passenger vehicle requiring only a state minimum policy of $25,000

Your St. Louis trucking accident attorney will gather all evidence and supporting documentation and do all of the communication and negotiation with the insurance carrier on your behalf. Your attorney deals with any and all disputes raised by the insurance carrier while communicating with you. Your attorney works directly with you to build the case, negotiate potential settlements, negotiate mediations and prepare your case for trial.

Filing a Wrongful Death Suit for a Fatal Trucking Accident in St. Louis

A personal injury claim can help an injured victim recover from the damages another party inflicted. However, if the victim dies, their family will need to file a wrongful death claim. Trucking accidents are capable of causing tremendous, catastrophic harm to those involved, and the risk of fatal injuries is very high.

A wrongful death suit is a type of personal injury claim, but a wrongful death case focuses on the surviving family’s losses. You may be able to recover compensation to cover the following in a wrongful death claim:

  • Medical bills
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of financial contributions
  • Loss of care and support
  • Loss of love and companionship
  • Loss of inheritance that you would have received

Losing a loved one unexpectedly is never easy, and if you know another party’s negligence or misconduct is the direct cause of your loved one’s death, it can make it especially hard for you to face. When you have an experienced St. Louis trucking accident attorney representing you, you are more likely to succeed with your claim, and your attorney can handle the complex procedural aspects of your case so you can focus on your family.

Truck Accident Claims & Legal Process

Truck accident claims can be complicated. You will often face a large corporation and their insurance company, both of which may have teams of attorneys on their side. It’s important to have someone on your side who will fight for your rights throughout the legal process.

We can help with the following areas of the truck accident claims and legal process:

  • Determining fault after a trucking accident. Proving fault or liability is an essential first step in recovering from any accident in St. Louis. While some states use a no-fault system to resolve vehicle accidents, Missouri enforces the fault rule for all accidents, including commercial trucking accidents. This means that it is vital to prove fault before any compensation may be collected. Gathering evidence to support your claim happens at the same time you are seeking medical treatment. More often than not, your prognosis or healing capacity is determined over time. Thus, assessing your damages in the first week after a collision can be widely different than a year later.
  • Establishing liability of the driver, trucking company, or truck manufacturer. It’s possible for more than one party to bear liability or fault for your accident, and additional liability could apply if a trucking company or other entity shares fault for the actions of a driver or maintenance of the truck. Transportation companies can also be included in the claim through negligent hiring practices or failure to maintain equipment. Likewise, if a product failed on the vehicle, causing or contributing to the cause of the crash and your injury, the product manufacturer may possibly be an added party to your claim and or lawsuit.
  • Proving negligence on the part of the trucker and others. Proving negligence requires proof that a defendant had a duty of care that they breached in some way and consequently caused the damages cited in the claim. The burden of “proof” in civil cases is “the preponderance of the evidence,” which is different from criminal cases where the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The plaintiff has the burden to prove the fault and damages; thus, hiring an expert is critical.
  • Demanding compensation from the insurance company. Your St. Louis trucking accident attorney files your auto insurance claim, addresses any issues with an insurance company, and focuses on you receiving a fair settlement offer or trial verdict. After the initial investigation and evaluation of your injuries, your attorney will send a Demand Letter to the liable parties discussing the facts and damages sustained. This Demand is a formal communication to the insurance carrier and parties.
  • Meeting deadlines and complying with statutes of limitation. Missouri upholds a five (5) statute of limitations for personal injury claims. You have five years from the date your accident occurred in which to file your claim, but the sooner you file, the more likely you are to succeed with your claim.
  • Negotiating a fair settlement on your behalf. The Cagle Law Firm has confronted most of the major insurance carriers on behalf of our clients, and we are ready to leverage this experience to recover your damages. We know the tactics insurance companies use to minimize claim payouts and combat those tactics to maximize your claim.
  • Filing a complaint in state or federal court. The first step of a lawsuit involves filing a Complaint in the appropriate court stating The Complaint discusses the parties, facts of the incident, legal basis for the complaint, and amount of damages for compensation.
  • Engaging in the discovery process. The discovery process can last days to years depending on the case. Written questions and answers as well as requests for production of documents are part of the discovery process. A deposition is testimony under oath and generally there are multiple parties deposed including medical providers. There are rules in the discovery process and hiring an expert to protect your interests is often needed.
  • Conducting an independent investigation. We gather all of the available evidence to firmly establish fault for your damages, prove the full scope of your damages, and clarify any complex technical issues your case entails.
  • Obtaining expert witnesses. If necessary, our team may consult expert witnesses who can help establish liability for an accident and/or describe and demonstrate the severity of your damages to justify a claim for a substantial case award.
  • Reviewing thousands of company records and documents to find evidence. If a trucking company is responsible for your accident due to a regulatory violation, it is likely a sign of a systemic issue in the company. Proving they knew of an issue prior to your accident could lead to a greater recovery for you. Again, experience in the discovery process and the power of subpoena are important reasons to hire an attorney who frequently pursues commercial crashes.
  • Fighting for your compensation in litigation. While many civil claims are resolved through private settlement negotiations, there is always a chance that you will need to take your case through litigation to achieve suitable results. At The Cagle Law Firm, we work up each case from the beginning in preparation for trial so that we know it is done correctly. Our attorneys spend a lot of time litigating cases, which is important if you have a case that needs to be litigated. You really do not want to hire an attorney who avoids litigation if you are seriously injured.

Comparative Fault in Truck Accident Claims

When we evaluate your claim, you should know that we rarely know the full amount of medical costs that will be needed unless you have completed all medical treatment. Each crash is different, and comparative fault is not always a factor.

Comparative fault, also called comparative negligence, is an evaluation of how much blame should be placed on each party in the accident. If two drivers collide, and one driver can be said to have contributed 75% to the crash, then that driver is 75% liable for the resulting damages. The other driver is 25% liable.

In Missouri and Illinois, where comparative negligence applies, insurers use this principle to determine how to allocate blame and coordinate insurance payouts. In reality, they use the term comparative fault to attempt to reduce their portion of damages.

The Cagle Law Firm will work diligently to prove that you deserve compensation if the other motorist was primarily responsible for your injuries.

Hire a Skilled St. Louis Truck Accident Attorney

Truck accidents can result in serious injuries and devastating losses to you and your family. It’s essential that you seek legal advice from a Missouri truck accident lawyer experienced in dealing with complex truck accident claims. At The Cagle Law Firm, we have vital knowledge and experience related to big rig accidents that can help you receive compensation for the damages you’ve faced.

Get a free consultation with a truck accident lawyer in St. Louis, MO, today. Contact The Cagle Law Firm toll-free at (1-800) 685-3302 or locally at (314) 276-1681 to learn more.


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