Springfield Missouri truck accidents put drivers in Springfield, Missouri, at risk of catastrophic injury. Although many people think commercial trucks, also known as big rigs, semi trucks, 18-wheelers or tractor-trailers, are just large vehicles, they are difficult to maneuver, putting them at risk of a Springfield truck accident. Victims involved in a Springfield crash may face medical bills, loss of future wages, rehabilitation costs and loss of current wages.
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Springfield Missouri Truck Accidents
Because of their size and weight, commercial trucks are much more difficult to maneuver than passenger vehicles and pick-up trucks. They require greater breaking distance, have more blind spots and respond differently to steering changes than smaller vehicles do. That, combined with the grueling schedule truck drivers face, mean commercial trucks could have an increased risk of accidents.
The sheer size and weight of these commercial trucks means that anyone in a smaller vehicle involved in a Missouri truck accident could face devastating injury.
Missouri Truck Accident Statistics
According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, there were 64 truck tractor and trailer fatal crashes in 2008, involving a total of 75 fatalities. That same year, there were 916 crashes that involved injuries for a total of 1,311 injuries.
Missouri Truck Accident Law
Commercial trucks that weigh 10,000 lbs or more have different regulations from passenger vehicles. Trucks that are driven for interstate commerce face federal laws; Missouri has its own intrastate trucking laws that govern truck maintenance, securing loads and truck routes.
Under trucking laws, truck drivers must periodically face drug testing, keep updated log books and drive no more than 11 hours after 10 hours of consecutive off-duty hours. As of January 26, 2010, it is illegal for drivers of semi-trucks to send text messages while driving.
Springfield Missouri Truck Accident Negligence
Negligence in truck accidents takes a variety of forms. These include failure to stop, failure to yield right of way, and driving while distracted. In the case of commercial trucks, negligence can also include driving over the legal hours, not getting enough rest time, driving while tired and having a vehicle that is overweight.
In cases of injury or death caused by negligent driving, the injured party or his family may be able to sue the driver of the commercial vehicle, the owners and/or operators of the vehicle and the people responsible for the truck’s maintenance.
Missouri uses the principle of pure comparative negligence when determining accident liability. This means that in a semi truck accident, the injured party can recover damages for his injury even if he was 99 percent at fault for the accident. The victim’s awarded damages are reduced by the amount of fault he is responsible for. For example, if the injured party is 50 percent responsible for the accident, his award is reduced by 50 percent.
Defective Truck Parts
Defective truck parts can play a role in truck accidents and can result in injury to other people on the road. Issues with commercial vehicles include faulty brakes, engine problems and steering problems.
In the case of injuries caused by truck defects, the injured person may be able to sue the maker of the defective part, the automobile manufacturer and the companies or individuals responsible for repair and maintenance of the vehicle.
Driving While Intoxicated/Driving Under the Influence
In Springfield Missouri, it is illegal for commercial drivers to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of.04 or higher. In Missouri, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is the same as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). The DWI includes alcohol and/or drugs. It is illegal for drivers in Missouri to operate a vehicle with any amount of a controlled substance (such as marijuana or cocaine) in the blood.
All drivers who are suspected of driving while intoxicated must submit to a chemical analysis of their blood, breath or urine.
Springfield Missouri Truck Accident Legal Help
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Last updated on May-4-11