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Find a Lawyer for a Missouri Truck Accident Lawsuit

Trucking accidents are too often deadly for victims in smaller cars, and inordinately so for pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists. An examination of fatality rates in these types of accidents leads a person to wonder if large commercial trucks are really even a good idea. In order to be profitable, trucks carry mammoth loads, up to 80,000 pounds at a time. But the risk these vehicles pose to the general public may not be worth their level of production and efficiency. Missouri is no different from other U.S. states when it comes to trucking crashes, and Missouri truck accident lawyers are kept busy representing victims and their families.

American life in 2012 revolves around easy access to anything and everything. An increasing margin of people shop on the internet, and their goods are delivered by truck to their doorstep. Food is produced in key places throughout the country and then shipped to every town, convenience store and supermarket. In short, we have developed a system that relies heavily on the shipment of goods. We have learned to expect consumer items to be readily available; this luxury requires a constant stream of trucks on our roads.

People involved in the trucking business find themselves in the midst of a very lucrative field, despite the recent economic downturn. Certain non essentials are in lower demands, but the demand for essential items has remained steady. With all this shipping comes the necessity for large truck fleets, and with large truck fleets come the inevitable trucking accidents. Missouri semi truck accident lawsuits surface each year, and more often than not, they settle in favor of the people driving in the smaller cars and non commercial vehicles. This points to the fact that most truck crashes are caused, at least in part, by the commercial driver or the trucking company. Trucking companies go to great lengths to avoid admitting any fault, but they do usually end up paying a sum of money to people who were injured in the accident.

More than almost any other industry, trucking is a business that relies very heavily on a government built infrastructure: roads. They should be held to very high safety standards, and companies that cause accidents or otherwise violate safety standards should be forced to pay for damages, so much so that they will have a greater incentive to be safe in the future.  Attorneys working on Missouri truck accident lawsuits often say  that a primary reason to take legal action against a trucking company, besides that they deserve compensation for their losses, is that lawsuits put pressure on trucking companies to be more safe in the future. If they do not have severe repercussions after their truck kills other drivers, they will continue to pressure their drivers to work long hours or take other safety short cuts. The nature of competitive business is such that a company will do almost anything in its power to make more money, if executives think they can get away with it. If the company has to pay out millions each year for accidents, safety regulations will have more weight.

Federal Regulations Are Not Strong Enough, Says St. Louis Trucking Accident Lawyer

One common cause of trucking accidents is an improperly loaded truck. The loading of a passenger car can have some impact on safety of the people inside the vehicle, but usually does not impact people in other vehicles. However, when a truck is improperly loaded, it causes a far greater risk to other motorists than to the truck driver.  Improper loading results in suits brought against shipping companies by St. Louis trucking accident lawyers throughout the U.S.  With a legal weight limit of 80 tons – and the potential to acquire an oversize load permit to carry even more – commercial trucks transport far heavier loads than other vehicles.  How the load is packed on the truck – whether the weight is high or low, far forward or far back – as well as the size of the load both impact a driver’s ability to maneuver the vehicle.

The federal government stipulates very specific regulations on the size and weight of commercial truck loads. Safety experts suggest that even these regulations allow for loads that are too large and too heavy to be safely transported.  To operate a fully-loaded commercial vehicle safely, a driver must be very experienced in the safe handling of their vehicle and must be careful not to take any risks.  Additionally, trucks that travel empty of cargo pose a risk for accidents too. If a truck is pulling an empty trailer, it will not brake in a reliable manner and may slide or skid out of control. Trucks whose loads are too high may cause accidents by going through a low underpass.Wide loads increase the risk of a truck having a side-collision with another car or truck because the load does not fit in a single lane.  Furthermore, any St. Louis trucking accident lawyer could tell you that even trucks that meet all the weight and size limits, and that are operated with the additional care needed for to transport an 80-ton load safely, may cause accidents related to how their load is distributed and secured.

Unfortunately, ill-secured loads do result in accidents on a regular basis.  Loose loads can shift during transport, affecting the truck’s balance, causing it to tip over, or even falling off a truck while it’s moving on the road.  If a load is not properly secured, or does not meet load securement regulations for the types of securement devices used, the trucking company is putting other motorists at risk. An unsecured load is especially dangerous when weather, traffic or other road conditions occur and a driver fails to compensate in their driving.

As a measure to prevent accidents related to trucks that are improperly loaded, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that loads be secured prior to operating the vehicle. Regulation number 392.9 on safe loading states that, “No one may drive or require anyone to drive a commercial motor vehicle unless the cargo is properly distributed and adequately secured.”  St. Louis trucking accident lawyers invoke these federal regulations in cases of truck accidents in which the load is suspect.  If they are able to collect evidence proving the load was not properly secured, they will have a strong case. Many traffic safety advocates suggest these restrictions are weak and fail to protect the driving public. The trucking lobby is strong in Washington, and there is little hope for lowering the permitted weight limits in the near future, despite the risk heavily-loaded trucks pose to motorists.