Truck Accident Attorneys in Missouri and Illinois: What to Look For
If you’ve been in a truck accident in Missouri or Illinois, it can be scary to wonder how you will pay for medical bills and lost wages. While there are many truck accident attorneys in Illinois and Missouri, the best chance of getting fully compensated is by hiring a knowledgeable personal injury attorney with plenty of successful cases. There are several ways to know whether the attorney you’re hiring will get the maximum payment you deserve.
They Know Illinois and Missouri Truck Regulations
Trucks are subject to numerous laws regarding cargo loads, speed, and drive time. While some laws apply to every state—such as all drivers must have a 30-minute break within an 8-hour period—some laws only apply to specific states. An attorney who handles truck accidents in Illinois and Missouri will have a deep understanding of state and federal regulations surrounding truck collisions in those states.
For instance, in Missouri, as long as a truck is only hauling milk from a farm to a processing center and doesn’t travel on the highway, it can weigh up to 85,500 pounds. But in Illinois, trucks hauling raw milk must not exceed the gross maximum weight of 80,000 pounds. This type of knowledge, along with knowing specific state truck height, length, and weight regulations, can make all the difference in winning a negligence case.
They Know At-Fault Laws That Apply to Truck Accidents in Illinois and Missouri
After a typical Missouri car accident case, each party involved pays a portion of the settlement claim. This is because Missouri is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning the amount paid by each party is based on their decided level of blame. In Illinois, which is a modified comparative negligence state, the person who is found to be most at fault is responsible for paying 100 percent of the claim.
However, when determining fault in trucking accidents, there are other factors to consider besides state laws. Truck drivers, trucking companies, truck owners, mechanics, commercial shipping companies, or parts manufacturers could be liable for causing your injuries. An attorney who handles trucking accidents will investigate who is at fault and why the accident happened, whether it was:
- Distracted or fatigued driving
- An improperly loaded vehicle
- Failing to adjust to weather conditions
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Negligent hiring by the truck company
- Failing to properly train drivers
- Failing to maintain trucks to a quality standard
They Deal With Trucking Accidents that are Common in the Midwest
When you hire reputable truck accident attorneys in Illinois or Missouri, you can be confident that they have taken on a case that’s similar to yours. Some of the most common scenarios we see are:
- Blind spot crashes. Cars that drive right next to or closely behind a truck are difficult for truck drivers to see in rear view mirrors. If truck drivers don’t pay close enough attention before turning or switching lanes, they’re likely to sideswipe a car or cause a collision.
- Construction zone accidents. When trucks must navigate through narrow, winding lanes set up during road construction, it’s easy for them to sideswipe or hit other vehicles if they aren’t paying close attention.
- Falling cargo. When packages aren’t secured properly, they can easily shift and fall off of the truck. This creates danger for any vehicles following behind.
- Roll-overs. A truck can tip over if it turns too fast, especially if it’s top heavy. Not only can the truck hit surrounding cars, but it can also scatter debris across the road.
- Tire blowouts. A shredded tire can send rubber flying all over the roadway, causing the driver to lose control and creating a dangerous obstacle for other vehicles.
- Underrides. A truck’s height makes it possible for a car to drive under it, resulting in a crushed frame and serious injuries.
In each of the above situations, knowledgeable personal injury attorneys know how to prove the truck driver was at fault.
They Go After Insurance Companies Who Try to Cheat Victims of Truck Accidents in Missouri and Illinois
Insurance companies that represent trucking businesses try to resolve claims quickly, before victims realize they deserve more money. Truck accident lawyers know just how much compensation a victim deserves, and will get to work right away conducting an investigation and identifying all the damages owed, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Property damage
- Punitive damages
If an insurance company refuses to settle for a reasonable amount, experienced trucking accident attorneys will go to trial to fight for what the victim deserves.
They Don’t Get Paid Until You Do
When medical bills are already adding up, you shouldn’t have to add attorney costs to your concerns. A reputable trucking accident attorney will offer a free consultation and take your case on a contingency basis, which means you won’t pay anything unless you receive a settlement. This can offer peace of mind in a very stressful time.
They Have a High Success Rate
Not every trucking accident firm in Illinois or Missouri wins the majority of their cases, but the best ones do. A reputable lawyer will be able to tell you their success rate so you can be confident they will win your case, and will even have national recognition as outstanding attorneys. At Hipskind and McAninch, our attorneys have a 99% success rate, and have been named to the nationally recognized Super Lawyers® listing eight years in a row.