Question

If I’m injured in an accident with a semitruck, who can I sue in Missouri?

Rob Sullivan

Answered by:
Rob Sullivan

Located in Kansas City, MO
Sullivan Law LLC

Rob Sullivan - Personal Injury - Products - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Rob Sullivan

Sullivan Law LLC
Kansas City, MO
Phone: 800-487-8066
Fax: 816-817-1962

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Answer

If you get in a crash with a semitruck, there are several different people you could sue.

  • You could sue the driver of the semitruck. The driver will almost always be a party to the lawsuit.
  • You can also sue the trucking company that owns the truck.
  • Even if the driver owns his own truck, there’s probably a company involved that owns the trailer and the cargo.
  • There may also be a company that manufactured part of the truck that contributed to the accident. For example, if you’re in a semi and the underride guard broke, you can sue the trailer company because the underride guards broke.

 Dealing With The Trucking Company’s Insurance 

If you do get in an accident with a semitruck, you absolutely must have a lawyer. The trucking companies have insurance companies to make sure that you do not get adequate compensation. This makes having a lawyer looking out for your interests essential.

If you have a serious injury or a death, you are in big trouble as far as what you can recover. You may be tempted to take a settlement before you really know what your case is worth. Be leery if someone from one of these companies tries to approach you early on. People typically can get four or five times what they are initially offered to settle if they have an attorney. So be very cautious if the trucking company and their insurers are anxious to settle.

Insurance companies are required to carry a minimum in most states, so there’s more than enough of a pool of money to recover from when involved in a semi case. It’s important, though, to remember that a semitruck case and the people that you sue will be ready for it because they’ve done it many times before. They will have claims adjusters and investigators so it’s important to have a good lawyer on the case for you to immediately look out for your interests and do the investigation necessary to prove liability up front and determine what happened and how to proceed. 

Truck Drivers Can Be Some Of The Most Dangerous Drivers 

Truckers drive over their hour limits for safety and frequently suffer from sleep apnea. These things lead to them being less alert on the road and lead to accidents. Driver’s log books will show how many hours the driver has been on the road. This is the type of thing your attorney can help investigate for you.

You must be careful because honesty is not always the policy in lawsuits, so you need a lawyer to sift through that. The semi company will throw up obstacles because remember that their job is to protect their company’s interests and either not pay the claim or get out of the claim paying out as little as possible. In a recent case, the truck driver was driving on a permit, and he was a former meth addict and alcoholic and was responsible for the accident. Some trucking companies lack background checks for drivers and this creates dangerous truck drivers on the road. This was something our investigation uncovered, which helped our case greatly. 

Not Everyone Has The Best Intentions 

When ordinary people get in an accident, they do not realize (or they want to believe that people are good) that not everyone has the best intentions and their best interests at heart. The insurance and trucking companies’ first mission is not to pay — regardless of whether the claim is valid or not. You’ve got to fight through this barrier every time a claim arises.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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