Motor vehicle accidents are horrible any time they happen; even a simple fender bender can be a traumatizing experience. A car wreck can remind a person that they are mortal and that their safety is not always under their own control. But an accident involving a semi-truck is particularly horrific. Many drivers on the road find that driving near large trucks is stressful because they are scared of the repercussions of an accident. St. Louis trucking accident lawyers say that people who have survived trucking accidents in Missouri often have as much emotional scarring as they have physical injuries.
Large commercial trucks can legally weigh up to 80 tons, which is enormous when compared to a car or even an S.U.V. Many accidents that involve trucks end in smaller vehicles being crushed or catching on fire. Sadly, most passengers involved in high-speed trucking wrecks are killed. Survivors of these accidents will be accompanied by flashbacks and associated fears for months and even years to come. If they were knocked unconscious and don’t recall the accident, they still may experience symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms include paranoia, a feeling of never being safe, fear of the unknown, control issues and anxiety. A good St. Louis trucking accident lawyer will represent the depth of these issues alongside any physical problems experienced by a survivor.
Truck accidents may result from a range of factors, but almost always are compounded by driver error, either on the part of the truck driver or on the part of another vehicle. In the case of weather conditions, trucks and cars can be operated safely in almost any circumstance – but if a driver drives too rapidly or brakes too quickly for conditions, an accident may occur. Many trucking companies blame accidents on brake failure, but this is another circumstance that could be avoided if stopping times were increased and speeds were decreased. Other causes of accidents are very clearly related to driver error, such as talking on the phone or texting while driving, using drugs or alcohol, or falling asleep at the wheel.
In order to piece together a successful case against a trucking company, St. Louis trucking accident lawyers gather data from a range of sources. Since most accidents are caused by several compounding factors, the firm looks for any and all causes. Documentation regarding maintenance and repairs to the truck will indicate whether lack of maintenance or a neglected problem may have led to the wreck. Cell phone records show whether the drivers were talking or sending texts when the accident occurred. Weather and road construction reports reveal whether road conditions may have played a part. Traffic reports also help to paint a picture of the scene. Testimony from victims or witnesses is another piece of the puzzle. Sometimes, because of the trauma experienced by a victim in the accident, that person’s memory of details may be quite blurry, but other people who witnessed the crash may be able to fill in missing elements.