Kansas City Truck Accident Lawyer

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Kansas City residents rely on the goods and services brought to Missouri through the thriving trucking industry. However, as much as we depend on our commercial freight system, the large, cumbersome commercial trucks congesting Kansas City highways present serious safety hazards to smaller passenger vehicles. When a fully loaded truck weighing as much as 18,000 pounds has an accident with a standard 4,000-pound vehicle, the motorists in the smaller vehicle are vulnerable to severe or even catastrophic injuries or death.

If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in an accident with a commercial truck, you shouldn’t have to take on a claim for compensation alone against the large trucking companies and their powerful insurers. Insurance companies protect their profits at the victim’s expense. Call Miller & Hine in Kansas City today to talk about what you experienced in your truck accident and the outcome you’re seeking in a claim for compensation.

Why Choose Miller & Hine as Your Truck Accident Attorneys in Kansas City?

All accident victims deserve an attorney fighting for their compensation, but especially when it comes to an accident involving a commercial truck. Truck accident claims are complicated because the liable party could be one of several likely candidates, including the driver, the trucking company, or another negligent party. Your Kansas City personal injury attorney from Miller & Hine will do the following:

According to Missouri’s fault-based insurance laws, a truck accident victim can still recover compensation for a portion of their damages even if they contributed to the accident. While this is a positive application of the law for those who are partly at fault for an accident, insurance companies often use this to their advantage and assign an injury victim an undue measure of fault to lower the amount they have to pay on a claim. You need a strong legal advocate on your side throughout the process to safeguard your best interests.

Kansas City truck accident lawyer .

How Can a Kansas City Truck Accident Attorney Help My Case?

When our team uses their skills and resources to investigate a case, we leave no stone unturned in building a compelling claim for your damages. We interview eyewitnesses, scrutinize the police report, obtain black-box recordings from truck cabs, and consult with accident reconstruction specialists to prove liability. Then we consult with medical experts about the impacts of your injury, the level of pain you can expect until you reach maximum medical improvement, and the impact of your injury on your ability to work. This helps us calculate your damages to fully benefit your case. Next, we’ll send a powerful, evidence-backed demand package to the appropriate insurance company or to multiple liable parties to recover the maximum amount of compensation available in a settlement so it’s unlikely you’ll have to go to court. However, we’re also experienced litigators who are more than ready to take your case to a judge and jury if the insurance company uses bad faith practices or unfairly denies or lowballs your claim.

Missouri Truck Accidents

Missouri saw 15, 005 total truck accidents in 2022 with 162 fatalities, an increase in deaths by 32 fatalities since 2020. Despite the Missouri Department of Transportation’s continued efforts targeting enforcement and educational measures, devasting commercial truck accidents in Kansas City and the surrounding area continue to occur. In 2022, 2,726 people survived serious truck accidents but received treatment in hospitals. Because Missouri is a pure comparison negligence insurance state, injury victims must file compensation claims against the party at fault for the accident. Identifying the liable party can be difficult in a truck accident.

Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident in Kansas City?

Large commercial trucks operate under specific laws, such as those limiting their driving hours and determining legal weight. When an accident occurs, many different parties could be liable for the damages. It takes an experienced investigator to determine the cause of the accident and the liable party. In a truck accident in Missouri, this could be one of the following:

In less common cases, the liable party for a truck accident could be a negligent road maintenance agency in Kansas City or a third-party driver. It takes a thorough investigation to make a legal claim against the appropriate defendant and the right insurance company so the case doesn’t get tossed out.

Proving Liability After a Truck Accident

Proving liability in fault-based insurance states requires the car accident victim to demonstrate with a preponderance of the evidence that the at-fault party meets the following legal points of liability:

Your attorney from Miller & Hine will document evidence in your case to make the most compelling claim for your full compensation, carefully calculate your damages to maximize the amount of compensation available to you in your claim, and send a demand package to the appropriate insurer to begin negotiations for a settlement.

What Damages Can I Recover in My Missouri Truck Accident Claim?

Even minor injuries can quickly add up costs with a single missed paycheck and a bill for emergency medical care. Severe or catastrophic injuries become prohibitively expensive to treat without a successful claim to recover compensation. Compensation in truck accident claims typically includes some or all of the following:

In less common cases, damages could include amounts for compensation for disfigurement or traumatic limb loss. If a loved one died from their truck accident injuries, we can help you give them a voice for justice through a Kansas City wrongful death claim against the trucking company or the party responsible.

What Tactics Do Insurance Companies Use Against Truck Accident Victims?

Insurance companies are large private businesses that make profits by taking in more money in premiums than they pay out on claims. They hire insurance adjusters whose jobs are to find ways to minimize the amount they pay out on an accident claim. Be wary of common insurance company tactics used against injury victims including the following:

Despite their glossy ads and compassionate commercials, insurance companies are businesses that exist to make profits. Don’t let them do it at your expense.

How Does Missouri’s Comparison Negligence Laws Apply to My Truck Accident Claim in Kansas City?

Missouri has a pure comparison negligence system for recovering damages after a car accident. Under Missouri Statute 537.765, the law states the following:

“A Defendant may plead and prove the fault of the plaintiff as an affirmative defense.  Any fault chargeable to the plaintiff shall diminish proportionately the amount awarded as compensatory damages but shall not bar recovery.”

In other words, if you contributed to the cause of the accident, the insurance company reduces the amount of your compensation by the percentage of your fault. For example, if a truck driver was dozing at the wheel and causes an accident that injures another motorist, but the other motorist was speeding when the accident occurred, the insurance adjuster could assign the injury victim 20% of the fault in the accident for speeding and reduce a $100,000 payout to $80,000 on the basis that the speeding driver could have avoided the accident if they hadn’t been exceeding the speed limit. 

It’s essential to have an experienced truck accident lawyer to defend your best interests. Missouri’s system allows injury victims to recover a portion of their damages even if they were 99% at fault for an accident, but this also incentivizes the insurance company to assign injury victims a portion of the blame even when it isn’t due.

How Do You Compensate for Pain and Suffering After a Truck Accident?

Although financial compensation doesn’t erase pain or suffering after a truck accident and it can’t undo emotional trauma, it’s the civil court’s only means of providing injury victims with a sense of justice and accountability when one party’s negligence or reckless actions cause them harm. Most attorneys use a formula to calculate compensation for pain and suffering. The formula may be based on multiplying the total amount of medical expenditures by a pain level between one and six (the multiplier method) or the per-diem method that calculates an amount of compensation per day times the number of days a medical expert believes you’re likely to experience pain until you reach your maximum medical improvement.

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Claims in Missouri?

Kansas City truck accident attorney - time limits to file a claim

Like all states, Missouri places a limit on the amount of time after an accident that the case can become a lawsuit in court. This deadline—or statute of limitations— serves to protect defendants from living under the indefinite threat of a lawsuit and also ensures that evidence remains available should the case go to court.

Most accident victims begin their claims soon after an accident when they most need compensation to cover their medical bills and lost wages; however, if the insurance company disputes the claim, the case may require litigation in court. This occurs in less than ten percent of traffic accident claims. If your case requires a lawsuit in court, your Kansas City truck accident attorney must file the petition within the state’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Missouri has a generous five-year time limit on this type of personal injury lawsuit, compared to the two-year limit in most states.

If you have questions about how Missouri’s five-year statute of limitations impacts your unique case, we can explain how it applies and specific exceptions for lawsuits against government entities or in cases of delayed discovery of injuries.

Common Injuries in Truck Accidents

When a large, unwieldy commercial truck loaded with freight has an accident with a traditional passenger vehicle, the motorists in the smaller vehicle are vulnerable to serious or catastrophic injuries. Common injuries in commercial truck accidents include the following:

If your loved one was fatally injured in an accident with a commercial truck, close family members can recover compensation for economic losses and emotional anguish through a truck accident wrongful death claim.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

Accidents are always frightening and traumatic, but few accidents are as terrifying as those involving enormous commercial trucks loaded with heavy or hazardous freight. The aftermath of a truck accident is a chaotic scene, but taking purposeful action can help you recover your losses later as well as protect your immediate physical safety. 

After a truck accident, you may be too injured to do anything but wait for help, but if you’re able to use your phone from your position or hand it to an uninjured person to use for you, you can document critical evidence before law enforcement moves the damaged vehicles to restore traffic flow. Use your phone to do the following:

Getting contact information from those who witnessed the accident is especially critical if the accident occurred in a location without traffic cameras or video surveillance. Often, eyewitnesses leave the scene without leaving a name.

Always go to the hospital in an ambulance or arrange transportation to an ER straight from the accident scene. Have a thorough examination at the hospital and ask the provider for a detailed medical report. It should include treatment recommendations and your prognosis. Carefully follow your doctor’s orders in the weeks and months following the accident and save copies of all medical bills and receipts for related expenses.

Call a truck accident attorney from Miller & Hine before you speak to the insurance company. It’s easy to fall into common pitfalls the insurance companies use against you later. Instead, direct the insurance adjuster to communicate only with your lawyer.

Call the Kansas City Truck Accident Attorneys at Miller & Hine Today

After a truck accident that causes serious injuries, you shouldn’t have to worry about the complicated legalities of navigating a truck accident claim. Instead, let Miller & Hine take care of the legal process while you care for yourself and your family. Contact our Kansas City law office today to set up a free evaluation of your truck accident case.