Injured in a truck accident?
Contact the Kansas City truck accident lawyers at Langdon & Emison to schedule your free case evaluation.
Accidents with 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and commercial trucks are more complex than most passenger vehicle accidents. They often require a more intense degree of investigation and negotiation.
Langdon & Emison has over 30 years of experience in handling a wide variety of truck accident cases. Regardless of the type of case, our number one priority remains the same: protecting the rights of the client.
Whether you’re from Jackson County, Clay County, Platte County, Cass County, or anywhere else in the greater Kansas City area, we can guarantee that we will serve as your fiercest advocates.
What To Do After a Truck Accident
The immediate aftermath of a truck accident is often chaotic, scary, and a blur. You must know what to do after a truck accident; the actions you take immediately following a crash can have a huge impact on your case.
If you have been in a truck accident in Kansas City, take the following steps:
1. Call the police.
You should call the police as soon as possible after a crash. Not only can they ensure that all parties receive the necessary medical attention, but they will handle traffic, record witness statements, investigate the scene of the crash, and help you file a police report.
The information that the police gather after a crash can be instrumental later on in a truck accident investigation. However, while it is important that you are cooperative and polite when speaking with the police, you must also remember to protect yourself. Never admit fault or wrongdoing, do not downplay your injuries, and give only the facts when making a statement.
2. Document the Crash
Although part of the police’s job is to gather evidence at the scene of the accident, that does not mean you shouldn’t also have evidence on hand to support your claim. Having your own evidence can help support the police’s report later on, or it can serve to dispute any discrepancies that arise later on.
Take pictures of the accident, your vehicle, and any other factors that could have played a role in the crash (the weather, construction, road conditions, etc.). Exchange contact information with the other driver and any witnesses that may have been present.
3. See a Doctor
All too often, victims of a car accident are still in shock and feel the effects of high adrenaline following the crash. These feelings may lead to you believing that you are physically okay. Despite how you feel, it is absolutely critical that you see a medical professional as soon as possible after the accident.
Not only can a doctor help you prevent worsening any injuries, but their medical documentation regarding your physical state can be used in your truck accident case. Without medical reports and official documentation, insurance companies will try to discredit your injuries when it’s time to collect compensation.
4. File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
When you’re able, call your insurance company to file a claim regarding your truck accident. It depends on your policy, but you may be required to file a claim before having your car repaired.
Although your insurance company should be on your side, be prepared for them to try to pay out the least amount possible.
5. Hire a Kansas City Truck Accident Lawyer
It may seem hopelessly overwhelming when you’ve been in a truck accident. On top of the physical and mental toll it can take on a person, a crash can also lead to lost time at work, an intense recovery, and a growing pile of medical bills and other expenses. Work with an experienced Kansas City truck accident lawyer who can serve as your advocate in your time of need.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are not uncommon in the Kansas City area. Passenger vehicles sharing the road must be alert at all times as various conditions can cause a truck accident.
When people see commercial trucks out on the road, it can be a bit nerve-wracking. However, we often feel reassured because we assume that the drivers have been properly trained, are in full control, and aware of their surroundings.
Unfortunately, trucking companies put immense pressure on their drivers to hit their delivery date targets, which can lead to drivers taking fewer breaks, getting less sleep, and driving while distracted. These types of behaviors can and do lead to accidents on Kansas City roads and interstates.
In our 30 years of practice, we’ve seen a wide variety of truck accident causes. Some of the most common causes for crashes include:
- Driving while texting or talking on the phone
- Driver fatigue
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Inclement weather conditions
- Lack of experience or inadequate training
- Defective tires
- Defective brakes
- Overloading the truck
- Passenger car driver error
- Manufacturer defect
These are just some of the common causes of commercial truck accidents in the Kansas City area. It’s also not uncommon for there to be multiple causes and conditions that led to the crash. Working with a skilled Kansas City truck accident lawyer is the best way to ensure there is a thorough investigation into the true cause of your accident.
What kind of damages can I recover from a truck accident?
Damages can vary from truck accident to truck accident. Although truck crashes are unfortunately far from common, there is a wide range of factors that can affect what kind of damages you can receive:
- Severity of your injuries
- What the recovery timeline looks like
- Degree of property damage
- Loss of life
Truck accident victims often suffer devastating and life-altering consequences and, as such, are entitled to collect either economic or non-economic damages. Although monetary compensation cannot always completely heal the losses a victim has suffered, it can help the victim as they move towards the road of recovery.
Economic damages aim to restore a person’s losses to their original condition through measurable and quantifiable means. Economic damages typically include damages that come with an invoice, bill, or receipt such as:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Reduction of future earnings
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Property damage repair or replacement costs
Non-economic damages compensate a victim for their subjective and non-monetary losses. While these losses do not come with a bill or receipt and are not as easily quantified as economic damages, it’s critical that victims are compensated for these losses.
Non-economic damages can include:
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Scarring and disfigurement
The capacity for human suffering and loss following a truck accident can be immense. Collecting damages is one form of justice that a victim can pursue to heal and move on with their life.
Calculating damages can be a challenging task. If you don’t account for all losses, including potential future losses, you can miss out on much-needed compensation. Work with a skilled lawyer who has experience in calculating and evaluating the true losses that follow after a truck accident.
Truck accident cases are notoriously complicated.
Commercial trucking accidents are not the same as passenger vehicle accidents. While there are many car accident lawyers out there who have won great results for their clients, the fact of the matter is that not every car accident lawyer has enough experience with truck accidents.
Truck accidents are notoriously complicated. There could be more than one factor that caused the crash and you can bet that the trucking company’s insurance company and team of lawyers will do everything in their power to lessen their role in the accident to reduce the amount they must pay the victim.
Multiple parties can be held responsible in a truck accident.
Another factor that makes truck accidents difficult to investigate is that there could be multiple parties involved leading up to the crash.
Potential at-fault parties can include:
- The trucking company: If a trucking company failed to adequately train a driver, did not follow safety measures set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Act, or was found to have pressured the driver into meeting unrealistic deadlines, it could be found liable for the crash.
- Cargo loaders: If a truck is not properly loaded, it can cause an accident.
- Truck mechanics: Commercial trucks must be rigorously tested and inspected; failure to inspector diagnose a mechanical issue can also cause an accident.
- Trailer owner: In many cases, the trailer itself is not owned by the trucking company; if the trailer was not maintained properly, the owner can be found liable.
- Vehicle manufacturer: If the truck or trailer was defective by design, the vehicle’s manufacturer could also be found liable.
Contact Langdon & Emison today
Our team of Kansas City truck accident lawyers is ready to move forward with your case. Contact our team today to schedule your risk-free, no-obligation case evaluation. We can learn more about your case, answer any questions you may have, and outline your options as you consider your next steps.
Remember, we work on a contingency fee basis. You don’t pay a dime unless we win your case on your behalf. Let us use our considerable experience, time, resources, and insight to fight for fair compensation on your behalf.
Call (816) 831-1000 to schedule your case evaluation or contact us online.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the statute of limitations on a truck accident in Kansas City?
According to Missouri Revised Statutes § 516.120, you have five years from the date of the truck accident to take legal action and seek recovery. We urge all truck accident victims to take action as soon as possible after the crash.
Although five years can seem like plenty of time, it can go by far more quickly than you would imagine when you’re dealing with recovery, vehicle repairs, missed time at work, and other losses.
What are common truck accident injuries?
Truck accident injuries can be far more devastating than injuries from a passenger vehicle accident. Due to the sheer size and weight of a commercial truck, their potential to do harm is immense.
Even truck accidents that don’t lead to fatalities can still leave victims with long-lasting injuries. Common truck accident injuries include:
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken or fractured ribs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Wrongful death
What should I do if the insurance company contacts me?
Following a truck accident, you can expect that the trucking company’s insurance company will contact you. Keep in mind that you are in no way obligated to provide a recorded statement or any other type of statement to the representative.
As empathetic and kind as they may seem, they can, and often will, use your statements against you. Whether it’s to try to lessen the severity of your injuries or to take liability off of the trucking company, they aim to decrease the amount they offer you in a settlement.
While you should be polite with the trucking company’s insurance company, it’s best to contact your lawyer first and have them handle any communications with the insurance company.