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Our law firm represents those who have suffered personal injuries or have lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of another. We specialize in personal injury trial litigation and focus our attention on those we represent.
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Kansas City Truck Accident Attorney

After a Kansas man suffered a traumatic brain injury after a serious crash,Wendt Law Firm, P.C. secured over $10 million for his injuries, medical bills and overall suffering. As your Kansas City truck accident lawyer, we have one priority: fighting for the injured. Our team specializes in personal injury litigation, allowing truck accident victims to focus solely on recovery.

Large trucks can inflict a great deal of damage on smaller vehicles in accidents. With weights up to 80,000 pounds, large trucks can obliterate other vehicles in sideswipe, rear-end, and head-on collisions. These crashes often result in catastrophic and fatal injuries to victims ; but our Kansas City truck accident attorneys are standing by to help you financially recover and prevent such future incidents by holding the guilty parties responsible.

The majority of truck accidents are rooted in negligence – be it the fault of a truck driver, trucking company, vehicle part manufacturer, or Kansas City’s dangerous roadway infrastructure. After a traumatic truck accident in KC, come to Wendt Law Firm P.C. for answers to your legal questions, and possible claim representation.

 

Types of Truck Accidents

The FMCSA keeps track of large truck crash statistics using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and other databases. According to the FMCSA, there were 4,050 fatal accidents involving large trucks in 2015. This was an 8% increase from the pervious year. There were about 87,000 personal injury accidents with large truck involvement. While all truck accidents are unique, there are certain patterns that exist among these types of wrecks. The design of large trucks lends itself to these types of accidents in particular:

  • Rollovers. Commercial trucks can tip and rollover if the driver takes a curve too sharply, drives too fast for conditions, strikes an object in the road, tries to correct a trailer that’s gone off the road, or brakes incorrectly down steep declines. Rollovers can crush smaller vehicles and lead to highway pileups.
  • Jackknifes. A large truck “jackknifes” when the trailer swings out away from the cab at a sharp angle. Jackknifing can occur when the driver uses an incorrect braking tactic. This makes it impossible for the driver to control the vehicle. At this point, a rollover or other accident may occur.
  • Rear-end collisions. Large trucks do not possess the same stopping power as smaller, lighter vehicles. They require more room to come to complete stops. Truckers that follow too closely or speed, may end up causing rear-end collisions that can be fatal to passengers in other motor vehicles.
  • Underride accidents. When a smaller vehicle rear-ends a large truck, the front of the smaller car can go underneath the rear trailer. This can lead to catastrophic and fatal injuries such as decapitation. Other motorists should always leave plenty of following room when behind large trucks, and pay attention while driving.

Truck accidents can occur due to driver error, failed vehicle parts, dangerous roadway conditions, or improper vehicle maintenance. In all of these situations, there is someone that could have prevented the accident. From truck driver DUI to lost cargo loads on the interstate, most trucking accidents come down to negligence. When this is the case, victims can pursue compensation for damages through the Kansas City civil court system.

During your free, no obligation consultation, our Kansas City truck accident attorneys will listen to the intimate details of your crash and discuss all possible legal acts of negligence. From here, we can begin building your personal injury lawsuit and the Wendt Law Firm team will be with you every step of the way. Call today to schedule your consultation.

Federal Regulation of Trucking Accidents and Accident Lawsuits

Truckers differ from typical motor vehicle drivers in that they must obey federal and state safety laws while on the road. Truck drivers must also possess commercial driver’s licenses, obtained only after special tests and driver training. There are dozens of laws truck drivers must abide by at all times, which cover how often they must sleep, and when to check the truck’s engine performance among other details. Breaking any of these laws is an act of negligence that could result in a crash. Here are some of the most important FMCSA regulations involved in trucking:

  • Drug and alcohol tests. All commercial vehicle operators must consent to drug and alcohol testing pre-employment, during random drug tests, under reasonable suspicion, and post-accident. Trucking companies can only offer employment if the driver tests negative during pre-employment substance tests.
  • Hours of service regulations. Drowsy driving is a serious issue in the commercial trucking industry. Truck drivers may not drive longer than 11 consecutive hours during a 14-hour maximum shift, which can only occur after 10 consecutive off-duty hours. Drivers cannot driver 60 hours in seven consecutive days, or 70 hours in eight days. Drivers must take one 30-minute break in the first eight hours of a shift.
  • Size and weight restrictions. Large trucks can only weigh so much depending on their size. Single-axle trucks may only carry up to 20,000 pounds, while two-axle trucks can carry 34,000 pounds maximum. No large truck can weigh more than 80,000 pounds. Overloading a truck is extremely dangerous, and can lead to roll over accidents. There are also laws for truck heights and widths.
  • Truck maintenance. Trucking companies and drivers must take care to properly maintain and service fleet vehicles. Drivers must keep logs recording daily inspections and performance checks prior to hitting the road. Federal laws exist to control the quality of many truck parts, such as air brake systems. Part manufacturers must also obey certain regulations when creating truck components.

After a crash, victims should look at federal regulations the driver, company, or another entity may have broken in relation to the accident. The federal government strictly regulates commercial vehicle activity and performance. Any broken federal or state laws, resulting in a crash, is negligence per se. This legal doctrine makes it relatively easy for victims to obtain compensation, since the defendant committed an unlawful act. A truck accident lawyer can help you navigate all applicable FMCSA laws and state-specific trucking codes to pursue recovery.

 

Large Truck Accident Statistics in the KC Region

The Kansas City Regional Transportation Safety Blueprint of 2013-2017 provides data on truck accidents in the area that caused serious injuries and deaths. The study defines “large trucks” as vehicles with gross weights greater than 10,000 pounds, and includes single-unit trucks and truck tractors that have the primary purpose of moving freight. KC is one of the top five trucking centers in the U.S. According to the data, large trucks make up at least 14% of total traffic in Kansas City – moving 60 million tons of freight through the region in one year alone. The movement of freight through KC is essential to the local and state economies.

Within the time period of the study, there was an average of 21 truck accident fatalities and 99 serious injuries per year. The Missouri side of the KC metropolitan area saw more truck accidents than the Kansas side during every year of the study. The two counties with the most large truck crashes were Jackson County, Missouri and Johnson County, Kansas. Proposed infrastructure developments to Interstate 49 from Louisiana to KC will place more stress on the region’s roadways. City councils will have to make an increased effort to enhance the safety of roadway users in the future.

Safety strategies may include maintaining local contact and coordination with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the entity in charge of federal large truck laws. KC officials will also work to educate motorists about sharing the road with large commercial vehicles, and support legislation that makes commercial driver license requirements more stringent. Finally, city officials should continue to measure accident activity in high-crash corridors and implement solutions to counter common issues.

Why Hire a Kansas City Truck Accident Attorney?

Truck accidents inherently involve complex questions of fault and liability. For years, trucking companies could evade liability for accidents by renting equipment and using independent contractors instead of employees. Today, however, federal laws hold companies responsible for accidents involving their fleets or drivers. This means that accident victims are more likely to be able to recover through the truck company’s insurer.

Yet the company may not be the one at fault for your crash. The defendant could be a product manufacturer or another driver on the road. You need an attorney to help you sort through the elements of your case, and take the appropriate legal action for maximum compensation. Legal representation during insurance settlement negotiations and civil trials can make all the difference in your case. Contact the Kansas City truck accident lawyers at Wendt Law Firm, P.C. for a free case evaluation in KC today.

“Wendt Law Firm was very professional, courteous and went above and beyond in their service of our case…They were patient and responsive and I’d recommend them to anyone looking for representation.” – Steve

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