Every accident involving an 18-wheeler has the potential to cause grievous injury. While rollover collisions are rare, they often end in catastrophe.
The Dangers of Rollover Semi-Truck Accidents
Rollover truck accidents are mercifully rare. But when they happen, they present incredible risks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which oversees interstate transportation operations, estimates that about 25% of all rollover-type collisions involve at least one fatality.
Since a fully loaded tractor-trailer could weigh up to 80,000 pounds, the amount of force generated in any sort of crash is immense. In rollovers, the semi-truck driver is very likely to suffer severe injuries.
However, rollovers put everyone in danger: if an overturned semi-truck obscures oncoming traffic or spills cargo into the road, other people could get hurt—or worse.
How Rollover Collisions Happen
Semi-truck rollovers have many possible causes, including:
- Speeding. High speeds are a leading cause of truck rollover accidents. These collisions frequently happen on sharply curved roads, such as highway on-ramps. If a semi-truck driver does not properly regulate their speed, their vehicle—which has a high center of gravity—could overturn.
- Distracted driving. Semi-truck drivers are allowed to spend 11 hours per day behind the wheel. While most truck drivers obey the law, they can still get tired or distracted. If a commercial vehicle operator is not paying attention to the road, they could strike another vehicle or a fixed obstacle, triggering a rollover.
- Mechanical problems. Semi-truck drivers and trucking companies are required by federal law to regularly service their vehicles. However, some dishonest companies do follow FMCSA’s guidelines—they might only inspect their semi-trucks when they suspect a problem or falsify their maintenance logs to stay in compliance. If a semi-truck is in poor repair, it can develop mechanical problems that could cause a serious rollover accident.
- Cargo failures. A cargo failure could be caused if a shipper, receiver, or truck driver does not properly secure a load of cargo.
Who Is Liable After a Rollover Accident
While some semi-truck accidents are caused by weather or otherwise unavoidable factors, most stem from negligence. Depending on the circumstances of an accident, any of the following parties could be liable for the resulting damages:
- The truck driver, if the driver was distracted, intoxicated, or otherwise negligent
- The trucking company, if the trucking company’s negligent hiring, maintenance, or personnel practices contributed to the accident
- The company that loaded the cargo, if the truck was erroneously or negligently loaded by a third-party company, known in the trucking industry as the “shipper”
- A vehicle or parts manufacturer, if a mechanical defect caused or facilitated a rollover
Possible Injuries After a Rollover Truck Accident
Rollover accidents can culminate in severe injuries and losses, such as:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Bruise and contusions
- Broken and fractured bones
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions and hemorrhaging
- Loss of limb or amputation
- Wrongful death
Your Potential Recovery After a Rollover Truck Crash
If another person’s negligence caused your rollover truck accident injuries, you could be entitled to significant compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Your personal injury attorney could help you calculate the value of your claim by evaluating the extent of your legal damages. Your legal damages could include:
- Your medical bills
- The costs of anticipated care
- Prescription medication fees and co-pays
- Physical rehabilitation and therapy
- Lost income from work
- Diminished earning capacity
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of limb
- Loss of enjoyment
- Wrongful Death
Missouri, unlike some other states, does not cap the damages you could receive after suffering serious physical or emotional injuries in a rollover-type accident.
You Do Not Have to Pay for Another Person’s Mistake
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Missouri rollover truck accident that was not your fault, the Law Office of Layton & Southard could help you secure the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. Our team of highly trained personal injury attorneys could analyze the circumstances and causes of your crash, gathering the evidence needed to hold a reckless truck driver, dishonest transportation company, or negligent parts manufacturer accountable for their misconduct.
We could advocate on your behalf, negotiating with the insurance company, so you do not have to. If the truck driver’s insurance company is not willing to negotiate in good faith, we could take them—and everyone whose negligence contributed to your injuries—to court.
However, you need to act fast: Missouri may not cap damages in rollover truck accident cases, but it does have a strict statute of limitations on personal injury claims. If you wait too long to take action, you may not be able to receive anything for your injuries.
Have You Been Injured in a Truck Accident in Missouri?
If you've been injured in a truck accident, you need to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Cape Girardeau office directly at 573.335.3359 to schedule your initial consultation.