St. Louis Rollover Truck Accidents
Rollover truck accidents are hazardous to all vehicles on the road, frequently occurring in larger top-heavy semi- or other trucks. Tall and narrow vehicles such as commercial trucks are more prone to losing balance and tipping over due to their high center of gravity. A speeding truck driver who comes across a curb, pothole, or other road obstruction that causes the operator to overcorrect in steering, can trigger the vehicle to tip, leading to a rollover. Poor weather conditions, tire problems, and curved onramps or exit ramps may also contribute to an increased risk of rollovers, particularly with commercial trucks and semis.
If you’re involved in a rollover truck accident in St. Louis, Missouri, and you suffer injuries or other losses, the compassionate and dedicated truck accident attorneys at NST Law can help determine your legal options for compensation.
Effects of Rollover Truck Accidents in St. Louis
There have been many cases of rollover truck accidents in St. Louis in recent years, causing I-44 traffic backups and other interstate disruptions. Rollover accidents are severe and may have life-altering effects for the truck driver and any nearby vehicles on the roadways that get caught in the wreckage.
In downtown St. Louis, a semi-truck rollover accident caused a major downtown interstate ramp closure after a semi overturned on I-64. In Missouri’s Pulaski County, a fatal semi-truck rollover accident occurred on I-44, leaving a wake of devastation and spilling marble countertop debris along the interstate. Two nearby vehicles were also involved in the crash, striking the scattered marble debris from the semi.
Data shows rollover truck accidents pose a real threat to passenger vehicles on the road. The primary cause is losing control or difficulty maneuvering top-heavy commercial vehicles. According to statistics pulled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (FARS) as well as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):
- Since 2009, there has been a 52% increase in truck accidents.
- The most common cause of all truck accidents, at around 30%, is due to tire defects.
- 19% of truck accidents occur during the day between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.
- Passenger vehicle occupants account for 68% of all truck fatalities, illustrating a truck accident’s collateral damage and danger to nearby drivers.
- Out of all fatal passenger vehicle cases, 74% included a large truck.
Common Causes of Rollover Truck Accidents
While rollover truck accidents can occur for many reasons at any time, several common causes are most prevalent among recorded cases. The most renowned causes of rollover accidents involving trucks include:
- Speeding and taking a curve too fast, causing the vehicle to tip off balance
- Attempting to change lanes and colliding with another vehicle
- An overcorrection and veering off the road caused by distracted driving
- Slamming on the brakes while turning
- Failing to account for the weight of transported loads, or unbalanced loads
- Poor or dangerous weather conditions
- Mechanical defects, including malfunctions or problems with the steering wheel or tires
- Excessive alcohol consumption and drunk driving
The causes mentioned are primarily due to distracted driving, speeding, and truck driver negligence. These behaviors result in overcorrections in steering and an unbalanced center of gravity, causing the vehicle to tip and roll.
Common Injuries from Rollover Truck Accidents
As previously mentioned, rollover truck accidents can be severe, life-altering events for all involved in the crash. Injuries can be devastating, permanent, and sometimes deadly. Common injuries seen in rollover truck accidents include:
- Neck injuries (whiplash)
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries or paralysis
- Chest and abdominal injuries
- Crush injuries or internal bleeding
Determining Liability in Rollover Truck Crash
Each rollover truck accident is different, resulting in a litany of factors that could impact liability. To determine liability, you need a truck accident attorney to perform a thorough investigation of your accident’s specific facts. For example, if the cause of a commercial vehicle crash was a mechanical defect in the steering system, the manufacturer may be held liable for damages.
If a semi-truck carrying an oversized load of lumber loses control on the freeway, the driver, employer, or a third-party vendor responsible for weighing and securing the load may be held liable for resulting injuries or losses. Lastly, if a commercial truck driver lacks the appropriate training, knowledge, and skills to operate their truck properly, the employer may be liable for their poor hiring and instructional practices.
Attorneys at NST Law who have experience with truck accident lawsuits can review your rollover truck accident case to determine liability and hold the appropriate parties accountable while obtaining fair compensation for your losses.
What if I'm partially responsible for a rollover truck accident in St. Louis?
If you contributed to a rollover truck accident in St. Louis, Missouri’s comparative negligence law (537.765) would apply. This law states that you may be liable if the following occurred:
- You failed to operate your truck as reasonably expected by the vehicle’s manufacturer.
- You dangerously operated your truck while understanding the risks and potential consequences.
- You unreasonably failed to appreciate the danger you or your vehicle were in, resulting in negligence.
- You failed to take proper precautions as a reasonable, careful truck driver would.
- You failed to attempt to mitigate damages caused by yourself or your vehicle during a collision.
Can I receive compensation after a rollover truck accident in St. Louis?
Whether you’re eligible to receive any compensation and the amount of that compensation will depend entirely on your specific case. Your attorney, a jury, a court, or an insurance company will determine your ability to receive compensation for your rollover truck accident via a thorough examination of the facts.
If you do receive compensation, you may be entitled to:
- Economic damages: You may receive compensation for any verifiable monetary losses such as the cost of repair or replacement for vehicle and property damage, medical expenses, and loss of past and future earnings.
- Non-economic damages: Non-monetary damages incurred might include pain and suffering, emotional distress or mental anguish, loss of consortium, or loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages: If you can prove that the defendant inflicted harm or injury by engaging in intentional or grossly negligent behavior, you may receive an additional form of compensation known as punitive damages or exemplary damages. These damages do not intend to compensate the accident victim, but instead, juries award them to punish the wrongdoer and deter future wrong actions.
Additionally, while compensation can’t dull the pain of losing someone you love, if you have a wrongful death claim due to your family member’s death stemming from a rollover truck accident, you might be eligible to receive:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering of your loved one before their untimely death
- Lost wages of the individual you depended on for support
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a rollover truck accident in St. Louis?
If you’re involved in a rollover truck accident in St. Louis, Missouri’s statute of limitations is five years from the date of the accident.
If you’re filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Missouri, the statute of limitations is three years from the time of death.
If you don’t file your lawsuit within the specified deadlines, the opposing party will likely file a motion to dismiss your case due to the statute of limitations expiring. The court mostly grants these motions forever barring you from recovering compensation for your damages.
There are very few exceptions to the law. (Also, refer to Missouri Revised Statutes section 516.200.). It’s important to speak with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible after your rollover truck accident to ensure you adhere to the appropriate timelines for your case.
Why should I hire the St. Louis personal injury attorneys at NST Law to help me after a rollover truck accident in Missouri?
The attorneys at NST Law have proven expertise in truck accident and personal injury cases. Over the past 30 years, we’ve recovered over $1.5 billion in settlements, judgments, and verdicts on behalf of our injured clients and their families, aggressively pursuing justice for each accident victim.
Specifically, truck accident cases can be complicated concerning liability and determining who to hold responsible. Additionally, it might be difficult to assess your damages and decide on fair compensation. NST Law can help you negotiate a reasonable settlement or represent you in court to obtain the best possible outcome.
At NST Law, we’ve always been compassionate and community-focused, helping individuals in and out of the courtroom. Aside from ensuring compensation for injured persons, we support the American Cancer Society, National Civil Rights Museum, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the Marine Corp League.
NST Law is a tight-knit group of lawyers with a passion for what we do. We will commit to giving your case the full attention it deserves. Contact NST Law today for a free consultation to decide your legal options and how we can help you.