Fatal truck crash on road

Truck accidents are a deadly threat on the roads of St. Louis and across the nation, resulting in more than 4,000 deaths every year. Many fatal truck crashes are the fault of a truck driver or trucking company, making the loss especially difficult for surviving family members.

If someone you love passed away in a fatal semi-truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for what you’ve suffered. Let an experienced truck accident wrongful death lawyer with Sumner Law Group, LLC, help you pursue it. Trucking companies and their insurers fight hard to avoid liability even when it’s clear they are to blame. You need a committed legal advocate to demand they take responsibility for your losses. 

Contact us today for a free consultation about your legal options. We look forward to meeting you and hearing your story. Many families find comfort in seeking justice for a loved one who died in an accident that wasn’t their fault.

Why Your Family Needs Our Truck Accident Wrongful Death Lawyers

If your family has lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident, you may be struggling with financial problems, funeral plans, and other complex issues – not to mention dealing with the grief of your loss. The last thing you need to do is try to tangle with an insurance company to pursue a wrongful death claim without legal guidance. 

At Sumner Law Group, LLC, our lawyers can take care of many of these steps for you. We can:

  • Investigate the accident to determine liability
  • Calculate what fair compensation entails in your case
  • Prepare and file your claim on your behalf
  • Negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement
  • Take your claim to court if they won’t make a fair offer

While we do this, you can concentrate on mourning your loved one and spending time with your family.

Common Causes and Types of Fatal Truck Accidents in St. Louis

Passenger vehicle occupants are the most common victims of truck accident deaths simply because passenger cars are much smaller than heavy trucks. A large truck can weigh as much as 20 or 30 cars and is typically much taller. It is all too easy for a smaller vehicle to end up under the truck in an accident. 

Truck driver fatigue is a common cause of truck accident deaths. Federal regulations allow large truck drivers to drive for no more than 11 hours per day, but many drivers break this rule in an effort to meet strict deadlines. Fatigue negatively affects judgment, response time, and decision-making abilities, increasing the risk of a serious accident.

A truck’s increased braking distance also plays a role in many crashes. A loaded truck needs 20-40 percent more stopping distance than a car. Many accidents result from truckers not having enough time to stop. A driver who does not anticipate potential hazards may not have time to apply the brakes to avoid them.

Alcohol and drugs are less common causes of fatal truck driving accidents due to the strict regulations truck drivers must follow, but they are still a factor in some. In one recent year, 5 percent of truck drivers killed in accidents were found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or above. 

Truck drivers are also prone to many of the negligent behaviors other drivers exhibit, such as speeding, drowsy driving, distracted driving, failing to yield the right-of-way, and improper lane changes.

Who Could Be Liable for a Deadly Truck Crash?

A fatal truck accident attorney in St. Louis from our law firm can determine who was at fault for a truck accident and who may be legally liable for its consequences. Examples of potentially liable parties in a wrongful death action include:

  • The driver of the truck, especially if they violated regulations by driving for too many hours without sleep, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, driving while distracted, or otherwise not following safety rules
  • The trucking company, if they violated safety rules, failed to maintain the vehicle properly, or employed an unsafe driver
  • The crew that loaded the truck, if an unstable and incorrectly loaded trailer contributed to the accident
  • The truck’s maintenance company, if improper repairs or maintenance caused the crash
  • The manufacturer of the truck and trailer, if defective equipment played a role in the crash
  • Other drivers, if their actions contributed to the accident

How to Prove Liability for a Truck Accident Fatality in Missouri

To prove liability for a truck accident fatality in Missouri, we will investigate the circumstances that led to the accident. We can inspect evidence such as:

  • Police reports about the accident
  • Truck maintenance records
  • The driver’s log
  • Witness statements about the accident
  • Black box data
  • Alcohol and drug screening results
  • Police citations and criminal charges

We can also work with accident reconstruction experts as necessary to help us better understand what happened and who could be liable for it.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim for a Fatal Truck Crash? 

In Missouri, the surviving spouse, children, lineal descendants, and parents of the deceased have the right to file truck accident death claims.

If there is no spouse, child, parent, or descendant to file a wrongful death suit, then the surviving brothers or sisters have the right to do so if they establish that they have suffered losses as a result of the fatal truck accident.

If there is no one else who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, the court may appoint a plaintiff ad litem to do so on behalf of any parties who may have suffered losses. You cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit if someone else has already filed such a claim against the same defendant for the same death.

Potential Damages in a Fatal Truck Accident Case

If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident in St. Louis, you could recover damages to compensate you for:

  • Lost income and benefits the deceased would have earned
  • Funeral and burial expenses 
  • Medical bills from treating the deceased before they passed
  • Pain and suffering the deceased consciously experienced
  • Loss of services, companionship, and guidance the deceased would have provided

How Our Lawyers Can Help with a Truck Wreck Wrongful Death Claim

At Sumner Law Group, LLC, our lawyers can help with your truck accident wrongful death lawsuit by conducting our own investigation to determine what really happened, negotiating with the insurance companies for you, and taking your case to trial if necessary. We’ve spent decades building a reputation as a law firm that does not back down in the pursuit of justice. Let us put our reputation to the test in your case.

If you need a fatal truck accident lawyer in St. Louis, contact Sumner Law Group, LLC, today. Our attorneys offer a free initial consultation. We charge nothing unless we win compensation for you in a successful wrongful death claim.