Many Missouri residents are nervous sharing the streets and highways with tractor-trailers. The impressive size and weight of these big rigs is intimidating. It is those two factors that often make a car vs. truck accident more severe than a crash involving two passenger vehicles.

An 18-wheeler that is carrying a full load can easily be 25 times heavier than a passenger car. This means that a semi-truck will not be able to maneuver or stop quickly. Moreover, depending on the truck’s cargo, additional dangers could exist. Trucks carrying hazardous chemicals or flammable materials can make an accident even more dangerous. If the truck driver does not remain vigilant, an accident can easily occur.

Establishing negligence in any accident involves proving that the driver deemed at-fault breached his or her duty of care to the victim or victims. Every driver is required to follow the law and to take reasonable steps to avoid a collision. Truck drivers shoulder a great responsibility since their vehicles are much more difficult to control in an emergency situation, which makes their ability to exercise due care that much more difficult.

With regard to an accident where the evidence suggests that the trucker was responsible, personal injury or wrongful death claims may filed by the victims or their families, as the case may be. If the trucker is employed by a company, his or her employer may be also face claims for financial responsibilities. Any monetary restitution awarded by a Missouri court could alleviate the financial burdens that typically result from a truck accident.

Source: FindLaw, “Truck Accident Overview“, Accessed on Jan. 24, 2015