CDL Accidents

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Posted by Christopher Combs on January 30, 2024

CDL Accident Lawyer St. Louis, MO. Being an over-the-road trucker or a bus driver in Missouri requires drivers to adhere to a higher standard of safety and responsibility than those driving normal cars and trucks. This is done intentionally: not only do other motorists want to be able to go on St. Louis highways knowing that they will be safe sharing the road with 18-wheelers and motor coaches, driving a large vehicle takes a level of skill and ability that most drivers do not have. Truckers and bus drivers drive much larger and heavier vehicles than the average motorist, and when they get into accidents it’s natural that they inflict more damage. As such, obtaining a commercial drivers’ license (CDL) is much harder to obtain than a standard drivers’ license–and much easier to lose if you’ve been in an accident. And after you’ve been in an accident, not only will you potentially be dealing with severe injuries, but also with the potential loss of your commercial driving privileges.

The experienced St. Louis, MO personal injury attorneys at Combs Waterkotte have helped many CDL drivers from all around the St. Louis area following accidents. Our firm specializes in personalized legal solutions that get you the compensation you deserve after an accident while keeping you informed and involved throughout the legal process. Most importantly, we understand that your CDL is your license not only to drive but also to work, and as such we will do everything to keep you on the road and earning a living. Call us today at (314) 900-HELP to schedule a free conversation with an attorney about your case.

CDL Requirements

The requirements to get a commercial drivers’ license in the United States are set at the federal level, although states may have some variation as to certain additional tests needed to operate specific types of vehicles. In order to obtain a CDL in Missouri, a driver must:

  • Be at least 18 years old to drive solely within Missouri, and 21 years old to drive interstate or have a hazardous materials endorsement
  • Possess a valid standard drivers’ license
  • Be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the US
  • Pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination from an authorized medical provider
  • Have no active license suspensions or revocations
  • Not having committed one of a number of “disqualifying offenses” in a certain timeframe, including driving while intoxicated
  • Be able to speak, read, and understand English, as all tests are not given in any other languages
  • Passing both a written test and a skills test

In addition, Missouri truck and bus drivers must pass additional test sections related to specific types of vehicle, such as school and coach/city busses, trucks that can pull more than one trailer, those with air brakes, and for trucks that haul hazardous materials or liquids/gases in tanks.

How You Can Lose Your CDL

Truckers and bus drivers have a larger amount of responsibilities than drivers of regular cars or pickup trucks on Missouri roads. Your average St. Louis, MO driver doesn’t have to inspect every element of their car and ensure it is in good working condition before hitting the road, and once on the road stop regularly to check that their vehicle isn’t over a weight limit–both requirements CDL drivers must follow. Truckers and bus drivers must also adhere to strict guidelines regarding time behind the wheel and required breaks, as being tired behind the wheel greatly increases the risk of an accident.

With the heavy amount of responsibilities associated with possessing a CDL, it is only natural that breaking the rules of the road will result in harsher penalties for CDL drivers. CDL drivers can have their commercial driving privileges suspended or revoked for reasons including:

  • Going 15 or more miles per hour over the speed limit
  • Following cars too closely
  • Not obeying railroad crossings
  • Using a mobile phone while operating a truck
  • Not changing lanes properly
  • Being intoxicated behind the wheel (drunk driving for CDL drivers is defined as having a BAC of .04% or higher)

In addition, getting two or more non-moving violations in your personal car over a rolling three-year period will disqualify you from driving a commercial vehicle for a minimum 60 days.

Contact Experienced St. Louis, MO CDL Driver Accident Lawyers

The St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Combs Waterkotte understand that accidents involving CDL drivers are often complicated cases. Drivers often do not understand the full amount of damages they can be entitled to, insurance companies do not usually want to pay out claims, and more importantly, your livelihood may be at risk if you are legally barred from being behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. Our firm takes on all facets of CDL accident cases to ensure that our St. Louis, MO CDL driver accident clients not only get the best possible compensation for their injuries, but also keep their right to drive a commercial vehicle–and thus earn a living–intact. We take on all aspects of your CDL accident and fight aggressively to get you the best possible outcome.

Our lawyers also understand that being a CDL driver means that your schedule isn’t always predictable. This is why we guarantee that you will always be able to speak with the lawyer working on your case, no matter when or where you are, in order to keep you fully informed and to answer any questions you might have. Contact the experienced St. Louis, MO CDL lawyers at Combs Waterkotte today for a free consultation about your accident and to learn more about all the legal options available to you.