Truck Accidents

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Posted by Christopher Combs on January 24, 2024

Truck Accident Lawyer St. Louis, MO. When 80,000 pounds of steel slams into a car that weighs less than 5% of that, the consequences can be deadly. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a semi-truck, Combs Waterkotte is here to help.

With its central location and easy access to multiple major interstate highways, St. Louis (and indeed, the state of Missouri as a whole) is a major hub for commercial tractor-trailers and the cargo they carry. Millions of 18-wheelers travel Missouri roads every year, and a large amount of them will pass through the St. Louis area. St. Louis also is a major logistical center for multiple large retailers and industrial companies. The result of this is that a large volume of semi-trucks travel through St. Louis and throughout Missouri on any given day, and they carry with them not just food or materials but also the potential for anyone to be involved in an accident with a big rig.

According to data from the Missouri Highway Patrol, on average there are about 8,000 accidents involving an 18-wheeler every year across Missouri. Of those accidents, one in five truck accidents results in an injury, and sadly 1.5% of truck crashes prove fatal. If you have been unfortunate enough to recently be in a truck-related accident, or have a friend or loved one who was hit by an 18-wheeler, you are probably looking to figure out what to do next.

Combs Waterkotte provides St. Louis and Missouri residents best-in-class legal representation for personal injuries that are the result of an accident with an 18-wheeler semi truck. If you were injured in an accident and you were not at fault, you may be entitled to a personal injury settlement.

However, the legal process after you’ve been in a truck accident is complicated. You may ask yourself: what do I do next? What’s the best step to take? If you’ve been injured in a truck crash, the first step you should take is to call the truck accident lawyers at Combs Waterkotte at (314) 900-HELP, or fill out our online contact form. We can help you today by answering any questions related to your case and our litigation process. After chatting with you today, we will then schedule a time to meet and discuss the facts of your case in greater detail.

Why Following The Money Is The Wrong Path When Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri

Why Following The Money Is The Wrong Path When Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri

When clients usually come to Combs Waterkotte for legal representation in their truck accident injury cases, they are usually trying to find out what options are available to them. The vast majority of people will go their entire lifetime without being involved, let alone injured, in a truck accident. But if you’ve been unfortunate enough to be in a tractor-trailer accident, the entire event can put you in unfamiliar territory. There’s no need to worry, though–help is available today. There are easily hundreds of personal injury attorneys who take truck accident cases in St. Louis and across Missouri. All of them would be more than willing to discuss your case and give you a free document review. Truth be told, you will find a good number of these attorneys to be very helpful and qualified, and we encourage you to talk to several of them to get an idea of the right kind of lawyer you want for your truck crash case.

However, because there are so many truck accident lawyers in St. Louis, MO, it can be tough to decide which truck accident lawyer is right for you and your circumstances. If you take a quick look across a few semi-truck accident lawyers’ sites, you will see they all offer a similar value proposition. They promise big crash injury settlements, which give their prospective clients visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads and encourage them to pick this or that particular lawyer. And we will fully admit, this tactic usually works–who doesn’t like the idea of winning a big truck accident settlement? But what these lawyers won’t tell you is that there are exactly zero guarantees when it comes to 18-wheeler accident settlements. The amount of your truck settlement depends on a large number of factors unique to your case. Plus, even if you win a big judgment, the process can be painstaking and it could be months or even years before you see a dime.

At Combs Waterkotte, we do not and will not make any guarantees upfront about how much you can get in a truck accident settlement. What we will guarantee, though, is our full and utter commitment to get you a successful outcome as quickly as possible. We will do this without taking any legal fees from you upfront. Like most personal injury law firms in St. Louis, MO, our fee structure is based on what is called a contingency basis–we don’t get paid unless you get paid. Usually, this is a percentage of your settlement that usually ranges from 30% to 40%, depending on circumstances.

What To Look For In A Truck Accident Attorney in St. Louis, Missouri

What To Look For In A Truck Accident Attorney in St. Louis, Missouri

As you begin to navigate the legal waters and research, interview, and ultimately hire a truck accident injury lawyer in St. Louis, MO, ignore flashy billboards, television ads, and promises of big money in your pocket. The truck accident lawyers at Combs Waterkotte are more than capable and experienced in getting optimal results for their truck accident injury clients. Here’s some key factors to look for when choosing a truck crash attorney:

  • Personal Attention – You should want to be treated as an individual and get direct access to your truck accident injury attorney. At other large personal injury law firms in Missouri, you won’t get the personal attention you will get at Combs Waterkotte. Our firm limits the number of cases we take on at any given time so that we can provide our current clients with the best client experience possible. Many truck accident lawyers in St. Louis, MO will spend 80% of their time signing up new clients and 20% on managing the cases they sign up. They will typically have paralegals handle the work once the case is signed up. With the Combs Waterkotte you will have direct, 24/7 access to your dedicated truck accident lawyer. This means that if you have questions or concerns, you will be able to pick up the phone anytime and call them directly.
  • Impartial Objectivity – After you’ve been involved in a truck accident it’s natural to be somewhat emotional about the whole experience. Sometimes we see clients who are angry about their circumstances, and some can be happy about the possibility of a settlement. Our job as your truck accident lawyer is to take some of those feelings out of the equation so that we are just dealing with the facts of your case. That’s why we emphasize our ability to be objective throughout the entire process. It’s crucial for you to have stable advice when dealing with the insurance companies and the other party’s lawyers. In most cases, the facts are enough to justify the healthy settlement that repays you for your pain and suffering, both physically and emotionally.
  • Access To Resources – We serve a diverse set of clients from all over St. Louis, MO. Many of our clients are hard-working people who are just getting by each week from paycheck to paycheck. Then, all of a sudden, they are thrown into a traumatic truck accident that has caused them a substantial amount of pain, suffering, and inconvenience. These accidents can also deepen the struggle for people who are already having a tough go of things. At Combs Waterkotte, we recognize the toll an accident can take on you, which is why we’ve built a strong network of resources from which our clients can tap into. When you hire our firm you will have access to both a highly qualified truck accident injury attorney as well as doctors, lawyers, chiropractors, counselors, and so forth. If you are worried about the cost of using these resources, do not fret–we can help you work with additional medical practicioners for little or no cost.
  • Research & Discovery – The evidence discovery process is a critical component of any legal case, and truck accident injury cases are no exception. We do an exhaustive search for documentation that can support your claims. That includes medical records, police accident reports, and any witness statements from the scene. We will also search for photo or video evidence that was taken at the scene. When an 18 wheeler is in an accident it can be a major ordeal that’s covered by television news. Many times there are aerial videos of the scene that can be valuable in your case. Once we get all the documentation, we provide you with our initial recommendations on how to proceed with your case.
  • Knowledge – When you need a knee replacement you don’t go to a heart surgeon, right? So when you’re looking for a lawyer to help you with your truck accident injury case, it is crucial you work with a personal injury lawyer in St. Louis, MO that knows personal injury law. You will find that we bring a wealth of legal knowledge to the table But you would be surprised at how many lawyers don’t know personal injury law. Over the past several years there have been some significant changes to personal injury law in Missouri. The personal injury lawyers at Combs Waterkotte are well versed in these new laws as well as the long-standing laws that govern truck accident injury cases.
  • Excellent Negotiation Skills – You’ve probably heard the saying “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight”, and this applies to personal injury cases as well. When it comes time to negotiate your award you will want a lawyer who has done his homework and is prepared to go to battle for you. When we go to negotiate on your behalf we take no prisoners. The insurance companies are looking out for one thing – their bottom line. And they can be ruthless if it means they don’t have to pay you the money you deserve. On the other hand, we can also adapt to the circumstances, and in cases where we may not have as much leverage we can take a softer approach if necessary. Our ability to negotiate great outcomes for our clients is what sets us apart from the rest of the truck accident injury lawyers in St. Louis, MO.

Hire A Truck Accident Lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri That’s On Your Side

Hire A Truck Accident Lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri That’s On Your Side

18 wheeler truck accidents are unique from other automative accidents because more often than not, you are dealing with a commercial entity who owns the semi-truck. Typically these companies are well insured and have a dedicated legal staff that handles any liability issues that might arise. So when you end up getting injured because of the negligence of one of their drivers, it can be a big problem for them financially.

You may remember a few years ago when Tracy Morgan, the comedian who was a star on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, was involved in a very serious accident with a Walmart semi-truck. The driver of the big rig had been behind the wheel for more than 24 hours straight–flagrantly in violation of federal rules for truckers–and as a result slammed into the back of Morgan’s car. A passenger in his vehicle was killed while Tracy was seriously injured. Ultimately, Walmart settled out of court for $90 million and then ended up settling with the insurance company. The point here is that in these types of circumstances the insurance companies will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying out money they owe to the injured party, even if you’re a well-known figure. In this case, Walmart did the right thing and paid Tracy for his pain, suffering and lost income, while the insurance company dragged their feet. Ultimately Walmart had to sue their own insurance company for the money.

So although you may not be a famous actor and your case may not be for $90 million, you can bet that the insurance company will not part ways with their money very easily. By hiring the Combs Waterkotte as your truck accident injury lawyer, you immediately put them on notice that you mean business. Here are some things to keep in mind when talking with the insurance people after your truck accident:

  • The insurance companies are not on your side and that includes your insurance company. They are always looking out for their own bottom lines.
  • DO NOT agree to provide a recorded statement to the insurance companies before you’ve spoken with one of our truck accident lawyers.
  • If they ask you who was at fault for the accident, just decline to answer the question. The easy thing to say is “I would prefer to speak with an attorney before answering that question.” If you want to say something you can say “I believe I was not at fault for the accident.”
  • DO NOT allow the insurance companies to refer you to their doctors or specialists for dealing with your injuries.
  • If you have other people in the vehicle like family members, advise them that they should do the same and avoid providing witness statements to the insurance companies. They may have their own legal claims, so they should discuss their circumstances with a truck accident attorney themselves.

This process becomes much easier after you have hired Combs Waterkotte as your semi-truck accident injury lawyer. We will immediately call the insurance companies and let them know you’ve retained legal counsel. At that point, they won’t contact you directly. So call us today and get the representation you need for your truck accident injury case.

Work With An 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Attorney You Can Trust

Work With An 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Attorney You Can Trust

Thankfully, most people have never hired a personal injury lawyer before, especially one that specializes in 18-wheeler semi-truck accidents. So when you’re required to hire a semi-truck accident attorney for the first time you really have no idea who to trust. And let’s be honest, personal injury lawyers do not have the best of reputations amongst the general public. We’ve heard all the jokes and seen all the TV parodies of “ambulance chasers”.

That’s why at Combs Waterkotte, we work hard to separate ourselves from other firms by placing integrity and ethical behavior at the center of all we do as a personal injury practice. We want to be the best 18 wheeler accident lawyers in St. Louis, MO, and we want to give our clients the best advice so that they get the best outcomes from their cases. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, call (314) 900-HELP or contact us online to speak with a truck accident lawyer in St. Louis, MO that you can be confident will fight tirelessly for you and get you the best possible settlement.