How To Avoid Accidents On The Interstate In St. Louis (and everywhere else)
St. Louis I-55 and I-44 Car Accident Lawyer Legal Advice
Interstate 55 and Interstate 44 converge just south of St. Louis. This area can become a logistical nightmare during peak hours, and wrecks are common. Moreover, because of the high speeds involved, crashes tend to be more serious than they are on strictly local roads. If you have been injured on either of these highways in the St. Louis area, the assistance of an experienced Missouri personal injury lawyer is a necessity, not a luxury.
Merging onto an interstate highway is inherently dangerous because the driver is trying to time his merger to coincide with an anticipated hole in fast-moving traffic, and because he must be travelling at just the right speed to avoid an accident. Some of the most common causes of merger collisions are:
Stopping in the merger lane to wait for a hole to appear in oncoming traffic: This can cause a rear-end collision with other merging vehicles. Stopping can also cause a rear-end collision with oncoming traffic when the merging driver discovers that he cannot accelerate rapidly enough.
Merging too slowly: Excessive caution when merging can result in rear-end collisions with oncoming traffic.
Attempting to merge into the far left lane: This error causes the merging driver to cut across at least two lanes of oncoming traffic.
Failure to yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic: Failure to acknowledge that oncoming cars have the right-of-way can cause a merging driver to cut in front of oncoming traffic, rednering an accident very likely.
Collisions with 18-wheeler trucks are particularly dangerous because the momentum of a massive truck can easily crush a car. Below are some of the major causes of truck accidents:
Long stopping distances due to poor road conditions: An 18-wheeler can weigh up to 40 tons, which radically increases its stopping distance compared to a two to four ton automobile. Stopping distances increase even further when the roads are slick. Nevertheless, the truck driver is responsible for driving at a safe speed by taking his estimated stopping distance into account.
Changing lanes into a blind spot: Because of their size, 18-wheelers have large blind spots. Never drive in a center lane between two 18-wheelers, and remember that if you can’t see his mirror, he can’t see you.
Overloaded or insecure cargo: Overloaded or insecure cargo can spill onto the roadway, resulting in obstacles that nearby drivers cannot react to in time to avoid.
Missouri Personal Injury Law
Missouri personal injury law applies a “pure comparative fault” rule, in which a court apportions the percentage of fault between both drivers and discounts each driver’s damages by his percentage of fault. Although parties are free to ignore this rule when negotiating a settlement, the other driver has little incentive to settle for more than the amount a court would likely award you. In most cases the absolute deadline for filing a lawsuit is your 23rd birthday or the five-year anniversary of your injury, whichever is later.
Since your future quality of life may be on the line when you file a personal injury claim, you shouldn’t settle for whatever paltry sum that the other driver’s insurance company is willing to offer you. Utilizing the services of a St. Louis car accident lawyer can more than pay for itself when you consider the difference in the amount you will be willing to settle for and the amount you actually receive or the difference between winning and losing a personal injury lawsuit. Call Alvin Wolff today at 314-241-2500 for a free initial consultation
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