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Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys

Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accident Cases Under Missouri & Kansas Law

Your Questions Answered - Your Legal Options Explained

At KCAIA we believe it is essential for every victim of a truck accident to get good, relevant information about how to pursue their claim. Following an accident that causes serious injury to you or a loved one, there are often many unanswered questions.

Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions we get from new clients. You can browse by category using the dropdown menu. Alternatively, for a quicker, more customized search, try typing your question into the search bar above. 

Don't see what you are looking for? If you don't find the answers you need, contact us today for answers to your specific questions. Remember, the consultation is FREE and there is no obligation. 

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  • How much does a truck accident attorney cost?

    If you were injured in a commercial truck accident that wasn't your fault, you might know that it's best to retain an experienced truck accident attorney to settle your claim.

    However, it may worrisome if you can't afford one, so you contemplate trying to negotiate an injury settlement on your own. Here's the good news: most lawyers handling cases like these provide services on a contingency fee basis. This is an affordable option to help an accident victim file a case correctly and have a better chance at rightful compensation.

    How a Contingency Fee Arrangement Works

    There are many advantages to hiring an attorney on a contingency fee basis.

    how a lawyer's contingency fee works Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys

    Perhaps the most important one is that you don't have to come up with a payment at the beginning of your case. When you're already struggling to pay your medical bills and basic monthly expenses, knowing you can secure expert legal counsel right away is a great relief.

    Here's how these agreements work:

    • You only owe attorney fees if your lawyer settles your claim or wins your case at a trial. If the case isn't won or resolved, then you won't owe the attorney anything.
    • When your case is won, attorney fees are a percentage of what you receive in your settlement or jury verdict. Some attorneys charge a lower percentage if a claim is settled without the need for litigation.
    • Your attorney deducts his fees from the proceeds you receive. This means you won't need to write a check for his payment at the end of your case.

    Before retaining a lawyer, ask for clarification regarding the amount of legal costs for your case. This should be outlined in a written agreement.

    Other Potential Costs Involved in Your Case

    Besides attorney fees, your lawyer may charge you the costs necessary to settle or litigate your case. These expenses often include medical record fees, a court filing fee for your lawsuit, expert witness fees, and deposition costs.

    Some attorneys cover these expenses first and then deduct them from your settlement. Others want you to pay them upfront. Once again, before hiring legal counsel, ask for the approximate costs you'll incur and when payment is due.

    If you were injured in a truck accident, there are serious disadvantages to handling your claim alone. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced truck accident attorneys to learn about your legal options and how we can assist you.


  • How soon after my truck accident should I see a doctor?

    While you know to seek prompt medical care if you suffered apparent injuries in a large truck accident, you may not believe this is necessary if you don't think you were hurt or only suffered minor injuries.

    However, this isn't a good decision for your health or your claim for potential compensation. If you later discover your injuries are more severe than initially thought, it might be more challenging to seek damages from the negligent truck driver and trucking company.

    Three Reasons to Seek Prompt Medical Care

    When to see a doctor for a workers' comp claim Kansas City Accident Injury AttorneysIt's rare that a collision with a semi, big rig, 18-wheeler, tanker, or another large commercial vehicle won't cause injuries and property damages. No matter how much adrenaline is pumping through your body and blocking pain receptors, you must seek medical attention immediately after a crash.

    Any delay might make even minor injuries worse, or symptom of more severe injuries could present later when it's more difficult to relate them to the incident.

    Even when the liability of the trucker and transportation company is clear, an insurance company could use any delay on your part as a basis for denying or reducing the claim. Here are important reasons why you want to be examined by a doctor within 48 hours of your wreck:

    Your Health.

    As mentioned, the symptoms of some complicated, long-term injuries can take days or longer to develop. Traumatic brain injury, back and spinal injuries, and internal injuries are a few conditions that sometimes present multiple symptoms. A prompt examination by a healthcare professional helps you receive necessary treatment, documents the relatability of your condition to the crash, improve the likelihood of a robust recovery, and avoid a potential medical emergency due to undiagnosed issues.

    Proof For Your Claim.

    In both Kansas and Missouri, you have the burden of proving the truck operator and fleet company's negligence in causing your collision and your injuries. By seeking immediate medical care, your physician documents health concerns, which is vital evidence that your injuries were the result of the accident and not another incident.

    Disputes With the Insurance Company.

    While being treated by a doctor quickly won't help you avoid all conflicts with the carrier, the action weakens or eliminates its arguments that your injuries weren't caused by the crash or not that serious.

    It's also important to retain a truck accident attorney soon after the incident to collect all aspects of evidence for the success of your claim. To learn about our extensive knowledge of these cases and how we would aggressively fight to protect your rights, contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule a free consultation.


  • What are common defenses raised in truck accident cases?

    There are many. If you were injured in a commercial vehicle crash in Kansas or Missouri, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the negligent trucker and/or his fleet transportation company.

    Unfortunately, it may not be easy to settle your claim with the liable party's insurance company for what you deserve—even if you believe that you have an open and shut case for fault. The carrier will most likely raise defenses to your claim in an effort to reduce or deny it.

    Insurance Companies Defenses Against Truck Claims

    Defenses raised in truck accident cases in KS and MO Kansas City Accident Injury AttorneysThe specific defenses an insurance company may raise in your case depends on the facts of your crash and injuries.

    However, it's important to understand common defenses that may be used in your case so you can anticipate them and collect the evidence you need to refute the insurance company’s arguments.

    This can make your claim stronger and enable you to settle it faster.

    Large truck accident defenses often include:

    Comparative Fault.

    If an insurance company cannot claim you were the at-fault driver in your accident, it may argue you were partially to blame in an effort to reduce your claim. Both Kansas and Missouri have comparative fault laws which limit victims' rights to compensation if they were partially at fault in causing a collision. Under Missouri’s comparative fault guidelines, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault in causing the crash. For example, if you were 30 percent negligent, you would only be entitled to 70 percent of the total potential compensation. Kansas follows a modified comparative negligence doctrine that completely bars you from receiving any damages if you're found to be 50 percent or more to blame for your truck accident.

    Other Party.

    Another common defense an insurance carrier may use is to point the finger at another party. It may argue another driver involved in the collision or another entity, such as the shipper or truck maintenance facility, was responsible for causing your wreck.

    Failure To Mitigate Damages.

    You have a duty under the law to mitigate or reduce your damages. The insurance company could argue that you caused injuries to worsen by not seeking prompt medical care, or you received excessive or unnecessary medical treatments.

    Statute Of Limitations.

    The statute of limitations is the deadline to file your lawsuit against the negligent trucker and/or trucking company. If this time period expires, the insurance carrier would use this to bar your claim.

    In Missouri, the statute of limitations is five years from the date of the accident for personal injuries; and three years from the date of death if a loved one died as a result of the accident. In Kansas, you must file your complaint for personal injuries within two years of the date of the wreck; and two years from the date of death of a family member due to crash-related injuries.

    Our experienced truck accident attorneys can help you build a strong claim and help you to defeat defenses insurance companies raise to try to deny or reduce your claim. Contact us online or call our Kansas City metro office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.


  • What are some of the factors that increase the risks of delivery truck accidents?

    Because many people are taking advantage of the ease of online shopping, the number of packages and other goods being delivered to homes and businesses is increasing dramatically.

    Fed Ex, United Parcel Service (UPS), and furniture and big box stores are just a few of the delivery trucks seen regularly on roads and highways in Kansas and Missouri. Unlike other commercial truck accidents, these collisions can occur right in your own neighborhood. Unfortunately, motorists, pedestrians, and bicycle riders injured in these wrecks can suffer catastrophic injuries.

    Causes of Delivery Truck CollisionsDelivery truck accidents in KS and MO Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys

    Delivery truck drivers are under constant pressure to quickly transport packages by the end of the work day. Some factors that increase the likelihood a driver will cause a truck accident include:


    Operating a delivery truck or other commercial vehicles takes special skills, training, and licensing. When shipping companies fail to properly train their employees, there's a risk of driving errors caused by a lack of knowledge.

    Backing Up and Stopping

    Delivery truck drivers frequently must search for a destination address and when they find it, they can stop suddenly without notice or back up without checking for vehicles and people behind them.

    Drowsy Driving 

    Like many commercial operators, those on frequent delivery routes often drive long hours without a break. This can affect their reaction times, judgment, and other abilities.

    Lack of Maintenance 

    Delivery companies and drivers have a duty to regularly inspect and maintain their trucks. When they fail to do so, a component, such as the tires, brakes, or tires, could malfunction and cause the driver to lose control.

    Improper Loading or Securing of Load 

    If a truck is improperly loaded or overloaded, it can lead to a rollover accident, brake or tire failure, or a driver's loss of control. Unsecured loads can also make controlling a vehicle difficult, and can cause a multi-vehicle crash if the cargo shifts during transport.

    Were you or a loved one injured in a delivery truck accident? Our experienced truck accident attorneys are here to fight for the compensation you deserve. Act now. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule a free consultation.


  • What are some of the top causes of fatal truck accidents?

    Many fatalities in large truck accidents are the result of differences in size and weight between a commercial truck or bus and a passenger vehicle.

    The height of most trucks is much higher than smaller vehicles, which can slip right underneath them. Trucks can weigh up to 30 times more than the average passenger vehicle, so the sheer force of impact can be devastating. These are just a couple reasons for fatalities in truck collisions.

    According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 3,989 people were killed in truck crashes in 2016, and 82 percent of the victims were passenger vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians. If you lost a loved one in an accident caused by a negligent trucker, you may be entitled to compensation from him or her, as well as the fleet transportation company, in a wrongful death action.

    Main Reasons for Fatalities in Truck Accidents

    Main reasons for large truck accidents Kansas City Accident Injury AttorneysTragic truck wrecks include head-on collisions, jackknife truck accidents, rollover accidents, and underride crashes. While these types of wrecks are similar to incidents between passenger vehicles, the size and weight of commercial vehicles often result in fatal situations.

    Other Contributing Factors To Truck Accidents

    Trucker Fatigue

    One of the primary causes of accidents, federal regulations nevertheless permit truck operators to drive up to 11 hours with only a short break. Additionally, some truckers may be pressured to violate hours of service mandates if delivery deadlines need to be met. Trucker fatigue can impair driving ability similar to intoxication: vision, judgement, reaction time, and ability to gauge distance are all compromised. 

    Distracted Driving

    When a trucker is texting or reading a text, he can travel the distance of a football field in a matter of seconds when his eyes and mind aren't on the road. Talking on a phone, eating and drinking, and reading a GPS are other distracted driving behaviors that lead to fatal wrecks.


    Loaded semi-trailers often require up to 40 percent longer distance to come to stop than passenger vehicles. Speeding decreases the ability to brake safely.

    Lack of Maintenance 

    When trucking companies fail to maintain and repair their commercial fleets, key vehicle components, such as brakes, steering, or tires, can fail and cause the operator to lose control.

    Losing a loved one due to the negligence of a trucker and transportation company can change your life forever. Our experienced truck accident attorneys are here to fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation today.


  • How long will it take to settle my Kansas City truck accident claim?

    When you must file a claim for compensation following a truck accident, you probably have two burning questions: how much financial recovery are you entitled to, and how long before you get it? An experienced truck accident attorney will be able to estimate the value of your case and general settlement timeline with the insurance company based on his knowledge of negotiating and trying these cases. However, he can't give you a precise deadline for when your case will be over.

    Factors That Slow the Settlement Processpassing_time

    Every truck accident claim is different, and the speed of settlement is based on the strengths and weaknesses of your case. If you feel yours is taking longer than you'd like, you don't want to make the mistake of accepting less than you're owed just for resolution.

    You can prepare yourself by understanding some of the factors that can slow down the process. They include:

    • Investigation. Truck wrecks require extensive investigation. Drivers and trucking companies are required to comply with many federal regulations regarding hiring, hours of service, vehicle maintenance, companion driving, logging devices, and other considerations.  It may take your legal team longer to obtain the necessary documents and evidence to prove liability.  
    • Severity of your injuries. If you sustained serious injuries, the value of your claim will be greater. Before agreeing to settle, the insurance company will conduct a more extensive investigation and may debate longer to reduce or deny your claim if it finds legitimate issues.
    • Your recovery. The length of time you need to heal can make the settlement process take longer. You don't want to settle your case until you've either fully recovered, progress in healing as far as your condition allows, or receive a final prognosis from your physician. Waiting until one of these stages of medical treatment is important so the settlement includes all of your future losses.
    • Disputes. Even if a truck driver’s liability is clear cut to you, an insurance adjuster could raise arguments about the cause of the accident, or your injuries and their severity. When disputes arise, your attorney may need to obtain more evidence or hire an expert to support your claim before he can convince the insurance adjuster of the company’s responsibility to pay you.
    • Litigation. If your attorney is unable to settle your claim for what you deserve, he'll need to file a lawsuit and litigate it. This is a lengthy process that can take months or longer to complete. However, it's likely that your attorney will be able to reach a settlement at some point during litigation before your trial date.

    Don't Wreck Your Truck Injury Claim! Free Book

    Can You Do Anything to Make Your Case Go Faster?

    While there are many aspects of settling your truck accident claim you can't control, your actions still matter. Follow through and aid the process in these ways:

    • See a doctor soon after your accident to protect your health as well as avoid disputes about whether your injuries were caused by the incident.
    • Retain an experienced truck accident attorney immediately after your wreck so he can conduct a thorough investigation, obtain evidence that you need before it's lost, and begin the negotiation process.
    • Follow your physician's advice regarding your medical care, and don't miss doctor, physical therapy, or other medical appointments. This will help you recover from your injuries more quickly and prevent disagreements with the insurance company about the severity of your injuries.
    • Promptly provide your attorney with all requested information.
    • Follow your attorney’s advice, because he's protecting your interests and trying to help you receive a proper settlement.

    Our knowledgeable truck accident attorneys are here to help if you must file a claim for compensation following a truck wreck. Contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.


  • What compensation could I be entitled to in my Kansas City truck accident case?

    Being injured in a truck accident is an incredibly stressful, life-altering event. You suddenly face worries about your health and the ability to pay your bills while you are off work recovering—if you're not permanently disabled.

    To obtain justice and receive the compensation you deserve, you may need to file a claim against the insurance companies for the negligent truck driver and the transportation carrier. It's important to understand the types of compensation available in cases like these so your settlement covers all damages.

    Compensation You Could Receive After a Truck Accident

    couple_doing_financesThe value of a truck accident claim could be larger than a passenger vehicle accident case.

    The massive size and weight of commercial vehicles increases the likelihood catastrophic injuries or death.

    This is why it's essential that your legal team asks for all possible compensation to cover the following:

    • Medical expenses. As a major portion of your claim, this line item should include the cost of doctor visits, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, medications, and psychological counseling. If you need a wheelchair, bathroom accessories, or other assistive devices to help manage your injury rehabilitation, these expenses may be recovered as well. In addition, you should request the cost for a home aid, travel expenses if you must seek treatment elsewhere, and other miscellaneous medical fees. It's important to include any additional expenses related to future care related to accident recovery.
    • Wage losses. You're entitled to your past and future wage losses related to missed employment as a result of your accident injuries. Lost vacation and sick time, bonuses, commissions, and other perks of your job should be included in this portion of your claim. If you must make a job change or are permanently disabled due to your injuries, your future wage losses become more complicated to calculate. You may need the assistance of an economic expert to determine your lost future earning capacity damages.
    • Pain and suffering. The pain and suffering endured due to your injuries can be a large portion of your claim, especially if you have a more long-term injury. However, it can be impossible to value this portion of your claim or to properly document it without the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney.
    • Property damage. You're entitled to reimbursement for the cost to repair or replace your vehicle and the damaged property inside it. Associated expenses such as towing and car rental, and any other property damage costs incurred, might be included.
    • Wrongful death. If a loved one died due to injuries suffered in a truck accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death action against the trucker and transportation company. You may be entitled to receive compensation for the loss of your loved one’s financial support, possible inheritance, advice, and companionship.

    Don't Wreck Your Truck Injury Claim! Free Book

    Evidence Needed to Prove Your Right to Compensation

    Your legal counsel needs to prove the negligence of the large truck operator and fleet employer, as well as your right to the requested settlement amount. Evidence that can help your case includes:

    • Medical bills and diagnosis/prognosis reports
    • Paystubs and documentation of financial loss claims
    • Income tax returns
    • Car repair receipts
    • Car rental bills
    • Witness testimony
    • Expert witness testimony

    Do you need to file a claim for compensation for injuries you or a loved one suffered in a commercial truck accident? Our truck accident  attorneys are ready to provide their expertise in these cases to establish your case and use valuable evidence to prove your damages. To get started, contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.


  • How much is my truck accident claim worth?

    If you're conflicted about filing a claim for compensation, it's important to know your options, and the varying levels of value.

    Even an experienced truck accident attorney cannot give you a precise figure of a claim's worth. However, he can give you a good sense of what you can expect to receive based on his experience handling similar cases and the specific circumstances in your case.

    Common Types of Compensation in Truck Accident Claims

    Large truck accidents often cause catastrophic injuries and damages. Passengers of automobiles, SUVs, and trucks simply don’t have the protection against a loaded tractor-trailer that may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Frequently, victims of these accidents are entitled the following compensation: 

    • Past and future medical expenses
    • Lost and future wages and other benefits of your employment
    • Future earning capacity if you must make a career change that results in a reduction in your wages or you become permanently disabled
    • Property damage
    • Pain and suffering

    truck_accidentWhile you may be able to determine an approximate amount of rightful compensation for property damage, medical bills, and lost wages, you'll need the assistance of an experienced attorney to determine the value of your pain and suffering and future earning capacity.

    Factors That Affect the Value of a Truck Crash Claim

    A number of factors affect the strength of your case against a negligent truck operator and his or her employer. The following include some variables that could strengthen or weaken your claim and its value:

    • Disputes. When there are serious disputes about the cause of your wreck, your injuries, or some other issue in your case, they might weaken the overall value of your claim. In addition, you may need to fight harder and longer to obtain a fair settlement.
    • Severity of your injuries. If you suffer more serious injuries that require surgery or other long-term treatments, your claim's value will be larger. In addition, the worth of these allotments might also influence an increase of the less-tangible portion of your claim—the pain and suffering you endured due to injuries and the resulting life limitations.
    • Disability. If you suffered a permanent disability that affects your ability to work or perform day-to-day tasks, this increases the value of your claim due to your additional expenses and pain and suffering.
    • Your partial fault. If you were partially responsible for the accident, your comparative negligence reduces the value your claim by the percentage of fault. For example, if you were found 20 percent at fault in causing the wreck, you'd only be entitled to 80 percent of damages from the trucker and fleet company.
    • Participant credibility. Credibility analysis of all parties is common in truck accident cases. Throughout the process, if your accident recollection and the severity of your injuries stay consistent, this makes you a strong, believable witness at trial. If your attorney is able to point out discrepancies in the trucker’s statements or actions, this indicates he or she is less credible. The result could potentially increase the value of your claim.
    • Witnesses. If other people who saw the accident can corroborate that the truck driver was the negligent party, this may make your claim worth more. This is especially true if the witnesses are neutral parties you don't know and who have no interest in the outcome of your case.
    • Experienced truck accident attorney. Hiring an experienced truck accident attorney who has a track record of success in settling and trying these cases significantly increases the value of your claim. He understands the importance of thoroughly investigating your crash and will not be afraid to take your case to trial if necessary to obtain the settlement you deserve.

    Do you need advice on the value of your claim for injury compensation caused in a truck accident? Our knowledgeable attorneys are here to help. Call our Kansas City office today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.


  • If a commercial truck tire blowout causes an accident, who's at fault?

    When tire tread becomes old or worn, there can be a sudden tire failure. This is a dangerous situation for any vehicle, but big rig accidents can be especially hazardous. This is why truck drivers and fleet companies are required to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations regarding truck maintenance, including commercial vehicle pre-trip and post-trip inspections, daily trip reports that include tire observation, and periodic inspections that evaluate tire condition.

    If poor tires caused you or a family member to suffer injuries in an 18-wheeler or bus crash, the truck driver, his employer, and other parties may be found guilty of negligence and responsible for your injury compensation.

    Don't Wreck Your Truck Injury Claim! Free Book

    Causes of Tire Blowout Wrecks

    truck_tire_blowoutA large truck tire blowout is much different than a flat tire on a passenger vehicle. Commercial tire manufacturers base load and inflation tables on tire axel positioning—steer, drive, or trailer—consideration of pounds for a loaded vs. unloaded vehicle; the difference in cargo load, e.g. light vs. heavy runs; and road conditions.

    The general expert consensus is commercial truck tire pressure should be between 75 psi and 100 psi, depending on all these factors.

    Any variance in air pressure might contribute to a blowout, as could:

    • Improper or inadequate maintenance
    • Defective tires
    • Use of mismatched tires
    • Overweight load
    • Excessive use of brake pads
    • Weather conditions
    • Defective road conditions

    Parties That Could Be Liable for Compensation

    A case involving a truck tire blowout can be more complicated because of the multiple reasons the truck crash may have occurred. However, identifying the cause of the accident and the liable parties is critical to receive the compensation that you deserve.

    Here are possible at-fault parties:

    • Truck driver. During pre- and post-trip inspections of the truck, tires, and other components, a truck driver must also verify that any problems listed on the last post-trip inspection were corrected. When the tires are in need of replacement or repair, the trucker is prohibited from driving the truck whether he notices the problem before, during, or after his trip. If he was negligent in his inspection duties, he could face liability for compensating you.
    • Trucking company. The fleet employer also has maintenance and inspection duties under FMCSA rules and is prohibited from allowing a truck on the road in need of repair where it could cause a truck breakdown or accident. In addition, the company can be held vicariously liable for the trucker’s negligence as his employer.
    • Maintenance facility. Many transportation fleets utilize truck maintenance facilities to perform necessary inspections and repairs. They could be an additional party to file a claim with if a lack of maintenance or replacement of the tires caused your wreck.
    • Shipper. If a shipping company or other business was responsible for loading the transport cargo, you would need to file a claim with its insurance company if improper loading caused the tire blowout.
    • Tire manufacturer. If the truck tire was defective or subject to a recall, you may have a products liability claim against the tire manufacturer.

    Why You Need the Assistance of an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney

    As with any commercial vehicle accident claim, you must prove your right to compensation when a truck tire blowout caused you to suffer injuries.

    To do this, your case needs evidence such as inspection and maintenance records for the vehicle involved in your truck accident. You may also need to hire an expert to review the driver’s and trucking company’s records and inspect the truck’s tires in order to prove your case. You cannot hope to do this without the help of an experienced truck accident attorney who understands the importance of a thorough investigation and the federal regulations that transportation companies and vehicle operators must follow.

    The skilled truck accident attorneys at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys have years of experience helping victims of these wrecks fight for rightful compensation. To learn how we can assist you, contact us online or call our office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

  • Do all truck drivers need a commercial driver’s license?

    It depends on the vehicle. Because large commercial vehicles are more complicated to drive and more dangerous than passenger vehicles, many operators are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to safely maneuver large trucks and buses. Federal regulations require each state to set requirements for obtaining a commercial driver’s license.

    However, you may be surprised to learn that not all operators are required to have a special license to drive certain types of trucks in Missouri.tow_truck

    Who Needs a Commercial Driver’s License in Missouri?

    The weight of a vehicle determines whether or not a commercial driver's license is required for operation. Individuals driving the follwoing vehicles must have a CDL:

    • A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more
    • Combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001. pounds, as long as the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
    • A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
    • A vehicle of any size transporting hazardous materials in a quantity that requires a hazardous material placard, which are federally-required warning labels placed on the truck when transporting these dangerous substances.

    Truck drivers in Missouri required to obtain a commercial driver’s license must hold the correct classification of CDL for the vehicles they intend to operate. These classifications apply:

    • Class A: Towed unit with GCWR of 26,001 pounds or more
    • Class B: Truck with GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more
    • Class C: Vehicle transporting 16 or more passengers, which includes the driver; also trucks required to utilize a hazardous material placard

    Not all trucks require an operator to hold a CDL. Lesser-weight trucks, passenger vans with fewer than 16 passengers, small delivery trucks and vans, and rental trucks can be driven without this license. While this may make it easier for drivers to have versatility, you and your family may be in danger due to less-experienced drivers who aren't used to a vehicle with a greater size and weight making a truck accident more likely.

    Missouri's Requirements to Obtain a Commercial Truck Driver’s License

    Missouri law requires an individual to complete a number of requirements to receive a commercial truck driver’s license:

    • Knowledge test. An individual must take a general skills written test and could be required to take additional tests involving factors such as air brakes, tanks, and hazardous materials, depending on the type of truck he plans to drive.
    • Skills test. A driver has to take a skills test that includes a vehicle inspection examination to show that he or she knows whether his commercial vehicle is safe to drive; and a basic control test to determine whether he or she can control the vehicle.
    • On-road test. The driving test requires the individual to drive his commercial truck or bus safely in a variety of on-road situations. This could include making left and right turns, driving near railroad crossings, navigating curves, and traveling on the highway.
    • Medical certification. Many prospective commercial vehicle drivers are required to provide certification from an examining doctor indicating they are medically fit to drive a bus or truck.

    Commercial Driver’s License Disqualifications

    Truck and bus drivers can be disqualified from holding a commercial driver’s license in Missouri by their actions. Some reasons include:

    • Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04 percent or more
    • Refusing BAC testing
    • Driving when under the influence of a controlled substance
    • Leaving the scene of the accident involving a commercial vehicle
    • Committing a felony while using a truck or bus
    • Driving with a suspended commercial driver’s license
    • Causing a fatality in a commercial vehicle accident
    • Committing serious traffic violations, such as speeding in excess of 15 mph above the limit, reckless driving, and erratic lane changes
    • Violating an out-of-service order by driving a truck or bus when it was in need of repairs

    Our Experience Helps You

    Did the trucker who caused your crash have a proper commercial license? An experienced truck accident attorney can determine this as part of his investigation of the incident. Contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 to learn about your legal options and how we can help you obtain the compensation that you deserve.


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