A collision involving an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle can have disastrous consequences. The occupants of the smaller vehicle may suffer severe or possibly fatal injuries. Damage to their vehicle can be extensive. When a truck driver or trucking company causes the crash, truck accident victims in Mississippi have the right to seek compensation and justice.
Why do you need a Jackson truck accident lawyer like the ones at Derek L. Hall, PC on your side? If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, you need to understand the trucking industry is a business. Businesses want to protect their interest and especially their profits. Trucking companies are looking out for their drivers – and they are looking out for themselves.
Did you know that trucking companies have teams of lawyers and insurance adjusters? Those teams work to protect the trucking company’s interest. They try to settle claims as quickly as possible with minimal hassle – and for as little money as possible.
While your medical bills continue to mount, they’ll likely offer a lowball settlement. They hope you’ll take it without a second thought. Unfortunately, that dollar amount may not even come close to taking care of the expenses you are going to be left with after an accident.
It’s time to get an experienced truck accident attorney in Jackson, MS, on your side. Your attorney will fight for your rights and compensation. Contact the team at Derek L. Hall, PC today by phone or online for your free, no-obligation consultation.
Truck Crashes Are More Severe and Claims Are More Complex
Truck accidents are much more complex than other types of vehicle accidents. They can cause much more serious and extensive injuries to victims.
Tractor-trailer accidents often involve multiple vehicles. That can make it difficult to prove fault. More than one party might be liable for the crash. Statistics from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that 82 percent of fatal crashes with large trucks were multiple-vehicle crashes. The tractor-trailer driver may be mostly at fault. However, part of the blame may also land upon the trucking company, the manufacturer of a defective part, or even a cargo loading company.
Getting fair compensation is never easy after a truck accident. You need someone to protect your rights – like the attorneys at Derek L. Hall, PC.
Leading Causes of 18-Wheeler and Other Truck Wrecks in Mississippi
A variety of factors contribute to truck accidents on Mississippi roads. Many of the roads that crisscross the state are rural roads. Rural roads can be more dangerous for drivers. In fact, rural roads are four times more deadly for drivers than city streets.
Those roads are especially dangerous when tractor-trailers use them. Truckers may try to make up for lost time. They often believe that rural roads are the perfect places to make up that time.
Truck wrecks on Mississippi roads can be caused by sudden changes in the weather, road construction, and overloaded cargo on the truck. No one can predict how or when a truck accident will happen. Common causes of 18-wheeler crashes include:
- Driver Fatigue. Many truck drivers work on tight deadlines, with limited time to get cargo to its destination. This time pressure pushes drivers to dangerous limits. Long stretches behind the wheel without sleep or rest can lead to a lack of concentration and slowed reaction times. Truck drivers may even fall asleep behind the wheel. Lack of food or water can also impair a truck driver’s ability to function, leading to dehydration or an unsafe drop in blood sugar levels.
- Distracted Driving. Distracted driving is a real concern for everyone on Mississippi roadways, including professional truckers. Texting while driving is 23 times dangerous than driving with no distractions, according to the MDOT. Phone calls, looking at maps or eating while driving can also distract a truck driver long enough to cause a major accident.
- Driving Under the Influence. In 2016, drunk driving caused 18 percent of all Mississippi traffic deaths.
- Speeding. According to NHTSA, more than 21 percent of truck drivers in fatal crashes had at least one previous speeding conviction. Speeding by truckers is a significant problem on Mississippi’s rural roads, and any crash involving a truck can have tragic consequences. In one recent year, 58 percent of fatal crashes involved trucks.
- Equipment failure or defective parts. All 18-wheelers require regular maintenance and safety inspections to keep them operating safely. Pushing equipment too hard or failing to maintain adequate safety standards can result in tragic accidents. Brake failures, blow-outs and defective parts are involved in many truck wrecks.
Serious Injuries That Result from Tractor-Trailer Accidents
A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds. The sheer force of a massive truck bearing down on a smaller passenger car can cause severe injuries and even death. In fact, according to NHTSA, 72 percent of people who were killed in large truck accidents were the occupants of the other vehicle.
For crash survivors, injuries can be tremendous and require expensive medical care. Medical care can last a lifetime.
Following are the most common injuries in an accident with an 18-wheeler:
- Serious head, neck, and spine injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken or crushed bones
- Internal bleeding
- Damage to internal organs and soft tissue
- Loss of limbs
Serious injuries require time to heal, and that may require missing work for weeks or months. Recovery might also include expensive physical therapy or rehabilitation. In the meantime, medical bills are mounting. You may have little or no income to pay them off. Don’t get buried in medical debt. The legal team at Derek L. Hall, PC has the experience to seek compensation for those bills.
Who Could Be At-Fault for a Commercial Truck Accident?
Any number of people or entities may be found liable after a truck accident. Beyond the drivers, the trucking company might bear some responsibility for failing to hire a qualified professional or failing to properly train drivers. The trucking company may also be liable for failing to follow up on routine drug screenings or truck maintenance.
Trucking manufacturers may also be held accountable if the collision was caused by a defect in the truck or any of its parts. Additionally, cargo loading companies might be partially responsible if they didn’t properly load the cargo.
Mistakes to Avoid After a Truck Crash in Mississippi
After a crash, especially with a vehicle as large as an 18-wheeler, you are going to be in shock. How you act during and immediately after a crash can significantly affect your case.
Common pitfalls you should avoid after an accident with a truck include:
- Not contacting law enforcement. Crashes with trucks often involve extreme property damage and severe injuries. Contact law enforcement and get them on the scene of the accident to document and collect evidence. Ask for a copy of the police report for your records. If witnesses to the accident are present, get their names and contact information.
- Not taking photos and documenting the accident. Take as many pictures of the crash as possible. Document the damage to your car and your injuries. Photograph pictures of the debris or skid marks. Also take photos of the surrounding area to document weather and road conditions.
- Not seeking medical treatment. If you are seriously injured, let an ambulance transport you from the scene. It is very important that you seek professional medical help for any injuries that you have. It is also important to follow your doctor’s instructions. Postponing any type of medical care could be harmful to your health. That could even be used against you by the trucking company or its insurers.
- Talking on social media. Do not talk about your accident on social media. The trucking company’s legal team or insurance companies can find your posts and attempt to manipulate what you said.
- Going it alone. Truckers have a team of lawyers and insurance companies working on their behalf. Having someone working on your behalf helps protect your interests. Call a tractor-trailer accident lawyer in Mississippi at Derek L. Hall, PC, so we can help you secure the compensation that you deserve.
How State and Federal Regulations Affect Trucker Liability
The trucking industry exists to transport the goods we need. The industry’s trucks travel across the country from point A to point B. State and federal regulations are in place to protect other drivers who share the roads with those 18 wheelers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has regulations that trucking companies must meet. Those companies risk serious fines if they violate those regulations.
Many of the rules are meant to prevent driver fatigue. For example, drivers can only operate a truck for 11 hours after a 10-hour break, and drivers can only work 60 to 70 hours during a 7- to 8-day consecutive stretch. The regulations also stipulate that trucks must undergo frequent safety inspections.
Additionally, trucking companies are required to carry a high amount of insurance coverage. The reason: they typically have a higher level of financial responsibility in the event of a collision.
The legal team at Derek L. Hall, PC can help you navigate the complicated state and federal regulations that might impact your case and compensation.
Crucial Evidence in Commercial Vehicle Crash Cases
After a serious car-truck collision, an investigation is important to determine what happened and who is at fault. A police report and investigation are a good start, but much more needs to be done to build a solid case against a trucker. Trucking companies have resources at their disposal that can help them limit their liability and what they have to pay.
The legal team at Derek L. Hall, PC helps counter that imbalance between you and these companies. We put all of our resources to work for you. We can immediately issue legal documents to stop the destruction or disposal of crucial evidence.
We can also get experts to reconstruct the accident, perform inspections on the vehicles, and even help gather witness statements. We can examine the truck driver’s driving history and gather information on safety inspections that might have been missed. In short, we have the power to collect evidence and protect your rights.
Our Compassionate, Aggressive Truck Wreck Lawyers Are Ready to Help
After a serious accident, trucking companies aren’t looking out for you. They are protecting their own interests. They are not concerned about how you’ll pay for your medical bills or make up for lost time at work. At Derek L. Hall, PC, we will make your case our primary concern. Our 18-wheeler truck accident attorney will fight to get you the compensation you need. Our goal is to help you pay for your medical needs and allow you to recover from your traumatic experience.
Don’t wait for a trucking company to take advantage of you. Get an experienced team on your side today. We strive to hold negligent parties responsible for the damage they caused to you and your loved ones.
After an accident, reach out to Derek L. Hall, PC law firm by phone or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.