Mississippi Truck Accident Lawyer Working Hard to Protect Your Rights
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident in Greenville, MS, don’t wait any longer to seek legal representation. Contact our experienced Mississippi truck accident lawyers at Harris Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and get the justice you deserve.
Anyone who has driven near a large truck knows the unsettling feeling.
For most drivers, getting past large trucks as quickly as possible is the goal.
They have a good reason – when a crash involves a large truck the results can be catastrophic.
The damages from a truck accident are much different than from a car accident. They are usually more severe, and the process for recovering damages changes.
Federal laws and regulations govern large trucks and their operation. Your attorney must be familiar with these laws and regulations to successfully navigate your case. Additionally, in crashes involving large trucks, there are often multiple liable parties.
The Mississippi truck accident attorneys at Harris Law Firm know how a trucking accident can change a person’s life. If you or a family member is facing serious injuries from a truck crash, please contact us today.
We can come to you! Our big rig accident attorney is able to meet our clients throughout the state of Mississippi and Arkansas.
Potentially Liable Parties
The liable parties in a truck accident can be numerous. This differs from car accidents which often have only two possible liable parties. Liable parties in a truck accident might include:
- The truck driver;
- The trucking company;
- A driver of a passenger car;
- The victim of the car accident;
- The cargo loader or shipper;
- The manufacturer of the cargo; and
- The manufacturer of the truck or a truck part.
There are many things that could cause a truck accident. This is why there are so many potentially liable parties. Also, the relationship that exists between a truck driver and trucking company (employee-employer) brings in the theory of vicarious liability.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are almost always caused by negligence. Some of the most common types of negligence that lead to large truck collisions include:
- Truck driver errors, such as taking a turn too fast, driving aggressively, or driving while distracted;
- Violation of hours of service regulations;
- Truck driver fatigue or impairment;
- Improper truck driver training;
- Lack of vehicle maintenance;
- Defective vehicle part; and
- Cargo/loading errors leading to cargo shifts.
Consequences of Improper Loaded Trucks
All truck drivers are instructed to ensure that the cargo is safe. Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo makes the truck top-heavy, potentially leading to a rollover crash. The cargo could also fall off, spreading debris on the road. It can cause an obstruction on the highway, cause a car to crash, or even fall onto another vehicle.
Improperly loaded trucks can lead to many different truck accidents, such as:
- Jackknife accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
- Rear-end crashes
- Accidents due to loose debris
Several federal guidelines were established specifically to ensure the big rig’s safety. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the trucking companies or employers are responsible for instructing the driver to understand how to load the cargo correctly and use the correct techniques for securing the cargo. These companies can also be held liable for the damages and injuries caused.
Trucking companies can be liable for hiring inexperienced drivers or fail to provide adequate training. They have the duty of ensuring drivers are ready to take on the rigors of the job and maintain safety practices.
All too often, we have seen accidents caused by simply being unaware of how best to control the vehicle. Other negligent hiring practices may be to blame as well.
Some examples of negligent hiring practices:
- Failing to conduct drug testing
- Failing to perform thorough background checks
- Failure to discipline drivers for any past violations
- Failing to inquire about the employee’s driving history or asking about past accidents
- Failing to validate the employee’s education, training, certifications, and licenses
- Failing to provide adequate training and review of procedures
Truck drivers face a great deal of pressure to meet deadlines and deliver the cargo by a certain date or time, and so will often stay out on the road for longer than is required. They are also more likely to be driving at night and exceed the number of hours that they should be driving. By doing this, they may be violating federal guidelines that govern how drivers should be regulating their time and mileage. Under the FMCSA, drivers should only be on the road a maximum of 11 out of 14 hours.
If you have been injured because of a drowsy driver in a truck accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation.
Experienced truck accident attorneys are aware of the multitude of possible causes of these accidents. They will know how to investigate all potential causes. They will also be well prepared to combat a trucking company’s claims that do not ring true.
Evidence and Investigation After a Truck Accident
Lawyers in Mississippi have an ethical duty to investigate facts before filing a lawsuit. An experienced truck accident attorney will do a thorough analysis of the accident. Their investigation will include reviewing not only negligence possibilities above but also:
- Police reports relating to the accident;
- Driving records of the parties involved, including license classification of the truck driver;
- Weather reports on the day of the accident;
- Social media account postings of parties to the accident posted during or just before the accident;
- The trucking company’s general record regarding negligence and company conduct;
- Court records regarding the trucking company and other parties in the accident; and
- Relevant medical records of all involved, from both before and after the accident.
You must hire an attorney as soon after a truck accident as possible. Doing so will allow them time to evaluate all required information. You need a lawyer who understands liability relating to personal injury and truck accidents and the investigation necessary to win this type of case.
Trucking Company Defenses
Trucking companies are well versed in defending themselves in lawsuits. They will be prepared to try to avoid responsibility in a trucking accident. Trucking defense law firms in Mississippi often focus on the following arguments:
- The plaintiff caused the accident, not the truck driver or trucking company;
- The percentage of fault for which they can be held responsible should be reduced;
- Road or weather conditions that caused the incident;
- Another driver, not named in the current lawsuit, was at fault;
- There was a malfunction of one of the vehicles involved in the accident; and
- The injury the plaintiff is claiming is the result of a prior injury, not the truck accident.
Personal injury lawyers who specialize in representing plaintiffs against the trucking companies are aware of these legal arguments. The experienced truck accident attorney will combat these and any additional claims. They will help protect your rights, defend your interests, and thoroughly present your side to the Mississippi courts.
How to Recover Compensation for Your Losses after a Greenville, MS Truck Accident
Large trucks can weigh up to 20 times that of standard passenger cars. As such, when the two vehicles collide, the passenger car may be completely totaled. This is a huge economic expense due to property damage and loss. But it is also likely that the driver and passengers of the passenger car will suffer severe harm. Injuries could be permanently disabling.
They range from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) to a paralyzing spinal cord injury to amputation and crush injuries and more. These injuries can lead to lifelong impairment, psychological harm (such as depression), pain and suffering, and diminished quality of life. And of course, the crash could bring thousands of dollars in medical expenses and lost wages.
To recover compensation for these losses, you will need to make a truck accident claim against the at-fault party. Mississippi is an at-fault insurance state.
You must file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault party. Then you need to prove that the at-fault party committed an act of negligence/breached the duty of care owed to you. You also must prove that the breach was the direct cause of the accident. Showing your injuries resulted from the accident is also required.
Learn more about Mississippi truck accident settlements here.
Without the Right Attorney, You Greatly Risk Losing Your Case
Truck accidents are costly incidents, often resulting in injury and involving trucking company defense lawyers. A plaintiff must have an attorney with experience in this field. A knowledgeable personal injury trucking accident lawyer will:
- Guide you in collecting all receipts (hospital bills, rental car/car service fees, auto shop bills, tow truck expenses, etc.) and other information needed;
- Review all of the facts, consider the laws, and discuss your options with you;
- Litigate the case in court if required;
- Negotiate and settle your claim when warranted;
- Explain the processes to you as the case moves forward; and
- File all necessary paperwork on time.
The truck company and its driver will have the advocacy of a reputable trucking defense firm. If you do not have an equally experienced attorney, you will be at a grave disadvantage.
Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Mississippi
Our truck accident lawyer in Greenville, MS recommends initiating the claims process by first filing a claim against the insurance company of the at-fault party. From there, we will do everything we can to investigate the accident, gather evidence, prove fault, and prove the extent of damages suffered. Then, we will aggressively negotiate on your behalf to recover a compensation award that fully compensates you for your losses.
If we are unable to reach a settlement agreement with an insurance company, filing a lawsuit and taking your case to court may be the best course of action. We have trial experience and are not intimidated by the idea of a courtroom. In fact, we have recovered millions of dollars on clients’ behalf as a result of both settlements and court decisions.
Don’t Hesitate to Act
The aftermath of a truck crash can be very traumatic and confusing. You may be dealing with significant injuries, or have to care for a loved one who has suffered significant injuries. In the most severe of cases, you may even be dealing with the death of a family member.
Our law firm understands that immediately after a truck accident, the last thing that you’re probably focused on is getting compensation and calling a lawyer – you’re likely too overwhelmed. We urge you to contact our law offices as soon as possible, as we cannot stress enough the importance of acting quickly in truck accident claims.
We need to move fast to collect evidence, send spoliation of evidence letters, and file a claim with the insurance company. What’s more, the statute of limitations for filing a truck accident lawsuit is only three years, reinforcing the need to act swiftly.
Contact Our Mississippi Trucking Accident Lawyer Today
In a second, your world can change. If it does, we hope that you will contact our truck accident injury attorney to learn more about taking steps to improve your future and maximize your compensation amount.
Our attorneys encourage you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our law offices as soon as possible. Reach us online.