Mississippi Truck Accident Attorney
Southaven Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers Ready to Help
According to the International Institute of Highway Safety, 4,102 people were killed in large truck accidents in 2017. While 17 percent of those deaths were the occupants of the large trucks, 68 percent were occupants of the smaller passenger cars. The remaining fatalities occurred when a large commercial truck hit a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist. Unfortunately, the number of people who died in truck crashes was 30 percent higher in 2017 than in 2009, when it reached its all-time low.
Truck braking capability can be a factor in large truck collisions, because a loaded tractor-trailer takes from 20-40 percent more distance to come to a stop, with even greater discrepancies on wet and slippery roads or when the brakes are poorly maintained. CDLKnowledge.com reports that in addition to those killed in a truck accident, another 87,000 individuals are severely injured following a truck accident. These injuries can result in a lifetime of medical issues for victims of a truck crash.
It is crucial that there is a complete investigation immediately following a truck accident—otherwise, evidence can sometimes go missing. An experienced Mississippi truck accident attorney from The Stroud Law Firm will ensure evidence is properly gathered, photographs are taken at the scene of the accident, and the trucking company is put on notice that they are to preserve all relevant information—such as the truck’s black box—which can be used as evidence during the claim. We will act quickly to discover the cause of the accident, preserving all evidence crucial to proving your claim.
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How are Truck Accidents Different Than Passenger Vehicle Accidents?
The sheer size and weight of a large commercial truck almost guarantee that the those in the smaller vehicle will be seriously injured or even killed. A fully loaded truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, while the average passenger vehicle weighs closer to 3,000 pounds. As you can imagine, even a car with every safety device available is no match for a large truck. The injuries sustained by those involved in a truck accident are often catastrophic, changing lives and altering futures.
What Factors are Involved in Truck Accidents?
Every truck accident is different, but there are certain factors that are more commonly associated with truck accidents. Fatigue is a common problem for truck drivers. Under current laws, truck drivers are allowed to drive eleven hours at a stretch. Anyone who has ever driven for eleven hours straight will understand just how exhausting it can be. Truck drivers only get paid for the time they are actually behind the wheel, driving. Because of this, many truck drivers keep two sets of logbooks—the real one and the one they show to DOT. Trucking companies are generally aware of this, although it is always to the company’s benefit to keep the trucks moving, so they are likely to turn a blind eye to drivers who exceed the federally mandated hours. In addition to fatigue, the following are common causes of truck accidents:
- Inexperienced truck drivers—The drivers of large commercial trucks must go through training programs. Drivers are schooled in how specific cargo or weight of the cargo can increase the chances of an accident. Drivers are given instructions on how to operate the truck during hazardous weather conditions, in heavy traffic, and at night. Despite the requirements that all truck drivers receive training, many companies allow truck drivers to take to the roadway before they are properly trained. Truck drivers who lack the training or the experience to deal with stressful driving conditions can end up being a hazard on the roadways.
- Distracted driving is almost as common for truck drivers as it is for other drivers. Distractions can come in the form of talking on a cell phone, texting, changing radio stations, focusing on something happening on the side of the road rather on the road and other drivers, and eating entire meals while driving—something truck drivers do on a regular basis.
- Impairment is common among truck drivers, largely due to the fact that a significant number of truck drivers are taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs—many of which impair driving ability. Others are drinking alcohol or using an illicit drug, which can, of course, have a negative effect on reaction times and the overall ability to drive.
Other common causes of truck accidents include inclement weather, poorly loaded cargo, tire or brake malfunction, reckless or aggressive driving behaviors, lack of proper vehicle maintenance, lack of visibility (blind spots), poor roadway design, and dangerous or defective truck parts.
What Are the Most Common Injuries from Truck Accidents?
Those who survive a truck accident are usually left to deal with severe injuries. These injuries result in altered futures; traumatic brain injury can leave victims struggling to deal with the personality changes, an inability to work, and an inability to even take care of themselves, in some instances. Truck accidents can also cause burns and disfigurement, organ damage, limb amputations, and spinal cord injuries, leading to paralysis. Truck accidents result in catastrophic injuries; it is important that the family of a person injured in a truck accident contact an experienced personal injury attorney as quickly as possible.
Why are Truck Accidents So Complex?
It can be difficult to establish liability following a truck accident. The reason for this is that there are a number of people and entities that could potentially bear some responsibility for the accident. The driver of the truck could be at fault, particularly if he or she was impaired, driving recklessly, or driving while distracted. The trucking company could be held liable if they were aware the driver was exceeding his or her hours, if they failed to perform a proper background check on the driver, or if the driver did not receive proper training. The loading company could be at fault if they loaded the cargo improperly or failed to secure it. The maintenance company could be at fault if they failed to properly maintain the truck, particularly the brakes or tires. If the accident was the result of a defective truck part, the truck manufacturer could be held liable.
What Damages Are You Entitled to Receive Following Your Truck Accident?
The damages you are entitled to receive following your truck accident will depend on the facts surrounding the accident. Generally speaking, you are entitled to medical expenses related to the injuries you sustained from the truck accident, including current expenses as well as any future medical expenses which will be necessary. You are entitled to lost wages if you are injured severely enough to prevent you from returning to work. If you are not able to return to work for a considerable length of time—or ever—you are entitled to future lost wages as well. Finally, you are entitled to pain and suffering resulting from your truck accident, and, in certain cases, you may also be entitled to punitive damages.
How Can a Truck Attorney from The Stroud Law Firm Help You?
If you have been injured in a truck accident due to the negligence of the driver, or other responsible entity, it is important that you seek legal assistance as quickly after the accident as possible. Truck accident claims are always more complex than a “typical” car accident due to the number of potential defendants. You need a strong advocate in your corner who will fight aggressively for your rights, ensuring you receive the compensation you are entitled to receive. At The Stroud Law Firm, we will be by your side from start to finish, helping you deal with the aftermath of a truck accident. Contact The Stroud Law Firm today.
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury as a result of the negligence of semi truck driver or company, contact the experienced auto accident attorneys at The Stroud Law Firm today.
For more information on local semi truck and trailer accident injury law, view our DeSoto County, Mississippi, Olive Branch, Southaven, Tunica, or Memphis, Tennessee pages.