Truck wreck injuries can cause extreme pain, but victims also suffer in other ways. After a severe truck accident, you may struggle financially with medical bills on top of standard living expenses, perhaps with a reduced income from missed days at work. Emotionally, you could suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression as you struggle with the memory of the crash and its effects.
The Hattiesburg truck accident lawyers at Morris Bart, LTD., can provide legal representation and support while you pursue compensation. Mississippi is a tort state, which means that if another person or party causes a truck accident and you sustain an injury, you can recover financial damages from the at-fault party to cover your losses.
What Makes a Truck More Dangerous in a Hattiesburg Accident?
Commercial trucks differ from passenger vehicles in many ways. Consider these, for example, as presented by the Truckers Report:
- A semi can weigh 80,000 pounds (40 tons) without oversize permits, compared with the average car, which weighs around 5,000 pounds.
- An 18-wheeler needs 40 percent more time to stop than a car.
- The average semi-truck engine has 400–600 horsepower, compared with a car’s 100–200 horsepower.
In a collision with a passenger car, these differences translate into severe damage and more severe injuries for the car’s driver and passengers. Basic physics tells us that adding more mass to a crash makes it more forceful, and added force can cause devastating physical injuries. A smaller car would have to go much faster to create similar levels of force.
For a free legal consultation with a Truck Accident lawyer serving Hattiesburg, call 800-537-8185
Common Types of Truck Accidents in Hattiesburg, MS
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducts studies to gather facts about large truck crashes. The agency’s 2017 report identified the following first harmful events as catalysts for large truck collisions that year:
- Crash with a vehicle in transport
- Crash with a stationary object
- Crash with a pedestrian
- Crash with a bicycle or other pedal cycle
- Crash with a parked motor vehicle
- Collision with a train
- Crash into another object
- Crash with an animal
- Explosion or fire
- Irregular pavement surface
- Shift or loss of cargo equipment
For truck crashes with passenger vehicles, the following crash types were most common in 2017, according to FMCSA:
- Rear-end collisions (trucks rear-ending cars r or vice versa)
- Head-on collision from a truck or car crossing the center median
- Truck crashing into a passenger vehicle
- Passenger vehicle strikes a truck
Morris Bart, LTD accepts all types of truck accidents. Our Hattiesburg truck accident lawyers can investigate the cause of your accident and determine who should be held liable for your damages. From there, we can build a strong case to seek the maximum compensation you deserve.
Understanding Risk Factors in a Hattiesburg Truck Accident
When your lawyer investigates the cause of your truck accident, they will consider whether any common risk factors came into play prior to your collision. Examples of common risk factors in truck accidents include:
- Faulty brakes
- Poor truck maintenance
- Heavy or shifting loads
- Wet or slippery roads
- Truck driver fatigue
- Inadequate driver training
- Negligent hiring practices
Of course, numerous accident factors are not unique to large trucks. Other causes of motor vehicle accidents include:
- Drunk driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs
- Driving while distracted
- Driving at excessive speeds
- Failing to check blind spots
- Faulty or defective vehicle parts
- Poorly maintained roads
- Road construction
- Debris on the road
- Failure to obey road rules
Depending on the causal factors behind your truck accident, different parties may be held liable for the damages resulting from your injury. A Hattiesburg truck accident lawyer from Morris Bart, LTD., can launch an investigation into your collision and demand that the at-fault party pay for your losses.
Possible Liable Parties in a Truck Accident in Hattiesburg, MS
Various parties may be at fault for any given truck collision. A commercial truck operator could be negligent if they crash because they were speeding, drunk driving, or driving more than the allotted FMCSA service hours. Apart from the truck driver, liability could fall on:
- The trucking company: The operator’s employer may be negligent if they pressured the driver to exceed their hours. They may also be held accountable for any damages resulting from their driver’s behavior via the legal principle of vicarious liability.
- A cargo distributor: The distributor who loaded the cargo may be negligent if it was improperly packed. Improper loading could cause a semi-truck to overheat. A poorly loaded cargo can shift, causing the truck to lose balance or making it difficult for the driver to stop the truck before running into you.
- A maintenance service provider: If a maintenance tech failed to properly service the truck and that failure led to a malfunction that caused your accident, the service provider could be liable for damages.
- A parts manufacturer: If a truck part —like the brakes or steering wheel, for example — was defective, the part manufacturer, distributor, and retailer may be accountable for your damages.
Each of these parties owes you a duty of care to take reasonable measures and act in a way that would keep you from harm. By failing to fulfill this duty, any at-fault party can be held liable for the losses resulting from injuries in an auto accident.
How Can Black Box Evidence Help in My Hattiesburg Truck Accident Claim?
Recent technological advances in the trucking industry require newer trucks to install a black box recorder. The black box is a device like those used in airplane crashes to determine how the crash happened.
The black box acts as a silent witness in a truck accident case, providing critical evidence to support your truck accident claim. However, the data in these recorders can be erased, so act quickly. Our truck accident lawyers in Hattiesburg can demand the black box as evidence and send it off for expert examination.
Types of Recoverable Damages for a Truck Accident in Hattiesburg
Every truck wreck is different. Your truck accident lawyer in Hattiesburg will need to thoroughly review documentation and speak with experts to calculate the financial compensation they can demand from the defendant in your case.
Examples of common types of damages recovered in truck accidents include:
- Medical costs for past and future medical care
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished future potential earnings
- Emotional stress
- Mental anguish
A Hattiesburg truck accident lawyer from Morris Bart, LTD can construct a complete, itemized list of all the losses you have sustained from your accident injury, present the demand for damages to the responsible parties’ insurer, and negotiate a fair settlement.
Trucking companies have notoriously tough insurers. If the insurance company does not cooperate with your insurance claim, our firm is willing to file a lawsuit on your behalf and seek a judgment in civil court.
Wrongful Death in a Hattiesburg Truck Accident
If you lost someone you love in a Hattiesburg truck accident, you could seek justice and compensation through a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims allow you to recover financial damages for your losses. This includes funeral expenses, burial costs, medical expenses, loss of love and companionship, and pain and suffering.
Speak with a compassionate wrongful death lawyer at Morris Bart, LTD., to discuss your legal options.
What about Punitive Damages?
Truck drivers are held to a higher standard than your average driver. They require special training and a commercial driver’s license to operate on the roads. Sometimes, a mistake is not just the commercial truck driver’s fault but also their employer’s for pushing them too hard or violating safety standards.
Courts sometimes award punitive damages to truck accident victims to discourage commercial truck drivers and other at-fault parties from repeating their negligent actions in the future.
If there is enough evidence that the negligence goes beyond the single incident, a court may decide to award punitive damages as a punishment. This is extra money above and beyond your standard compensation, and is part of the reason why trucking accident cases can net huge awards.
However, while we can argue that punitive damages should apply, it is completely up to a court to award them. Also, punitive damages only come into play if your case proceeds to trial. Most truck accident cases settle for fair compensation out of court. Your truck accident lawyer can advise you if a trial is preferable.
The Time to Call a Hattiesburg Truck Accident Lawyer Is Now
The statute of limitations for taking legal action after a truck accident under Mississippi Code Ann. § 15-1-49 is three years. Consider hiring a law firm early in the game, so they have more time to build your case and meet important deadlines.
You have nothing to lose by calling or emailing Morris Bart, LTD today. Our truck accident lawyers in Hattiesburg will review your case for free. If you hire us, we will handle your case on a contingency basis. That means we do not charge you for our legal services unless and until we win you a settlement or judgment.
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