The injuries from a truck wreck can yield extreme pain, but victims of these collisions also suffer in other ways. They may struggle financially, trying to pay medical bills on top of standard living expenses – perhaps with a reduced income from missed days at work. Emotionally, they may struggle with the memory of the crash and its effect on their lives.
Our Hattiesburg truck accident attorneys at Morris Bart, LTD can represent you in your pursuit of compensation. Mississippi is a tort state, which means that if another person or party causes a truck accident and you sustain an injury, you may be able to recover damages from the at-fault party to cover your losses.
What Makes a Truck More Dangerous in an Accident?
Commercial trucks differ from passenger motor vehicles in many ways. Consider these, for example, as presented by Truckers Report:
- A semi can weigh 80,000 pounds (40 tons) without oversize permits, compared with the average car, which weighs in at around 5,000 pounds.
- An 18-wheeler needs 40 percent more time than a car to stop.
- The average semi engine has 400-600 horsepower, compared with a car’s 100-200 horsepower.
In a collision with a passenger car, these differences translate to more damage and greater injuries for the car driver and passengers. Basic physics tells us that adding more mass to a crash makes it more forceful. Smaller cars 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
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 vehicle in transport
- Crash with a stationary object
- Crash with a pedestrian
- Crash with bicycle or other pedal cycle
- Crash with a parked motor vehicle
- Collision with a train
- Crash with some other object
- Crash with an animal
- Explosion or fire
- Irregular pavement surface
- Shift or loss of cargo equipment
For crashes with passenger vehicles, the following crash types were most common in 2017, according to FMCSA:
- Rear-end collisions (truck rear-ends a car or vice versa)
- Head-on collision from either truck or car crossing center median
- Truck crashing into passenger vehicle
- Passenger vehicle striking truck
Our firm accepts all types of truck accidents. We will investigate the cause of your accident and determine who should be held liable for your damages. From there, we will build a strong case to get you the compensation you deserve.
Hattiesburg Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 800-537-8185
Understanding Risk Factors in Truck Accidents
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
Of course, there are numerous other factors that are not unique to large trucks, including:
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence
- Driving while distracted
- Driving at excessive speeds
- Faulty or defective vehicle parts
- Poorly maintained roads
- Road construction
- Debris on 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 the Morris Bart law firm can launch an investigation of your collision and demand that the at-fault party pay for your losses.
Possible Liable Parties in a Truck Accident
Various parties may be at fault for any given truck collision. An operator who crashes because they were speeding, taking drugs, or driving more than the allotted allowable hours without a break can be negligent. Apart from the truck driver, however, 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: A distributor who loaded the cargo may be negligent if the cargo was improperly loaded, causing the vehicle to overheat, or making it hard 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, leading to a malfunction that caused your accident, can be held liable for damages.
- A parts manufacturer: If a truck part – like the brakes or steering wheel, for example – were defective, the part manufacturer, distributor, and retailer may be held accountable for your damages.
Each of these parties owed 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 party can be held liable for the losses resulting from the injury you sustained in an accident.
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How Can Black Box Evidence Help in My Truck Accident Claim?
One of the best advances in truck accident cases is the requirement for newer trucks to install a black box recorder. This is the same kind of device used in airplane crashes to determine how a crash happened.
It is a silent witness in a truck accident case, but the data in these recorders can get erased. By hiring our truck accident lawyers in Hattiesburg after your crash, we can demand that evidence and send it off for examination by experts.
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 damages he or she will demand from the defendant in your case.
Some examples of common types of damages recovered in truck accidents include:
- Medical costs (past and future)
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished future potential earnings
- Emotional stress
- Mental anguish
Your lawyer will construct a complete, itemized list of all the losses you have sustained from your accident injury, present the demand for damages to the insurer of the at-fault party, and negotiate for a fair settlement.
Trucking companies have notoriously tough insurers. If the insurance company does not cooperate, our firm is willing to file a lawsuit on your behalf and see a judgment in civil court.
What about Punitive Damages?
Truck drivers are held to a much higher standard than your average driver. They require special training to be on the roads. Sometimes when they make a mistake, it’s the fault of their employer for pushing them too hard.
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 truck 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 goes to trial. Most truck accident cases settle for fair amounts. 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 will have more time to build your case – and to 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, and if you hire us, we will charge you no attorney’s fees unless and until we win you a settlement or judgment.
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