Truck Accident Lawyers
Despite not being as common as other types of accidents on our roadways, commercial truck crashes are still a significant cause for concern, as they tend to be more deadly. Truck accidents have been on the rise in Jackson, Mississippi, with recent news reporting about a semi-truck that overturned on I-55 just a few weeks ago.
The graveness of these massive accidents shouldn’t be downplayed, especially when a large commercial truck collides with a smaller vehicle. These accidents often result in severe injuries, permanent disabilities, prolonged pain and suffering, emotional trauma, or worse, loss of life.
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one due to a reckless truck driver’s actions, you may be entitled to receive fair compensation for your losses and damages resulting from the truck accident. It’s important to have a Jackson, Mississippi truck accident attorney by your side to assist with the investigations, evidence collection, paperwork, litigation, and settlement negotiations to give you the best possible chance of securing maximum compensation for your losses.
Table Of Contents
- Why do I need a Jackson, Mississippi truck accident lawyer?
- When should I file a truck accident claim in Mississippi?
- Common Truck Accident Injuries
- Jackson, MS Truck Accident Statistics
- Frequent Causes of Truck Accidents in Jackson, MS
- Dangerous Roadways in Jackson
- Types of Truck Accidents
- How much is my Truck Accident case worth?
- Who can be liable for a truck accident in Jackson?
- What should I do after a truck accident in Jackson, MS?
- Gathering Evidence After a Truck Accident
- What to Expect When You Hire NST Law
Why do I need a Jackson, Mississippi truck accident lawyer?
A Jackson, Mississippi truck accident attorney is your best chance to file a claim successfully and get maximum compensation for your losses. Your personal injury lawyer can:
- Provide professional legal advice on the best options to pursue
- Identify all liable parties
- Determine the valuation of your past, present, and future damages and losses
- Name the insurance providers to compensate your damages
- Prepare and file claims with the at-fault party’s insurance company
- Negotiate and review appropriate settlements with the insurance companies
- File a lawsuit and litigate your case, if needed
When should I file a truck accident claim in Mississippi?
Mississippi has a three-year statute of limitations for motor vehicle accident claims, effective from the crash date. When three years elapse without filing a claim, the window for pursuing compensation will close, and the court may deny your case, with very few exceptions. While this may seem like an extended period, it can pass by you quickly if you’re being treated for and recovering from your injuries.
Deciding to work with an attorney early on can also help you get compensated faster, so you’re not burdened with additional financial harm as you’re healing. Additionally, your lawyer will need to gather substantial evidence on your behalf prior to constructing a demand for compensation. You want to ensure there’s plenty of time to establish a solid case.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Getting involved in a truck accident can lead to a variety of catastrophic injuries, including:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): The impact of colliding with another vehicle is enough to induce a serious injury to the brain. Although a TBI may not be explicitly evident after the crash, you want to seek immediate medical help to determine if unseen injuries are present, as it can worsen when left untreated.
- Spinal Cord, Back, and Neck Injuries: With passengers and drivers enduring a significant impact from the wreck, they may sustain severe back, neck, and spinal cord injuries, including acute pain, herniated discs, broken bones, and more. Rarely, spinal cord injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis.
- Broken Bones: The massive force of impact from a truck crash can be to blame for broken bone injuries you may suffer. Such injuries may target any body part, including arms, legs, face, fingers, ribs, feet, shoulders, and knees.
- Lacerations and Cuts: Impact on static objects, airborne elements within the vehicle, breaking glass, and flying debris are common causes of cuts and lacerations following a truck accident.
- Burns: Burns are more common in truck crashes than accidents involving two passenger cars. The high impact from the collision may lead to the rupturing of the truck’s fuel tank or cause vehicles to catch fire leading to severe burns. Also, leaks from transported chemicals disrupted in the crash can lead to severe chemical burns.
Jackson, MS Truck Accident Statistics
The Jackson Metro Area (comprising Jackson and Hinds counties) is home to more than 560,000 residents – the highest populated region in Mississippi. Most Jackson residents commute to work, school, and shopping, among other activities, using busy roadways like I-220, I-55, and I-20. With heavy trucks and semi-trucks also using these roadways, the risk of accidents is a reasonable concern.
- 16% of all large commercial truck accidents are attributable to over-speeding.
- Only 5% of truck accidents occur in work zones.
- 72% of truck accident victims, including those who die, are occupants of other vehicles.
- One in four truck accidents (27%) occurs on interstates.
- 58% of all deadly large commercial truck crashes happen in rural areas.
- 78% of truck accidents occur during weekdays.
Frequent Causes of Truck Accidents in Jackson, MS
Most truck accidents in Jackson are attributable to the following causes:
- Bad weather
- Alcohol and drug usage during active hours
- Improperly loaded or overloaded trucks
- Poor truck maintenance
- Part malfunction, e.g., brake, tire, or engine failure
- Poor cargo securement
- Lane drifting
- Driver inexperience or lack of adequate training
- Driver negligence
- Fatigued driving
Dangerous Roadways in Jackson
Some of the most dangerous intersections in Jackson include:
- Robinson and Lindsey
- Jefferson Street and Silas Brown
- East University Dr. and Lakeland Dr.
- County Line Road and East Canton
Additionally, the sudden lane changes and roundabouts in Downtown Jackson make it one of the most common areas where truck accidents occur.
Types of Truck Accidents
The six most common types of truck accidents include:
- Head-on collisions: This type of collision occurs when a commercial vehicle collides with another vehicle coming from the opposite direction. The front ends of both vehicles take the brunt of the impact.
- Rear-end collisions: These truck accidents occur when a truck collides into a vehicle from the back or another vehicle hits the back of a truck.
- Jackknife accidents: This type of dangerous incident happens when a truck brakes suddenly and its trailer swings out to a 90° angle obstructing the path of other vehicles on the road and risking a roll-over.
- Blind spot crashes: These collisions occur when a truck driver maneuvers their commercial truck into a smaller vehicle after failing to notice it in the truck’s blind spot while changing lanes.
- Rollover accidents: These accidents happen when a truck or semi-truck driver loses control causing the tractor-trailer to roll over and its cargo to fall, thus endangering the safety of other motorists.
How much is my Truck Accident case worth?
A personal injury lawyer can ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your financial losses through the judicial process. However, the amount obtained, that’s fair and reasonable per the incurred damages, can vary widely from one accident claim to the next.
Factors that can influence the worth of your case include:
- Lost wages
- Inability to work
- The severity of the injuries sustained
- Property damages (including damages to your car and other valuables inside your vehicle at the time of the accident)
- Accumulated medical expenses
- Ongoing and future medical treatments
- Cause of the accident and whether it was avoidable, e.g., driver negligence or intentional wrongdoing (you can possibly receive a higher compensation or punitive damages if the defendant’s actions were egregious)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
Who can be liable for a truck accident in Jackson?
At least one of the following three parties is typically responsible for causing a truck crash:
Mississippi’s trucking industry has well-documented rules and regulations to guide truck drivers’ actions. For instance, a truck driver should adhere to all federal and state traffic laws, hold special operating licenses, abstain from substance or alcohol use while on duty, follow hours-of-service guidelines, and more. If a driver breaches federal or state regulations and causes an accident, they may be civilly liable for your resulting injuries and damages. They might also receive a traffic citation or face criminal charges.
The Trucking Company
Trucking companies also have clear-cut federal regulations they should follow to enhance road safety. For instance, if a company fails to provide proper training to its truck operators, they could be held responsible for any resulting crashes. Other areas of liability may include failure to provide maintenance and inspection of the truck, leading to malfunctions like tire blowouts.
The Truck Manufacturer
Some truck accidents happen due to errors by commercial truck manufacturers. In this instance, the truck manufacturer may be held accountable. For example, if the steering system or brakes malfunction due to a faulty design, leading to an accident, the manufacturers of those particular parts may be responsible for the damages incurred.
What should I do after a truck accident in Jackson, MS?
What you do after a truck accident can have a significant impact on your health, safety, and the validity of your legal case, so you want to be extremely careful. Here are five steps to help guarantee you don’t jeopardize your safety and legal rights:
Call Law Enforcement and Emergency Responders
Your first instinct after an accident is typically to call 911. Upon doing so, the 911 dispatcher will route your call to local law enforcement, i.e., Jackson Police Department and a reliable emergency responder like First Responders of Mississippi. While on the call, you want to inform the dispatcher about the number of people involved in the crash so they can send adequate emergency help. What’s more, calling the local police department ensures you can get a police report, which is critical documentation and a court-admissible record of the accident.
Seek Medical Treatment
Whether you’re injured or not, it’s critical to seek professional medical assistance. At the time of the accident, your adrenaline levels may still be high, preventing you from feeling any pain. However, many injuries don’t become apparent for days or even weeks after an accident. In addition, catastrophic injuries like internal bleeding or brain injuries get worse with every moment that passes without diagnosis and treatment. These injuries can be deadly if left alone. Finally, failing to seek immediate treatment may compromise your chances of getting compensated for your injuries.
Document the Accident
Documenting the accident includes:
- Taking photos and videos
- Obtaining contact information from any witnesses and the at-fault driver
- Notating the time of the crash
- Observing weather conditions
- Identifying other contributing factors that may have played a role in the accident
However, you only want to undertake these activities if you’re uninjured and can walk around the vehicle. If it’s a busy highway and you’re in pain from the accident, wait for law enforcement and emergency responders to arrive.
Let a Personal Injury Attorney Negotiate on Your Behalf
Resist the urge to break down details of the accident to anyone, especially the at-fault driver’s insurance representative. You DO need to cooperate with law enforcement and answer their questions truthfully, but DO NOT admit fault or liability, even if you think you know the cause of the crash. Also, never contact an insurance company and begin discussing settlements before consulting with a truck accident attorney about your case and any legal rights you have.
Call a Truck Accident Attorney
Getting a truck accident lawyer involved as soon as possible after the incident happens is critical to the success of your accident claim. Having a personal injury attorney working on your behalf can help you avoid falling prey to low settlement offers or bullying by the other party or their insurance company or legal counsel. Your attorney can also help walk you through the complicated legal process and file your claim timely and accurately.
Gathering Evidence After a Truck Accident
Presenting concrete evidence is the easiest way to prove your case and get compensated for your losses. Here are some vital forms of evidence to gather after a truck accident:
- Witness testimonies: Determine if there were any witnesses to the accident and get their account of what happened in the events leading to the crash. You want to collect their testimonies as soon as possible because it only takes a few hours for witnesses to forget crucial facts about the incident.
- The severity of the injuries sustained: Even if you feel fine, going to the hospital is necessary; this can’t be stressed enough. Not only is this the right decision to make for your physical well-being, but it may also protect you financially should you need to file a claim or lawsuit. A physician will conduct various tests and document a record of your health before and after the accident, which is concrete evidence in court and can help value your compensation claim.
- The scene of the accident: Capturing everything that may have caused the accident as soon as possible is paramount. These details should include weather conditions, faulty roads or other road impediments, traffic flow, etc. You’ll also want pictures showing the state of the vehicles and personal injuries after the accident occurs.