Tupelo Truck Accident Lawyers
According to FMCSA, nearly half a million crashes involving large trucks occurred in 2018. Of these, over 100,000 resulted in an injury, and 4,415 led to fatalities.
There are several potential causes of truck accidents. Trucks become challenging to control when drivers speed, improperly turn, or fail to obey traffic signals. These more typical scenarios become even more dangerous when truck drivers are fatigued after long shifts or if truck beds are not loaded correctly. All of these situations reduce a truck driver’s ability to safely operate their vehicle, resulting in dangerous and destructive accidents.
Do I have to report a truck accident in Tupelo?
Whether or not you are required to report an accident is determined by Mississippi state law. These legal thresholds are minimal enough that you’ll be required to report almost all accidents. Along with proper reporting, individuals involved in accidents must fulfill other legal requirements.
According to §63-3-401, any driver involved in an accident that results in injury or death must immediately stop and give any reasonable assistance to anyone who may be injured. The drivers involved in the accident are also required to exchange names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers, and driver’s license and insurance information. In addition, when stopping, drivers must take care not to obscure traffic or endanger anyone’s life.
In contrast, §63-3-411 lays out the conditions drivers must report the accident to the police. Any accident that results in bodily injury or death or causes $500 or more in damages must be immediately reported to the local police department using the quickest means of communication available. If the collision happens outside of a municipality, drivers should report to the local sheriff or the highway patrol station.
For accidents occurring within Tupelo city limits, this means drivers should make the report with the Tupelo Police Department.
Who is liable for a truck accident in Mississippi?
The first thing to understand is that Mississippi is an at-fault state. In at-fault states, damages are filed against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. At-fault laws stand in contrast to some states, which operate under a no-fault rule. No-fault states require claimants to file against their insurance policy.
In terms of legal liability, at-fault states may use two standards. In some states, if the accident is partially the fault of a driver, that driver cannot seek compensation for damages. Mississippi uses a comparative negligence standard: courts determine the percent at which each driver is at fault and adjust the damages that can be awarded based on this percentage.
Furthermore, there are two types of comparative negligence systems. Under a pure system, like the one Mississippi uses, a claimant can collect damages even if the accident is mostly their fault. The amount they can collect, however, will be severely limited. For example, even if the courts determined that a driver was 99% at fault, they could still seek damages. The amount they could receive, however, is limited to 1% of those damages. Most states now use a modified comparative negligence system, which requires claimants to be under 50% at fault.
Because the truck driver is operating a commercial vehicle, other parties may be liable in an accident. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, other potential parties may include:
- The employer of the truck driver
- An employee that improperly loaded the truck
- A mechanic that performed an unsafe repair
- Weigh station employees that let an overloaded truck continue to operate
What compensation is available to Tupelo truck accident victims?
There are two categories of damages you may seek compensation for if you are injured, or your property suffers damage in a truck accident: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages result in bills, or other economic expenses as a result of the accident. Non-economic damages cover emotional suffering and other intangibles that don’t have a precise dollar amount attached to them. Below are some examples of both economic and non-economic damages:
- Reimbursement for medical expenses
- The cost of repairs to your vehicle or other property
- Lost wages due to an inability or reduced capacity to work as a result of the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Mental trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
It’s important to note that there are some limitations on damages in the state of Mississippi. Because economic damages are substantial amounts that the claimant is not responsible for, the state places no limits on those damages. In a truck or auto accident claim, there is also no limit on the amount of non-economic damages that may be awarded in a case.
What is the time limit for filing a truck accident lawsuit in Mississippi?
Almost every law has what is called a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations means that after a certain period, drivers cannot take legal action. It is essential to understand that if you do not act quickly, you could lose the option to file a claim.
While every law has a statute of limitations, they differ depending on the law in question. The statute of limitations that governs legal action on truck accidents is Mississippi code§15-1-49. This is a broad law that covers all sorts of actions. The limitation period is set at three years, unless the defendant is a governmental entity.
When the clock starts, counting can vary depending on the circumstances. The period does not begin until the claimant has discovered, or should have discovered through reasonable diligence, that damages have occurred. For most truck accidents, this will be immediately after the accident itself. However, for wrongful death suits where a loved one dies sometime after the truck accident due to their injuries or specific injuries that take a while to become apparent, the time might start later.
You may start working directly with insurance agencies and not see the need for a court case. However, things don’t always work out as they should with insurance agencies, so it’s a good idea to get things moving quickly so you can leave yourself some room in case you do ultimately need to go to court.
How can the truck accident lawyers at NST Law help me after an accident?
Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz has fought for injured clients for over 32 years. When you contact our firm, you’ll be in touch with an experienced attorney who can assess the circumstances of your case and let you know how much you may be able to receive in compensation for your injuries.
Once work on your case begins, our firm handles everything from start to finish. We’ll conduct a thorough investigation if needed, identify legal issues, talk with experts in their field, and file a lawsuit on your behalf to get you the maximum compensation.
In our three decades of practice, we’ve won over $1.5 billion for our clients. Here are just some of the truck accident settlements and verdicts our firm has secured:
- $6.3 million for a 65-year-old man killed in a truck accident
- $3 million for a husband and wife who suffered traumatic injuries in a tractor-trailer accident
- $1.2 million for a 67-year-old man injured in a rear-end truck accident
- $675,000 for a man who suffered severe injuries after being hit by an 18-wheeler in a head-on collision
If you’ve experienced an injury in a truck accident, contact us for a free consultation. If we take your case, you’ll pay no fees unless you win.