Archive for the ‘Truck Accidents’ Category

Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Talk About Chain Reaction Wrecks

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

Sometimes, a car accident will cause traffic to back up for miles. When this happens, there is, of course, the immediate danger that other vehicles will collide with the crashed cars and pile onto the wreck. There is also the possibility that accidents will occur in the line of backed up traffic, especially if the drivers of some vehicles do not notice that there is traffic stopped ahead of them.

Last year, a horrific accident occurred when a tractor-trailer slammed into traffic that was backed up because of an accident. The wreck claimed the lives of five nursing students from Georgia who were traveling in two separate vehicles. Just recently, the company that employed the driver who is responsible for the deadly crash reached settlements in some of the wrongful death lawsuits that were filed by the victims’ families.

It is possible that this tragedy was the result of a poor hiring decision by Total Transportation of Mississippi. The company hired the driver, John Wayne Johnson, even though his previous employer had fired him for falling asleep at the wheel. As far as this accident is concerned, Johnson admitted that the deadly wreck was his fault. He claims that he was awake when the crash occurred, but he is unable to explain why he did not notice the traffic that had stopped ahead of him. Johnson also claims that his truck has a collision warning system that beeps if it gets too close to other vehicles. Johnson says that he did not hear the warning system before the crash. He also does not remember colliding with the two passenger vehicles that the nursing students were riding in, but he does remember hitting the back of a tractor-trailer that had stopped in traffic in front of those two vehicles.

This tragic accident is a sobering reminder that chain reaction accidents can occur at any time. Stop and go traffic contributes to many chain reaction accidents, and this one is no exception. Drivers can avoid some chain reaction accidents, but that is not always the case. In the wreck that killed the five nursing students, there was nothing they could have done that would have prevented the wreck. They were sitting in traffic, completely at the mercy of the drivers that were approaching them from behind. In other situations, drivers might be able to avoid chain reaction accidents by paying close attention to the driving conditions around them at all times, and being aware of traffic stopped ahead of them and slowing down as they approach it. Also, whether you are in stop and go traffic or traffic that is moving freely, be sure to leave adequate space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys

If you were injured or you lost someone that you love in a crash involving a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle, it is important that you contact a Mississippi trucking accident attorney right away. The company that owns the truck has a team of lawyers and other professionals working hard on their behalf, and you deserve to have an experienced professional in your corner to represent your interests. To learn more, call the Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. at (601) 355-2022.

Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Discuss Accidents Involving Fuel Tankers

Friday, January 15th, 2016

A recent Mississippi accident involving a fuel tanker closed roads near the accident scene for hours while emergency personnel cleaned up the debris and the spilled fuel. The accident occurred when the driver lost control of the truck and ran into the median. This accident illustrates the dangers of tanker truck accidents, particularly tanker truck accidents involving tankers that are carrying fuel or other hazardous materials.

Tanker trucks that carry liquid cargo are at risk for being involved in an accident any time they are out on the road, just like any other vehicle. The accident risks that apply to other vehicles, such as driver error, distracted driving, and driver fatigue apply to these trucks, and they also have some unique characteristics that can pose additional accident risks. The driver of any type of tractor trailer can lose control of their vehicle when the load in or on the trailer shifts. In the case of a tanker carrying liquid cargo such as fuel, the liquid can slosh from side to side, increasing the risk of a rollover. This risk can be reduced by driving the truck with a full tank, taking turns slowly, and braking slowly and steadily, but those things are not always possible. For that reason, many tankers are designed with baffle systems inside of the tanks which can reduce the amount of liquid cargo movement and consequently reduce the risk of a rollover accident.

Accidents involving tanker trucks can cause serious injury and death. Sometimes, the only vehicle involved in the accident is the tanker truck. At other times, though, passenger vehicles are involved. Drivers who share the roads with tankers and tractor trailers should be aware that accidents involving tractor trailers and tankers bring more people to the accident scene than police, firefighters, and emergency rescue personnel. When a tanker or a tractor trailer is involved in an accident, the trucking company that owns the truck sends its own accident response team to the accident scene to collect information.

What drivers need to know about people associated with trucking company accident response teams is that their presence at the accident scene is solely for the benefit of the trucking company. Accident response teams often include investigators, attorneys, and other professionals. When they arrive at the accident scene, they begin collecting information that they can use to defend the trucking company against claims for liability, such as the claim that you might file if you were injured in the accident. Since the members of the accident response team work for the trucking company, they do not have your best interest in mind. You are under no obligation to speak with any of them. You may either politely refuse to speak to them altogether or you may ask them to speak with your attorney. If you can, gather information about the accident on your own by taking pictures of the accident scene and making notes as soon after the accident as possible, so that you can remember the details of the accident at a later time.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Trucking Accident Attorneys Serving Clients Throughout Mississippi

The attorneys who represent trucking companies are skilled at defending their clients against the claims of trucking accident victims. Fortunately, the Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you to build a strong case of your own.  To learn more about how we can help you, please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.

 

Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Discuss Accidents Involving Live Animal Cargo

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Sometimes, trucking accidents cause additional risks to people and property because of the cargo that they are carrying. One recent accident in Mississippi involved an 18-wheeler that was transporting cattle. The accident occurred when the driver of the truck encountered difficulty in navigating a turn. During the crash, the truck tipped over, killing some cows and turning approximately one hundred others loose onto the interstate.

The interstate was closed for about five hours after the accident occurred, as authorities rounded up the loose cattle and got them back onto the truck. Many of the cows were able to be located and successfully reloaded. At least one cow was injured when it was struck by another vehicle. Some of the cows remained at large for quite some time after the accident.

Many trucks carrying livestock navigate American highways every day. Many of the animals that ride on those trucks are part of our food supply. They are raised on farms and then transported to factories for processing. Truck drivers who transport livestock must adhere to specific regulations from both the United States Department of Agriculture and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that are designed to get the animals safely to their destination while minimizing the risk to the public as they travel over the road. Unfortunately, accidents involving livestock transport vehicles do occur, posing a risk to both human and animal lives.

Accidents involving animal transport vehicles can be caused by many different things. Driver fatigue, excessive speed, improperly maintained equipment, failure to negotiate a curve, slippery roads, shifting weight due to movement of the animals, or a poor judgment call by either the truck driver or the driver of another vehicle are just some of the ways in which these crashes occur. When a wreck involving an animal transport vehicle happens, the driver and some or all of the animals on board the vehicle can be injured or killed. If animals become entrapped in the wreckage, they may perish if the truck catches fire. If the animals are released from the vehicle as the result of the accident, they are in danger of being struck by other vehicles. These subsequent collisions can cause injury, property damage, and even death for the drivers of those other vehicles, their passengers, and the animals.

If you are driving in an area where an animal transport vehicle accident has occurred, be alert for the presence of animals in or near the roadway. If you see an animal that has wandered into the road, try to avoid hitting it if you can do so safely. If the animal appears too quickly and it is not safe to try to avoid a collision, try to hit the animal at an angle in order to push it away from the car instead of tossing it upwards and onto the vehicle, as is likely to occur if you hit it head-on.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Representing Mississippi Trucking Accident Plaintiffs

Trucking accidents can present complicated factual scenarios and cause immense amounts of bodily injury and property damage. If you have been injured in a Mississippi trucking accident, the Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are here to help you recover for your injuries, damage, or losses. Trucking companies have attorneys working hard on their behalf, and a trucking accident attorney is a strong and knowledgeable ally who can help you navigate every stage of your trucking accident case from start to finish. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022, to learn more.

Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Discuss Accidents Involving Dangerous Cargo

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Motor vehicle accidents can cause serious injuries and even death, and accidents involving trucks are even more likely to cause more injuries, damage, and fatalities than those involving only passenger vehicles. There are some trucks which increase the amount of harm that can result from an accident even more, because of the cargo that they contain. Accidents involving dangerous cargo happen more often than you might think. For example, over three thousand trucking accidents which happened between 2004 and 2013 involved some sort of hazardous cargo. The accidents caused a combined amount of four hundred and fifty million dollars in damage, ninety one fatalities, and many serious injuries.

The accident scenarios which can occur when hazardous cargo is involved resemble regular accidents, except that additional emergency response personnel may need to help clean up the accident scene and additional precautions, such as road closures and evacuations, may be required to keep people safe. For example, when one tanker truck collided with a pickup truck, it flipped over and spilled some of the corrosive liquid that it was carrying. Hazmat crews reported to the accident scene, and they had to close the road for a few hours while they cleaned up the spilled chemicals. As a precaution, area residents were told to stay indoors, so that they would not inhale the noxious fumes from the chemical spill.

A similar situation occurred when a tractor trailer which was carrying naphtha, a flammable substance, overturned. Traffic was diverted from the area of the crash for twelve hours, as emergency response crews cleaned up the chemical spill and removed the wreckage. Sometimes, there are even incidents where no collision occurs, yet an emergency situation is created because something else happens which creates a danger to people in or near the area where the truck carrying hazardous cargo is located. One such incident occurred when the refrigeration system of a FedEx Custom Critical delivery truck stopped working. The truck’s refrigerated trailer was loaded with two hundred gallons of liquefied peroxide, which becomes flammable at temperatures above fifty degrees and is highly explosive. The failure of the truck’s refrigeration system therefore created a risk that the liquefied peroxide would reach too high of a temperature, which could result in a fire or an explosion. The truck driver stopped the truck as soon as he became aware of the problem, and he called for help. Emergency response crews rushed to the scene and secured the area. They even evacuated a nearby business in the process. Fortunately, this potentially dangerous situation was managed without incident.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys

If you were hurt or someone in your family was killed in a trucking accident involving hazardous cargo, the Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you to pursue the financial recovery that you deserve.  To learn more about how we can help you, please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.

Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Discuss Accidents Caused by Overweight Trucks

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Some of the things that can cause dangerous trucking accidents are things which are not visible to the other drivers who are sharing the roads with tractor trailers. One such danger is overloaded or overweight trucks. Weight is an important consideration for truck drivers, and it plays a big role in safely transporting cargo from one place to another. There are Federal and state weight limits which apply to the trucks themselves. There are also weight limits which apply to certain roads and bridges, because not all roadways are designed to support heavy loads. When truck drivers load their trucks with too much weight, or when they haul heavy loads over roads and bridges that could be damaged by heavy trucks, there is a risk that an accident could occur.

Unfortunately, overweight trucks can be found on roads all across America. Last October, a West Virginia man drove an overweight truck over a historic bridge in Greene County. The weight of the truck exceeded both the weight limit for the road leading to the bridge and the weight limit for the bridge itself. The weight of the truck damaged the bridge, and it partially collapsed. In Ohio, law enforcement officers report that when they set up safety checkpoints for trucks, they never know what they will find. Trucks with bulging tires often alert officers at the safety checkpoints to the possibility of an excessive load, and scales at the checkpoints enable the officers to know right then and there whether the trucks are in fact overloaded. Some of the overweight trucks that officers discover at safety checkpoints are carrying thousands of pounds more than they should be.

Any load that weighs more than a truck is designed to carry increases accident risk because the excessive weight increases the truck’s stopping distance. Overweight trucks also increase the risk of trucking accidents involving mechanical defects because the excess weight places a great deal of stress on the mechanical components of the truck, including brakes and tires. Trucks are harder to handle when they are overloaded; they are harder to steer and more likely to tip over than trucks which are loaded properly.

Truck drivers are responsible for checking their trucks to ensure that they are loaded properly, and that the load is not too heavy. Unfortunately, not all drivers take the time to do so. In some situations, trailers are loaded before the driver picks them up, and the driver is expected to simply hitch up the trailer and move along. Some drivers may even be under pressure from their employers to pack as much freight onto their trucks as they can, in order to increase the company’s profits.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys

Overweight trucks are an unseen danger on American highways. Trucks that are carrying loads which are too heavy are at greater risk of being involved in an accident. If you have experienced an injury or loss because of an overloaded tractor trailer or any other type of commercial vehicle, qualified Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys can help you to recover financially from your loss or injury. To learn more about how the Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you, please call (601) 355-2022, to arrange a consultation with us.

 

Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys Talk About Methamphetamine

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

The drivers of tractor trailers have a job that is more physical and mentally demanding than those of us who don’t drive trucks for a living are aware of. The physical demands of spending long hours on the road, along with the feelings that accompany being away from their homes and families for weeks at a time can be exhausting. Many truck drivers enjoy their work, but that does not mean that they do not experience feelings of fatigue or exhaustion from time to time. Unfortunately, mixing exhaustion with the task of driving a vehicle that is larger and heavier than the other vehicles on the road can prove dangerous and even deadly.

Many tractor trailer accidents are caused by driver fatigue. Since the potential for fatigue exists whenever a truck driver is working, each truck driver must determine their own plan for preventing fatigue and for addressing it when it does happen. There are rules in place that govern the hours that truck drivers can work, and these “hours of service” regulations can be a good place to start for preventing fatigue. Some drivers find that taking naps during periods of time that they stop for a break helps them to maintain alertness when on the road. Other drivers find that brisk walks or exercise breaks are good for both their physical fitness and for their ability to fight fatigue. Many truck drivers also enjoy plenty of coffee, which can boost alertness.

The fatigue prevention strategies mentioned above are all safe, legal ways for truck drivers to maintain alertness throughout the workday. Unfortunately, some truck drivers use illegal stimulants like methamphetamine (meth) to stay awake. Meth can be found at many truck stops, so drivers do not have to go out of their way to get it. Drivers who use meth to stay awake put their safety and the safety of others at risk, because meth can affect drivers’ depth perception and reaction time in addition to causing hallucinations and vertigo. Many serious and fatal tractor trailer accidents have been caused by drivers who were high on meth. Meth addicts are also at risk for heart attacks and strokes. If a truck driver has a heart attack or a stroke while they are driving, a serious accident is likely to occur.

Drug use among truck drivers is a serious problem, but truck drivers are not monitored as closely for drug use as many people might think. Many employers do use pre-employment drug testing, but once a driver is employed by a company they may be tested randomly. Infrequent and random drug tests can result in meth users avoiding detection for extended periods of time. Company policies vary greatly as to what disciplinary measures are used against drivers who are caught using drugs.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys

 If you have been injured in a trucking accident that involved a trucker who was impaired due to methamphetamine, the Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you to pursue the recovery that you deserve. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022 to set up a consultation with us.

The Do’s and Don’ts Following a Mississippi Truck Accident

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

In the aftermath of a truck accident, you will likely be in pain and quite often in shock.  While experiencing the range of emotions and physical pain that surrounds a truck accident, it can be confusing to know what steps to take to protect your legal rights.  The following is a list of do’s and don’ts that every Mississippi truck accident victim should abide by.  Adhering to this list will ensure you comply with the law, receive proper medical care, and maximize your later chance at a full recovery.

Do:

  • Get to the nearest safe location: If you have been involved in a truck accident on a Mississippi roadway, it is imperative you move yourself and your vehicle to the nearest safe location to prevent further injury or accident.  This will generally be to the nearest soft shoulder.  Do not, however, leave the scene of the crash under any circumstances.  Fleeing the scene of an accident is a criminal offense in Mississippi and can result in serious penalties.
  • Call 911: Call 911 or local law enforcement as soon as possible after a truck accident, even if the crash was a fairly minor one.  A police officer will arrive shortly to the scene of the accident and complete a police report.  The report will be based on an examination of the scene and interviews with the drivers and witnesses involved.  This police report can prove crucial to your later recovery for personal injuries or damages, so it is always best to call 911 after an accident.  If for some reason a report is not made at the scene, go to the police station as soon as possible to report the accident.
  • Receive medical treatment: If you have been involved in a truck accident and could have suffered any sort of injury, it is best to seek medical treatment right away.  Some injuries may not be evident for hours or even days after a crash.  The earlier you seek medical treatment, the sooner you can get the medical attention you require and the better your chances of recovery.
  • Retain the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney: Truck accidents often involve serious injuries and will also involve complex issues of law unique to the realm of commercial vehicle accidents.  An experienced truck accident attorney will initiate a complete investigation into the cause of your accident and fight for your maximum recovery.

Don’t

  • Discuss liability for the accident: You should never engage in discussions of liability, whether it be with other drivers or the police, following a truck accident.  Liability is a legal conclusion which you cannot make and discussions of liability can harm your later recovery.  Speak with your attorney before addressing the complex legal issue of fault.
  • Feel pressured to accept an initial settlement offer: You will likely be approached by an insurance adjuster who will push you to accept a quick settlement.  Never accept such an offer without consulting with a truck accident attorney first, as the initial settlement offer will generally only cover a small portion of your losses stemming from the accident.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Fighting for the Recovery of Truck Accident Victims Across Mississippi

The Mississippi Truck Accident Attorney at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. urges anyone who has been injured truck accident to contact our firm immediately.  Our experienced truck accident attorney will examine your accident and guide you through the legal process to a full recovery.  Our case reviews are always free and confidential.  Call us today at (601) 355-2022 to see how our skilled truck accident attorney can help you.

 

Mississippi Truck Accident Lawyers Discuss Unique Challenges in Pursuing Tractor-Trailer Accident Claims

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

While all motor vehicle accidents can result in drivers and passengers experiencing devastating permanent injuries, trucking accidents present a disproportionate risk of serious injury, as well as unique challenges in seeking compensation.  Because tractor-trailers can outweigh a small economy car by 25 times or more, the basic principles of physics dictate that such collisions are especially dangerous for occupants of a small passenger car.  When large tractor-trailers are involved in fatal trucking accidents, the person who dies is an occupant of the other vehicle in over three out of four fatal collisions according to data from the federal government.  Further, large trucks account for only five percent of registered vehicles, but they are involved in 11 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Extensive Knowledge of Trucking Regulation and Industry Practices

Because semi-truck crashes pose an increased risk of permanent debilitating injuries and fatalities, the trucking industry is subject to a complex matrix of federal and state regulations designed to promote highway safety.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the primary entity responsible for enacting federal regulations that govern interstate trucking, which involves commercial drivers that operate in multiple states.  Trucking companies and drivers that operate exclusively within Mississippi are primarily regulated by the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT).  This extensive regulatory scheme is designed to mitigate the increased danger posed by big-rigs by establishing safety rules regarding matters like:

  • Pre-employment screening and hiring standards
  • Inspection and maintenance of tractor-trailers
  • Hours of service (HOS) rules to keep fatigued truck drivers off the road
  • Pre-employment and random screening for drugs and alcohol
  • Maximum length and weight requirements
  • Proper securing of loads
  • Medical fitness of commercial drivers
  • Recordkeeping requirements to verify compliance (i.e. driver logbooks)

Many trucking accidents in Jackson and throughout Mississippi are the result of truck drivers who violate these safety regulations with the tacit or express approval of the trucking company.  When drivers use methamphetamines to drive longer shifts and disregard HOS rules, both the truck driver and trucking company can benefit from increase profits.  Effective litigation of Mississippi trucking cases requires extensive knowledge of trucking regulations and industry practices because many cases turn on non-compliance with these types of safety regulations.

Preservation and Gathering of Evidence in Mississippi Trucking Lawsuits

Trucking litigation is also complicated because commercial carriers and truck drivers have no real incentive to preserve evidence that can be used to establish liability.  Trucking companies often employ rapid response teams that can be dispatched to the scene of a tractor-trailer crash almost immediately.  These trucking experts begin an immediate investigation so that they can develop a strategy for minimizing or evading liability.

A successful Mississippi trucking accident lawsuit typically is contingent on promptly contacting experienced trucking accident lawyers.  Our Jackson tractor-trailer accident lawyers promptly send written notice to the trucking company indicating that the semi-truck and data contained in the rig’s black box is the subject of litigation so it must not be destroyed or altered.  When a truck is quickly repaired and placed back into service, this can undermine the efforts of accident reconstruction experts because the vehicle damage cannot be examined.  When the rig is rapidly deployed back into service, this also can result in the black box data being erased.  Because logbooks are routinely fabricated or manipulated to conceal non-compliance, black box data can be critical in exposing safety violation and establishing the cause of a trucking accident.

Our Jackson truck accident attorneys also engage in extensive discovery of other records that might reveal negligence by the commercial carrier or driver.  Some of the documents and information we might seek in discovery include:

  • Driver’s personnel file
  • Carrier’s hiring procedures and criteria
  • Maintenance and inspection records
  • Driver lodging and fuel receipts
  • Documents related to prior violation of safety regulations

The bottom line is that trucking litigation is complicated, so you should schedule a consultation with an experienced trucking accident law firm promptly so that you can explore your rights and remedies.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a Mississippi tractor-trailer accident or a loved one dies in a semi-truck collision, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries or loss.   We invite you to contact our Jackson trucking accident law firm for a free consultation with a Mississippi semi-truck accident attorney.  We invite you to call us today at (601) 355-2022 to see how we can help!

Mother and Daughter in Tupelo, Mississippi Killed by Runaway 18-Wheeler

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Due to their enormous size and immense weight, any accident involving a semi-truck or 18-wheeler can lead to tragic consequences.  Drivers of these large commercial vehicles are held to a higher safety standard because it takes a significant amount of experience, skill and training to safely maneuver these massive vehicles.  Sadly, in Tupelo, a semi-truck driver’s failure to exercise due caution led to an unfortunate catastrophe.

On September 6, 2013, Olida Acosta, a 20-year-old mother, and her 2-year-old daughter Vianett Castillo were parked outside a local business called Acceptance Auto Insurance.  The mother and daughter were waiting for a family member who was conducting business in the insurance company.  Suddenly, a colossal 18-wheeler, without a driver inside, pummeled into the car holding Acosta and her daughter.  The force of the 18-wheeler’s collision caused Acosta’s vehicle to be pushed into the auto insurance building, along with the truck.  Emergency crews responded instantly but it took them more than an hour to lift the semi-trailer off the vehicle.  Acosta and her daughter were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.  An employee of Acceptance reported that the truck came within six feet of her desk.  She was terrified but uninjured.

Investigators later learned the cause behind the accident—the truck driver stopped the vehicle, exited it, and forgot to put on the parking break, causing the truck to roll away.  The driver, who works for a company out of Nebraska, will not face charges for his actions.  Local police called the incident a “freak accident” and determined the driver lacked any sort of criminal intent.

This heartbreaking accident is unfortunately not an uncommon occurrence nationwide or in Mississippi.  Every 16 minutes, a person is killed or injured in a tractor trailer accident in the U.S.  This amounts to over 400,000 accidents involving tractor trailers each year.  A search of headline news reveals an alarming number of 18-wheeler accidents on Mississippi roadways this year.  During this past summer, an Ole Miss football player was killed in a horrendous accident involving a tractor trailer. Park Stevens was driving a truck that somehow collided with the rear end of the tractor trailer in front of him, killing him instantly.  Officials are investigating whether the driver of the tractor trailer was at fault.

A month after Steven’s accident, here in Jackson, a vehicle fell off a car carrying truck, causing a car accident.  The car carrier attempted to mount a bridge and evidently was too tall, knocking down one of the vehicles it carried.  The driver admitted the accident was his fault.  Luckily, the driver of the car that crashed into the downed vehicle will make a full recovery.

The victims of tractor trailer accidents such as these, and the families of those deceased, do have actions available to them to recover for their losses and hold the truck driver and/or his employer accountable.  Victims of tractor trailer accidents can bring a personal injury suit alleging that the truck driver acted negligently and this negligence caused their injuries.  In the event of the victim’s death, as in the case of deceased Olida Acosta and her 2-year-old daughter, the family of the decedent has the right to bring a wrongful death suit, seeking compensation for the loss of their loved one due to the negligent actions of the tractor trailer driver.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a tractor trailer accident, it is imperative that you seek the representation of a skilled trucking accident attorney as soon as possible.  Trucking companies and their insurers will act quickly to attempt to limit their liability following an accident.  You need a knowledgeable, aggressive attorney on your side fighting for your recovery.  The Giddens Law Firm is a team of experienced truck accident attorneys who will relentlessly pursue your claim.  Call the Giddens Law Firm today at 601-355-2022 to schedule a free initial consultation.

The High-Stakes of Tractor Trailer Accidents in Mississippi

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Due to their large size and massive weight, collisions involving tractor trailers, 18 wheelers, semi-trucks, and other large commercial vehicles can have catastrophic results.  Accidents involving these colossal beasts of the roadway nearly always result in substantial damage to your automobile, and often times they result in serious injuries and even death.  The following is a list of statistics highlighting the dangers of tractor trailer accidents:

  • Every 16 minutes, a U.S. driver is injured or killed in an accident involving a tractor trailer.
  • There are over 400,000 accidents involving tractor trailers and commercial trucks each year.
  • About 98% of all semi truck accidents result in a least one fatality.
  • Approximately 140,000 people are injured in accidents involving big rigs each year
  • About 3,700 automobile passengers and drivers are killed in accidents involving tractor trailers or other commercial trucks each year.
  • Semi trucks and other commercial trucks often weigh 20-30 times more than your passenger vehicle.
  • A tractor trailer moving at fast speeds can take the length of a football field to come to a complete stop.

These frightening statistics highlight the high stakes involved in any tractor trailer or commercial vehicle accident.  Due to their large size and heavy weight, accidents involving tractor trailers often result in serious injuries to the occupants of the passenger vehicle.  Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries—symptoms of a head injury following an accident can include chronic headaches, loss of memory, vision changes, or loss of pre-injury mental capacity.  Though all injuries following a car accident are serious, head injuries are perhaps the most severe as they can lead to permanent loss of quality of life and long-term mental impairments.
  • Neck or back trauma—compression of the spinal cord as often occurs in any automobile accident can cause a loss of range of motion, intense pain, and partial or total paralysis.  Semi truck accidents tend to result in more serious neck and back trauma due to the intense nature of the impact.
  • Broken bones—aside from the obvious pain of broken bones, serious breaks can cause long-term medical problems if they do not heal correctly.
  • Amputation or loss of body part—one of the more devastating injuries that can result from a tractor trailer accident is the loss of a limb or other body part.  These injuries will require long-term physical therapy, prosthetics, and often involve psychological trauma.
  • Burns or injuries due to toxic chemicals—tractor trailers are often hauling flammable or hazardous materials, making it an all too common occurrence for passengers involved in a tractor trailer accident to be burned or seriously injured from such chemicals.  Burns can result in permanent disfigurement and pain.  Inhalation of toxic chemicals can permanently damage your lungs and the full effects may not be evident for years to come.
  • Death—the most serious outcome of a tractor trailer or other trucking accident is death.

As you can see, trucking accidents are serious, high-stakes matters that can have a permanent effect on accident victims.  In Mississippi, due to the lumber industry, our highways are often teeming with tractor trailers.  If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a tractor trailer accident, call the Giddens Law Firm.  We have extensive experience representing victims of trucking accidents.  We fight tirelessly for our clients to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.  The moments following a trucking accident can be traumatic and stressful, but it is imperative that you act fast to preserve your legal rights.  Call the Giddens Law Firm at (601) 355-2022 to speak to one of our highly skilled Mississippi truck accident attorneys today.