Injured in an Accident With an 18 Wheeler Truck? Let Us Help
Getting into an accident with an 18 wheeler can result in devastating injuries, financial debt, and loss of life. It can take you years to recover from these types of accidents. And what’s worse is dealing with an insurance company not willing to pay you the compensation you deserve.
For over two decades, our 18 wheeler accident lawyer at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. has been helping truck injury victims across Mississippi with their cases against the trucking company and its insurance. We understand the complexities of these cases and have the resources and skills needed to make sure you are properly compensated for your injuries. We will go after all parties responsible for your accident and fight on your behalf against the insurance company.
The time to act is now. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to collect the evidence needed to support your claim. Contact our 18 wheeler accident lawyer today for a free consultation.
Why Do You Need to Hire an 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer?
Truck accidents are not the same as an accident with another vehicle on the road. Not only is there a huge difference in weight and size, but an 18 wheeler is a company vehicle. You will be dealing with not only the truck driver but the company the driver was working for, the owner of the truck, and the insurance company.
In addition, 18 wheelers carry an insurance policy that’s easily over $1 million. And with a larger policy, the more likely the insurance company will do whatever it can to prevent paying the maximum amount of compensation your claim is worth. That means you will be subjected to delays in your insurance claim and an adjuster who will bully you into taking the first settlement offer. The insurance company will try to make you record a statement and use it against you to prove that you had some responsibility for the accident.
A truck accident lawyer has the experience needed to face the insurance company and make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Once you hire us, we will immediately go to the scene of the accident examine to collect the necessary evidence needed to build a solid case to face off against the truck accident company. We have the resources needed to go head to head with the trucking company. With medical experts, investigators, and accident scene reconstructionists, we will prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the accident was caused by the negligence of the other party.
Remember, while you’re in the hospital recovering from the accident, the truck company has already issued a team to the accident site to gather evidence against you. You need a legal team on your side to do the same for you.
How Dangerous is it to Get Into an Accident With an 18 Wheeler?
As you can imagine, an accident with an 18 wheeler can be rather traumatic. According to the National Safety Council, 4,842 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2020. Although this number is a decrease over 2019’s numbers, it’s still a 33% increase since 2011. In fact, large trucks accounted for 9% of all fatal vehicle accidents.
Why are you more likely to get into a fatal accident with a semi-truck than a passenger vehicle? One reason may be because of the size of the truck. An 18 wheeler is a semi-truck that has 18 wheels and can carry up to 80,000 pounds. With that much weight, it can take the truck longer to stop suddenly. It also makes it more possible for the 18 wheeler to either jackknife or roll, making it a danger to all vehicles that are on the road. Being so large, 18 wheelers need more room on the road to turn. If the truck driver is inexperienced or makes a poor decision, the turn can easily cut into an adjacent lane and collide with another vehicle. This can cause the smaller vehicle to be crushed underneath the truck’s trailer and result in fatality.
Commercial truck drivers are usually on the road for longer periods of time than anyone else. Many are not getting enough sleep, especially if they’re on a deadline. As a result, many drivers are driving while fatigued, which can lower their reaction time in the case of an emergency. This results in serious accidents and catastrophic injuries.
What Are the Causes of an 18 Wheeler Accident?
There are various reasons why an 18 wheeler accident occurs, such as:
As we’ve previously mentioned, drowsy driving is a big problem with truck drivers. According to the federal Hours of Service regulations, truck drivers can only be on the road for a certain period of time. If they are carrying property, they can drive a maximum of 11 hours after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours. However, many truckers either ignore this rule or are pressured by their trucking company to keep driving past 11 hours. This can cause fatigue to set it, shortening their reaction time or falling asleep behind the wheel.
Long hours on the road can make it easy to become easily distracted. Drivers may be texting loved ones, fiddling with the radio, playing mobile games, eating or drinking while driving. All these distractions can keep the driver’s eyes off the road for longer than necessary. According to the NHTSA, just taking your eyes off the road for five seconds is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Hours on end can have their toll on an individual. Dealing with traffic and other drivers on the road while making sure you stay on deadline is not an easy task. Many 18 wheeler drivers may lose their tempers and begin to drive aggressively. This includes but is not limited to speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and failing to yield to oncoming traffic.
Driving Under the Influence
Not only is driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol dangerous, but it’s illegal. According to the NHTSA, traffic fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver had increased by 14% in 2020. Driving a truck takes skill and experience; you need to be alert at all times. But unfortunately, truck drivers continue to drink and drive or take drugs before getting behind the wheel.
Sometimes an accident is not caused by driver negligence, but because there’s a problem with the vehicle itself. From worn-out tires and brakes to defective truck parts to lack of maintenance of the 18 wheeler – these are accidents waiting to occur.
An 18-wheeler has weight limitations to how much it can carry. For example, if the truck itself is 30,000 pounds, it is only allowed to carry 50,000 pounds. But many times the driver ignores the federal limits, which can lead to overloaded cargo. If the 18 wheeler needs to stop suddenly, the weight can cause the truck to tip over easily.
Giddens Law Firm is Here to Help With Your 18 Wheeler Accident
We understand how you are feeling right now. Chances are you’re anxious and are not sure what your next steps should be. The insurance company has probably been calling you and demanding you give a statement. Time off from work is cutting into your savings and medical bills are starting to pile up. You’re worried about your future and whether you will ever return to normal life again.
Now is the time to contact the 18 wheeler accident lawyer at Giddens Law Firm to learn what legal options are available to you. We will fight on your behalf and make sure you get the compensation that you deserve following a truck accident. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to protect your claim so contact our Jackson, MS office today for a free consultation. Remember, we don’t get paid until we win your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
Is There Anything I Can Do to Protect My Accident Claim?
Your first step after an accident is calling the police and making sure everyone is ok. While at the accident scene, try to get as much evidence as you can. This means photos of your car, the 18 wheeler, and any road signs or marks on the pavement. Also, make sure you get contact information from any witnesses.
You’ll also want to seek medical attention right away to understand the extent of your injuries. Report the accident to your insurance company and then contact our 18 wheeler accident lawyer to get the ball rolling.
Who Can I Sue for the 18 Wheeler Accident?
Unlike a car accident, multiple parties may be responsible for your accident:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company that hired the driver
- The manufacturer of the truck where they may be a defect
- Any third parties such as a shipping company who loaded the truck
With so many parties that could be held responsible, it’s best to speak with an 18 wheeler accident lawyer to learn what actions need to be taken to go after the responsible parties.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident?
In Missippi, you have three years after the date of the accident to file a claim. But do not wait that long. You need to hire an accident attorney right away while the evidence is still fresh and easier to collect.
What Should I Do After an 18 Wheeler Accident?
- Get the police report as soon as it’s available. Also, speak with your insurance company to get the claim started so they can begin a property damage valuation.
- Keep a record of all medical visits and healthcare treatments. You will want a copy of any test results, medications, or treatments that you have.
- Also, keep a record of any out-of-pocket expenses you may have incurred while injured or were due to the crash.
- Record any time you missed work.
- Speak to the accident lawyer if the insurance company contacts you with a settlement offer.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire an 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer at Giddens Law Firm?
We work on a contingency basis. What this means is we do not collect a fee from you until your case is settled or reaches a successful verdict. Once we win your case, we will take a small percentage of the settlement. If for any reason, we are unable to successfully get you the compensation you deserve, you do not owe us a dime.
If you were in an 18 wheeler accident anywhere in Mississippi, don’t wait. Contact our 18 wheeler accident lawyer at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. today for a free consultation.