Jackson, MS Truck Accident Lawyer

Were You Injured in a Truck Accident?

A collision involving a truck in Jackson, MS can have catastrophic results. In addition to the possibility of incurring extensive medical expenses and property damage, you may face an uphill battle when seeking compensation from the transportation company’s insurance provider. You may be disoriented and uncertain of your next actions. Following such a tragic accident, you need a skilled Jackson, MS truck accident attorney with the knowledge, resources, and experience to secure you maximum compensation.
An experienced truck accident attorney at Giddens Law Firm understands how difficult it can be to recover after a semi-truck collision. We will fight on your behalf to ensure the protection of your liberties. We will investigate the accident scene exhaustively and collect the necessary evidence before it disappears. We will pursue the insurance adjusters aggressively to ensure that all of your needs are met. And if necessary, we will represent you in court to ensure the success of your truck accident claim.
John Giddens, a truck accident attorney in Jackson, is available to represent you if you were involved in a truck accident anywhere in Mississippi. Contact us immediately to speak with our truck accident lawyer.

How Can Our Semi Truck Accident Lawyers Help With My Case?

If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in an 18-wheeler accident in Jackson, MS, you may be facing mounting financial debt, lost wages, and emotional trauma. You may be confused and are feeling pressured by the insurance company to accept the first settlement offer you receive. What you need is to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney, someone who can handle the claims process for you as you focus on your recovery.

Here is how our experienced trucking accident lawyers can help you with your accident claim:

Extensive Knowledge of Trucking Regulation and Industry Practices

Overloaded freight, driver fatigue, and speed may be factors in any truck accident. State and federal laws regulate how trucks are maintained and drivers must fill out vehicle inspection reports. These reports can be crucial evidence to help our accident experts reconstruct the accident by establishing the condition of the truck at the time of the truck crash.

Because truck accidents 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 model is designed to mitigate the increased danger posed by big rigs by establishing safety rules regarding matters like:

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

Many trucking accidents throughout Mississippi are the result of truck drivers who violate these safety regulations with the tacit or express approval of the truck company.  When drivers drive longer shifts and disregard federal regulations, both the truck driver and trucking company can benefit from increased profits but put other drivers’ lives in danger.

Preservation and Gathering of Evidence in Jackson, MS Trucking Lawsuits

Trucking litigation is complicated because commercial carriers and truck drivers have no real incentive to preserve evidence that can be used to establish liability.  Truck 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 Jackson trucking accident lawsuit typically is contingent on promptly contacting experienced trucking accident lawyers. Our truck accident lawyer in Jackson promptly sends written notice to the trucking company indicating that the commercial truck and data contained in the rig’s black box are the subjects of litigation so it must not be destroyed or altered.

When a truck is quickly repaired and placed back into service, the black box data, which contains information about what happened before and during the accident is erased. Because logbooks can be easily fabricated or manipulated to conceal non-compliance, black box data can be critical in exposing safety violations and establishing the cause of a trucking accident.

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

  • The truck driver’s personnel file
  • The truck company’s hiring procedures and criteria
  • Maintenance and inspection records
  • The driver’s lodging and fuel receipts
  • Documents related to a 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. We invite you to call our Mississippi truck accident attorneys today at (601) 355-2022 to schedule a free consultation.

What Compensation Can I Receive Following a Truck Accident in Mississippi?

Accident on mountainous road, motor vehicle accident, car wreck. Long vehicle overturned and lying in ditch on side

After a trucking accident, chances are you’re facing a large amount of debt. With medical bills piling up from the injuries sustained to lost wages and mental anguish, you may need compensation to get you back on your feet.

One of the first questions we often receive from our truck accident clients is what compensation is available to the after a truck crash. And the answer is you may receive the following damages:

Economic damages refer to compensation you will receive for any financial losses caused by the truck accident. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Any medical expenses you may have such as hospital and urgent care visits, doctor appointments, surgery, lab results, medical equipment, and long-term medical care.
  • Lost wages, including any vacation or personal time you used because of the accident.
  • Loss of earning capacity. If you are forced to take a lower-paying job because of the injuries sustained in the truck accident, then you may receive compensation that makes up the difference between what you could have made in your former job vs what you are now making.
  • Property damage
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Funeral and burial costs if you lost a loved one in the tractor trailer accident.

Non-economic damages refer to compensation that covers any non-financial losses you suffered. The most popular type of non-economic damage is pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is a general turn that describes any physical pain or mental trauma you may have suffered because of the accident. Other types of non-economic damages include:

  • Loss of companionship or consortium
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

In some rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages are meant to punish the at-fault party for the behavior they exhibited that caused the truck accident.

Who is Responsible for a Catastrophic Tractor Trailer Accident?

An accident with a large truck differs from getting into a car accident. While all car accidents can result in drivers and passengers experiencing devastating permanent injuries, truck accidents present a disproportionate risk of serious injury, as well as unique challenges in seeking compensation.

Because semi-trucks 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 trucks 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.

The differences between a car accident and an 18 wheeler accident go beyond the sheer size of the truck and its potential to cause larger amounts of damage. When there is an accident involving two passenger vehicles, there are usually only two parties involved – the driver and the injured victim. However, when large trucks get into wrecks, there may be other parties involved and not just the truck driver. This is because the truck driver may not be the truck’s owner, which is usually a business entity.

Truck injury victims should be aware that trucking companies will immediately dispatch a team to go to the accident scene and collect as much evidence as possible. If you get into an accident with an 18-wheeler, do be sure to cooperate fully with the police and with other authorities, but be wary of individuals who are part of the accident response team. Those people are working on behalf of the trucking company, so they are at the accident scene looking for information that will help their client’s position, which is opposed to your best interest.

In addition, commercial trucks usually carry a larger insurance policy than personal vehicles. Since these insurance policies can cost the company thousands of dollars if paid out, the insurance adjuster will do whatever they can to prevent paying you the full compensation you deserve. Any little thing you say or do may be used as a way to deny your claim or even find you at fault for the truck accident. That’s why it’s always wise to not speak with the other party’s insurance carrier until you have a chance to speak with our experienced Mississippi truck accident attorney at Giddens Law Firm.

There can be even other parties involved in a commercial truck accident case, such as a truck parts manufacturer, a shipping company that loaded the cargo, or whoever was responsible for the maintenance of the vehicle. The array of parties that could potentially be involved in a personal injury case where there has been an accident between a truck and a car can make resolving claims related to those cases rather complicated.

Fortunately, our knowledgeable 18-wheeler accident attorney in Jackson, MS can navigate the complexities of the claims process and pursue the best possible result for you.

How Often Do Truck Accidents Happen in Mississippi?

infographic on Mississippi truck accidents
Source: Institute for Safer Trucking

Mississippi has a thriving logging industry, which means that 18-wheelers, big rigs, and semi-trucks loaded down with lumber are traveling throughout our state – from Meridian to Vicksburg on I-20 and from Jackson to Hattiesburg to Gulfport on Highway 49. These big trucks throw more than just pine needles; sometimes they drop whole trees into oncoming traffic causing wrecks due to improperly secured loads.

According to the Institute for Safer Trucking, the number of fatal truck accidents in Mississippi had increased by 12 percent over the last decade. Of those fatal tractor trailer accidents, 74 percent were on non-interstate roads and 29 percent happened at night.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal has attributed the rise in truck traffic on America’s roadways to an increase in online shopping and disruptions of the supply chain. Not only are there more and more 18-wheelers on the interstate, but there’s an increase in delivery trucks driving through our neighborhoods. These trucks were not meant to travel down residential roadways and in doing so, they are causing damage to our cities’ streets.

The rise in trucks on our roads leads to a rise in semi truck collisions. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 4,014 people died in large truck accidents in 2020 which is 28 percent higher than in 2009. In fact, 10 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2020 occurred in an auto accident with an 18-wheeler. The majority of these accidents happened on major roads other than interstates and freeways.

What Do I Do Following a Truck Accident in Jackson?

In the aftermath of a truck accident, you will likely be in pain and quite often in shock. While experiencing a range of emotions and dealing with the injuries sustained in a truck accident, it can be confusing to know what steps you should take to protect your legal rights.

The following is a list of dos and don’ts that every Mississippi injury victim should follow to protect a truck accident claim and maximize your later chance at a full recovery.

  • Get to a Safe Location: If you have been involved in a truck accident in Mississippi, it is imperative you make sure you and anyone else involved in the accident are safe. If you are able to, move to the nearest safe location to prevent further injury. This will generally be to the nearest soft shoulder.
  • Call 911: Once you make sure everyone is safe, call 911 as soon as possible after a truck accident, even if the crash was a fairly minor one. A police officer will arrive shortly at 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 from 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.
  • Document the Scene of the Accident: If you can, try to get as much evidence as possible from the accident scene. Take photos of your car, the truck, and the crash scene. If there are any witnesses at the scene, get their contact information so you can follow up with them later on. And don’t forget to get contact information from the other drivers, passengers, and anyone else involved in the accident.
  • Receive Medical Treatment: It is best to seek medical treatment right away after any type of motor vehicle accident. 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 can be quite complex as compared to an accident with a car or motorcycle. The trucking company and its insurance carrier will do what they can to deny your claim, especially if you were seriously injured. Instead of going at it alone, contact our truck accident lawyer immediately following a truck accident. Our Mississippi truck crash attorney will initiate a complete investigation into the cause of your accident and fight for your maximum recovery.

What You Should Not Do Following a Truck Accident

  • Leave the Scene of the Accident: Even if you think your car is drivable and the damage was not that bad, don’t 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. Instead, wait for the police to arrive and leave only when told to.
  • Lose your Temper: After a truck accident, your emotions will be heightened. You’re confused, worried, and angry. You may want to take your frustrations out on the person responsible for the accident. But don’t do it; it will cause more harm to your case.
  • Admit Fault: Don’t ever admit fault to the truck driver, passengers, witnesses, or even the police. The police and insurance company will make a determination after the accident who is responsible for the accident. By admitting fault, you could damage your claim.
  • Give a Recorded Statement: After the accident, you will be receiving a call from the truck company’s insurance company wanting to know more about the accident. The insurance adjuster may try to record your statement. But remember, whatever you say will be used against you later on down the line. So try not to give a recorded statement until you first speak with an 18-wheeler accident attorney.
  • Accept the Initial Truck Accident Settlement Offer: You will likely be pushed by the insurance adjuster 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.

The Mississippi truck accident lawyers at Giddens Law Firm urge anyone who has been injured truck accident to contact our firm immediately. Our experienced truck accident attorneys 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 one of our skilled truck accident attorneys can help you.

What Are the Major Causes of Truck Accidents in MS?

Mistakes do happen. But when negligence plays a part in a truck accident, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. Here are some causes of truck accidents that are the result of driver negligence:

Drowsy Driving

Following the hours of service regulations can help drivers begin their shifts well-rested and alert. Many drivers take naps during the day to refresh themselves and give their eyes a rest. Some take the time to stop throughout the day for brisk walks or other types of exercise breaks, which can increase alertness. Of course, no discussion of stay-awake strategies would be complete without the mention of coffee and other caffeinated stimulants.

Although most truckers follow these safety measures, there are some drivers who engage in dangerous behavior that can interfere with their ability to safely operate their trucks. The long hours and demanding working conditions that truck drivers experience can make them very, very tired. Drowsy truck drivers can be just as dangerous on the road as those under the influence of alcohol.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

Unfortunately, the things that some truck drivers do to stay awake are illegal and they compromise the safety of everyone else on the road. The illegal stimulant drug methamphetamine, or meth, is easy for truck drivers to get. Meth can help drivers stay awake, but it can also cause hallucinations and vertigo. Meth also affects a driver’s reaction time and their depth perception – not exactly things you want happening while someone is driving a massive eighteen-wheeler.

People who are addicted to meth are at risk for an increased incidence of health conditions like heart attack and stroke. These medical emergencies can occur suddenly, and they can cause an accident if the person having a heart attack or stroke is behind the wheel.

Aggressive Driving

Being on the road for long hours can be stressful, especially if you’re under a tight deadline. This can lead to a short temper and a heavy foot on the accelerator. When a truck driver drives erratically or in an unsafe manner, it can easily result in a devastating crash.

Aggressive driving covers a range of unsafe driving behavior, not just speeding. Other types of aggressive driving include:

  • Tailgating other people on the road
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Running red lights and stop signs
  • Illegal passing and cutting off other drivers
  • Brake checking
  • Failure to yield the right of way

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become extremely common with the rise of cell phones. It is also extremely dangerous. In 2020 along, 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

A truck driver taking their eyes off the road for only five seconds may not seem so dangerous, but driving at approximately 55 mph, that truck has been driving without paying attention for the length of an entire football field.

Why Choose Giddens Law Firm For Your Truck Accident Case?

When your injuries are significant enough to cause a lifetime of pain and suffering, a quick settlement from the insurance company is never enough to cover the future costs in medical expenses and the suffering caused by the truck driver’s negligence. Catastrophic injuries such as amputation, paralysis, burns, brain damage, or even death regularly occur in wrecks with big rigs and have life-long effects on you and your family. This is when you need the advice and counsel of a compassionate, experienced, legal advocate dedicated completely to your cause.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A. has built its reputation throughout the state of Mississippi by relentlessly preparing for trial, investigating any lead that might communicate to the jury, and use of vivid demonstrative evidence in the courtroom resulting in many significant jury awards and verdicts.

Unlike other personal injury lawyers, Giddens Law Firm, P.A. limits its legal representation to only a few serious Mississippi truck accident injury cases and death claims per year. This enables the legal experts to focus the most time and resources on each case in order to yield the best possible results for their clients. We work with some of the top trucking accident attorneys in the country to get you the compensation you deserve following an accident.

Time is often not on the side of truck accident victims; it is imperative you take immediate action as soon as possible, so please call us today for a free case evaluation and case analysis toll-free at 1-888-335-2022.

Frequently Asked Jackson, MS Truck Accident Questions

What Is the Value of My Truck Accident Case?

Because every personal injury case is unique, there is no standard quantity. Before providing you with an estimate of your accident’s value, we must consider a number of variables. Once we have a better comprehension of your claim and the amount lost due to another party’s negligence, we will be able to provide you with a rough estimate of the value of your truck accident claim.

How Much Does a Lawyer for Truck Accidents Cost?

Our 18-wheeler accident attorneys, like most Mississippi truck accident attorneys, operate on a contingency basis. This means that you are not required to pay for our services until the conclusion of the case. If we are successful in obtaining a settlement or favorable verdict on your behalf, we will retain a portion of the award. If we are unable to secure you the necessary compensation, you owe us no fee.

Who Can Be Held Accountable for a Truck Crash?

There can be multiple parties held accountable for a transport accident, including:

  • The truck driver, who may have been traveling carelessly, caused the accident.
  • The transportation company responsible for hiring the careless driver
  • The tragedy was caused by the truck manufacturer’s defective product.
  • Third-party brokers who engaged a careless trucking firm

Each of these parties has their own insurance coverage. This indicates that you may receive compensation from multiple parties. Therefore, you should consult with a truck accident attorney about your legal options.

What is Negligent Entrustment in Tractor Trailer Accident Cases?

Mississippi law permits the proprietor of a tractor trailer or 18-wheeler to be held liable for the actions of a person entrusted with the vehicle or truck. This is known as negligent trust.

For instance, if the owner of a tractor-trailer supplies a negligent transportation company or truck driver to a third party, he or she may be held liable to the injured parties.

Mississippi requires the following elements to prove negligent entrustment:

  • Ownership
  • That the proprietor knew or should have known that the truck would be used in a way that posed an unreasonable risk of harm.
  • That the damage was caused by the use of the vehicle.

For more information about negligent entrustment, please contact our knowledgeable Jackson truck accident attorney.

What Should I Do If a Trucking Company Representative Calls Me?

It is imperative that you consult with an attorney before giving a recorded statement to the trucking company or its insurance provider. The insurance agent may attempt to pressure you into approving the settlement immediately. And despite how tempting it may be, do not sign any documents before speaking with a semi-truck accident attorney.

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident?

According to Mississippi law, truck accident claimants have three years from the date of the collision to submit their claims. Even though this may seem like a lengthy time, evidence will vanish rapidly after an accident. The sooner you file your accident claim, the greater the likelihood of success.

Contact John Giddens, a Jackson, MS truck accident attorney, immediately.

Call Giddens Law Firm, P.A. at (601) 355-2022 or (888) 335-2022 if you or a loved one have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle. The initial consultation is free, and if we accept your case, we will operate on a contingency fee basis, which means we will only be paid for our services if there is a financial recovery.

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