Jackson 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer
Every year, thousands of individuals across Jackson, Mississippi, face the daunting aftermath of 18-wheeler accidents. These incidents, involving large commercial trucks, are not just mere road mishaps but potentially life-altering events. The sheer size and power of 18-wheelers mean that any collision involving these giants can lead to serious injuries, significant property damage, and, in the worst cases, fatalities. If you or a loved one are involved in an 18 wheeler accident, you will need an experienced Jackson 18 wheeler accident lawyer to help you with your claim.
At Giddens Law Firm, our experienced Jackson truck accident lawyer can stand beside you and protect your rights against the trucking company and their insurance companies. Don’t delay, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
What Does an 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer Do?
An experienced 18 wheeler accident lawyer plays a vital role in your journey toward justice and compensation. They can offer services such as in-depth case evaluation, thorough investigation, negotiation with insurance companies, and courtroom representation if necessary.
Here’s how a specialized attorney can assist you through this challenging time:
Expertise in State and Federal Laws and Regulations
Eighteen wheeler accidents are governed by a unique set of laws and regulations that differ significantly from a typical car accident. These include federal regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and various state laws. An experienced 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Jackson, MS, has in-depth knowledge of these regulations and how they apply to your case. They understand the nuances of trucking industry standards, driver qualifications, hours of service regulations, and maintenance requirements. This expertise is crucial in building a strong case.
Identifying All Liable Parties
One of the complexities of 18 wheeler accidents is that multiple parties could be liable. It’s not just the truck driver; liability may extend to the trucking company, contractors, employers, insurance companies, and even manufacturers of truck parts. An adept lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation to identify all potentially liable parties, increasing your chances of receiving fair compensation.
Handling Complex Negotiations
Insurance companies often get involved immediately after an accident, and they can be challenging to deal with. Their primary goal is to minimize payouts. A Jackson truck accident attorney knows how to negotiate with these companies effectively. They can prevent you from settling for less than you deserve and ensure that your settlement reflects the true cost of your injuries and other damages.
Gathering and Analyzing Evidence
Building a compelling case requires solid evidence. This might include the truck driver’s logbook, vehicle maintenance records, eyewitness statements, accident reports, and data from the truck’s electronic logging device, also known as the black box. An experienced lawyer has the resources to gather and analyze this evidence, which can be critical in proving negligence.
Calculating the Full Extent of Your Damages
Determining the full extent of your damages goes beyond just medical bills. It includes lost wages, future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and sometimes punitive damages. An 18 wheeler accident lawyer can accurately calculate both your economic and non-economic damages, ensuring that you seek a comprehensive claim that covers all your losses.
Representing You in Court
While many 18 wheeler accident cases are settled out of court, some do go to trial. If your case goes to court, having a lawyer with trial experience is invaluable. They can represent you effectively, presenting your case in a way that is compelling to a judge or jury.
Dealing with the aftermath of such an accident can be stressful. Having a knowledgeable and experienced attorney handling the legal aspects allows you to focus on your recovery.
Who Can Be Held Responsible For a Jackson, MS 18 Wheeler Accident?
Unlike accidents involving only passenger vehicles, 18 wheeler accidents often involve a commercial vehicle and are subject to both state and federal regulations. Trucks, due to their size and the nature of their cargo, can cause extensive damage, making the stakes much higher in terms of potential compensation for damages.
Some of the common factors used to determine liability include:
Truck Driver Error: One of the first considerations in an accident is whether the truck driver made an error or violated any laws. This could include speeding, driving under the influence, fatigue due to non-compliance with the FMCA’s hours of service regulations, or distracted driving.
Trucking Company Responsibility: The trucking company may be held liable under the legal principle of “respondeat superior,” which holds employers responsible for the actions of their employees. Additionally, if the company failed to adhere to safety regulations, such as proper vehicle maintenance or proper driver training, it could be held liable.
Vehicle Maintenance and Defects: If the accident was caused by a mechanical failure, liability might fall on the party responsible for maintaining the truck, which could be the trucking company or a third-party service provider. In cases where a vehicle defect is to blame, the manufacturer of the truck or the defective part may be liable.
Cargo Loaders and Shippers: Improperly loaded or secured cargo can lead to accidents. If this is the case, the shipper or the party responsible for loading the truck could be held liable.
The Role of Pure Comparative Fault
In some cases, more than one party may be at fault. For example, a truck driver may have been speeding at the time of the truck crash but the driver of another vehicle was texting while driving. If this is the case, Mississippi’s pure comparative fault rule will come into play.
According to Mississippi Code § 11-7-15, if multiple parties are found negligent for the accident, any party who was injured can recover damages from the different parties. However, if the injured party was found partially at fault for the accident, their total recovery will be reduced.
For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault for the truck accident, while the truck driver was 80% at fault, and your damages were $100,000, you would be able to recover $80,000 from the other driver.
Given the complexities involved in determining liability in truck accidents, victims must seek legal representation. Experienced Jackson truck accident lawyers can navigate the intricate legal landscape, ensuring that all liable parties are held accountable and that the victim receives fair compensation.
What Compensation is Available Following an 18 Wheeler Accident in Jackson, MS?
If you’ve been in an 18-wheeler accident in Jackson, MS, the type of compensation available to you can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. However, in general, you may be able to recover the following:
Medical expenses: This includes all past, present, and future medical costs related to your injuries, such as hospital bills, doctor appointments, surgery, medication, and therapy.
Lost wages: This covers any income you’ve lost due to the accident, including both missed workdays and any future loss of earning capacity if your injuries affect your ability to work.
Property damage: This covers any damage to your vehicle or other personal property as a result of the accident.
Pain and suffering: This includes compensation for the physical and emotional pain and discomfort you’ve experienced as a result of the accident.
Mental anguish: This covers any emotional distress, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), caused by the accident.
Loss of enjoyment of life: This compensates you for any activities you can no longer participate in due to your injuries.
Wrongful death: If you’ve lost a loved one in an 18-wheeler accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional suffering.
Punitive damages: In rare cases, if the truck driver or trucking company acted with recklessness or intentional misconduct, you may also be able to recover punitive damages.
The amount of compensation you may receive will depend on several factors, including:
The severity of your injuries: More serious injuries generally lead to higher compensation amounts.
The liability of the truck driver and/or trucking company: Establishing who was at fault for the accident is crucial in determining who is responsible for compensating you.
Your attorney’s skill and experience: A skilled truck accident attorney can help you build a strong case and maximize your chances of recovering fair compensation.
How Giddens Law Firm Can Help With Your 18 Wheeler Accident
The journey following an 18 wheeler accident can be daunting. But with the right legal guidance, you can navigate this challenging path. At Giddens Law Firm, our experienced Jackson 18 Wheeler Accident Attorneys are committed to helping you every step of the way. We understand the intricacies of these cases and are dedicated to securing the justice and compensation you deserve.
Are you ready to take the next step towards recovery and justice? Contact Giddens Law Firm today.
Related Practice Areas