Mississippi Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck accidents are awful. If you survive them, you’re likely severely injured both physically and emotionally. It’s something you wouldn’t wish on anyone. We understand the pain you’re in. We want to help. Please call our Mississippi truck accident lawyers as soon as possible to set up a free consultation.
The difference between car and tractor trailer accidents can be big. Trucking companies, trucks, and their drivers are closely watched by the Department of Transportation so they are held to different standards in the event of an accident.
Truck drivers need special training and a special license to drive. They also train in how to load each type of truck they drive. A trucking firm can be found guilty if a driver does not follow federal and local rules.
Truckers and trucking companies must:
- Repair and inspect all trucks
- Hold a valid license and maintain good conduct
- Have safe brakes on the truck
- Rest between driving shifts
- Keep an updated log book
- Undergo routine alcohol and drug tests
- Carry dangerous goods safely
- Have valid insurance
If you have been involved in a semi-truck accident, you should immediately seek representation from the experienced Mississippi truck accident lawyers at Brad Morris Law Firm, PLLC. Our team can help you file a personal injury claim to seek justice and compensation for expenses and your distress.
The Ins & Outs of Truck Accidents
Truckers are held to high standards when it comes to driving. Any failure to follow strict rules and guidelines could hold them accountable for an accident.
Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver fatigue: Between driving long hours, loading and unloading heavy loads, and working overtime, truck drivers are often fatigued. Fatigue can not only affect the driver’s ability to drive but also to judge how well he is driving. Federal guidelines establish how much sleep a driver must get. If they fall behind in a schedule, they should not make it up by driving while sleepy or by taking medications to keep from sleeping.
- Driving under the influence (DUI): Driving while under the effects of alcohol, drugs, or other substances is against the law.
- Bad weather: Poor weather – such as rain, fog, or even snow – may cause truck accidents. Big truck drivers may not see motorcyclists, cars, or pedestrians. In such cases, it may be hard to know who may be at fault for an accident, or if anyone was at fault at all. In times of bad weather, it is very important to be cautious and be aware of other drivers.
- Reckless driving: Truckers are expected to follow the rules just like any other driver. A truck driver may be found to be driving recklessly if they are texting while driving, following too closely, not using their mirrors, braking improperly, changing lanes quickly, or failing to use their turn signal.
- Jackknifing: One of the biggest causes of commercial truck accidents are braking problems that cause a big truck to jackknife. This problem usually occurs because the driver stomps the brakes while the truck is going at a high speed – this causes the entire truck, along with the trailers, to skid. If the truck and trailer skid long enough, the trailer will in all likelihood jackknife. Jackknifing can cause extreme destruction and loss of life.
Truck Accident Injuries
Because many trucks – even smaller delivery vehicles like UPS or FedEx trucks – are so much larger than the average car, truck accidents can be particularly devastating.
Common injuries resulting from truck accidents include:
- Brain injuries
- Head trauma
- Spinal cord and neck injuries
- Loss of arms or legs
- Bad scars
- Broken bones
Victims of trucking accidents may need help financial assistance for medical bills and future medical care and to make up for lost income and damaged property. Our Mississippi truck accident attorneys can evaluate your case and determine the next step to get you relief for your losses due to a trucking accident.
How These Claims Work
When you bring a claim, there are four parties that are typically involved. You (the plaintiff), the liable party, the liable party’s insurance company, and your Mississippi truck accident lawyer.
You can bring the claim against the person who caused the accident. This can be hard to pin down, and we will get into why that is later. The liable party’s insurance company will be responsible for compensating you for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Emotional damages (pain and suffering)
- Lost earnings from time missed at work
These are the basics of a truck accident claim.
Determining If You Have a Claim
The easiest way to know for sure if you have a claim is to talk to a Mississippi truck accident lawyer. They will be able to go over the details of your case during a free consultation. But there are questions that you can ask yourself right now to see if you have a claim:
- Were you in an accident involving a truck?
- Are you severely injured?
- Are you now within three years from the date of the accident?
- Do you think the truck driver caused the accident?
The first question is pretty straight forward. A truck accident claim obviously involves a truck, or else it would be a different type of vehicle accident. Make sure when you’re hiring your lawyer that they have experience specifically handling truck accident claims.
The next factor that determines if you have a claim is based on the damages that it caused. If someone’s car was scraped by a truck pulling in a parking lot, you likely don’t have a truck accident claim. If, however, you were on the highway when a truck swerved into your lane causing your car to flip, that’s a different story.
We want you to determine if your accident happened within the last three years because of the Mississippi statute of limitations. You are permitted to bring a case only within three years after the date of the accident. We suggest you talk to a Mississippi truck accident lawyer as soon as you can. These cases are time sensitive.
The fault of the truck driver is tricky. It can go beyond who did what wrong…
As mentioned above, truck accidents are complicated. With a car accident, for example, it is easier to say that one person was speeding or ran a red and caused an accident. A truck accident can have many causes.
It can be down to a simple error from the truck driver. Maybe they were falling asleep at the wheel. Truck drivers do have to work a ton of hours. It might also fall on their employers for pressuring them into working so much.
It also could have been caused by the people who loaded the truck or manufactured the truck. If the truck malfunctions, then it could cause serious damage to the driver and anyone around them. These are all things your experience Mississippi truck accident lawyers can determine through investigation.
A Mississippi truck accident lawyer will be able to investigate in ways you may not be able to. Trucks have black boxes on them that provide a ton of information. They tells us when and where the truck has been, how many hours the driver clocked in, the weight and speed the truck was going at, and so on. This is why it’s so important for you to hire a lawyer as quickly as you can. This black box information can disappear. We don’t want precious information that could be used to help you to disappear.
Mississippi follows the laws of pure comparative negligence when compensating victims of truck accidents. The way pure comparative negligence works is as follows:
- If you are 100% at fault, you will not get any compensation of any amount.
- If you are partially at fault, you will receive a compensation award that is reduced by the percent you’re found at fault for.
- Example: Sam was found to be 30% at fault. As a result, the compensation award was reduced by 30% to account for the fault Sam had.
- If you are 0% at fault, you are going to receive a full compensation award.
Any questions you have about this can be answered by our Mississippi truck accident lawyers.
Frequently Asked Truck Accident Questions
What mistake should I avoid after a truck accident?
When we handle trucking cases, which are their own unique type of case among personal injury cases, we’ll tell clients some of the big mistakes that an injured person, a victim, can make when you’re involved in an accident or an injury or a case. There are three big things to look out for, what I call the three Ds – don’t delay, don’t discuss, and do your diligence. Let’s talk through those three.
When you’re involved in a crash or an injury or a wrongful death involving a tractor trailer company, don’t delay getting medical treatment. That is one of the big things that we see people do that causes problems in their cases. If you are injured, get checked out. Frankly, if you’re involved in a wreck involving a tractor trailer, period, or some other big commercial vehicle, you need to go get checked out. Those vehicles are just so much larger, they weigh so much more, and there’s just so much more force by orders of magnitude involved in a collision involving one of those types of vehicles compared to anything else that’s on the road out there. You need to get checked out, even if it’s a low-speed impact, just to make sure you’re okay, because your body doesn’t always recognize it immediately.
By all means, if you are feeling pain, if you’re having problems of any type, any form of injury, you need to get that checked out and you need to do so immediately. One of the biggest issues we see in cases is people who have legitimate injuries, but they try to play tough, and they try to be strong and put off getting treatment. That causes all kinds of problems with their cases because they’re basically handing the trucking company and their insurance adjusters a reason to deny a claim or try to reduce the value of it by pointing out that the clients didn’t seek treatment for several days or several weeks after. If you have any injuries, seek that medical attention right away. That’s the first— “don’t delay.”
The second “don’t delay” is do not delay in getting legal representation when you’re involved in a tractor trailer wreck. The reason for that is that these types of cases are much more complex, nuanced, and specialized than other types of personal injury cases. You want to make sure that you’re hiring an attorney early on in the case because there’s so many aspects to a tractor trailer or trucking case that need to be addressed early on – preservation of evidence, access to documents, identifying witnesses, and surveying the crash scene by a qualified expert or reconstructionist. You need to be doing all of those things, but you’re only going to be able to do them right if you have qualified counsel helping you. You need to be doing these things because I can assure you in every single wreck involving a tractor trailer or other commercial vehicle, the trucking company and/or their insurance carrier immediately have people doing that for them. They have people doing that because they are looking for ways to reduce the value or deny your claim. Do not delay. Do not give them an advantage by waiting. You need someone on your side who can do that for you. Don’t delay.
The second D is “don’t discuss.” Do not voluntarily give statements to the insurance company for the trucking company or to representatives from the trucking company about the wreck or about your injuries. That’s good advice even in a car wreck or other injury situation, but in these types of cases in particular, other than speaking with law enforcement on the scene, you just do not need to be giving any kind of statement or answering questions or making yourself available to discuss the case with anyone other than law enforcement at the scene and your attorney. Again, these are specialized cases and, because they’re specialized, these trucking companies’ insurance companies have it down to an art form of how to respond to these wrecks. I assure you, they’re not there looking out for your interest, they’re there looking out for themselves. You need for your interests to be protected by only communicating through an attorney. That’s why, one, you don’t delay in getting an attorney, but, two, you don’t just discuss this with anyone other than police at the scene and the attorney that you hire.
That gets us to the third D, your “due diligence.” What I mean by that is making sure you hire the appropriate attorney for this type of case. We have some other materials out there that help walk you through that process, but what you’re looking for in an attorney on a trucking case is an attorney with experience and a proven track record of success in not just personal injury cases and car wrecks, but trucking cases. You need an attorney with the experience and the success record. You also need an attorney that has a caseload that is small enough that they can give your trucking case the attention it deserves. Finally, you need an attorney with a reputation, experience, and a history of working up these cases the right way and getting them ready for trial. It’s only by working up the cases the right way with the right attorney that insurance companies know are ready to go to trial that you going to get full and fair value on these types of cases.
I hope this helps answer an important question of what the biggest dangers or mistakes are that people make when they are injured in a trucking case. The Brad Morris Law Firm is always available for a free consultation. If you have a personal injury case involving an 18-wheeler, we’re here for you and we’re happy to answer your questions.
Should I talk to an insurance company after a truck accident?
On the subject of tractor trailer accidents, we are frequently asked by our clients, “Should I talk to an insurance company after a truck accident?” Most people want to get their claim over with and give the recorded statement that the insurance adjuster is requesting. I cannot emphasize enough just how of an idea that is for anyone that has been injured in a commercial vehicle wreck.
My advice: do not give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster or to the trucking company without having legal counsel involved on your behalf. The problems arise in ways that may not be evident to the person giving the statement at that time. You need your rights to be protected. The most important thing to understand about whether to give a recorded statement is that the insurance company is not asking you to do this to help your claim. They’re asking you to give a recorded statement so they can later use it against you to de-value or deny your claim. The bottom line: they are not on your side—they are trying to help the trucking company. This is reason enough to not engage with them without qualified counsel helping you.
In the context of recorded statements, let me just clear a few things up — I’m not talking about giving a statement to the Highway Patrol or first responders. Obviously, you need to be entirely forthright with them in order to get the facts of your claim on record. I’m talking about the insurance adjuster or representative for the trucking company who will most likely call you after the accident.
One of the reasons you want to have counsel involved is because many of the questions are asked in a way that are designed to illicit a specific response. They can be very misleading. Here is an example: “Have you lost your job after the accident?” The injured person, who may still be in the hospital at the time, will answer “no” because they may not have reached full recovery yet and don’t know their circumstances. Later on, they may find out that they aren’t able to return to work because of their injuries. The insurance company will use your original response as a way to undercut your case.
The bottom line is that I am hard-pressed to think of any situation in which a victim of a Mississippi truck accident should give a recorded statement to the trucking company without having legal counsel involved. It’s just a bad idea. Please feel free to reach out to Brad Morris Law Firm if you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident.
What steps after a truck accident should I take to recover compensation?
Just recently I got off the phone with a potential client who had been injured – actually, a family member had been seriously injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, an 18-wheeler, here in Mississippi. The family member asked what they should do. Their family member was in serious condition after this wreck and getting medical treatment, but it was the trucking company’s fault, and they just didn’t know what to do in this situation. They were hoping we could answer their questions and help, which of course we were glad to do.
First of all, any wreck or injury that involves a tractor trailer truck, or, for that matter, any other large commercial vehicle, is a special type of personal injury case. In other words, it’s not a run-of-the-mill car wreck. Trucking cases are more complex because those vehicles are more heavily regulated. They’re bigger, they weigh more, they’re more dangerous, and so we have different layers of regulation on them. The people who drive those vehicles have to have a special license. The way that you work up one of those cases, the way that you deal with the insurance company or, oftentimes, with the trucking company themselves, if they are self-insured, is just different than a regular car wreck or some other type of injury case.
First and foremost, we want the clients to understand that a trucking case is just different than other personal injury cases; they are different than a car wreck case. The first thing, obviously, to do and to focus on is getting the person who was injured the medical treatment that they need for that injury. In this particular instance and, as is so often the situation when people contact us, that person was in the hospital, focusing on treatment first is important. Immediately after and sometimes even while they’re getting the treatment, just as this person had done, it is so important to contact an experienced trial attorney, who has had success dealing in tractor trailer cases, early on and immediately in these types of cases.
The trucking company and their insurance companies have their own teams that I assure you are immediately dispatched out to the scene. They are investigating. They are trying to figure out any way possible to show that that truck was not responsible for the wreck. It’s just critical in these types of cases that you have an attorney with experience in trucking cases so that they can put their team in action to investigate the claim, to secure evidence, to get experts involved, and to document the scene in order to protect your rights. That’s just the beginning. There’s also a special way that these cases need to be worked up to make sure that the person who has been injured has their rights protected and that they get full value for their claim.
If you’ve been involved in one of those cases, get the medical help you need and then immediately contact a qualified attorney to help. The Brad Morris Law Firm is here, available to do consultations on trucking and tractor trailer wrecks. Just contact us and we’d be glad and available to try to answer your questions.
Can I sue a trucking company after an accident?
I had a recent case where a tractor trailer pulled out from an intersection and just turned right across my client’s car. Even though it wasn’t high speed, it was still a pretty violent collision just because of the weight, the inertia, the truck, and it caused my client some injuries. The client asked me, when we started pursuing the claim, a question that I think is on a lot of people’s minds when they’re dealing with a tractor trailer case or a case involving any type of commercial vehicle or trucking — Can we pursue a claim or sue the trucking company that the driver was working for at the time? The answer to that question is yes. In fact, in most tractor trailer or trucking cases, we’re going to want to pursue the claim against that trucking company, in addition to naming the driver.
The reason for that is, in Mississippi, we have a legal theory that allows recovery for claims when an employee is acting in the course and scope of their employment and they cause injury to someone. The person who was injured can pursue a claim against that employer. It’s an old legal term called respondeat superior. Basically, what it means is that you can hold liability against the person that that agent is working for. When that agent or that employee is working for a company or working for an employer and they’re acting on behalf of that employer in the course of their employment and someone gets injured, that liability flows up to the employer.
If a driver is employed by a trucking company and that driver is on duty, and his actions while driving that truck for the trucking company causes harm to someone else, the trucking company has some liability for that under this legal theory of respondeat superior. Oftentimes, just as a practical matter, both the driver and the company would be named in the lawsuit, although sometimes it’s not necessarily to name the driver. Sometimes, just one or the other is named, but most of the time both parties are going to be included in the lawsuit, and that liability is going to flow up to the company; that driver is going to be covered under the company’s policy. If the company is self-insured, the company is going to be liable for those damages.
So, the answer to that question is yes. A truck driver involved in a wreck, where the truck driver or 18-wheeler driver is at fault, means you can pursue a claim against the company that they’re working for. With this question, like all others, the Brad Morris Law Firm is here to answer those questions and to provide a free consult on your claim or case. We’re here to help.
Should I accept the first settlement offer after a truck accident?
I have a case right now involving a trucking accident, where an 18-wheeler ran a stop sign and hit my client. As we were first getting involved in the case, an offer had been made from the trucking company to the family, and the family member asked me if they should just go ahead and take the offer from the trucking company and get this over with. At that point, we had not been engaged as counsel. This was an offer that the representative from the trucking company or their carrier had made to the family independently, which is not completely unheard of. It’s a little bit rare, although not completely unheard of. If an adjuster or company representative can get to the family before they have an attorney, it’s not unusual for offers to be made.
My advice to that client and to anyone reading this is to not accept any first offer from a trucking company. If you or a family member have been involved in a wreck with a tractor trailer or other commercial vehicle, do not accept a first offer that’s made to you by that trucking company or their insurance carrier. The reason is that you really need a trained and experienced attorney who has handled trucking cases— not just a trial lawyer, but an attorney with experience in trucking cases themselves— before you can really have a sense of what that case is worth. Unless you are an attorney who works in these particular kinds of cases day in day out, it’s hard to understand all the elements that go into valuing these types of claims. In all likelihood, you’re selling yourself short.
Also, if you just think of it from another perspective, the trucking company and insurance carrier, when they are involved in a wreck like that, they are anticipating a claim— especially when they know it was their driver’s fault. They are expecting a claim, and, chances are, if they’re coming to you and making an early, fast offer, what they’re really trying to do is to just buy that claim out from under you at a discount. They know that you probably do not know the true value of that claim. I say that not in a condescending way, but I say that out of concern, because if you don’t work up these claims day in and day out, nobody would know the elements. The insurance companies know that, and they prey on people’s lack of understanding of how to value these claims. They prey on people’s emotions in the moment, that a bad thing happened and you just want it over with and want to move on. They prey on the certainty that most people would take one bird in hand today versus two birds in the bush tomorrow. For them, it’s a way to get out at a lower price.
With an attorney involved, an attorney can look at that offer and can look at the case as a whole. In my firm – there are lots of other firms out there who approach this in an honest way, who deal with trucking cases on a regular basis – we will look at that claim and tell you honestly whether or not they can add value to the offer that’s on the table. I highly encourage you, if you’re in that situation, to talk to an attorney. Don’t just accept the first offer that’s made.
It may be that there are insurance limits. In certain situations, the trucking company or the insurance company knows, hey, we have X amount available under this policy, and it’s a policy limits claim, and they just offer to tender the limits. In that situation, what myself or most other experienced attorneys would do is just tell you, hey, this is all you’re going to get, so, yes, you should accept that, and no attorney should have to take a fee out of it. They’re offering it, so take it. But more than likely what is happening is they’re not offering anywhere close to the limits that are available. They’re simply trying to pay it fast and get it over with and save money from having to pay you full value later, and that’s where having an experienced qualified attorney who works in these trucking cases on a regular basis can really add value to your case. We can look at the whole situation, fully investigate the claim, pull in all the different aspects of injuries and damages and make sure that you’re getting paid fair value. It’s at least worth the consultation of talking to someone.
Here at Brad Morris Law Firm, we’re always available with a free consultation on trucking cases or any other personal injury cases, and we’ll do our best to answer your questions. I hope this video has helped answer, at least, this very important question that some people have to address up front. It’s not in your interest to accept the initial offer, or really any offer, from a trucking company or insurance carrier, here in Mississippi, without consulting an attorney first.
How long will a truck accident case take?
We’ve had a lot of success pursuing cases on behalf of victims involved in trucking cases, cases involving 18-wheelers or tractor trailers or other commercial vehicles, where our clients or a family member have been injured or killed. A question that gets asked a lot in those types of cases is how long a typical tractor trailer or commercial trucking case takes to bring to conclusion. The reality is there’s no simple, one-size-fits-all answer to that. The length of time that a case like that will take has a lot to do with just how complex a case it is, and that’s going to depend on the types of injuries that are involved.
For instance, not to be macabre, but a case where a person was killed on the scene in an accident that was caused by a tractor trailer, there’s no ongoing medical treatment in that situation. The damages are done, it’s over with. Typically, oddly enough, a death case is a case that frequently can be taken to conclusion faster than a case of, say, someone who was injured who is now paralyzed or someone who is hospitalized for a long period of time who’s having to go through extensive rehab and physical therapy and is impacted for the rest of their life by that event. Those cases are most likely going to take longer.
In all likelihood, it’s probably going to take two to three years to work to conclusion. This is because you ideally want the victim to get to a point of maximum medical recovery, they’ve improved as much as is possible under medical treatment. It’s only at that point that you get a sense of what their needs are moving forward, including what type of ongoing treatment they might need and what impact those injuries will have on their life moving forward. Once you know those answers, it still takes a little bit of time to work the claim through the system and before you can get an appropriate verdict and/or settlement.
The time period that a tractor trailer case takes to resolve, here in Mississippi or any other state for that matter, again, is just going to depend on the complexity of the case itself, and that is largely dependent on what type of injuries we’re dealing with, what type of long-term impact on the victim we’re dealing with and, also, just the circumstances of the event itself. Some crashes are straightforward; some require more extensive study in terms of building a reconstruction of the event itself.
Regardless, the most important thing is that you have competent, experienced, knowledgeable legal help throughout that process. That’s why it’s so important to have an attorney, especially in these tractor trailer or commercial vehicle cases. You want an attorney involved early on in your case, who can work the case up the appropriate way so that the case is in the best position to get resolved once you’re at the point where it should be moving forward. Only people who have worked extensively in personal injury and trial lawyers with actual experience in tractor trailer cases are going to be in the best position to do that and to get you fair value for those types of claims.
If you have a tractor trailer claim, where you or someone you love has been injured or someone you love has been killed, the Brad Morris Law Firm is available for a free consultation on those claims. We’ll do our best to answer this question and others that you may have about it. I hope this answers at least some of your questions here today.
Can I sue a trucking company for wrongful death?
I just met with a client a week or so ago on a trucking case that we’re handling, and the client asked a question that I thought I would share here today because it’s a great question regarding trucking cases or cases where someone has been injured or killed by an 18-wheeler, tractor trailer, or some other large commercial vehicle. The question was how is this case any different from a regular car wreck? There is so much packed into that question that really gets to the heart of why these trucking cases are different. Let me just walk through a few of these points with you here today.
A tractor trailer case is a unique animal among personal injury cases. It’s different because the trucks that are involved are bigger, heavier, more extensively regulated, have drivers who have to pass an additional level of certification to get a commercial driver’s license to operate those bigger, heavier vehicles, and all of that is in place because the size, the weight, the way that they’re made just poses a unique risk on the roads. There’s an entire agency in our federal government, the Federal Highway Transportation Safety Administration, and within it the Federal Motor Carriers Administration, that are all set up to regulate these vehicles because they pose unique dangers on our highways when not operated properly.
One big difference in these cases is, typically, the damages that we see. Because trucks are bigger and heavier, injuries are much worse than when you just have two cars involved or two regular passenger vehicles involved. It’s just a matter of physics. The fact that you have layers of regulation on these companies and their drivers, too, creates a different type of case and setting for showing negligence, for showing wrongful conduct on the part of the driver or the company when a wreck is the fault of that tractor trailer. You need someone experienced in those regulations and in the context of tractor trailer cases handling the claim in order to work through those nuances.
Another big difference, separate from the wreck itself, is the fact that in most cases where a tractor trailer or other large commercial vehicle is involved you may be dealing with an insurance carrier that only covers tractor trailer vehicles or commercial vehicles. There is a subset of insurance carriers out there that really deal heavily in this field and specialize in those types of claims, and you’ve got to know what you’re doing when dealing with them. Also, a significant number of the larger trucking companies are just companies that own their own trucks, big corporations that run their own trucks, are self-insured, so you may not be dealing with an insurance company at all; you may be dealing with corporate representatives or a third-party claim handler who is handling the claims on behalf of that self-insured company, which gets into completely different dynamics than the typical car wreck case where you’re working with a lot of different insurance carriers who cover automobiles. That’s a big difference.
In terms of working up the case itself, these tractor trailer cases are nuanced. Typically, you’re going to have more experts involved, more specialized experts. For instance, your crash reconstructionists or accident reconstructionists are going to be typically more specialized on a tractor trailer case. In other words, there may be reconstructionists who do car wrecks but who don’t have the training, qualifications, and experience to do wrecks involving these larger vehicles. Also, the type of experts involved is different. We frequently get into biomechanical experts because you have a lot of different forces that are happening in a different way in a tractor trailer wreck versus a car wreck. You get into trucking safety experts that need to be involved to make sure that the trucking company followed the rules that they need to follow, in terms of hiring and training and supervising their drivers.
There’s a lot to it, and the bottom line answer is that, for a seasoned attorney and trial lawyer who does these types of cases, there’s no comparison. They’re two different things. A car wreck and a truck wreck are just two different types of cases that you work up in a different way. If you have one of those cases, you really need an attorney and a law firm that knows that difference and that has experience in it. The Brad Morris Law Firm is here. We offer free consultations. If you’ve been involved in a wreck that has hurt or killed a family member, or hurt yourself, we’re here for a consultation. We’re available to try to answer any questions that you have about it. I hope this information has been helpful to you.
Is the trucking company liable for an accident that caused wrongful death?
Over the course of my practice, we have represented a number of families who have lost family members as a result of accidents involving tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, or other large commercial vehicles. One of the questions that invariably comes up in those situations is whether we will be pursuing a claim against the driver of the truck or whether we will be pursuing a claim against the trucking company. I think that’s a questions that naturally a lot of people have, just wanting to understand their claim and how it will be moving forward and what’s involved.
The answer to the question is, usually, we’re going to be pursuing against both, where a driver is driving a company vehicle involved in a crash. That could be true, frankly, even if it’s in a regular passenger car. If that driver is on the job at the time of the wreck, and it’s a company-owned car, you would likely pursue an action against the driver and the company that they work for, but that’s especially true when we’re talking about tractor trailer cases. The reason for that is there’s a notion under the law that when you have an employee or an agent of an employer or a company who is out working in the course of their job for that employer, and they hurt someone as part of doing their job, it’s the employer who ends up having liability for that injury.
This really comes into play particularly in the context of tractor trailer crashes, and especially wrongful death actions, where someone has died as the result of misconduct or actions by a truck driver or trucking company. Typically, you’re going to want to pursue the claim against both that driver and the trucking company, although usually, at the end of the day, it’s going to be the trucking company itself or their insurance carrier that’s going to be responsible for those injuries and for paying the claim. This is just a prime example of one of the many nuances that are involved when you’re dealing with a case where a tractor trailer or other large commercial vehicle has injured or killed someone.
These are unique cases. You really need an attorney involved who has specialization and experience in that particular type of case, because who you file the claim against and how you go about the claim does matter. By way of example, to distinguish from what I just said, there could be a situation where the truck driver actually owns that truck himself and is self-employed or has his own business and is driving and just working as a contractor or freelancer doing loads. That would be a different situation, possibly, than the first example given because the company that you’re hauling the load for may not be viable in that sense because the driver is not actually employed by them. It just really depends on the circumstances.
Having an attorney with experience in this particular type of case, in a tractor trailer death case, is so important to getting full value and justice for your claim. If you have that type of situation, Brad Morris Law Firm is here and available to answer your questions. We never charge for an initial consultation on personal injury cases, and our main goal is to try to get you answers you need and get you the help you need. I hope this information is helpful for you here today.
How much is my truck accident injury claim worth?
A question we are often asked about tractor trailer or trucking cases is how much a case is worth. In Mississippi, if there is a death involved, we have a statute that spells out the damages that can be recovered under our wrongful death statute. Those damages are payable to the beneficiaries that are defined under this statute, and the beneficiaries depend on the situation. For some people it’s a spouse and children; for those who do not have a spouse or children, the statute sets forth different levels of family members who the benefits extend to.
Under our wrongful death statute, the recovery is a total recovery or Omnibus recovery for both the person who died, any claims that arise from them, but also on behalf of the beneficiaries. What I mean by that is, for instance, if a person is killed as a result of a crash caused by a tractor trailer, the family members of the person who died have lost income of that person, and the person who died presumably had some form of pain and suffering in the process of that death. That would be one aspect of the claim that’s recoverable in the claim. There’s also the lost companionship, the emotional trauma to those family members as the result of losing a loved one. Each of those family members have their own relationship with that person and, under our law, the recovery for that wrongful death would be one recovery that takes into account the lost emotional value, the lost relationship, the lost economics as it relates to each of those family members and, also, to the individual decedent themselves.
Separately from a death case, an injured person who was the victim of an accident or crash caused by a trucking company or their driver would certainly be able to recover all of their economic harms, by way of any medical expense or medical treatment that they require as a result of that injury, both past expenses and future expenses. They’re able to recover any lost wages or earnings during that period of recovery, as well as any future lost wages as a result of not being able to work or as a result of any type of diminished capacity. Under Mississippi law, as in a lot of states, there are values or an allotment that can be placed on recovery that’s allowed for what we call non-economic damages. That gets into your pain and suffering, loss of consortium, any impediment on the relationship that you have, for instance, with a spouse or with other family members, and loss of enjoyment of life. All of those things fall into a lump sum non-economic that ultimately would be up to a jury. Depending on the facts, the situation, and the circumstances, that would have a big impact on what those values are.
At the end of the day, because these cases are complex and because they are unique and specialized, it really does take a trial lawyer who is experienced in handling tractor trailer or trucking personal injury cases to be able to put together the best possible case and ensure a fair recovery. If you have that type of case, reach out early to an experienced trial lawyer who deals with trucking cases. The Brad Morris Law Firm is here to answer your questions. We do free consults on all of our personal injury cases, including our trucking cases, and we’re available to help.
Call Our Mississippi Truck Accident Lawyers Today
At Brad Morris Law Firm, PLLC, we take the time to properly research your case and assess the situation from every angle. We go far beyond the bare minimum and take advantage of our many resources – industry experts, focus groups, and powerful databases to name a few – to ensure that our case is built to withstand the opposition’s case. We do not cut corners, instead diligently and meticulously analyzing every aspect of the case to reach a favorable outcome.
We understand that you are likely struggling with physical injuries, financial burdens, and even emotional wounds. Our Oxford truck accident attorneys take your case seriously and make themselves available to you 24/7 to address any questions or concerns you may have.
If you need a reliable Mississippi truck accident lawyer to guide you through this difficult time, please call us. We want to help you get the results you deserve. Set up a free consultation with us today to get started.