Oxford, MS Truck Accident Lawyers
While we need the trucking industry to deliver the products we use every day, there’s no doubt that trucks, truck drivers, and trucking companies are responsible for a significant number of trucking accidents each year. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident in Mississippi, we recommend that you speak with a qualified Oxford truck accident lawyer right away.
At Smith Murphy Law, our truck accident attorneys understand the complexities and seriousness of these cases. We know that dealing with insurance companies and the claims process can be overwhelming. Our law firm has experience handling these cases and will be your strongest advocate. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Why Truck Accidents in Mississippi Are So Serious
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 5,237 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2019, a 2 percent increase from the prior year. In fact, there was a 47 percent increase in fatal truck crashes from 2009 to 2019, with nearly 100 of these tragedies happening annually in Mississippi. And these figures don’t take into account the truck accidents that result in serious injuries and property damage.
Given the size and weight of 18-wheelers and commercial trucks, it’s not difficult to understand why so many truck accidents result in death or catastrophic injuries. Semi-trucks have wide turn radiuses, more blind spots, and less stopping ability than passenger vehicles.
Common Causes of Mississippi Truck Accidents
The majority of large truck crashes are completely preventable when truck drivers and trucking companies follow proper procedures established by the FMCSA. When those regulations are not followed, an accident becomes more likely. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Mississippi include:
- Distracted Driving — Texting, eating, and looking at maps while driving a large truck are common causes of serious and fatal accidents.
- Driver Fatigue — Truckers are asked to keep tight delivery schedules, and many drivers travel long distances without rest, even though this violates federal regulations. Fatigued driving hinders a driver’s ability to react and process their surroundings.
- Driving Under the Influence — Many truck drivers turn to alcohol or drugs to stay alert or combat the boredom of long hours on the road. This can have deadly consequences for other drivers.
- Speeding — The NHTSA reports that one in five truck drivers in fatal crashes had at least one prior speeding conviction. Speeding and reckless driving can increase the frequency and severity of these crashes.
- Equipment Failure — An equipment defect or failure due to lack of maintenance can cause a serious truck crash.
- Improper Cargo Loading — Commercial vehicles can carry incredibly heavy materials, which must be loaded properly. Improper cargo loading can increase the risk of truck rollovers and jackknifing.
- Poor Driver Training — An inexperienced or poorly-trained driver may not know how to properly handle their vehicle in inclement weather or other challenging road conditions.
Severe Injuries from Truck Crashes Can Last a Lifetime
A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The size and weight of these vehicles make truck accidents terrifying and their results so long-lasting. Accidents can happen from rollovers, lost loads, rear-end crashes, underrides, jackknifes, head-on collisions, and more. Some of the most common injuries that result from commercial trucking accidents include:
- Broken or crushed bones
- Internal bleeding
- Soft tissue or internal organ damage
- Lost limbs
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
Determining Liability After a Truck Crash
There’s nothing simple about a truck accident case. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 82 percent of fatal crashes involving trucks are multi-vehicle crashes. Even though a trucker or trucking company may be at fault, there are multiple parties that could be held responsible. And each party has an insurance company and team of lawyers ready to defend their position.
It’s not uncommon for evidence to disappear quickly after a truck accident. A trucking company might get a truck off of the road and demolish it or repair it before an investigator can document evidence. At the same time, witnesses might be difficult to locate or logbooks challenging to obtain.
There are a number of parties who may be responsible for a truck accident. Among them are the truck driver, trucking company, truck owner, shipper, cargo loader, and vehicle or parts manufacturers.
Vicarious liability makes the employer responsible for the driver as long as they were working within the scope of their employment when the accident occurred. You may hold the truck company liable for your damages if the truck driver that caused the crash was employed. An experienced truck accident attorney will be able to help you determine all the parties that may be held liable for your accident, including large corporations and shipping companies.
Truck drivers are bound by special rules and regulations on a federal scale. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ensured the safe operation of large commercial vehicles by putting several laws into place. For instance, one of the key safety measures of FMCSA for preventing drowsy driving is the hours-of-service regulations.
An experienced truck accident attorney understands the challenges involved with pursuing truck accidents cases. The team at Smith Murphy Law provides aggressive and effective representation to clients throughout Mississippi who have been victims of these tragedies.
Insurance Considerations in Truck Accidents
Trucking companies are required to carry the right type of insurance. In relation to this, the insurer doesn’t necessarily need to reveal the amount of coverage until litigation begins.
MSC90 endorsement is another unique aspect of truck insurance. This states that an insurance company is required to provide coverage even to those vehicles which are not listed on the policy. These intricacies may be confusing for the average person, but they are routine for a proven truck accident attorney.
What Damages Are Available in Truck Accidents Cases?
When you or a loved one have been seriously hurt, you need strong legal counsel who will level the playing field to secure the compensation you need and deserve. The at-fault parties are responsible for paying your full and fair damages, which may include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Reduced earning capacity
- Severe emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Your attorney will attempt to negotiate a fair settlement when the time is right. But, if the other side isn’t reasonable, we will never hesitate to take your case to court.
Speak With an Experienced Mississippi Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, you may be facing a range of physical, emotional, and financial consequences. At Smith Murphy Law, we take your case seriously and are committed to holding the responsible parties accountable for the harm they’ve caused.
Unlike most standard car accident cases, truck crashes can involve multiple insurance companies, large corporations, and violations of various federal laws and regulations. In short, they are complex and require a well-thought-out legal strategy to achieve the best possible results.
Our law firm has a proven track record of successful settlements in these cases, and we are ready to provide the assistance you need. We don’t charge any fees upfront and are only paid if we are successful in obtaining compensation on your behalf.
Contact our Oxford, MS office at (662) 832-7879 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation and case assessment.