Truck Accident Attorney in Hattiesburg
Each week, thousands of tractor-trailers roll through Hattiesburg and other Mississippi communities, transporting essential goods to our cities and towns. Trucking is a $700 billion industry, and truckers move more than 70% of the freight in America. The industry also provides more than 7 million full-time jobs, accounting for approximately 6% of all full-time workers in the US.
There is no doubt that we depend on commercial trucks to bring us the things we need each day to maintain the quality of life we enjoy. But that said, trucking is also very dangerous industry. An 18-wheeler that is fully loaded can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, and when a vehicle this massive collides with a standard passenger vehicle at a significant speed, the damage is likely to be extensive, and those who are riding in the other vehicle are likely to take the brunt of it.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more than 4,000 individuals are killed in the US each year in large truck accidents. Of those who are killed, 67% are occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, while 16% are occupants of large trucks. Another 15% of the fatalities are among pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a truck accident in Hattiesburg or a nearby Mississippi community, you may have a right to compensation. But trucking companies and their insurers expend a lot of resources to fight accident claims that could cost them a lot, and they will do everything they can to minimize the amount of damages they have to pay you. Before you speak with anyone who represents the party responsible for your accident, it is important for you to fully understand your legal rights and options. Contact the Gardner Law Firm to schedule a free consultation and case assessment.
At the Gardner Law Firm, we have more than four decades of experience successfully representing individuals who have been injured in truck accidents in Hattiesburg and communities throughout Southern Mississippi. Our lawyers have an in-depth understanding of the complexities involved with these types of cases, and we work closely with our clients to provide the strong personalized representation they need and deserve.
Big rig truck accident cases tend to be far more complicated than standard auto accidents. Injuries tend to be more severe and the damage far more extensive. There are also numerous laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry, and there are several parties that may share fault for the accident. We are not intimidated by well-funded adversaries such as large trucking companies and their insurers, and we fight hard for every dollar of compensation our clients deserve.
Who is At Fault for a Hattiesburg, MS Truck Accident?
Although some trucking accidents are unavoidable, the vast majority of them are preventable and caused by some type of human error. Some of the most common reasons large truck crashes occur include:
- Driver Distraction: Widespread smartphone use has made distracted driving a leading killer on the roadways. When someone is focused completely on their phones, they are often unable to pay attention to other vehicles that are on the roads.
- Drowsy Driving: Driving while drowsy or fatigued happens far more often than most people realize, and this problem is especially common among commercial truck drivers and others who work long hours. Drowsy driving can result in falling asleep at the wheel, but even if that does not happen, just being sleepy minimizes your peripheral vision, causing you to miss important details on the roads.
- Unsafe Driving: Speed is one of the leading driver-related factors in large truck crashes, and speeding is common among commercial truckers who are trying to meet unrealistic deadlines to deliver their loads on time. Tight deadlines can also prompt other forms of aggressive/reckless driving, such as tailgating, unsafe lane changes, and illegal/dangerous passing maneuvers.
- Chemical Impairment: Substance abuse is another factor that is often present with trucking accidents. In order to relieve their stress and take the edge off, some drivers turn to alcohol, prescription, or illegal drugs. It is well known that intoxication impairs a motorist’s ability to drive safely and generally results in poorer driving decisions.
- Unbalanced Loads: Some trucking accidents happen because of overloaded trucks or trucks that are loaded unevenly. This could happen because a shipping company wants to transport more goods in the same load, or they are in a hurry to get the truck loaded and off to its destination on time.
- Mechanical Failure: Commercial trucks that are in full operation typically log thousands of miles over the road each month. With so much wear and tear, it is extremely important that these trucks are inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Closely related to this, some truck accidents can happen because of a faulty or defective vehicle or vehicle part that breaks down in the wrong place and at the wrong time.
After a trucking accident, a thorough investigation must be performed as soon as possible in order to preserve critical pieces of evidence and identify all parties responsible. This is why it is very important to work with an attorney who has successfully handled cases like these before, so they know what to look for and what steps must be taken to secure a favorable outcome.
Once the accident has been fully investigated, we may find that there are several parties that are at fault for the accident. This is important, because the ability to hold all responsible parties fully accountable puts our clients in a much better position to recover full and fair compensation for their injuries.
Some of the parties that may be responsible for a truck accident include:
- The truck driver and/or drivers of other vehicles;
- The trucking company that employs the driver (important note: even if the company claims that the driver is an independent contractor, this may not always be true);
- The owner or lessor of the truck;
- The party that was responsible for maintaining the truck;
- The freight/shipping company that was responsible for loading the truck;
- The party responsible for maintaining the roadways;
- The manufacturer, supplier, or distributor of a faulty vehicle or vehicle part.
Speak with a Seasoned Hattiesburg, MS Truck Accident Attorney
Large truck crashes can be among the deadliest types of accidents that occur on the roadways, and these cases are typically more complex and difficult to pursue. If you or someone close to you was injured or killed in a commercial trucking accident in Hattiesburg or anywhere in southern Mississippi, contact the Gardner Law Firm for assistance. Call our office today at 228-436-6555 or message us online for your free consultation and case evaluation. We look forward to serving you!
We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency basis – you only pay attorney fees if we win your case