Legal Representation for Truck Accident Victims along the Mississippi Gulf Coast
On Interstate 10 as well as South Mississippi’s local highways, driving alongside big rigs and other large trucks is unavoidable—a necessary hazard you might say. That’s because large trucks have unique characteristics which may contribute to motor vehicle accidents if truck drivers fail to operate their vehicles safely. Understanding the differences between big rigs and regular passenger cars can help prevent truck accidents. Being aware of bad practices in the trucking industry can help us understand how and why so many truck accidents occur.
At Gardner Law Firm, have extensive experience with truck accident cases in Mississippi. Our lawyers have a strong track record of success going up against even the most well-funded adversaries, including trucking companies and their armies of high-priced attorneys. We work closely with our clients to fully assess the unique circumstances of the case and determine the best path toward a favorable resolution.
Accident cases involving 18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks can become very complicated, because there are often multiple parties that are responsible. For example, an accident may be the fault of the driver, the trucking company, those who service the vehicle, the vehicle (or vehicle part) designer, manufacturer, supplier, or distributor, or more than one of these. We go to work immediately to get to the bottom of what happened and preserve vital information that will be needed to help prove the case. This puts our clients in the best possible position to secure full compensation.
Truck Braking Time & Turning Radius
Long braking time and limited turning radius are two major causes of truck accidents in Mississippi and nationwide. It takes large trucks about 1.5 seconds more to brake than a passenger vehicle. Because of this lag, a big rig needs the length of one or two football fields to come to a complete stop once the truck driver steps on the brake.
Keep this in mind when passing an 18-wheeler or another large commercial truck on the highway. Simply because you have cleared the front of the truck does not mean it is safe to return to the right-hand lane. You should wait until you are at least three or four car lengths ahead of the truck before you make your lane switch. If you do this, the truck will not be forced to slow down in order to maintain a safe distance behind you in the event you are both required to stop.
Tractor trailers also require a much larger area to negotiate a turn than passenger vehicles. For example, if an 18-wheeler is making a right turn, it must first move into the left lane in order to achieve the necessary clearance. A passenger vehicle may try to pass on the right, not realizing the driver of the truck is also making a right. In the worst-case scenario, the passenger vehicle then gets trapped beneath the trailer’s rear tires and crushed.
Questionable Practices in the Trucking Industry
In 2017, companies spent a record $1.5 trillion on shipping products, up 6.2% from the previous year. Trucking industry revenues also hit a record high that year of $676 billion, and the industry now accounts for more than 7% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The commercial trucking industry is booming, but unfortunately, those at the top seem to be more concerned with their bottom line than ensuring the safety of their drivers.
In addition to the unavoidable dangers of the road and the difficulty of operating a big rig, certain practices within the commercial trucking industry may contribute to the frequency of truck accidents. For example, trucking companies often emphasize speed of delivery over safety, causing truck drivers to engage in risky driving behaviors to log miles and meet deadlines.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Truck Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers are often required to work long hours, and driver fatigue is a leading cause of accidents.
- Meeting Unrealistic Deadlines: Truck drivers must meet economic deadlines, often causing them to take unnecessary chances like speeding and driving recklessly.
- Distracted Driving: In today’s electronic age, it seems that drivers cannot seem to stay off of their phones. Texting while driving and other types of distracted driving while operating a large truck can result in deadly consequences.
- DUI/DWI: Truck drivers tend to put in long hours on the road. Unfortunately, some drivers turn to alcohol to take the edge off. Another problem is drivers becoming addicted to ‘uppers’ that help them stay awake.
- Unevenly Loaded/Overloaded Trucks: In order to stay on schedule, trucks are sometimes loaded in a hurry. This can result in trucks becoming overloaded or weighted too much to one side or the other, which is a common cause of trucks being tipped to the side or rolling over.
- Negligent Truck Maintenance: 18-wheelers and other commercial trucks log thousands of miles on the road every month. For this reason, it is critical that they be properly serviced to maintain their safety.
- Motor Vehicle Defects: Faulty vehicle parts are another contributor to truck accidents. Examples include computer system malfunctions, brake line leaks, tire blowouts, and many others.
- Inadequate Hiring Practices: Trucking companies have a need for labor and sometimes cut corners when hiring.
Trucking companies are required to keep accurate records with details of every haul their drivers make. If you have been injured or a loved one was killed in a collision with an 18-wheeler, big rig, or tractor trailer, one of the first things we will do is secure the truck company’s records as well as police reports and toxicology exams.
Common Trucking Accident Injuries
Because of the sheer size of the vehicles involved, 18-wheeler accidents tend to be far more lethal that regular car accidents. Drivers of passenger cars are far more likely to take the brunt of these collisions, often resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. Some of the most common truck accident injuries include:
- Bruises, Cuts, and Lacerations
- Head and Brain Injuries
- Back and Neck Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Rib and Torso Injuries
- Internal Injuries
- Loss of Limbs
- Airbag and Seatbelt Injuries
- Wrongful Death
Call Gardner Law Firm for Help after a Truck Accident
If you or a loved one has sustained a personal injury in a trucking accident, contact Gardner Law Firm at 228-436-6555 for a free consultation or talk to us via chat. We will thoroughly assess the specifics of your case and advise you on your legal options. Our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience representing injury victims in Biloxi, Pascagoula, and all along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.
We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency basis – so you never have to pay upfront attorney fees to receive the skilled legal representation you deserve