What Do I Do If I’m in an Accident with a Commercial Truck in Mississippi?
Trucking accidents are crashes that involve tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles on Mississippi roads. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that accidents involving commercial trucks were responsible for more than 4,000 deaths and 138,000 injuries in 2015 alone.
Any motor vehicle accident can be devastating for the victims. Your life changes in a split second when the actions of another driver create injuries and emotional trauma that could impact you for the rest of your life. Lawsuits resulting from a crash with a commercial vehicle can bring additional complications, which is why it is essential to handle these cases with care from the very start.
How Accidents With Commercial Vehicles Are Different
Accidents with commercial vehicles differ from those involving other passenger cars in several ways. A fully loaded commercial truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, which means that the destruction and injuries it can cause are substantial. The types of accidents that these large trucks cause are also quite different than those involving other cars. For example, some of the most common types of commercial truck accidents are:
- Jackknife accidents
- Rollover and rollunder accidents
- Fuel fires
- Braking malfunctions
Many commercial truck drivers aren’t sole operators but are instead employed by trucking companies or private businesses. This is another layer of complexity for commercial truck accident cases because some of these large trucking companies are nationally-owned with deep pockets. The first instinct of many trucking companies after an accident is to minimize losses, deny responsibility, and even obscure evidence. These are just a few of the reasons why it’s critical that these cases are handled properly from the beginning.
Finally, commercial truck accidents are different because of the various laws that regulate the industry and the different parties that could be held responsible for damages. Drivers of commercial vehicles in this country must hold a certain license, and adhere to rules that regulate their driving hours. If a driver breaks these rules or any other applicable laws, they could be held responsible for a crash.
What to Do Immediately After the Accident
Whenever you are involved in a collision, it’s important that you remain as calm as possible so that you can take care of some important duties. Your ability to collect information and document the scene will be helpful if you decide to seek compensation for your losses in the future.
If you are not incapacitated, call the police immediately. Ask your passengers and the other driver if they are okay or if they need medical attention. Calling an ambulance might be the safest choice if anyone, yourself included, is unsure.
Exchange information with the commercial truck driver, making sure to get their license number and insurance information. If they have an employer, ask for that information as well. Also, get the details of any witnesses so that they can be contacted in the future.
Take as many photos as possible of the accident scene and the damages to both vehicles. If you or your passengers have injuries, also document these with photos. Finally, avoid admitting fault or speaking to any representatives of the trucking company without first consulting with a knowledgeable Mississippi truck accident attorney.
Protecting Your Rights After a Commercial Truck Accident
Every commercial truck accident is unique and will have some repercussions for those involved in the traumatic event. If you or a loved one have been injured in a commercial trucking accident, it’s in the direct financial interests of the trucking company and their insurer to try to settle with you as quickly as possible. This is not in your best interests since you may be entitled to compensation for losses that included medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Because of the potential complexity of truck crashes and their aftermath, you should seek the advice of a qualified Mississippi truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after the crash. The Gardener Law firm not only has experience handling some of the most complicated truck accident cases in the state, but also works tirelessly on behalf of injury victims in Biloxi, Pascagoula, and all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Contact us today at 228-436-6555 or online to schedule a free consultation.