Experienced and Skilled Biloxi Truck Accident Attorneys Ready to Fight for Your Claim
Much like Las Vegas, Biloxi is a city that never sleeps. By day you can enjoy our sandy Gulf Coast beaches, our historic museums, our year-round celebrations, and our championship golf courses. By night, you can gamble to your heart’s content at any of our world-class, 24-hour casinos. But wherever your activities take you, it’s important to be vigilant on the road because an accident can change your life in an instant.
And while an auto vehicle accident is always traumatic to those involved, a crash that involves a truck can be particularly catastrophic. If this happens to you or a loved one, you must first seek medical care. The second thing you should do is call an experienced Biloxi truck accident law firm. The Biloxi trucking collision attorneys at Smith & Holder, PLLC, stand at the ready to help you put your life back together with as little pain as possible.
Truck Accidents and Negligence
The cold hard truth of the matter is that semi-trucks – by virtue of their sheer size and power – can cause extremely serious accidents. When a semi collides with a much smaller passenger car, the results are often catastrophic. But who is to blame? Determining liability is a key factor in truck collision accident cases, and there are typically three places to look when making this assessment. Let a knowledgeable Biloxi truck accident attorney handle your case.
We’ve all heard of automobile recalls. Sometimes a vehicle manufacturer can design a car with inherent flaws that can result in crashes. Or even if there is no design flaw, parts and systems can malfunction and cause an accident. Well, the same is true of truck manufacturers. When a faulty system is determined to have played a part in a truck crash accident, victims have the right to seek recovery from the manufacturer.
Trucking companies have been known to run on tight schedules. We’ve all heard the horror stories. Truck drivers can be pushed to the brink of human abilities by their employers. If deliveries are made on time or even earlier than expected, it can be very good for business – but deadly to innocent people on the road.
Trucking companies must also keep their equipment in proper working order. So if a company neglects to ensure that their trucks are properly maintained or overwork their drivers, they can be at fault and liable for your injuries.
And lastly, we have driver negligence as a contributing or causal factor in truck accidents. Regardless of their schedule, drivers owe a duty of care to the public to refrain from driving if they have not gotten enough rest. Drivers who push themselves past human limits sometimes even resort to drugs to help them stay awake. Drowsy driving, distracted driving, and drunk or drugged driving are all extremely dangerous in general. But when a semi-truck is involved, the stakes are exponentially higher.
Regardless of which defendants are named in a personal injury lawsuit, most Biloxi accident cases require the injured party to prove that the defendant was legally negligent. According to the instructions that Mississippi courts provide to jurors, negligence is doing something that a reasonably careful party would not do under similar circumstances or failing to do something that a reasonably careful party would do under similar circumstances.
Proving that a truck driver or trucking company was negligent typically requires a plaintiff to establish that the defendant owed them a duty of care, the defendant violated that duty, and that the defendant’s violation of the duty resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. This analysis is broken down into four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Most Biloxi truck accident cases come down to the breach and causation elements because all motorists owe others on the road a duty of care. Similarly, because truck accidents often result in serious injuries, establishing that someone suffered damages in a truck accident case is usually a matter of measuring the extent of the damages.
Multiple Negligent Parties
While some accidents involve only the fault of one party, that is not always the case. In fact, it is common for truck drivers and trucking companies to argue that the injury victim was partially at fault for the collision. Thus, another crucial element of Mississippi personal injury law is the doctrine of comparative negligence. Comparative negligence is a doctrine courts use to apportion liability between parties. For example, if an accident victim is found to be ten percent liable in a truck accident, that party will still be able to recover for their injuries; however, the court will reduce their total damages award by their own percentage of fault – in this case, ten percent. Thus, it is critical for victims to work with an experienced Biloxi truck accident lawyer who can anticipate and prepare for the defenses that truck drivers and trucking companies most often rely upon to reduce their liability.
Let Professionals Determine Liability
So as you can see, determining liability plays a significant role in helping you to get the compensation for your injuries that you deserve when you’ve been involved in a truck accident. This requires the assistance of an experienced Biloxi truck accident law firm. There are so many things that can be at fault for your accident. They must be taken into consideration so that your recovery is sufficient to cover your costs now and into the future. Let our highly professional Biloxi trucking collision attorneys handle your injury case.
In addition to what was listed above, here are some more common causes of truck accidents:
- Bad weather conditions,
- Bad road conditions,
- Driver exhaustion,
- Inadequate driver training,
- Driver inexperience,
- Loss of control,
- Bad brakes,
- Tire blowouts,
- Overloaded trucks,
- Poorly maintained trucks,
- Aggressive driving,
- Sudden traffic stops, and
- Failure to yield
As you can see, there are many things that can cause a trucking accident, and sometimes it is a combination of elements. It is very important that you have a professional on your side to ensure that all evidence is properly examined and that an accurate assessment of liability is made. This is the only way that you can be sure to be properly compensated for your accident.
Potential Compensation in a Biloxi Truck Accident
Understandably, many prospective clients want to know what types of compensation they might be eligible to receive in a truck accident claim. There are two main types of damages. The first type is special damages. This category consists of tangible financial losses, such as medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. You prove these damages by providing bills, work records, receipts, doctors’ notes, and experts’ reports.
The second type of compensation is for general damages. These are harder to calculate because they have no corresponding financial losses. The value of general damages is subjective because it consists of losses such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, etc. However, there is a limit on general damages in Mississippi. In most personal injury cases, the maximum amount is $1 million.
In very limited circumstances, you might be eligible to receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are available only in certain cases with evidence that the at-fault party acted with gross negligence or actual malice, or showed willful, wanton, or reckless disregard for your safety or the safety of other people.
Statute of Limitations in Mississippi
Another reason to consider hiring skilled Biloxi trucking accident lawyers is to ensure you don’t miss the legal deadline for filing a lawsuit. Like with other types of personal injury cases, you have only a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit. For truck accident claims, it’s generally three years from the date of the accident (Mississippi Code 15-1-35).
Failure to file before the statute of limitations runs out means the court will likely throw out your entire case and bar you from recovering any compensation. While three years seems like a long time, it can pass quickly—especially in cases with severe injuries. You may still be undergoing treatment or in the middle of negotiations when the deadline draws near.
Also, not every case falls under that three-year timeframe. If your case falls under some exception that shortens your filing deadline, you won’t know. The defendant is under no obligation to continue negotiations or offer you any money once the deadline passes and you cannot show proof that you filed a lawsuit timely. Given that many truck claims involve permanent injuries, missing the deadline can be catastrophic. The best thing is to contact a skilled Biloxi truck accident law firm after the accident. Then you’ll have a legal advocate protecting your rights from the start.
Let Our Biloxi Truck Accident Attorneys Help
The Biloxi trucking accident lawyers at Smith & Holder, PLLC, have decades of experience helping people just like you. We won’t stop until your case has been properly assessed, and you have gotten every dollar that your case is worth. We are here to help you put the pieces of your life back together when you need it most.
Give us a call, or contact us online today. We’ll schedule a time for you to meet with one of our Biloxi truck accident lawyers to discuss your next steps. As an experienced legal team, we also have expertise in representing clients with other types of legal matters such as product defects, brain injury, and criminal charges defense. We are dedicated to serving Gulfport, Pascagoula, and all of Jackson and Harrison Counties.