Gulfport Truck Accident Attorney
Why are truck accidents more devastating than car accidents?
The average semi-truck weighs approximately 80,000 pounds when it’s full (and about 35,000 pounds when pulling an empty trailer. The average passenger car, SUV, or truck weighs between 3,000 and 3,600 pounds.
When a commercial truck hits a passenger vehicle, the effects are much more dangerous than when two passenger vehicles collide because of the difference in weight. A commercial truck can weigh between 32,000 and 78,000 pounds more than the average passenger vehicle. Because of this weight difference, the semi-truck will strike the passenger vehicle with much more force (approximately 26x more if the truck is full).
Truck accidents can cause more severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, internal bleeding, amputations, and wrongful death. While car accidents can cause these injuries as well, they’re more common as a result of large commercial truck accidents.
Common Causes of Gulfport Truck Accidents
Unlike car accidents, truck accidents can be caused by more than just the driver. Truck accidents may be the fault of many other parties operating outside of the vehicle. While a truck driver is trained to their best to stop an accident from occurring, sometimes it’s not possible.
Driver Error and Negligence
Driver negligence is just as common in a truck accident as it is amongst car accidents. Truck drivers owe a duty of care to everyone else on the road, but sometimes this duty is broken, resulting in an accident.
Distractions come in all forms, such as talking on the phone or texting. Some commercial truck drivers may be required to use software (especially those who make local deliveries) while they’re driving. The use (either improper or as instructed) of devices while driving can cause drivers to be unaware of their surroundings, putting everyone on the road, including themselves, at risk.
Truck driving often means driving for long periods, and while there are strict regulations put into place to keep drivers from getting fatigued, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid. In the case that a driver takes it upon themselves to drive longer than they’re legally allowed, they could become fatigued and cause an accident.
Truck drivers should always drive with the utmost care, but it’s possible for a driver to become enraged or annoyed while behind the wheel. This could cause them to speed, cut people off, or merge/change lanes without looking.
Driving Under the Influence
Unfortunately, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is common in the trucking industry. Many use stimulants to help themselves stay up on late drives. Stimulants can have many side effects that make driving dangerous, such as impairing one’s vision, reaction time, judgment, and hearing.
If a truck isn’t properly maintained by the trucking company or truck rental company, an accident could occur because of a malfunction that could have been prevented.
Defective Parts and Equipment
An accident could occur if parts or equipment are defective. For example, if a company sells a defective product and the truck driver operates the vehicle with a faulty part, an accident could occur.
How a truck is loaded is incredibly important. If weight is not distributed evenly and correctly, or the load is not properly secured, an accident could occur. Improper loading is a common cause of roll-over accidents.
Lack of Training
Lack of training in poor weather conditions such as heavy rain, as well as poor defensive driving or plain vehicle operation training can cause an accident to occur. Drivers who are inexperienced are more likely to get into accidents, as they don’t have the years of experience learning how to drive defensively.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Drivers who are distracted, speeding, or tailgating can cause rear-end accidents to occur. A rear-end accident occurs when a truck slams into the back of another vehicle. These are especially dangerous when the truck is going at a high speed.
A t-bone accident occurs when the truck strikes another vehicle at a 90-degree angle. These often happen at intersections when a truck driver isn’t paying attention and runs a red light or stop sign.
Head-on collisions are rare and often fatal. A head-on accident occurs when a driver loses control of his vehicle and swerves into oncoming traffic, hitting another vehicle head-on.
A rollover accident occurs when the truck completes a full or partial roll, often landing on its side. Rollover accidents are caused by tire blowouts, overloading, and taking sharp turns too fast.
A no-zone accident is an accident that occurs because a passenger vehicle is driving in one of the truck driver’s blind spots. If a driver doesn’t make absolutely certain that there isn’t anyone in their blind spot before merging or changing lanes, they could cause an accident.
Who Can be Held Liable for Your Truck Accident?
There are many parties that can be held liable for your truck accident injuries. Unlike with car accidents, the liable party may not be the driver of the vehicle. It’s also possible for multiple parties to play a part in causing the accident.
In most cases, the driver is at fault for the accident because of texting while driving, speeding, aggressive driving, driving under the influence, or fatigued driving.
The trucking company may be liable for any accidents that occur because of improper maintenance to the vehicles as well as driver fatigue if they’ve scheduled their drivers past the legal limits.
In some circumstances, the trucks are rented by trucking companies. In these cases, the truck owners are responsible for maintenance, so if a maintenance issue causes an accident, they may be at fault.
If an accident is caused because the vehicle is improperly loaded, such as unsecured loads or overloading, the loading team may be liable.
And finally, in the case that an accident occurs because of a defective part or a malfunction that hadn’t been recalled, the truck manufacturer could be liable.
What damages can I claim in my truck accident case?
Because truck accidents can be so devastating, life-threatening, and life-changing, the injuries that victims end up with almost always stick them with large piles of medical debt that they are unsure of how to pay off.
However, while you can receive compensation for your medical debt, that’s not the only thing you can reclaim. You can claim damages for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability and disfigurement
- And more
Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages are calculated by looking at how much your quality of life has changed before and after the accident. The greater this change and the more you’ll have to adapt to a new lifestyle, the more compensation you’ll receive.
What To Do After a Truck Accident
The most important things you should do after being involved in an accident are, gathering your own evidence while still at the scene of the crime, filing a police report, receiving immediate medical attention, and hiring an attorney.
It’s vital to your case to ensure that you speak with an attorney before any insurance companies contact you. You should never speak to an insurance company without representation, as they may try to convince you to sign away your ability to sue. They may offer you a low settlement that isn’t anywhere close to what a talented truck accident attorney could get you.
Hire an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, please contact one of our talented attorneys here at Jones Law Group. We have years of experience working on truck accident cases, and we will work hard to get you the compensation that you deserve for your damages.