Truck drivers face daily risks while out on the road for long hours under challenging weather and traffic conditions. Although truck drivers tend to be more attentive on the road than passenger drivers, when an accident does happen, the impact from the sheer size and weight of a truck can lead to catastrophic injury and death. Fully loaded commercial trucks weigh many times that of a passenger automobile and can also be carrying hazardous materials.
When a wreck occurs due to negligence or distracted driving, it is vitally important for accident victims in East Central Mississippi to know where to go for trusted and knowledgeable legal counsel to help with establishing liability in pursuing compensation.
The case for negligence in Mississippi
Mississippi is a pure comparative fault state, which means that the injured party can recover compensation from a negligent party even if they were partially to blame for the accident. Even if the plaintiff is 99% at fault for the accident, they can still pursue a claim for the 1% of the defendant’s responsibility.
To establish negligence on the part of the other driver, there are several hurdles to cross. The injured party must show:
- that the other driver owed a duty of reasonable care to other drivers on the road
- that they failed to exercise that duty
- that this failure resulted in injury to the plaintiff
If the truck driver works for a shipping or trucking company, the employer may share liability for the accident. If the truck driver is an independent contractor, the hiring company may have a degree of liability, depending on the level of supervision that it exercised over the driver.
There are instances where the courts may not fault a truck driver, in particular in accidents where jackknifing occurred under adverse road conditions, or when forced to stop suddenly. Turning accidents do not always result in liability claims, as it can be difficult to establish a case of negligence due to the cumbersome nature of large trucks.
The tragic cost of truck accidents
Truck wrecks cause thousands of deaths in the United States each year, not to mention millions of dollars in catastrophic injury claims and property loss. According to the FMCSA, of the 37,133 lives lost in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, large trucks and buses accounted for 13% of the traffic fatalities.