18-wheeler trucks are also called “semis,” “tractor-trailers” and “big rigs.” Those driving a passenger car in Mississippi that are unfortunate enough to collide with one of these gigantic truck are likely to suffer catastrophic injuries or death. They are heavy on their own and usually they are carrying tons of added weight from cargo. This makes it difficult to stop quickly and they carry a great deal of weight when they hit something. The driver of a Mississippi big rig is less likely to get injured than a car driver. The kinds of injuries that result if death is avoided are typically the most serious kinds of injuries, but they can also
be among the most complicated kinds of cases to bring to trial.
One of the reasons these cases are so difficult is that driving an 18-wheeler is covered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. These are very specific rules for safely operating commercial vehicles, including big rigs, so that truck accidents don’t happen. It is important that your attorney know these rules inside and out, so that they are on equal footing with the driver’s attorneys or, more likely, the driver’s employer’s attorneys.
Often, a plaintiff will have to sue multiple defendants to make sure he is able to collect the full range of his damages. Multiple parties can prove expensive for the attorney who takes this case on a contingency fee basis, making it crucial to pick an attorney who takes these kinds of cases often and is successful with them. If the driver works for a large trucking company, you will be suing not only the driver individually, but also the owner of the truck or his employer if he was on the job.
A plaintiff will have to show negligence, proving that (1) the driver owed him a duty, (2) the driver breached that duty, (3) the driver actually and proximately caused his injuries due to that breach, and (4) damages. Causation is often contested by the defense and insurance defense lawyers for the big rig driver and owner. Some common causes of big rig accidents include loss of control, inadequate training, aggressive driving, driver inexperience or a sudden stop in traffic.
As noted above, big rigs can be tough to handle and a driver could lose control while speeding or because a tire blows out or the brakes are not properly maintained. The actual cause of the accident is crucial to the case. Sometimes operator error is the problem. However, an owner’s failure to properly train a driver or failure to maintain the vehicle can be the actual cause of the accident. The help of a trustworthy and well-respected expert can be critical to a successful resolution of these cases.
Damages are likely to include significant medical bills for catastrophic injuries. Among these injuries may be paralysis, broken bones, amputation, back injuries, spinal cord injuries, head wounds, concussions, or traumatic brain injuries. Among other possible damages may be loss of enjoyment of various activities as a result of a changed physical conditions as well as vocational rehabilitation in the event that the victim of the accident is unable to return to his or her prior job.
The knowledgeable Mississippi trucking accident attorneys of Coxwell & Associates may be able to help if you were severely hurt in a truck accident.
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Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.