PRACTICE AREA DETAILS
- Lawyer Baskin Jones
- Skills Personal Injury Law
- Location Jackson, MS
- Practice Areas Personal Injury Law
ABOUT THIS PRACTICE AREA
Truck Accident Lawyer Jackson,MS: Auto accidents are very dangerous because they normally involve two automobiles that each weigh around a ton traveling with speed. In 18 wheeler wreck attorney accidents one of the vehicles weighs as much as 17 tons, (34,000 pounds!) and can be traveling just as fast as a car that is much smaller than the truck. Also, big rigs often have blind spots and can’t see the cars that are immediately around them.
Mississippi 18-Wheeler Wreck Attorney
We see truck wreck cases at an alarming rate where one of the drivers was distracted or so fatigued that they could barely keep their eyes open. It is scary enough that the average driver is in control of a 2,000 to 4,000 pound vehicle but it is terrifying to think that an 18-wheeler driver is fatigued or looking at a cell phone screen or text message when he is driving an 18-wheeler rig weighing in at 80,000 pounds and traveling 70 miles per hour.
An 18-wheeler leaving its trailer across a lane of traffic for any period of time is an incredible dangerous thing. The 18-wheeler weighs so much that it is equivalent to a brick wall for any vehicle that runs into it. In wrecks with an 18-wheeler blocking the road in Mississippi case law and state statutes provide a potential answer as to the fault of the driver.
18-Wheeler Blocking the Road
In the case of Anderson v. Eagle Motor Lines, Inc., 423 F.2d 81 a jury found that a truck driver who blocked both lanes of a highway while completing a turn was completely negligent. The 5th Circuit upheld the finding under the following Mississippi Statute (as it appeared at the time): Mississippi Code Annotated § 8215 (1956).
“(a) Upon any highway outside of a business or residence district no person shall stop, park, or leave standing any
vehicle, whether attended or unattended, upon the paved or improved or main traveled part of the highway when it
is practical to stop, park, or so leave such vehicle off such part of said highway, but in every event a clear and
unobstructed width of at least twenty feet of such part of the highway opposite such standing vehicle shall be left for
the free passage of other vehicles and a clear view of such stopped vehicle be available from a distance of two
hundred feet in each direction upon such highway.”
The above will not apply in every situation, and the statutes in Mississippi have changed over time, but CDL training and prior court decisions make clear that an 18-wheeler blocking the road is very dangerous and should be avoided or minimized at all times.
If you or a family member have been injured in a wreck where an 18-wheeler was blocking the road or lanes of traffic it may be best to contact a Mississippi Personal Injury Attorney and discuss your options and any damages that your family member sustained in this wreck.
Car wrecks happen each day and when an injury occurs in a wreck an 18-wheeler accident attorney in Jackson. Knowledgeable attorneys have the answers you need in order to present and collect on your medical bills and property damage in the wreck. The sooner the better in contacting an attorney and discussing your insurance coverage, your injuries and your property damage.
Getting appropriate medical care and documenting the wreck and your injuries will be important in your ongoing claim. Your visit to your primary care physician or to the Emergency Room immediately after the wreck will guide your medical care. Depending on your injuries these doctors will likely recommend a course of treatment or additional diagnostic studies that may need to be performed to determine exactly the physical injury.
In any 18 wheeler accident, the process of determining how the wreck occurred is of utmost importance. Often eyewitnesses to the wreck help in the process of allowing the officer on the scene to prepare a report and a diagram of how the wreck occurred. Providing the officer at the scene as much information as possible will be very important in the process.
Simple rules to follow if you have a wreck:
- Ask any witness to the wreck to stay
- Take photos of the scene of the wreck
- Seek out any needed medical treatment
- Only speak to the officer at the scene of the wreck
If you or a family member has been injured by an 18-wheeler our attorneys are prepared to provide you with a free consultation and discuss your potential claim. Contact us.
After practicing law in 18-wheeler injury litigation, I have come across several useful tidbits about these wrecks that I am not sure the general public is aware of. Our firm makes sure to secure this information as quickly as possible after any 18-wheeler wreck, and as a result we often have very good information about what caused the wreck.
Each of the following are areas of evidence that would not be available to the average individual who has been injured by an 18-wheeler, but that can be obtained by a knowledgeable 18-wheeler attorney.
Many 18-wheelers are videoing your driving.
18-wheeler drivers and companies have spent money to install video cameras in different orientations on their trucks. When these cameras capture anything useful to the trucking company the videos are shown as many different places as possible and on the news. When these videos capture the wheeler driver being negligent or causing a wreck there videos are much more difficult to come by.
Many 18-wheelers have GPS on board.
Trucking companies keep a close eye on their drivers and how close the load they are hauling is to the destination. The trucking company will know when a driver started his trip, the speed the driver was travelling. This information can establish fatigued driving, reckless driving and if the 18-wheeler driver was breaking the speed limit. There may be liability on the part of the trucking company for allowing a driver to break the speed limit, or rest schedule requirements.
Many 18-wheelers record the exact speed and g-forces at the time of a wreck.
Modern vehicles contain a device called the ECM or electronic control module which keel a record of the speed the 18-wheeler was traveling immediately prior to the wreck and will likely provide access to the g-forces that were involved in the wreck. Our experts have successfully downloaded this information and helped us put together a vivid picture of how the wreck occurred.
After a wreck 18-wheeler drivers may be required to submit to a drug and alcohol test.
In serious wrecks, 18-wheeler drivers are often immediately escorted by police or highway patrol to give a drug and alcohol test. Proving whether a 18-wheeler driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol is very important in proving liability on the truck driver or trucking company.
18-wheeler drivers are required to use hands free devices.
In many states the law requires that 18-Whlr drivers not use a cellular device to text or talk while driving. This would require that any communication be conducted over a headset or bluetooth connection to the audio. The impetus will be on the trucking company to show that this was in place.
Many 18-wheeler carriers have policies and training for drivers telling them to never admit fault in a wreck.
Some drivers are trained to not provide any information as to how the wreck occurred and are trained to not admit fault in a wreck.
Those Looking for a 18 wheeler accident lawyer Jackson, MS may consider the following information when making their decision. Accidents involving 18 wheelers are much different than those involving two cars. There are additional considerations that must be paid attention to in this sort of case, such as federally mandated drive time limits, cell phone records, gps location tracking on 18 wheeler trailers and immediate drug and alcohol testing procedures after a wreck. Knowing what to look for is half the battle in these cases, and hiring a skilled 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Jackson or surrounding areas may be an important first step in having medical bills and lost work paid for.
Injuries due to 18 wheeler accident
It is easy to imagine when you think about a large, loaded down 18 wheeler that this vehicle given the amount of inertia it carries as it is traveling at 70 miles per hour could do a lot of damage to any vehicle it strikes. 18 wheelers can carry 40 tons of weight when you include the tractor and trailer. These weight requirements are subject to permits and 18 wheelers are required to weigh in at certain locations as they drive the Interstate system.
In Mississippi there are several weigh-in stations for 18-wheelers along the interstates, but recently the Mississippi Department of Transportation was given a $3.5 million dollar grant to improve Commercial Vehicle Information Systems in the state. The grant came from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The grant provides for mobile units that credentials, licenses, permits, and vehicle weight can all be checked in a matter of moments.
This type of intervention and strict attention being paid to the regulations and laws affecting 18 wheeler drivers is very important, because of the damage that can be done by a single fatigued driver, or a component on a truck that was not properly inspected before the truck was cleared for a trip. We see a wide range of injuries from 18 wheeler accidents as lawyers in Mississippi: we see broken bones, head injuries, back injuries, injured discs in back, knee injuries, wrongful death. Other damages that often happen in 18 wheeler accidents include lost work, lost ability to help around the house, loss of ability to care for others, and all damages available in wrongful death situations. (burial expenses, value of wages over the expected lifetime of the individual, emotional damages as the result of the loss of a loved one.)
Requirements on 18 wheeler drivers
Those who drive 18 wheelers are required to follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. This law provides numerous different requirements for drivers of 18 wheelers including:
- 18 wheeler drivers must be insured for damage they may cause to property and injuries they may cause to motorists;
- paperwork that must be kept up with by the driver of an 18 wheeler and the company that puts him on the road;
- a limitation on the number of hours an 18 wheeler driver can be driving in a 24 hour window of time;
- prohibition of use of controlled substances and alcohol while driving an 18 wheeler and testing for alcohol and controlled substances if an 18 wheeler accident occurs;
- Parts and accessories necessary for safe operation;
- Inspection, repair and maintenance;
- very restricted use of cell phones and other screens by drivers.
18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer Jackson
Choosing an 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Jackson can be a difficult prospect. Finding an attorney with the experience to get cell phone records, gps data, time on and off work, safety ratings and all the other important information that may be out there is crucial. Ask specifically about what steps the attorney plans on taking in the week after the case is signed. The next step will be knowing what to do with this data, once it is acquired.
Contact our attorneys today if you have any questions. Our first conversation about your case is free (Free consultation), and in personal injury cases we often operate on contingency, meaning you pay nothing until we deliver results. 601-272-2406.
Drivers of 18-wheelers are required to log their hours on the road compared to hours of sleep. This information is very important in any 18 wheeler case to show how long a driver had been up and when or where the last place he got a good nights sleep was. Without this rest these 18-wheeler owner operators become dangerous on the road.
Also many states require that drivers of any sort use hands-free cellular devices or not use cell phones at all while driving. It has been shown that the kind of distraction caused by cell-phones or on-board computers leads to slower reaction times and more crashes.
If you have been involved in an 18 wheeler wreck in Mississippi, call us for a free consultation about your case. We know how much paperwork there is in a wreck and how many phone calls to an insurance company there may be. We will help you get back to your normal life while we communicate with your insurance and work for you to see that justice is done.