Trucking companies haul tons of freight each day. While much of their cargo is important, truck drivers and the trucking companies they work for are not excused when they create dangers on the road and cause serious car crashes. If you were injured in an accident with a truck, consider taking your case to our experienced truck accident lawyers.
Our Gulfport truck accident attorneys can help you file an injury claim against the driver and their trucking company to get you the damages you deserve for your injuries. When you file an injury claim, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, vehicle damage, and more.
For a free case review, call our Gulfport truck accident attorneys today. Call Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.
Who to Sue in a Truck Accident Case in Gulfport
If you were injured in a trucking accident, you might be unsure whose fault the accident was and who you can sue. Our Gulfport truck accident attorneys can guide you through the claim and file your case against the appropriate parties to get your damages paid.
Who Caused the Crash?
The first question to resolve is the question of who is at fault for the crash. Sometimes, truck accidents involve multiple cars, and it can be difficult to determine which driver actually caused the crash. Many truck accidents are indeed caused by the truck driver, but sometimes fault is shared or a mechanical failure is actually to blame.
Generally speaking, a driver must commit some kind of traffic violation or otherwise act unreasonably to be held responsible for an accident. Truckers often commit negligence and cause truck accidents by speeding, driving under the influence, or otherwise driving unsafely. Other drivers could have acted similarly, and they might actually be at fault instead. However, our Gulfport truck accident lawyers can also file claims against multiple drivers for shared fault.
Sometimes, trucking companies are also liable for a crash – at least in part. Trucking companies are usually responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their trucks, and any mechanical issue that causes a crash could be blamed on them (or perhaps their mechanics).
Who is Liable in Court?
The second question to resolve is the question of who is actually held liable, i.e., who pays in court. As mentioned, multiple drivers can be held partially at fault for a crash. In that case, each driver pays for their own share of damages based on their percentage of liability. If the court finds you were partly at fault as well, your damages are reduced by that percentage.
If the trucking company was partly liable for their own mistakes, they can be made to pay their fair share of damages as well. However, trucking companies might also be made to take full responsibility for their drivers’ mistakes.
Like with any other company, a trucking company as a whole can be held liable for its employees’ mistakes on the job. If the driver was working as an employee and they were actively on the clock serving their employer’s interests when the crash happened, you could be entitled to sue the trucking company in place of the driver. This could open access to damages that the driver would otherwise be unable to afford. Talk to our Gulfport truck accident lawyers about whether this also potentially opens access to punitive damages against the trucking company.
This is a complex legal issue, and liability is sometimes blocked when the trucking company is not actually the driver’s legal “employer.” Owner-operators are technically self-employed, so they are themselves held liable as the “trucking company” would have been. Other times, drivers who are independent contractors are also considered self-employed. However, these drivers are sometimes misclassified, and the trucking companies they work for should indeed face liability as the driver’s employer.
Proving a Trucking Company’s Fault in a Gulfport Truck Accident
Trucking companies could be partly liable for a crash in many ways. Above, we discussed the possibility that the trucking company failed to properly maintain their vehicles. Mechanical issues such as brake failure, tire blowouts, and lighting issues are common causes of truck accidents. However, truckers and trucking companies can also be held liable for causing a crash after various regulatory violations that do not apply to other non-commercial drivers on the road.
Some regulations deal with the proper loading techniques for rucks. Mistakes in loading can cause cargo to shift and cause trucks to fishtail or jackknife, leading to devastating accidents. Improperly loaded cargo could also fall off flatbed trucks or leak from tanker trucks, causing accidents and injuries. Trucks also face maximum weight limits to prevent accidents.
Drivers and the companies they work for must also follow certain time limitations on driving. Truck drivers must take mandatory breaks and follow hour limitations on how much driving they can do in a day and how long they can be on duty (including breaks). There are also weekly limits on how much work they can do, all in the interest of preventing tired or distracted driving risks.
Lastly, drivers must be properly licensed and trained. Drivers who have too many traffic violations, health issues, or a history of vehicular assault or other red-flag behaviors should not be entrusted with driving a huge vehicle like an 18-wheeler.
If the driver who caused your crash or the trucking company they work for committed any of these violations, that could help our Gulfport truck accident attorneys prove their fault and potentially claim punitive damages in your injury case.
Damages in a Truck Accident Case in Gulfport, MS
If you were hurt in a truck accident, our Gulfport truck accident attorneys might be able to help you claim damages for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and vehicle damage. It is vital to have a lawyer review your case and help you calculate damages rather than relying on what the trucking company or their insurance company says your case is worth.
Call Our Gulfport Truck Accident Attorneys Today
For a free review of your potential truck accident injury case, contact Howe Law today. Call our Gulfport truck accident lawyers at (844) 876-4357.