Why Are Truck Accident Cases So Complex?
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Mississippi and have filed a claim, it is crucial to recognize that truck crash cases differ significantly from regular car accident cases, making them considerably more complex.
Unlike most relatively straightforward passenger car crash claims, truck wreck cases pose numerous complications for several reasons. Whether the at-fault truck is a semi-trailer, a tractor-trailer, or an 18-wheeler, the involvement of large commercial vehicles tends to present significant challenges for both the victims and the lawyers handling the case.
Don’t face your truck accident case alone and don’t trust your case to just any lawyer. The experienced attorneys at Roberts Wilson, P.A. have fought on behalf of injured people in Mississippi for years. We know how difficuult these claims can be, and we have the knowledge, experience, and resources necessary to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
So, why are truck accident cases so complex? Below are some reasons to consider.
There May Be Very Severe Damages
Whether the accident is between two trucks, a semi and a smaller car, or a tractor-trailer and pedestrians or cyclists, there’s usually one recurring theme: the likelihood of severe damages and catastrophic injuries.
In fact, fatalities are much higher in truck accidents than in other types of accidents. Here in Mississippi, there were 106 fatalities caused by truck collisions in 2021. That’s 106 people too many losing their lives to truck accidents, many of which could have been avoided.
Not just that, property damages are likely to be very extensive. For instance, smaller vehicles can be totaled, and/or properties can be terribly damaged.
Since the cost of these losses can be astronomical, truck wreck attorneys often have to take the time to determine the extent of these losses before filing a settlement claim. This is done in a bid to ensure that you receive the full compensation that will cover as much of your losses as possible.
Read More: Big Truck Accident Claims Are Complicated
Multiple Parties May Share Liability
Unlike car accidents where there are very few liable parties – usually one or two – truck accident cases sometimes have multiple liable parties that you have to hold responsible for the crash. Some of these parties include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company or employer
- The truck manufacturers
- Other road users
The first and immediate liable party is the driver:
- Truckers can make mistakes while driving
- May be distracted while driving
- Be driving while fatigued
- Be driving under the influence of illicit substances
- Be engaged in excessive speeding or reckless driving
- Have failed to yield to vehicles that have the right of way
The truck company may also be on the hook for liability if they are found to have:
- Hired an inexperienced or unqualified driver
- Failed to carry out proper maintenance on the truck
- Violated federal trucking regulations like forcing the driver to exceed the stipulated hours of service
- Overloaded the truck
The truck manufacturer may be held liable if:
- There’s evidence of vehicle parts failure
- The company produced defective vehicles
- Identified the defects but failed to recall affected trucks or parts
Other road users may also be held responsible if their actions led, in some way, to the crash.
As you can see, there can be many parties involved in the crash, and figuring out the responsible parties can take considerable time and resources.
You May Have to Deal with Multiple Insurers
Multiple liable parties often mean different insurance providers. This means that your lawyer will have to file the injury claim with all relevant insurers if you want to receive the maximum compensation possible.
The process of filing these claims, negotiating the settlements from each insurer, and possibly taking one or more of them to court if their offer is unsatisfactory can become very complex, very quickly.
This is largely because every insurance provider has their policies, rules, and processes. Also, their adjusters are going to try to do everything possible to either avoid covering your claim or limit the payout you should receive.
Understandably, this will take a longer period of time as your truck accident lawyer has to deal with the various insurance companies and get them to pay you the settlement amount that deserve.
Trucking Companies Deploy Vast Resources to Fight Claims
Trucking companies typically have sizable financial and legal resources. The bigger the trucking company, the larger its resources. This means that their team can do everything from stonewalling and delaying your claims to trying to keep your case in court in perpetuity.
If your settlement claim is pretty significant, you can be sure that they will deploy those resources to deter your efforts. For example, the trucking company can gather, seize and try to bury evidence like erasing or modifying the truck’s logs if they get to the accident scene on time.
However, this move can be prevented by an experienced truck accident lawyer. All they have to do is send a spoliation letter to ensure that the evidence such as electronically stored data or transport logs and the damaged truck is preserved as is, and not tampered with.
However, it takes a trained eye to even suspect that the trucking company may be engaging in such foul play. They may also try to bury your case under a lot of paperwork. All of these can make the case unnecessarily complex.
Federal and State Regulations
Trucking operations and businesses are typically guided by state and national regulations. These regulations are meant to keep both truck operators and other road users safe. If drivers and other related entities adhere to these regulations, everyone is considerably safer on the roads.
When they don’t, you typically have accidents. Experienced truck accident lawyers know this, which is why they’ll look into the breach of these state and federal regulations. For example, per Miss. Code § 63-5-33, trucks in Mississippi are only allowed a maximum weight of 80,000 lbs.
If a truck has a tire blowout, causing the truck to careen into other lanes and strike other vehicles, one of the first things that an experienced truck accident attorney will check for is if the truck was overloaded.
If it was, that’s a breach of Mississippi’s vehicle and traffic regulations. But your lawyer won’t stop there. They will look for proof that the liable party violated multiple federal and state vehicle and traffic regulations as part of their case-building process. This takes time, skills, knowledge, and patience.
How a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Truck accident cases can be lengthy and difficult. This is because trucking companies, drivers, and other liable entities are likely to dispute your claims, avoid negotiations, delay the case, or make you a lowball offer.
In fact, some large trucking companies’ legal teams tend to “throw the book” at you in the hopes that the case will exceed Mississippi’s three-year statute of limitations, and you will become time-barred. But the right truck accident lawyer will work hard to get your case concluded and settled on time.
If you’ve been hurt in a bike wreck, Mississippi truck accident lawyer Roberts Wilson has the knowledge, experience, and resources you need to pursue the compensation you deserve. When working on your case, we advance all expenses, and we never charge a fee unless we obtain a recovery in your case.
Contact our office today online or at (662) 533-9111 for a FREE case evaluation. Roberts Wilson, P.A. serves clients in Oxford, Holly Springs, Batesville, Pontotoc, and other areas throughout North Mississippi and beyond.