Commercial trucks transport a large number of goods across different parts of the country, putting many oversized and overweight vehicles on state roadways and highways. Unfortunately, this increases other road user's chances of becoming victims of truck accidents. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 100 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in Mississippi in 2018. Traffic collisions involving commercial trucks — also referred to as semi-trucks and 18-wheelers — often result in catastrophic injuries, massive property damage, and even death.
If you or a family member was injured in a truck accident caused by someone else's negligence, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation. Attorney Ronald E. Stutzman, Jr. has devoted his career to handling personal injury claims and protecting the rights of truck accident victims and their loved ones. As an experienced Mississippi personal injury attorney, Ronald can review and investigate the surrounding details of your case and explore your possible options to pursue damages. He will fight to protect your rights, work to hold the responsible parties accountable, and help you pursue compensation for your injuries, damage, or loss.
The Stutzman Law Firm, PLLC proudly serves clients across Flowood, Mississippi, and the surrounding areas of Brandon, Clinton, Pearl, Richland, and Rankin County.
According to Mississippi Code Section 63-3-405, the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident must stop to render reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident, including the carrying — or making arrangements for the carrying — of injured persons to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such carrying is requested by the victim.
The Mississippi Department of Public Safety has adopted Title 49, Parts 382-384 and 390-399 of the federal regulations. Here are some important provisions of the laws governing truck operation in the state:
No person shall operate a commercial motor vehicle unless such person has taken and passed the special training and has a special license to drive.
Commercial vehicles weighing over 57,650 lbs. are not permitted on small highways (or 80,000 pounds on major highways) in Mississippi without obtaining an oversized or overweight permit.
The truck driver and trucking company must repair and inspect all trucks.
Trucks are required to have safe and functioning brakes at all times.
Dangerous goods must be transported in the safest way possible.
Truck drivers must keep an updated logbook.
Truckers must rest between shifts.
A driver may not drive without first spending 10 consecutive hours off duty.
Under Mississippi Code Section 15-1-49, an accident victim — driver, passenger, pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcycle rider, or property owner — has three years from the date of the accident to ask Mississippi's civil court system for a remedy for any kind of injury or harm suffered from the accident.
Likewise, a wrongful death lawsuit in Mississippi must be brought within three years from the date of the victim's death.
Depending on the surrounding circumstances that cause the truck accident, a number of parties may be held accountable for damages. These include:
Trucker Drivers - If the accident occurred while the driver was driving fatigued, speeding, committing a traffic offense, driving impaired, or driving without the required training or license.
Trucking Companies - These companies can be liable for hiring an unqualified or inexperienced person, or due to inadequate safety inspection or setting unrealistic expectations.
Truck Manufacturers - The manufacturer of the truck or its parts can be liable if the accident occurred due to a malfunctioning brake, faulty part, or mechanical failure.
Persons Who Loaded the Cargo - Cargo loaders can be liable for any failure to thoroughly secure, inspect, or balance the cargo, thus causing the accident.
Maintenance Personnel - Any maintenance personnel can be held liable if the truck accident occurred due to their oversight in performing their required duties, such as routine inspection, maintenance, safety checks, or inspection of the truck’s brakes, electronic systems, fluids, and engine.
Mississippi is an “at-fault” state. This means that the driver responsible for the truck accident (the at-fault party) will hold liability for injuries, damage, and other losses suffered by accident victims. If you're a truck accident victim in Mississippi, you can proceed by:
Filing an injury claim with your own insurance company
Filing a third-party claim directly with the at-fault party's insurance provider
Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party
Being injured or losing a loved one in a truck accident can be a devastating experience and affect different aspects of your life, including your financial, physical, and emotional health. Thankfully, you don't have to face these challenges all by yourself. You deserve to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side who can fight to protect your legal rights, represent your best interests, and help you seek rightful compensation for your injuries or losses.
Attorney Ronald E. Stutzman, Jr. has the experience and resources to assist, support, and represent truck accident victims and their families during such a difficult period. As your legal counsel, Ronald can:
Fight for your best interests and work to hold the liable parties accountable
Review all of the facts of your situation and conduct an in-depth, private investigation
Gather all relevant information, evidence, and documentation
Work to prove fault and establish liability
Determine the full extent of your injuries, other losses, and estimate case-value
Handle all communications and negotiations with insurance providers
Help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance companies involved
Take additional legal action on your behalf when required
If you or a close relative has been involved in a truck accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact The Stutzman Law Firm, PLLC, today to schedule a free consultation. Attorney Ronald E. Stutzman, Jr. can offer you the experienced counsel, advocacy, and representation you need. The firm represents clients across Flowood, Brandon, Clinton, Pearl, Richland, and Rankin County, Mississippi.