According to Forbes, there were approximately 11 million large trucks on the road in the U.S. in 2014. The trucking industry is big business. According to Trucks.com, the trucking industry grossed $726 billion in annual revenue in 2015. In a given year, there may be as many as 3.5 million drivers on the road, hauling 10.49 billon tons of goods and products.
All this movement occurs largely on public roads shared by passenger vehicles. This means that every single day, this multi-billion-dollar business puts drivers and road users at risk. According to Forbes, there were 476,000 truck-related accidents in 2014. 3,649 people were killed in crashes. If other similarly large industries, like the oil industry or the airline industry saw so many injuries and deaths, there would be public outrage. Yet, truck accidents happen on a regular basis, and many times, they rarely make national news. The yearly cost of accidents was $112 billion in 2014 alone. When trucks are involved in accidents with passenger vehicles, often the people who suffer the most are those in cars. Trucks carry heavy loads and smaller vehicles are subject to greater damage during an impact. Individuals may suffer serious injury that can impact their ability to work or enjoy regular life activities.
If your loved one or family member has been hurt, the accident lawyers at Ballard Law, PLLC: Attorneys at Law in Meridian, Mississippi may be able to help you. Our firm can assist you in seeking compensation for your medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. You may only have a limited amount of time to seek damages under the law. Contact Ballard Law, PLLC: Attorney at Law today.
What Causes Accidents in Meridian, Mississippi?
Many factors can result in an accident in Meridian, Mississippi. In order to protect drivers and road users, federal and state laws strictly regulate the trucking industry. Unfortunately, sometimes companies and drivers put their bottom lines above public safety. When this happens, tragedy can occur. Here are some of the leading causes of truck accidents:
- Fatigue. Under federal hours of service laws, drivers are required to abide by strict limits on how long they can drive and work. However, some drivers, under pressure from their employers or from shipping schedules, may break the law, drive longer then they are permitted to be behind the wheel, or even falsify their logs. In fact, according to Forbes, the most frequent truck driver violation was failure to log or update hours of service logs. In 2015 alone truck drivers were cited for 136,585 hours of service violations. When drivers break the law and injure others, they or their companies may be responsible for paying for individuals’ medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering losses. The 18-wheeler accident attorneys at Ballard Law, PLLC in Meridian, Mississippi may be able to help you and your loved ones seek the compensation you may deserve.
- Rear-end-collisions—unsafe passing, sudden stopping. The consequences to passenger vehicle drivers when a truck stops suddenly are much more serious than when a car stops suddenly. Similarly, a driver who is cut off by a truck is at much more risk than a driver who is cut off by a car. Because trucks are so high off the ground, rear-end collisions involving decapitations or other very serious injuries can occur.
- Improper maintenance. Truck companies have a responsibility to perform proper maintenance on vehicles. When companies fail to perform or document these required checks, dangerous accidents can occur. Brakes can fail and tires can blow. Similarly, shortcuts in maintenance, such as using retread tires, can also result in serious accidents that can endanger others on the road. Improper maintenance can lead to equipment failure. If this occurs, you need the accident attorneys at Ballard Law, PLLC in Meridian, MS on your side.
- Distracted driving. Just as distracted driving has reached epidemic proportions among passenger vehicle drivers, so has distracted driving affected the truck driving population. Truck drivers work long hours away from their families. They spend long hours on the road. They may be more tempted to check their phones to stay in touch with the world and their loved ones. Texting and driving is particularly dangerous and is outlawed nationwide for all truck drivers. Even so, some drivers may still break the law. Determining whether a driver was texting and driving can be challenging. This is why you need the 18-wheeler accident lawyers at Ballard Law, PLLC: Attorneys at Law in Meridian, Mississippi fighting for your rights.
- Speeding. Many drivers’ livelihoods depend on on-time deliveries. Drivers may be tempted to speed in order to meet unreasonable delivery schedules.
- Lack of training or vetting. Truck companies have a responsibility to properly train and vet their drivers. However, some companies may hire drivers unaware that they have a less than clean driving record. In some cases, drivers may be taking medication that could impact their ability to drive. Other drivers abuse drugs and alcohol.
- Overloaded trucks. Trucks are required to abide by strict laws regarding how heavy their loads can be. Overloaded trucks can be more difficult to drive and control and could be prone to jackknifing. Sometimes cargo isn’t properly secured. This can also pose a serious hazard to other road users.
Truck companies and drivers are required to abide by strict federal rules and regulations. When drivers break the law, everyone is put at risk. If you or a loved one has been hurt, you need a accident lawyer in Meridian, MS who understands the laws governing truck companies. Ballard Law, PLLC: Attorneys at Law are 18-wheeler accident lawyers who fight for the rights of those who have been hurt.
Seek Justice Today
Because of the real risk that vehicles pose to the general public, companies are required to carry large insurance policies. Some of these policies can exceed $1 million. Accidents can result in serious injuries, missed time at work, and pain and suffering for all involved. If you’ve been hurt due to the negligence or neglect of a truck company or driver, you have important protections under the law. Contact Ballard Law, PLLC: Attorneys at Law in Meridian, MS today. Our accident attorneys can fight for you.