Nighttime Truck Accident Lawyers

Nighttime Truck Accident Lawyers

Per the National Safety Council (NSC), half of all traffic fatalities happen at night, and because drivers typically spend less time driving in the nighttime than during the day, the probability of accidents occurring at night is greater. Collisions involving trucks can be more severe than passenger vehicles due to the increased size and weight of trucks and their reduced maneuverability, meaning nighttime truck accidents may lead to permanent or life-threatening injuries. Learn about truck accidents that occur in the night, and discover how experienced Mississippi nighttime truck accident lawyers can assist those involved in these incidents with their legal claims by contacting Lott Law at (228) 215-2787.

What Causes Nighttime Truck Accidents?

In theory, nighttime crashes are less likely to occur than in the daytime because of the lack of traffic. However, in practice, various factors can lead to nighttime truck accidents, such as greater wildlife movement, reduced visibility, little to no assistance from dispatchers, and neglected traffic regulations by sleepy and fatigued drivers.

Why Commercial Trucks Are So Dangerous

Commercial trucks can cause substantial injuries, such as broken bones, brain injuries, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, neck and back injuries, burn injuries, disfigurement, lacerations, internal injuries, and fatalities in collisions during the day and night. Here are some of the reasons why these vehicles can be so dangerous.

Weight and Size

Trucks are heavier and larger than cars, meaning they have greater force and momentum in a collision. Commercial trucks stacked full of goods can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, compared to a car that usually weighs approximately 3,000 pounds.

Blind Spots

Large trucks have bigger blind spots than passenger vehicles, making it challenging for truck drivers to spot other motorists. Vehicles caught in these zones could risk colliding with the truck.

Greater Stopping Distance

Commercial trucks have greater stopping distances than cars because of their weight and size, increasing the chance of rear-end crashes. For example, cars traveling at 65 miles per hour have a stopping distance of 300 feet, whereas commercial trucks traveling at the same speed require 525 feet for the vehicle to completely stop.

Visibility Requirements for Truck Drivers

Semi-trailer trucks must have permanently attached conspicuity tape, reflectors, and lamps in certain locations of the trailer and truck cab to ensure adequate visibility during the nighttime. The vehicle’s lights must be parallel to the vehicle’s centerline and other vehicle parts cannot obscure these lighting elements in any way. Examples of lighting requirements for these trucks include headlights, parking lights, hazard lights, turn signals, clearance lights, identification lights, side marker lights, front, rear, and side reflectors, tail lights, stop lights, reverse lights, license plate lights, and the center high mounted stop light.

Identifying Liable Parties in Truck Accident Cases

Liable parties in truck accident cases can range from drivers and trucking companies to truck manufacturers, when a faulty component contributes to the incident, and cargo companies when the goods themselves cause the accident. Identifying the responsible party requires carefully investigating the scene of the accident, reviewing employment contracts, and analyzing maintenance records, alongside other tasks, which is where the assistance of an experienced lawyer can help.

Gain an enhanced understanding of truck accidents, including those that happen at night, and learn how Mississippi truck accident lawyers can aid individuals who have experienced these incidents. Arrange a consultation with Lott Law today.

What Do I Do After a Nighttime Truck Accident?

If involved in a nighttime truck accident, keep calm and contact the emergency services as soon as possible. Then, follow these steps:

  • Wait for assistance in a safe location and move the vehicle so it does not block oncoming traffic if possible.
  • Provided it is safe to do so, check on the other parties involved in the incident to see if they need assistance.
  • Exchange contact, license, and insurance information with other involved motorists, and get the contact information of the trucking company.
  • Acquire names and contact information of any witnesses present.
  • Get the police report, including the name and badge number of the officer who issued it.
  • Make a note of how the incident transpired, the time and date it occurred, and the accident location; take photos and videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage.
  • Avoid admitting fault for the incident.
  • Visit a doctor as soon as possible, document all medical expenses, and keep a diary of how the injuries impact daily activities.
  • Ask a repair or maintenance shop to appraise the vehicle.

What Types of Damages Can a Truck Accident Victim Receive?

Several types of damages are potentially available in truck accident cases. Below are examples of the main compensation types:

  • Economic damages: These damages refer to those that the claimant has to prove to recover, typically achieved by collating bills and receipts to acquire a monetary sum. Some examples of relevant economic damages for truck accident claims are medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, transportation costs for doctor visits, and legal fees.
  • Non-economic damages: More challenging to calculate than economic damages, these damages compensate individuals for the emotional or physical suffering following the incident, which varies on a case-by-case basis. Examples of these damages include emotional or physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment in life, disfigurements or scarring, and humiliation, anxiety, or fear.
  • Wrongful death damages: If an individual passes away during a truck collision, their family members might initiate a claim to seek damages for lost benefits and wages, loss of companionship or care, the deceased individual’s final medical, burial, and funeral costs, and any pain and suffering endured by the deceased person before their death.
  • Punitive damages: While rarely awarded, these damages punish the responsible party to discourage further wrongdoing instead of compensating the injured individual. A judge usually awards these when the liable party’s actions demonstrate malice, willful misconduct, or malice; for instance, a court may impose punitive damages against a truck driver who was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Deadlines for Filing Truck Accident Claims

Like other vehicle accidents, in the state of Mississippi, the statute of limitations for submitting a truck accident claim is three years after the date of the incident. If a claimant fails to meet this deadline, they may find they permanently lose the right to bring a claim against the responsible party. Worth noting is that the process of gathering evidence, preparing a case, and negotiating with other parties can take time, meaning claimants may wish to start the claim process as soon as possible to ensure they meet the deadline.

Contact Our Mississippi Nighttime Truck Accident Lawyers Today

According to the Department of Transportation, in 2019, 35% of truck collision fatalities occurred during the nighttime; due to the lack of visibility, nighttime driving is more dangerous than operating a vehicle during daylight hours, but adopting effective safety precautions, such as sufficient lighting, can mitigate this hazard. If a truck driver or trucking company fails to implement adequate safeguards, this can lead to individuals incurring significant injuries and damages, such as lost income, medical bills, and pain and suffering, opening up the possibility for a legal claim. Understand more about nighttime truck collisions, and find out how seasoned Mississippi nighttime truck accident lawyers can help victims of these incidents fight for their legal rights; call Lott Law today at (228) 215-2787.