A typical commercial truck stretches up to 80 feet long, weighs multiple tons, and can take several hundred feet to come to a complete stop when traveling at highway speeds. In other words, these machines are huge, unwieldy, and incredibly difficult to operate, and even a momentary loss of focus by a person driving one could have catastrophic implications for other people on the road.
Distracted driver truck accidents in Pascagoula tend to be among the most dangerous and life-changing incidents that truck accident attorneys deal with. If you were recently involved in one, seeking help from qualified legal counsel is usually the best way to pursue civil compensation as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Under Mississippi state law, it is illegal for anyone operating a motor vehicle that is in motion to use a handheld device for any purpose other than making or receiving a phone call. Also, it is specifically illegal for anyone possessing a commercial driver’s license to use a handheld or hands-free electronic device while driving.
At the national level, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has made engaging in any of the following activities while behind the wheel punishable by steep fines and the potential loss of their commercial license:
However, these laws are far from comprehensive when it comes to the number of ways a truck driver could be distracted while driving. Everything from using the radio, looking at a map or GPS, trying to grab something in the cab, or even eating and drinking could cause a trucker to take their eyes off the road long enough to cause a distracted driver truck accident—and accordingly, to cause life-changing harm to a Pascagoula resident.
In order to hold a trucker, or the trucker’s employer liable for their injuries in a truck wreck, they must prove that the truck driver in question was legally negligent. Unfortunately, while distracted driving would certainly constitute a violation of a truck driver’s duty of care towards other drivers, it can be hard for a plaintiff to show through a preponderance of evidence that the defendant in their case was actually distracted and that their distraction directly led to the accident that caused their injuries.
If the police report regarding an accident or a citation issued by a responding officer notes that a truck driver was distracted by a cell phone or anything else prior to the crash, it may be fairly easy to establish fault for the plaintiff’s injuries. If this documentary evidence does not prove fault, though, a skilled attorney may need to subpoena cell phone records, talk to witnesses, look for surveillance footage that captured the accident, and even work with accident reconstruction experts to pursue compensation on a plaintiff’s behalf.
Everyone who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle in Mississippi is obligated to keep their eyes on the road for the safety of everyone else around them, and truck drivers are no exception. If a truck driver causes a wreck because they were distracted for any reason, they or their employer could bear civil liability for any harm they cause as a result.
After a distracted driver truck accident in Pascagoula, getting in touch with a legal representative is often a critical first step on the path to financial recovery. Call today to get started on your potential claim.