Every motor vehicle in motion is essentially a balancing act between opposing sources of kinetic energy—if the force with which a vehicle changes directions exceeds the downforce keeping the wheels in contact with the road, the vehicle is liable to turn over. Unfortunately, because the weight distribution in commercial trucks is unevenly spread between the cab in front and the trailer in the back, these large vehicles are especially prone to rolling over.
Anyone recently caught up in a rollover truck accident in Pascagoula likely needs no reminder of how frightening and hazardous these incidents can be for everyone involved. However, you may want to prioritize speaking with a truck accident attorney about your legal options, as your right to file suit for your injuries may be limited in certain situations.
Most of the time, rollover truck accidents in Pascagoula stem from driver error. For example, a truck driver exceeding the speed limit, making a turn too fast, over-correcting after a mistake, or simply not paying attention. As is the case with every type of truck accident, impairment from alcohol, drugs, or fatigue can also greatly increase a truck driver’s chances of causing a serious crash.
However, some rollover wrecks are not directly the fault of the driver, but rather the fault of a third party who loaded their trailer in an unsafe manner or failed to properly secure cargo. Unbalanced or shifting materials in the back of a moving truck could throw off the vehicle’s center of gravity in mid-transit, potentially causing a rollover even though the driver was otherwise operating the truck safely.
In order to recover civil compensation, an injured plaintiff must prove that the defendant in their case—the truck driver directly involved, their employer or insurer, or a negligent third party—was directly responsible for causing the crash in question. However, if the court hearing a civil case determines the plaintiff to be partially to blame for causing their own damages, that court has the authority under Mississippi Code §11-7-15 to reduce the plaintiff’s recoverable damages proportionately based on their percentage of fault.
While there is no amount of fault that would prevent a Pascagoula resident from recovering any compensation following a rollover truck crash, this pure comparative fault rule could still greatly limit their recovery from a successful lawsuit or even from a private insurance settlement. Furthermore, under Miss. Code §15-1-49, any rollover truck wreck victim who fails to pursue legal action within three years of the date on which the accident occurred may be time-barred from pursuing any compensation at all for that incident, regardless of the division of fault.
The path towards civil compensation after a serious truck accident can be both complicated and stressful, especially if you try to travel it without professional guidance. Fortunately, you have access to legal representatives who could take the lead on establishing liability for your injuries, demanding appropriate compensation, and ensuring you are not tripped up by any legal roadblocks along the way.
Working with a truck accident lawyer is often the best way to move forward after a rollover truck accident in Pascagoula. Call today to schedule a consultation about your case.