Often, when we first meet with victims of truck accidents in Memphis and surrounding areas in Tennessee and northern Mississippi, we learn they are worried that they won’t be able to collect from the at-fault trucking company because it is based in another state. They feel better when we tell them that they can certainly sue a negligent trucking company located in another state. In fact, given the nature of the trucking industry, suing an out-of-state company is highly common.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO SUE AN OUT-OF-STATE TRUCKING COMPANY?
You should know, too, that a trucking company cannot escape liability for injuries and other losses one of its drivers or trucks causes in Tennessee or Mississippi simply by virtue of being headquartered outside of the state.
The Law Office of David E. Gordon will never back away from going after an irresponsible trucking company on behalf of our clients – no matter where it is based.
ESTABLISHING A STATE’S JURISDICTION FOR A TRUCK ACCIDENT CLAIM
If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, your insurance claim may involve the driver as well as the driver’s employer. The employer and the truck’s owner may be a trucking company or “motor carrier.” And while Tennessee and Mississippi are home to their fair share of trucking firms, there are many interstate motor carriers that regularly send trucks into and through the states to do business.
Even if the trucking company is based in another state, the fact that the crash occurred in Tennessee or Mississippi is enough for those states to take jurisdiction of the entire matter.
The trucking company can be sued in the state in which the crash occurred.
Comparative fault – Today, most states allow a party to recover damages in a lawsuit even if they are partially at fault. These states fall into two categories:
- Modified comparative fault – In these states, a party may recover damages so long as the victim’s negligence does not pass a certain threshold. For instance, in Tennessee, a party can recover damages if the party is 49 percent or less at fault for his or her own injuries. If so, the party’s damages are reduced in proportion to his or her degree of fault.
- Pure comparative fault – In these states, a party may recover damages regardless of the degree of fault assigned to the party. Mississippi falls in this category.
In a few states, including Virginia and North Carolina, a party may be unable to recover anything if the party is even 1 percent at fault. Those states are known as pure contributory negligence states.
Statutes of limitations – The time period after the accident or injury in which you must file a lawsuit differs from state to state. For instance, you generally have one year from the date of an injury in which to file a lawsuit in Tennessee, while in Mississippi, the limit is three years from the date of injury. Lawsuits can require lengthy investigations, which is a good reason why you should contact a truck accident lawyer as quickly as possible after an accident – no matter which state has jurisdiction.
WHAT MATTERS MOST IS YOUR RIGHT TO COMPENSATION