Given the size, weight, and complexity of the vehicles they operate, truck drivers are expected—and have a legal obligation—to always keep their focus on the road in front of them. Unfortunately, whether due to fatigue, boredom, or simple carelessness, far too many truckers let their eyes wander while behind the wheel, and sometimes that momentary distraction leads to devastating accidents.
Distracted driving truck accidents in Olive Branch can make for unique civil cases because of how hard it can be to prove that a truck driver’s poor attention span directly led to a crash. Fortunately, help is available from skilled truck accident attorney David E. Gordon, who has dealt with similar cases before and knows how to effectively pursue positive outcomes on behalf of injured individuals.
Federal Laws That Address Distracted Truck Driving
No state or federal law could ever address all the different forms of distracting driving, since small actions like checking a map, drinking coffee, or self-grooming can be impossible to identify before or after an accident occurs. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently taken steps to address a more modern form of distraction—namely, the use of cell phones and other smart devices while a tractor-trailer is in motion.
Both Mississippi state law and FMCSA regulations expressly forbid commercial drivers from texting and driving any time their vehicle is in motion. The FMCSA goes further by prohibiting any use of a cell phone by commercial truck or bus drivers except through a hands-free device.
Once they get out on the road, truck drivers are not allowed to dial a number into their phone. They must be able to make and receive calls with a single button press, or else their actions are considered illegal. Any evidence that a truck driver was on their cell phone prior to a crash could be crucial evidence of fault for a distracted driving truck accident claim in Olive Branch.
Recoverable Damages After an Olive Branch Truck Crash
If a client can prove that their injuries and losses stemmed directly from a truck driver being distracted while driving, they should be able to hold that driver (or potentially the trucking company that employs them) liable to pay for those damages. Common recoverable damages in these types of claims include, but are not strictly limited to:
- Medical expenses for both past and future treatment
- Lost wages, if an injury keeps someone out of work
- Vehicle repair bills or replacement costs
- The long-term impact of a permanent disability caused by the crash
- Permanent loss of life opportunities
- Physical pain
It is critical to act promptly after a distracted driving truck accident in Olive Branch, as there is a statute of limitations that restricts how long an injured person has to file suit. As per Mississippi Code §15-1-49, anyone who fails to file their case within three years of the date their accident may be permanently time-barred from seeking compensation for that incident.
Work with an Attorney After a Distracted Driving Truck Accident in Oliva Branch
Getting distracted for even a few seconds while driving can sometimes have catastrophic consequences, especially when it involves a massive tractor-trailer weighing tens of thousands of pounds. If a distracted truck driver caused you to suffer serious physical and financial harm, you should be able to hold them or their employer accountable for comprehensive civil compensation.
If you want to explore your legal options following a distracted driving truck accident in Olive Branch, you should speak with the law office of David E. Gordon as soon as possible. Schedule your initial consultation by calling today.