Have you been injured in a semi-truck or commercial truck accident in the greater Knoxville, TN area? If so, you need an experienced truck accident lawyer to protect you against aggressive insurance companies and large trucking companies.
The trucking industry generates billions of dollars in revenue each year in the United States. Large trucks are an excellent cost-effective form of transporting goods across the country. However, these massive vehicles share the same roads with passenger vehicles, and the occupants of passenger vehicle are often the ones that “lose” in a collision.
According to data regarding large truck crashes, over seventy percent of the injuries and deaths in crashes involving large trucks are sustained by occupants of the passenger vehicles. Less than a quarter of the people who are injured or killed in a semi-truck accident are drivers or passengers of the large truck. What factors cause large truck accidents?
Common Causes of Semi-Truck or Commercial Truck Accidents
As with crashes involving other motor vehicles, there are many causes for large truck accidents. Some of the causes are the same causes we see in collisions involving other types of vehicles while some causes are specific to a large truck.
Common causes of large truck accidents include:
- Traffic infractions including speeding, failure to yield the right of way, overcorrecting, failure to keep in the proper lane, erratic lane changes, driving on the wrong side of the road, and improper turns.
- Driver error including driving while impaired by alcohol/drugs, fatigued or drowsy driving, distracted driving, and careless driving.
- Tire blowouts and other mechanical malfunctions
- Inclement weather such as snow, ice, rain, fog, etc.
- Debris in the roadway
- Not enough experience driving a large truck and/or lack of proper training and education regarding large trucks
- Improperly loaded cargo that shifts during transit causing the driver to lose control of the semi-truck
- Other drivers failing to yield the right of way, passing the truck without enough distance, and merging improperly into traffic
The first step in filing a personal injury claim for a large truck accident is determine the cause of the accident. Once we determine why the accident occurred, we can determine who the responsible parties are for the damages. This is why it is crucial that we begin a large truck accident investigation as soon as possible after a collision. We want to identify and preserve key evidence that will be used to prove how the collision occurred and who is at fault for the crash.
Who Is Responsible For A Large Truck Accident?
In many crashes involving passenger vehicles, the cause of the accident is typically driver error. However, if you are injured in a semi-truck accident, you may have more than one party responsible for the accident. When this is the case, we want to make sure we name all of the responsible parties to increase your chance of receiving full compensation for your damages, injuries, and losses.
Potential parties in a semi-truck accident claim include:
- Truck Driver – In most cases, the truck driver is at least partially responsible for the truck accident if not completely responsible.
- Truck Company – The company who hired the truck driver and/or owns the semi-truck and trailer will usually be named as a defendant in a large truck accident lawsuit. Some truck companies do not provide adequate training, force the driver to driver more than the maximum number of hours permitted by law, or fail to properly maintain the truck. The truck company may be independently responsible due to its actions or inactions.The truck company and/or the owner of the truck and trailer also may be liable for their employee or agent truck driver if the truck driver is working for the truck company at the time of the accident and/or driving the truck for the benefit of the truck owner.
- Shipper – If the truck accident occurred because the cargo was improperly loaded or the shipper failed to notify the driver and company of hazardous materials, the company who shipped the cargo could be named as a defendant in a lawsuit.
- Truck Manufacturer – In some cases, a defective product or a defective part may be the cause of a large truck accident. When this is the case, the truck and/or part manufacturer is named as the responsible party for the accident.
- Repair Shop –Sometimes a repairman will use parts that are not standard in order to cut corners to save money. If this creates a dangerous condition that results in a crash, the repair man and/or repair shop may be held liable for the damages.
There could be other parties liable for a truck crash; however, until a thorough and comprehensive investigation is complete, we will not know all of the parties responsible for the truck crash. Because you only have a limited time to file a claim, it is important to determine the responsible parties as soon as possible.
Damages Available in a Large Truck Accident Case
As in other types of motor vehicle accident cases, the damages available in a large truck accident claim will depend on the type and severity of the injuries and damages. In most cases, injury victims are entitled to receive compensation for:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Past, present, and future loss of income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Funeral expenses in the event of a death
- Scarring, disfigurement, and permanent disability
- Loss of support, companionship, guidance, and love
- Physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional suffering
Our experienced large truck accident attorneys will discuss the damages you may be entitled to receive during your free consultation based on the unique facts of your case.
Why You Should Call An Attorney For A Semi-Truck Accident?
Because a motor vehicle accident involving a large truck is much different from other accident cases for several reasons:
- The laws governing the trucking industry are complex;
- The accident investigation involves different elements such as obtaining the truck’s black box, reconstructing the collision to prove fault; and preserving the physical evidence on the truck and trailer;
- Time limits for filing a claim; and,
- Damages are typically substantial in truck accidents causing the insurance company to fight aggressively to deny or limit the claim.
The personal injury attorneys of Hodges, Doughty & Carson, PLLC have extensive experience handling large truck accident claims. Contact our office by calling 865-292-2307 or visit our website to schedule your free consultation.