In a vehicle crash, smaller vehicles such as passenger cars are no match for a big truck, and the consequences can be disastrous. Large trucks are difficult to maneuver, and when loaded with freight, they may take 20 to 40 percent longer to stop than a smaller vehicle. An accident with a truck may result in catastrophic injuries such as head, back, neck, brain and spinal cord damage, paralysis, amputations, broken bones, and even death.
If you or a family member was hurt or died as a result of a truck accident at no fault of your own, an attorney may be able to help you seek compensation for your losses through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Tennessee laws regarding truck accidents are complicated and insurance companies will try to get you to accept as little as possible, so it helps to have a lawyer on your side to navigate the processes.
A Hendersonville truck accident lawyer knows how to deal with the legal hurdles involved in seeking a fair settlement. They can take the burden off of you by investigating the accident, determining what your case may be worth, negotiating with insurance companies, and dealing with the complexities of proving liability. If a lawsuit is necessary, they can take your case to trial and argue on your behalf.
Call The Cochran Firm – Nashville today at (615) 651-7451 for a free consultation regarding your case. We work on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing unless we secure a fair settlement on your behalf.
Determining Who Is Liable in Truck Accidents
To win your case, we would need to prove that someone else was negligent, at fault and therefore liable for the accident. Maneuvering a large truck requires great skill, training, alertness, and concentration. Trucks need to be maintained properly, and their cargo loaded and balanced properly. Trucking company owners need to train and supervise their drivers, keep trucks in good condition, and make sure drivers follow requirements by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), as to strict rest, break, and sleep schedules.
When these requirements are not met and a truck accident results, multiple parties may be liable. These include:
- The driver, who may have been driving while fatigued, distracted, or impaired by substances.
- The trucking company, that may not have trained or supervised the driver, or may have encouraged working more than legally allowed hours.
- The manufacturer of the truck or its parts, if the parts were defective.
- The company that loaded the cargo, if this was done incorrectly.
All these parties should have insurance, and all who are negligent should be named in a lawsuit. A Hendersonville truck accident lawyer can seek compensation from all liable parties.
How to Prove Liability
To prove liability, a lawyer will have to prove all of the following:
- Duty -- The liable party, the defendant, owed you a duty of care.
- Breach -- The defendant breached that duty by acting irresponsibly or failing to act with reasonable care.
- Cause – This action or failure to act caused a crash and your injuries.
- Damages -- You suffered damages as a result.
In order to obtain proof, a lawyer should investigate your case immediately to gather and preserve all evidence. A lawyer should do the following:
- Examine the accident scene.
- Look for surveillance or traffic cameras that might have captured the accident.
- Examine driver logs, cargo information, trucking company maintenance, hiring and training records, police and medical reports.
- Interview eyewitnesses and first responders.
When you involve a truck accident attorney early in the process, vital records such as the driver’s and dispatcher’s logs; inspection, training, hiring and maintenance records, and also the truck’s “black box” and other evidence can be preserved and used to prove fault. It also allows us to locate witnesses while they are available and can recall what happened.
In addition, Tennessee has a statute of limitations, or time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit. According to TN Code § 28-3-104, you have just one year after the accident or death to file personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits, or your case will not be heard. So do not delay. A Hendersonville truck accident lawyer will be familiar with the laws and statutes.
Call The Cochran Firm - Nashville today at (615) 651-7451.
Damages a Truck Accident Lawyer Can Recover for You
In Tennessee, you can receive a compensation award, called damages, for both your economic or monetary losses and your noneconomic damages, which are harder to put a dollar value on. These include:
- Economic Damages – for costs such as:
- Medical and rehabilitative bills,
- Lost wages and future earning capacity
- Property damage
Noneconomic Damages – for non-monetary losses such as:
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Mental anguish
Even if you did something to contribute to the accident and are partially at fault you may still receive compensation. In Tennessee, you may recover for injuries and damages as long as you are 49% or less at fault for the accident. In this case, you will receive an amount based on your percentage of fault.
Dealing with Insurance
While trucking companies are required to carry substantial insurance, insurance companies are out for profit and try to pay as little as possible. They may make you an offer to settle your claim quickly for less than what the case is worth. Accepting this may keep you from making further claims should your injuries worsen.
A truck accident lawyer knows how to handle negotiations with insurance companies. If they do not come up with a legitimate offer, a lawyer can take your case to court and prepare it for trial to pursue a just settlement.
Get Help from a Hendersonville Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, there is help available. A Hendersonville truck accident lawyer has the resources to fight for the compensation you may deserve. Let a lawyer take the burden off you by handling the legal matters so you may be able to concentrate on your recovery.
Call The Cochran Firm - Nashville today for your free and confidential consultation at (615) 651-7451.