Large commercial trucks such as 18-wheelers frequently crisscross the roads and highways in Tennessee and throughout the country. Because of their sheer size and weight, 18-wheelers are extremely dangerous when involved in an accident.
A crash with an 18-wheeler can be catastrophic, potentially leaving you with severe injuries that have debilitating and long-term effects.
If you have been seriously injured in an 18-wheeler accident in Tennessee, you may be facing expensive medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. The skilled 18-wheeler accident attorneys at The Terry Law Firm understand what you are going through, and we are ready to help.
Contact The Terry Law Firm today to schedule a free and confidential consultation. We are prepared to fight to seek the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Types of 18-Wheeler Accidents in Tennessee
Common truck accidents in Tennessee and throughout the United States include:
- Underride Accidents – A car or another passenger vehicle may become pinned under an 18-wheeler’s undercarriage. These accidents often lead to life-threatening injuries for the occupants of the smaller vehicle. Underride accidents happen when an 18-wheeler is rear-ended or when a vehicle hits the side of the trailer.
- Jackknife Accidents – A jackknife is when the trailer of the 18-wheeler swings out to the side while the tractor stays facing ahead, making the truck look like a folding knife. Jackknifing can occur when the truck driver swerves or takes a curve too fast. When an 18-wheeler jackknifes, the result can be a collision that involves numerous vehicles and serious injuries to many.
- Rollover Accidents – 18-wheelers are prone to rollover accidents because of their height and weight. Rollovers can occur when the truck driver swerves. The sudden, sharp change of direction, especially when traveling at high speed, can cause the 18-wheeler to roll over.
- Head-On Collisions – Truck accidents involving a truck crashing head-on with a passenger vehicle are often among the most serious. When a passenger vehicle is struck head-on by an 18-wheeler that crosses the centerline, the results can be fatal.
- No-Zone Accidents: While blind spots are an issue on any vehicle, 18-wheelers have much larger blind spots. Blind spots along the rear and sides of the truck are known as “No-Zone” areas. In general, the larger the truck, the larger the No Zone.
- Wide-Turn Accidents — 18-wheelers with trailers need plenty of room to maneuver through turns. When a truck driver does not allow enough room to make a turn – or turns without properly checking the mirrors – the truck may collide with other vehicles on the road.
- Trailer Load Spills – Cargo spills occur when the 18-wheeler’s trailer is not properly secured and the load falls out, landing on the highway. Trailer load spills put other vehicles in danger, especially those approaching at high speeds. A collision with a spilled load can even cause a vehicle to bounce and veer into other vehicles. Passenger vehicles also can crash when swerving to avoid a spilled load, even if they don’t strike the cargo.
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents in Tennessee
At The Terry Law Firm, we handle truck accident cases caused by many factors, including the following examples:
- Truck driver error
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- Improper lane change
- Distracted driving
- Following too closely or tailgating
- Inexperienced truck driver
- Improperly trained truck driver
- Drunk driving
- Overloaded truck
- Unsecure cargo
- Defective truck parts and equipment
- Mechanical malfunctions
- Poor truck maintenance
- Trucking company negligence
- State or federal safety regulation violations
- Road construction
Injuries Resulting from an 18-Wheeler Accident
Because they are so large and heavy, 18-wheelers can cause serious injuries and extensive property damage when they crash. Severe injuries can require long periods of medical treatment and lengthy recovery periods. You may have medical bills pile up as your rehabilitation prevents you from working. Your truck accident could also result in psychological and emotional trauma.
Common truck accident injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries – One of the most common serious injuries suffered from a collision with an 18-wheeler is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs occur when a blow to the head causes the brain to move inside the skull. The results can be long-term physical disabilities and behavioral changes.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – Spinal cord injuries happen when the victim experiences a sudden impact on the spinal area. Severe spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis and other devastating injuries.
- Disfigurement – Shattering glass and blunt force trauma can cause victims of 18-wheeler crashes to experience disfigurement. When an 18-wheeler collides with a vehicle, objects can fly toward the passenger vehicle occupants, causing serious injuries when they make contact.
- Burns – Because 18-wheelers have much larger fuel tanks than smaller passenger vehicles, there is much more fuel in a truck. If this fuel ignites, which becomes especially likely if there is a fuel spill, the result can be severe burns, explosions, or even fatalities.
- Broken Bones – The impact from an 18-wheeler can provide enough blunt force trauma to shatter bones. Hip bones are some of the most frequently broken bones in an 18-wheeler accident. Arm, leg, and rib bones and are also commonly fractured in crashes.
- Amputated Limbs – In some catastrophic truck accident cases, arms, legs, and other body parts may be severed or amputated in the trauma of the accident. Medical amputation may be necessary in instances where body parts are crushed so severely that circulation cannot be restored.
18-Wheeler Accident Compensation and Settlements
Depending on the facts and circumstances of your 18-wheeler case, compensation may include:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Punitive damages
Due to the catastrophic nature of 18-wheeler accidents, victims can rack up costly medical bills, which insurance companies could refuse to pay. Insurers will often offer much less than what a case is worth. Don’t let that happen to you. Contact The Terry Law Firm today, and we’ll work to make sure you get a settlement that covers all of your damages.
Proving Liability in an 18-Wheeler Accident Case in Tennessee
Proving who is responsible for the accident is the core issue of 18-wheeler crash cases. If you decide to file an injury claim, proving fault will be essential to obtaining compensation.
However, it’s not always clear which party or parties are at fault. A number of parties may be held liable in an 18-wheeler accident, including for example:
- The driver
- Trucking companies
- Vehicle parts manufacturers
- Loading and shipping companies
- Truck maintenance companies
- Cargo owners
- Shipping companies
- The owners of the truck and trailer
An experienced truck accident attorney can help you prove that the truck driver or another responsible party violated a law or regulation, and you suffered damages as a result.
Contact The Terry Law Firm for Help After an 18-Wheeler Accident
The Terry Law Firm has extensive experience handling 18-wheeler accident cases not just in Tennessee, but also nationwide. We understand the regulations that apply to the trucking industry, and we know the tricks that trucking companies and their insurance companies use to deny liability or underpay valid injury claims.
If you have been seriously injured in an 18-wheeler accident due to the negligence or recklessness of a truck driver or another party, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Allow us to build the strongest case possible for you.
Schedule a free initial consultation today by calling us or contacting us online.