Every day, drivers share the road with commercial trucks with the expectation that the professionals behind the wheel are qualified, safe drivers. Sometimes, truckers fall far short of those expectations.
If you have been hurt in a truck crash, then you know just how dangerous and irresponsible negligence on the part of a truck driver can be. Drowsiness, inattention, intoxication, or driver error can cause devastating and potentially fatal injuries. Nothing can undo the damage the truck driver did to you or a loved one, but you can hold them accountable through a personal injury action if they were negligent.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to commercial truck negligence, you may be owed financial damages. At The Terry Law Firm, we are experienced with the process for proving negligence in a truck accident. Whether you were injured in Tennessee or anywhere else in the United States, we are prepared to represent you and seek the money you need to pay for your past and future medical expenses.
Contact us now for a free consultation.
Types of Trucker Negligence in a Truck Accident in Tennessee
Under federal and Tennessee state law, trucks may weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. When drivers are negligent even in small ways, the size and weight of their vehicles magnifies their mistakes.
Some of the types of negligence in truck accidents include:
- Insufficient licensing or training. Under Tennessee law, commercial truckers must have commercial driver’s licenses, and their employer’s must confirm it. If the truck driver in fact did not have a proper license and training, they may be held negligent.
- Distracted driving. Texting or talking on the phone while driving takes the trucker’s eyes and mind off the road and hands off the wheel. These behaviors and others, like using a GPS system or eating, may be negligent when the driver should have their full attention on operating their truck safely.
- Reckless driving. Speeding is an especially dangerous form of reckless driving. Many truckers choose to exceed speed limits or weave around other vehicles in order to meet their employer’s deadlines.
- Driving while intoxicated. Operating a truck while drunk or impaired by other illegal or legal substances that affect the driver’s ability to drive could be considered negligence.
- Driving while tired. Under federal law, drivers may not exceed 8, 11, or 14-hours consecutive driving hours depending on their rest before their shift. Fatigued driving is as dangerous as driving drunk.
Common Truck Driving Errors
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,761 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in a single recent year. Only 18% were other truckers. That year, over 100 Tennesseans were killed in crashes with large trucks.
While most accidents don’t involve trucks, those that do are much more likely to result in severe injuries and death. That’s why commercial truck negligence is so serious.
Some examples of driver’s errors include:
- Running a traffic light or stop sign
- Not checking blind spots
- Failure to yield right-of-way
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Failing to signal when exiting or changing lanes
- Failing to maintain their vehicle properly
- Loading their trailer or securing their cargo improperly
The Investigation After a Truck Accident in Tennessee
After you are involved in a truck accident, a thorough investigation is necessary to prove that the driver, their employer, or someone else was negligent. You can hold the trucker and their employers liable only by proving their negligence.
You can help this investigation by keeping everything related to the accident. If you are able in the immediate aftermath of the crash, take pictures of your car, the truck, and the accident scene.
At the Terry Law Firm, we can help you by hiring professionals with experience investigating and proving both commercial driver and trucking company negligence. We can collect police reports resulting from the accident, your medical records, insurance documents, and any other evidence related to the accident.
We can also request documentation from the driver and their employers. When we have enough relevant information, we will make a legal argument on your behalf that the trucker was negligent.
What Is Needed to Prove Trucker Negligence in an Accident?
In order to prove that the truck driver was negligent, you must prove that they owed you a duty and breached it. This is the key idea that will allow you to hold them liable, which may mean that they owe you financial damages. The Terry Law Firm can argue that they breached their duty of care by taking actions that put you in physical danger and resulted in you or your loved one’s injuries.
We will argue that they were legally required to take reasonable steps to prevent accidents. When they failed to do so, by failing to drive safely or otherwise operating their vehicle carelessly, they might be found negligent and legally responsible for the accident.
In many cases, our experienced attorneys can prove the driver’s negligence through investigation of the accident and the driver. If, for example, the driver may have been reckless because of a lack of rest, our lawyers might request the driver’s logs to see how much break time they recorded.
We know requirements to prove negligence in Tennessee, and will seek everything necessary to do so in the court of law.
Liability and Damages after an Accident Caused by a Negligent Trucker in Tennessee
Once we have proven that the driver who injured you was negligent, you may be eligible for financial compensation from the driver and possibly their employer and others.
Parties held liable may be required to pay damages. These damages are payments that can include money to cover:
- Past medical expenses related to the crash
- Future medical expenses resulting from the crash
- Lost wages or salary
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Other losses
Contact The Terry Law Firm After Being Injured by a Negligent Truck Driver
Commercial truck negligence is unacceptable, and you deserve professional legal representation to hold them responsible for their recklessness. They have broken Tennessee law and their duty of care.
The Terry Law Firm has served Tennesseans and clients nationwide involved in truck accidents. We are ready to represent you and to prove the driver’s negligence. We are committed to maximizing the financial compensation you need to stabilize your life after your crash.
Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation. Call us, fill out our consultation form, or visit one of our East Tennessee offices.