Commercial Truck Accidents Are Common and Deadly Tennessee Road Hazards
Experienced truck accident attorneys serving clients in Memphis, Jackson, and throughout West Tennessee
When we hear about a commercial truck accident in Tennessee, we often cringe because we know that someone is likely to have been badly injured. Whether it involved an 18-wheeler or another large commercial truck, the resulting injuries and damages are usually serious.
At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we put our years of experience to work on behalf of truck accident victims throughout West Tennessee. From our offices in Memphis and Jackson, we help families just like you pick up the pieces after being involved in a serious crash. If you are unsure about how you can protect your family after a truck crash, we can help you.
Common causes of 18-wheeler crashes
There are many factors that can lead to a wreck involving a large, commercial truck and a passenger vehicle. Some of the more common causes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), include the following:
Car versus semi wreck
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that of the 1041 traffic fatalities in Tennessee in 2016, 120 involved a large truck. An average passenger car weighs about 3,000 pounds. Pit that against a loaded 80,000-pound commercial truck, and disaster is certainly likely. Several factors determine how serious a commercial truck accident will be:
- Whether the truck is loaded properly
- Whether the freight is flammable or hazardous
- How fast each vehicle is traveling
- Whether the driver of either vehicle is distracted or impaired
What are the proper steps to take following a truck accident?
After a truck accident, you are likely of have an injury. Here are some of the steps you can follow:
- Check on the passengers in your car, and if you can safely get out of your vehicle, check on passengers of the other vehicles involved in the crash to make sure that everyone is okay. If there are others who are also injured, assess their condition, and dial 911 to get help.
- If you can, move your vehicle so that it is out of the way of oncoming traffic, and make sure that you stay out of the roadway.
- Remain at the scene, and offer whatever aid you can until help arrives.
- Do not say anything about the accident. Do not describe what happened or say anything to anyone at the scene about the collision. Without thinking, you might say, “Oh I am sorry you are hurt,” to one of the injured people at the scene, and they might take that as an admission of fault.
- Gather information about the accident by taking pictures and video. Get the name, contact information, and insurance information from the other drivers at the scene. Write down the make and model of the truck and any other vehicles involved.
- Speak to the responding police officer, and get a reference number for the police report if there is one.
- Make sure that you inform your insurance company about the crash, and schedule a visit with your doctor right away.
- Finally, be sure to call an experienced Memphis truck accident lawyer to represent you right away. There is a legal time limit called a statute of limitations of one year from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. Pursuing compensation after a truck accident can be far more complicated than for a car accident, so the sooner you get started, the better.
Know your rights after a truck crash injury
If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident and think the driver of the truck or the trucking company was at fault, you should be aware of your rights. The first thing that must be done is to prove that a person or a company was negligent. Oftentimes, it is both.
What is negligence? One example might be the truck driver was texting on his cell phone at the time he hit your vehicle. The driver could be named as a defendant because he did not “exercise a reasonable degree of care” to keep you from getting hurt.
Another example would be the trucking company refusing to replace worn tires, and a blowout on the truck caused your accident. In this case, the trucking company could be considered negligent.
It is also possible that others could be held responsible along with the driver and truck company. You could also receive compensation for your injuries from contractors, employers, and insurance companies.
How much is my truck accident case worth?
Dealing with a truck accident is completely different from dealing with a passenger vehicle crash because a semi-truck is a commercial vehicle. Depending on the nature of the wreck, you might be facing multiple defendants and insurance policies. While every truck crash case is different, there are certain factors that determine the value of your case including:
- Total medical expenses
- Lost wages
- How severe the injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Any additional factors specific to your case.
Your attorney might be able to give you a rough estimate of what your case might be worth, but they will not have a more accurate number until the investigation is complete.
How can a truck accident attorney help me?
As we have said, Tennessee commercial truck accidents frequently result in severe injuries and even death. Because the law can be confusing, it is a good idea to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you sort through your options.
After an injury from a truck wreck, you may be tempted to think that you can handle suing the insurance company for the truck driver on your own. But would you know that you might also be able to sue the trucking company that hired the truck driver, the manufacturer responsible for the defective brakes that caused the crash, and the maintenance company that didn’t realize that the brakes were defective when they installed them? Do you think that you would be able to recover as much compensation as an attorney who is trained in all aspects of injury law and familiar with the tactics that the big insurance companies use to make sure that they pay as little as possible? How will you know how much your case is worth, and how will you know that the insurance company has offered you a lowball offer?
At our law offices in Memphis and Jackson, you will find an attorney who:
- Helps you deal with the aftermath of the accident, including medical costs, lost wages, and emotional suffering
- Explains the steps in filing a lawsuit against those who caused your accident
- Takes action against those who were negligent, including other drivers, company supervisors, and owners
- Takes care of the many necessary parts of a legal action, including research, witness interviews, negotiations, and trial preparation
When you work with Bailey & Greer, PLLC, you work with a small team of Memphis truck accident lawyers who see you and treat you as a person, not a case number. We work hard to create innovative and customized strategies designed to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible after your accident.
Accomplished truck accident lawyers serving West Tennessee families
Bailey & Greer, PLLC, is widely acknowledged in West Tennessee and throughout the state for our tenacity when it comes to protecting our clients. If you have been hurt in a crash with an 18-wheeler, or if you are a truck driver who has sustained an injury because of a defective part on your truck, please call 901-475-7434 or fill out this contact form to schedule a free consultation at our Memphis or Jackson office.