Tennessee Truck Accident Lawyer
When a large truck and car collide, occupants of the car are at much greater risk of injury than the truck’s driver. A car generally weighs about 3,000 pounds, and a tractor-trailer can weigh 80,000 pounds, so it’s easy to understand why these crashes can be so deadly for drivers and occupants of typical cars.
Truck accidents can cause major debilitating injuries that require extensive medical care. But when truckers or trucking companies are to blame for a crash that causes injury or death, the victims and their families may be entitled to compensation that can offset their medical costs.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Find out if you have a case. Call a Tennessee Truck Accident Lawyer for your free consultation at (931) 962-1044.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2013, fatal large truck crashes in Tennessee that involved more than one vehicle killed 11 truck drivers and 92 occupants of other vehicles. The NHTSA defines large trucks as those over 10,000 pounds, a category that includes tractor-trailers, box trucks, and even some modern pickups. Tractor-trailers – because they can be about 50 feet long – are capable of inflicting much more damage than other large trucks and often collide with several vehicles in a single accident.
In June 2015, a terrible crash on Interstate 75 in Chattanooga killed six people and injured a number of others. According to authorities, the driver of a tractor-trailer failed to slow down when approaching a construction zone and slammed into several cars. He was later arrested on multiple charges, including vehicular homicide and falsifying his driving hours log. Investigators learned the driver was wanted in Wisconsin and Kentucky on drug charges and had received a careless-driving citation in Florida one day before the fatal crash. The crash in Chattanooga is an extreme example of how truckers can cause harm to others. It also illustrates what can happen when truckers and their employers fail to follow federal laws that apply to their industry.
Laws that apply to professional truckers are much more stringent than typical motorist driving laws. These laws mandate many detailed provisions, such as periodic drug testing of drivers and minimum maintenance requirements for truck company owners. The laws also specify the maximum number of consecutive hours a driver can work and the minimum allowable rest periods.
The most recent data available from Tennessee Highway Patrol shows that in 2008, state troopers issued 289 citations for violation of the rule that says truckers may drive no more than 15 hours. The driver in the Chattanooga crash had allegedly violated driving-times rules, too.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration oversees federal trucking safety laws.
And routinely, the FMCSA issues citations to companies that put unsafe vehicles and drivers on the road.
In June 2012, the FMCSA shut down a Tennessee trucking company for allowing its drivers to operate commercial vehicles without a commercial driver’s license and failing to properly test its drivers for controlled substances. But the owners violated the shut-down order and continued operating under a different name, resulting in a 13-count federal indictment from the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Motorists share the road with commercial trucks every day – usually, without incident. But reckless drivers, irresponsible trucking company owners, and defective vehicles pose a serious threat to other drivers. When a crash occurs because of any of those factors, and people are injured or killed, the victims and their families could be entitled to compensation.
Tennessee Truck Accident Lawyer
Unfortunately, there is no way for motorists to know whether a semi traveling near them on the highway has faulty tires, or whether the driver has had an inadequate rest break.
If you or a family member have been injured in a Tennessee truck accident, don’t wait to get help, because the court allows a limited time for filing cases of personal injury. Our office aggressively pursues trucking accident cases for clients seriously injured by the careless and irresponsible operations of large commercial trucks.