Logging Truck Accidents

As timber gets cleared away, it travels from point A to point B. This travel happens on the back of big logging trucks, and these trucks can lead to serious accidents. Unfortunately, lugging truck accidents disproportionately affect drivers and passengers inside smaller vehicles on the roadway. These incidents can lead to major injuries and extensive property damage, leaving victims struggling to recover.

Logging Truck Accidents

What Causes Logging Truck Accidents?

Logging trucks are a common sight on many highways, especially in regions rich in forestry resources. These trucks, essential for transporting large quantities of timber from forests to mills, pose unique hazards on the road. Understanding the causes of logging truck accidents is crucial for improving road safety and preventing these often devastating crashes:

  1. Improperly secured loads. One of the most significant risks with logging trucks is the transportation of heavy, unevenly shaped logs. If these logs are not secured correctly, they can shift during transport, causing the driver to lose control or the logs to spill onto the roadway, creating dangerous obstacles for other vehicles.
  2. Driver fatigue. Logging truck drivers often face long hours on the road, sometimes in challenging driving conditions. Fatigue can impair a driver’s reaction time, decision-making ability, and overall alertness, increasing the risk of accidents.
  3. Inadequate training. Operating a logging truck requires specific skills due to the unique nature of the loads and the vehicles themselves. Inadequate training on how to handle these trucks and their cargo can lead to errors in judgment that cause accidents.
  4. Poor vehicle maintenance. Logging trucks endure significant wear and tear due to the heavy loads and often rough roads they travel. Failure to maintain brakes, tires, and other critical components can lead to mechanical failures that precipitate accidents.
  5. Challenging road conditions. Logging trucks frequently operate in rural areas where road conditions may be poor or affected by weather. Slippery roads, unexpected potholes, or inadequate road signage can contribute to accidents.

Unique Challenges Faced by Logging Trucks

Beyond the common causes shared with other types of truck accidents, logging trucks have unique challenges:

  • Center of gravity issues. The high center of gravity and sometimes uneven distribution of weight make logging trucks particularly susceptible to rollovers, especially on curves or when making sharp turns.
  • Rural road navigation. Logging trucks often travel on narrow, winding roads that are not designed to accommodate heavy vehicles. These challenging routes require exceptional driving skills and utmost caution.

Liability for Logging Truck Collisions in Tennessee

The process of determining liability after a logging truck accident can be described in one word: complex. Unfortunately, determining liability after a truck accident is not straightforward, particularly after an accident involving a logging truck. There could be a multitude of parties involved who could all have liability, including:

  • The truck driver. Often, the driver may be liable if the accident was caused by negligent behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving, or violating hours of service regulations that mandate rest periods for drivers.
  • The logging company. If the company failed to follow proper safety protocols, such as ensuring proper load securement or conducting regular vehicle maintenance checks, they could be held liable for any resulting accidents.
  • The truck manufacturer. In cases where the accident was caused by a vehicle malfunction, such as brake failure or steering issues, the manufacturer of the truck or its parts may be responsible due to defects.
  • Maintenance providers. If a third party is responsible for maintaining the truck and failed to perform their duties correctly, resulting in vehicle failure, they can be held liable.
  • Loaders of the logs. Since improperly secured loads are a common cause of logging truck accidents, the party responsible for loading the truck might be held liable if their negligence in securement led to an accident.
  • Government entities. Sometimes, the condition of the road can contribute to an accident. If poor road maintenance or flawed road design played a role, local or state government entities might be liable.
  • Other motorists. In some cases, other drivers on the road who drive recklessly or negligently and cause an accident involving a logging truck might also share in the liability.

Types of Compensation Available After a Logging Truck Crash

Compensation for a logging truck accident in Tennessee could come in the form of an insurance settlement (though still through a lawsuit) or as a result of a personal injury jury verdict. The total amount of compensation paid to those harmed in these incidents will vary depending on several factors. These factors are dependent on the evidence available for each particular claim, but the overall severity of the injuries and how long it takes a person to recover play a major role in settlement amounts.

In general, the goal of an injury claim after a logging truck accident is to recover economic and non-economic damages for victims.

Economic damages revolve around calculable expenses that logging truck accident victims are likely to incur. When we say calculable, we are referring to the ability to examine receipts and invoices the victim may receive. For example, economic damages for a truck accident often include compensation for:

  • Emergency room expenses
  • Surgical costs
  • All doctor visits
  • Prescription medications and medical devices
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage expenses
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Rental vehicle costs

Non-economic damages focus on losses that are a bit more challenging to calculate. These revolve around a logging truck accident victim’s physical and emotional pain and suffering as well as any loss of enjoyment of life they incur due to any lasting disability or scarring and disfigurement.

How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help?

If you or someone you care about has sustained an injury or property damage due to the negligent actions of a logging truck driver or company anywhere in Tennessee, you should contact an attorney immediately. A truck accident lawyer in Nashville can analyze the evidence in your case and help you make a decision about moving forward. You deserve compensation, but these claims are complicated. Let an attorney have your back and get to work recovering the money you need today.