Nashville Truck Accident Attorney
Accidents involving trucks are often fatal due to the large size of the vehicles and their predisposition to cause great harm. Collisions between trucks and regular motor vehicles usually result in the latter being pushed off of the road at high speed, crushed, or completely obliterated. Sadly, truck drivers make the same mistakes as regular drivers, despite that their vehicles are significantly more dangerous.
At Larry R. Williams, PLLC, our attorneys have handled truck accident cases in middle Tennessee for almost four decades. Larry R. Williams, his son Jonathan Williams, and the rest of our small family-owned firm are passionate about protecting the rights of victims involved in truck accidents. The severity of most truck accidents calls for a certain level of legal expertise and experience, both of which you’ll find at our Tennessee law firm.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Many accidents involving trucks are due to driver fatigue. Truck drivers have to work long hours, usually at nighttime. Despite regulations about how many hours these drivers legally have to sleep in a day, fatigue is still an issue. Many truck drivers have trouble sleeping during the day and drive drowsy or fall asleep behind the wheel. Tired driving can cause serious driver error, resulting in deadly collisions or rollover accidents.
Road rage is another common cause of truck accidents. Truck drivers are on strict time limits, but national highway safety rules make them stay in the middle or slow lane while driving. When a driver drives too slowly in front of a truck, the driver can become frustrated and pass, sometimes without making sure it’s safe to do so. This aggressive behavior can lead to driver distraction and poor decisions.
Truckers are under a lot of pressure to arrive at their destinations on time and are often caught driving at unsafe speeds to do so. Speed and trucks are a deadly combination, since the heavier vehicles take more time to stop than regular cars. If a truck driver is ignoring the speed limit in bad weather, it can lead to hydroplaning or loss of control. Truckers who speed have less time to react to changing road conditions and may not be able to avoid hitting a car in time.
Truck drivers are no different from regular drivers when it comes to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, even though they have a heightened responsibility not to do so since they are operating vehicles that are more dangerous. Unfortunately, truck drivers don’t always adhere to the rules and make the terrible choice to drive while intoxicated. Behind the wheel of a large, heavy truck, a truck driver can do serious damage to other roadway occupants. It’s more difficult to correct minor errors and tell if there is a car riding alongside the truck.
Injuries from Truck Accidents
Davidson County remains the number one county for automobile accidents in Tennessee – an unhappy distinction that continued through 2016. Accidents involving a truck represent a significant number of those crashes. Truck drivers are professionals who take great pride in their work and attempt to maintain their safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. However, when an accident involving a truck does occur, the result can be horrendous.
Accidents involving semis can cause extremely painful or disabling injuries. Injuries from truck accidents can include:
Head injury. Head injuries result when the head strikes the dash or steering wheel in an accident, but they can also occur when an object strikes the head during the collision. This can lead to injuries ranging in seriousness from a mild concussion to traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, even a mild concussion can have serious consequences, often resulting in weeks of terrible headaches, difficulty concentrating, and problems with memory.
More serious brain injuries may result in impaired muscle control, speech impediments, an inability to concentrate, or memory problems as well. In the worst cases, a person with a traumatic brain injury may be unable to perform simple tasks such as eating and dressing. Those with the most severe brain injuries may require expensive medical care for life, assistance with basic tasks, and may be unable to return to any work. In worst-case scenarios, a head injury can result in death.
Neck or spine injury. These are often the result of the tremendous forces imposed on the neck or back during an accident. Those who walk away from an accident with a semi-truck with nothing more serious than whiplash may count themselves lucky, but whiplash is still painful and can result in the inability to move the neck as the ligaments heal. This may render victims unable to drive their car for some time, making returning to work difficult or even impossible.
In more serious cases, a neck injury may cause damage to the vertebrae in the spine or even damage the spinal cord. In the worst cases, damage to the spinal cord may result in temporary or even permanent paralysis. Those paralyzed may incur ongoing medical expenses, require specialized medical devices for the home, may need assistance full-time for basic tasks, and may need modifications to the home or car to have some ability to function normally.
Broken or fractured bones. Fractured bones in the hands, feet, arms, or legs may often result from an accident involving a truck. These may require expensive medical treatments. Additionally, those suffering these fractures may be unable to return to work until the injuries have had time to fully mend.
Back injuries can be some of the most painful injuries a person can suffer. Often the victim is in a great deal of pain that cannot be relieved in any position. The resulting inability to sleep, coupled with the crippling pain and inability to conduct ordinary tasks, may make it impossible to return to work for months. More seriously, injuries to the back may also damage the spinal cord, resulting in temporary or permanent paralysis as well.
Truck Accident Victims May Be Receive Compensation
The injuries you suffered in a truck accident may entitle you to compensation from the driver, trucking company, truck manufacturer, or other responsible parties.
Compensation may include:
- Medical expenses. Medical expenses can be extreme after any accident, but it’s particularly true of trucking accidents. A few of these include the cost of the emergency room visit, medical care at the hospital and by the doctors, any surgery you underwent, and any specialized medical devices you require. In situations where another party was responsible for these injuries, the law is on your side. Such costs may be a part of a personal injury lawsuit.
- Lost wages. In many cases, your injury will cause you to miss time at work. This is money you and your family need. If you miss work because of another’s negligence, the negligent party should be responsible for the wages. These missed wages can entitle you to compensation for time that you miss.
- Loss of earning capacity. If your injuries result in a decreased ability to earn a living, then you may receive help to make up for these losses. Assessing the loss of earning capacity is complicated and may require expert testimony.
- Non-economic damages. In addition to the economic damages you have suffered, the courts may award you damages for pain and suffering. If a loved one died in the accident, you may consider pursuing a wrongful death claim for compensation for the support you would have received, as well as the loss of affection and companionship.
- Punitive damages. If the courts find a person or business responsible for your trucking accident was reckless or engaging in criminal behavior, they may award you money for punitive damages. Such behavior could include excessive speeding, distracted driving including using a cell phone or texting while driving, failing to follow laws regarding time off driving for truck drivers, and more.
The courts will determine the amount of damages you receive in compensation, depending on the nature and extent of your injury.
Determine Fault for a Trucking Accident
One of the most complicated aspects of a truck accident can be determining who is responsible for compensating you for your injuries. In many cases, this can be a combination of the driver, the trucking company, and even the truck manufacturer. Another complicated aspect of the case can be determining the loss of earning capacity you may have suffered because of your injury.
Your attorney has experience assessing possible future earning loss, as well as convening expert witnesses and professionals to testify on your behalf about the monetary loss you may suffer from a reduced earning capacity.
Involved in a Truck Accident?
Truck drivers have increased responsibilities on our roadways, and the law holds them liable for negligent actions that cause harm to others. Tennessee highways are no place for distracted, drowsy, or intoxicated driving, especially when operating a large truck. If driver negligence caused you or a loved one to be seriously hurt or killed in a truck accident, know that you have the right to a Nashville personal injury attorney who will fight to earn compensation for the extent of your damages.
Since injuries in these accidents can be more severe than regular car crashes, compensation amounts are usually significant in negligence cases. Medical costs, permanent disability, past and future pain and suffering, physical rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity are all taken into account when a judge awards a victim damages. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident contact us today for a free case consultation.