Nashville Truck Accident Lawyer
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 the fact that their vehicles are significantly more dangerous.
At Larry R. Williams, PLLC, our Nashville truck accident lawyers have handled accident cases in middle Tennessee for almost four decades. Larry R. Williams, his son Jonathan Williams, and the rest of our small family-owned law 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 Nashville law firm.
Nashville Truck Accident Resources
- Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Nashville, TN
- Injuries from Truck Accidents in Tennessee
- Compensation Available in a Nashville Truck Accident
- Determining Fault In a Nashville Trucking Accident
- Contact Our Nashville, TN Truck Accident Attorneys
Why Choose Larry R. Williams, PLLC for a Truck Accident Claim?
- The attorneys at Larry R. Williams, PLLC focus on putting the client first every time. This means maintaining an open line of communication throughout the entire case.
- We have recovered significant settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of injury victims in Nashville and throughout the state of Tennessee.
- Our attorneys will always fully prepare each case to go to trial. We will not push for a quick settlement if it is not in your best interests.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Nashville, TN
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 truckers 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, rollover accidents, truck wrecks, and serious injuries.
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.
Speeding in a Commercial Truck
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 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, truckers don’t always adhere to the rules and make the terrible choice to drive while intoxicated. Behind the wheel of a large, heavy truck or tractor trailer, 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. Contact a Nashville DUI accident lawyer if your truck accident involved an intoxicated driver.
Injuries from Truck Accidents in Tennessee
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 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 and 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. Contact a Nashville spinal cord injury lawyer today for a free case consultation.
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.
What Compensation Is Available For a Nashville Truck Accident Victim?
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 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.
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.
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.
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. It is not uncommon for trucking companies to attempt to diminish your injuries, but we will deal with the insurance company to get you maximum compensation.
Who Is Liable For a Truck Accident In Nashville, Tennessee?
There may be various parties who could be held liable after a truck accident occurs in Nashville. While it could be true that victims may share some of the blame for the incident, common liable parties for these incidents include the truck driver, truck owner or operator, a maintenance company, or a cargo loading company.
- Truck driver. After a crash, the truck driver is going to be the first place individuals look for liability. Truck drivers have tremendous responsibilities on the roadway, and they must have their commercial driver’s licenses. Drivers owe a heightened duty of care to others around them, which means they must operate with all due diligence to ensure the safety of others. Truck drivers can cause accidents in a variety of ways, including:
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Operating too fast for conditions
- Operating while distracted
- Operating while impaired
- Failing to follow the hours of service
- Failing to inspect the vehicle before each trip
- Disregarding basic traffic safety laws
- Trucking company. The trucking company is going to also be one of the most common liable parties, particularly if the driver is an employee. Truck companies should be held responsible for the actions of their employees if a mistake is made during normal business operations. Additionally, the truck company could be responsible in its own right if they:
- Failed to follow proper hiring procedures
- Did not adequately train the driver
- Failed to regularly inspect and maintain the vehicle as required by the FMCSA
- Did not address ongoing safety issues with a driver
- Encouraged a driver to operate beyond the hours of service requirements
- Other possible liable parties. Other possible liable parties for a truck accident can include maintenance companies responsible for the upkeep of the vehicle, cargo loading companies that should properly load the cargo each time, and companies that lease these vehicles to transport their goods from place to place.
Shared Liability and Tennessee Truck Accident Claims
There are times when shared liability could become necessary to examine. The insurance carrier or legal team for the truck carrier could try to shift some of the blame onto other parties involved in order to limit how much money they pay. They could even blame the accident victim for causing the incident.
Tennessee operates under a modified comparative negligence system. Under this system, if an individual is found to be 50% or more responsible for their injuries, they will be unable to recover any compensation.
However, if individuals are found to be less than 50% responsible, they can still recover compensation for shared fault. The total amount of compensation available will be reduced based on the percentage of responsibility for the crash.
We encourage any truck accident victim in Nashville to work with an attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer will help push back against these allegations of fault in order to help their client recover as much compensation as possible.
Time Limit for Filing a Truck Accident Claim
There are time frames that truck accident victims need to be aware of. The Tennessee personal injury statute of limitations is relatively short, one year from the date the incident occurs. This means that plaintiffs in these cases have one year from the date of the accident to file a claim against the alleged negligent party, or they will likely lose the ability to recover any compensation at all.
Additionally, incidents like these typically involve insurance carriers, and these insurance carriers will likely have their own reporting deadlines. It is imperative to notify the insurance carriers about the incident as soon as possible so that the claim is not delayed or denied.
A skilled Nashville truck accident lawyer can walk you through this process, examine your case, and help make sure that your case is filed properly and within the time frames required.
How to Pay for a Truck Accident Lawyer in Nashville
It can seem like a daunting process to afford an attorney after a truck accident in Nashville. However, the team at Larry R. Williams, PLLC always takes truck accident claims on a contingency fee basis. This means you will not have to worry about paying any out-of-pocket costs related to your claim, even if it goes all the way to trial. You will not pay any legal fees related to your drug accident case until after we are successful in bringing in compensation for their losses. If we do not win, you will not pay. Your total legal fees will be an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement or jury verdict that is awarded.
Involved in a Tennessee Truck Accident? Contact Our Nashville Truck Accident Attorneys
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, TN 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, medical bills, property damage, 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.