Rollover Truck Accidents

World over accidents in general often result in devastating injuries and catastrophic property damage. Rollover accidents involving larger commercial trucks are something entirely different. These incidents can bring unimaginable devastation on the roadway, and this devastation can involve more than just the truck. Drivers and passengers inside of other vehicles involved may experience significant harm.

Rollover Truck Accidents

What Causes Rollover Truck Accidents?

Rollover truck accidents are among the most dangerous types of crashes on Tennessee roads. Understanding the causes can help in prevention and safety efforts.

  • Driver Error. One of the leading causes of rollover truck accidents is driver error. This includes distracted driving, fatigue, and impaired driving. Truck drivers need to maintain high levels of alertness and concentration, especially given the size and weight of their vehicles. Even a momentary lapse can result in a catastrophic rollover.
  • Speeding. High speeds are a significant risk factor. Trucks have a higher center of gravity, making them more prone to tipping over when taking curves too fast, particularly on highway on-ramps and off-ramps. Speed limits on these sections are often lower to accommodate the safe passage of large vehicles, but not all drivers adhere to these limits.
  • Improper Loading. How a truck is loaded plays a crucial role in its stability. Overloaded trucks or those with unevenly distributed cargo are more likely to roll over. Cargo shifts during transit can cause a loss of balance, leading to rollovers. Federal regulations require proper loading and securing of cargo to prevent such incidents.
  • Road Conditions. Poor road conditions, such as potholes, uneven pavement, or debris on the road, can contribute to rollovers. Additionally, adverse weather conditions like rain, ice, or snow can make roads slippery, increasing the risk of a truck losing control and rolling over.
  • Mechanical Failures. Mechanical issues such as brake failures, tire blowouts, or steering malfunctions can lead to rollovers. Regular maintenance and inspections are vital to ensure that trucks are in safe operating condition.
  • Sudden Maneuvers. Quick or sharp turns, sudden lane changes, or swerving to avoid obstacles can cause a truck to roll over. The size and weight of trucks make them less maneuverable than smaller vehicles, and abrupt movements can destabilize them.

How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Help?

Truck accident attorneys play a crucial role in helping victims of rollover truck accidents in Tennessee. Their expertise and experience are invaluable in navigating the complexities of such cases.

  • Investigating the Accident. One of the first steps a truck accident attorney takes is conducting a thorough investigation. This includes gathering evidence from the accident scene, reviewing police reports, and obtaining witness statements. Attorneys often work with accident reconstruction experts to determine how the accident occurred and who is at fault.
  • Understanding Regulations. Trucking accidents involve specific federal and state regulations that can be complex. Attorneys are well-versed in these regulations, such as those set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They can identify violations that may have contributed to the accident, such as hours-of-service breaches or improper maintenance.
  • Dealing with Insurance Companies. Insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts. An experienced attorney negotiates with insurance companies on behalf of the victim to ensure they receive fair compensation. They handle all communications, preventing victims from being pressured into accepting lowball offers.
  • Assessing Damages. A truck accident attorney can accurately assess the damages suffered by the victim. This includes not only medical expenses and lost wages but also non-economic damages like pain and suffering. They ensure all potential future costs, such as long-term medical care, are considered in the compensation claim.
  • Filing a Lawsuit. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, an attorney can file a lawsuit on behalf of the victim. They manage all aspects of the legal process, from filing court documents to representing the victim in court. Their goal is to secure the maximum possible compensation.
  • Providing Legal Guidance. Navigating the aftermath of a truck accident can be overwhelming. Attorneys provide clear legal guidance, explaining the victim’s rights and the steps involved in the legal process. They offer support and advice, helping victims make informed decisions.
  • Contingency Fee Basis. Most truck accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win the case. This arrangement allows victims to pursue justice without worrying about upfront legal costs.

Who Will Be Liable for a Rollover Truck Accident?

Determining liability in large truck accidents involves examining various parties that may have contributed to the incident. In Tennessee, several parties could be held responsible depending on the specifics of the accident.

  • Truck Driver. The truck driver is often the first party scrutinized in an accident investigation. If the driver was speeding, distracted, under the influence, or otherwise negligent, they could be held liable for the accident. Evidence such as the driver’s logbooks, cell phone records, and eyewitness testimonies can be critical in proving driver negligence.
  • Trucking Company. The trucking company may bear liability if it is found that they failed to maintain their fleet properly, violated safety regulations, or pushed drivers to exceed legal driving hours. Companies are responsible for ensuring their drivers are well-trained and their vehicles are in safe operating condition.
  • Cargo Loaders. Improper loading of the truck can lead to rollovers. If the cargo was not secured correctly or was unevenly distributed, the company or individuals responsible for loading the truck might be liable. Overloaded trucks also pose a significant risk and can lead to instability.
  • Vehicle Manufacturers. Sometimes, mechanical failures contribute to rollover accidents. If a defect in the truck or its parts, such as brakes, tires, or steering systems, caused the accident, the manufacturer could be held accountable. Product liability claims can be complex and often require expert testimony to establish a defect.
  • Maintenance Providers. Regular maintenance is crucial for truck safety. If a third-party maintenance provider was responsible for maintaining the truck and failed to do so adequately, leading to a mechanical failure, they could be held liable for the accident.
  • Government Entities. Poor road conditions, such as potholes, lack of signage, or inadequate road maintenance, can contribute to rollover accidents. In such cases, the government entity responsible for road upkeep may be liable. Suing a government entity involves specific legal procedures and shorter filing deadlines.
  • Other Drivers. If another driver’s actions, such as sudden lane changes or reckless driving, caused the truck to swerve and roll over, that driver could be held liable. Proving this requires a detailed investigation and evidence such as dashcam footage or witness statements.

In a rollover truck accident, liability often lies with multiple parties. A thorough investigation is essential to identify all responsible parties and build a strong case. An experienced truck accident attorney can help navigate these complexities and ensure that all liable parties are held accountable for their actions.

What is the Time Frame for Filing a Rollover Accident Claim?

Truck accident claims, along with most other personal injury claims in Tennessee, must be filed within one year from the date the injury occurs. The personal injury statute of limitations typically prohibits individuals from obtaining compensation if they fail to file their claim against the alleged negligent party within this specific time frame. Please begin your truck accident claim as soon as possible, and you can start this process by calling our office today.

What Types of Compensation Are Available?

Victims of rollover truck accidents in Tennessee may be entitled to various forms of compensation, aimed at addressing both economic and non-economic damages. Here are the primary types of compensation available:

  • Medical Expenses. This includes the cost of emergency care, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any future medical treatments required due to the accident. Comprehensive documentation of all medical expenses is essential to support the claim.
  • Lost Wages. If the victim is unable to work due to their injuries, they can claim compensation for lost income. This also covers future lost earning potential if the injuries result in long-term disability or the inability to return to work in the same capacity.
  • Pain and Suffering. Non-economic damages like pain and suffering compensate victims for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident. This is often more challenging to quantify and may require expert testimony to establish the extent of the suffering.
  • Property Damage. Compensation for property damage covers the repair or replacement of the victim’s vehicle and any personal belongings that were damaged or destroyed in the accident.
  • Loss of Consortium. In cases where the accident affects the victim’s relationship with their spouse, compensation for loss of consortium may be awarded. This covers the loss of companionship, affection, and sexual relations due to the injuries sustained.
  • Punitive Damages. In cases where the at-fault party’s actions were particularly reckless or egregious, the court may award punitive damages. These are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future.
  • Rehabilitation Costs. If the victim requires ongoing rehabilitation or specialized medical equipment, such as wheelchairs or home modifications, these costs can be included in the compensation claim.
  • Mental Anguish. Compensation for mental anguish addresses the psychological impact of the accident, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Documented psychological evaluations and therapy sessions are crucial for this claim.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life. If the injuries result in a diminished quality of life or the inability to participate in activities that the victim once enjoyed, they may be compensated for this loss.

Securing this compensation often requires involvement from an attorney, so please speak to a skilled Nashville trucking accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you understand every facet of your claim, you just have to call us to start the process.