Top Causes of Truck Accidents In Tennessee
Posted in Truck Accidents on December 11, 2020
Large commercial trucks are the lifeblood of the Tennessee economy. This has proven true regardless of what our country is going through. When the economy is strong, commercial trucks ensure that the strength of the economy is sustainable. When the economy crashes, citizens in Tennessee and throughout the United States and still need access to vital goods. These goods are delivered in commercial trucks.
However, large commercial trucks are much heavier than traditional vehicles, and they can cause severe injuries in the event an accident occurs. Here, we want to discuss how frequently these incidents occur as well as some of the top causes of truck crash in Tennessee. If you were involved in truck accident in Nashville, TN, contact our lawyers today.
Tennessee large truck crashes
When we turn to data available from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, we can see that there were more than 13,500 total large truck crashes across the state during the latest reporting year.
Out of these incidents, there were 156 total fatalities and thousands of injuries. Even those who survive large truck crashes regularly sustain severe injuries.
It is not uncommon for survivors of commercial truck accidents to sustain the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord trauma
- Open head wounds
- Other severe neck or back injury
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Amputations or crush injuries
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Significant emotional and psychological trauma
How do large truck accidents occur in Tennessee?
During the course of investigations into these incidents, whether by law enforcement, FMCSA investigators, state officials, or attorneys, it is often discovered that the actions of a commercial truck driver caused the crash.
Some of the most common driver actions that lead to an accident, according to the Tennessee DOT, include the following:
- Lane departure
- And properly following other vehicles
- Improper lane change
- Failure to yield
- Improper backing
- Driver inattention
- Improper turn
- Careless or erratic driving
- Driving too fast for conditions
In many cases, investigations uncover incidents of drivers:
- Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Operating while fatigued
- Operating while distracted by phones or other devices
Aside from these driver actions or conditions, it is also not uncommon for trucking companies to be found liable for these incidents as well. The FMCSA places certain requirements on these companies for how often they must inspect and maintain each commercial truck. If a commercial truck company fails to adequately inspect and maintain each vehicle, this could lead to vehicle failure on the roadway.
Federal regulations require that commercial truck companies keep on file a truck’s inspection reports for the previous 30 days. Trucking companies should be held liable in the event their actions or inaction lead to injuries.
Truck failure or part failure can lead to severe accidents. It is not uncommon for various vehicle defects to cause accidents, including:
- Wheel and tire failure
- Powertrain failure
- Suspension problems
- Steering failure
- Brake failure
- Truck lights
Additionally, trucking companies can be held liable for failing to properly supervise their drivers or for encouraging unsafe driving practices, such as carrying more cargo than allowed or encouraging drivers to falsify hours of service data.
Passenger vehicles causing crashes with large trucks
Drivers inside of passenger vehicles can also cause accidents involving large commercial trucks on the roadways of Tennessee. Admittedly, driving around these large vehicles can be nerve-wracking, but it is crucial for passenger vehicle drivers to operate safely.
Some of the most common ways that passenger vehicle drivers cause accidents involving large vehicles such as trucks and buses to include:
- Driving inside of a truck’s blind spots
- Performing illegal maneuvers around large trucks
- Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Texting or talking while driving
- Following trucks too closely in
- Cutting a truck off in traffic
How is liability proven in these cases?
Proving liability in the aftermath of a large commercial truck crash can be complicated, particularly because trucking companies typically have the resources necessary to defend themselves. An attorney will use various forms of evidence in order to prove liability for the crash. This includes the following:
- Any photograph was taken at the scene of the crash. This includes photos of damaged vehicles, injuries, causes of the crash, debris, weather conditions, traffic patterns, and more.
- Any available video surveillance. Often, the truck crash itself is captured on video surveillance from cameras on nearby businesses, homes, or traffic cams. Video footage can be invaluable evidence used to prove liability.
- Accident or police reports. Insurance carriers and lawyers will rely on any accident report from the scene of the crash to help understand what happened. Often, law enforcement officials document who they think caused the crash.
- Truck “black box” data. It will usually be necessary for an attorney to file a subpoena to obtain the black box in the truck that records driver actions leading up to the incident.
- Eyewitness statements. The statements of any person who saw the truck crash occur may be necessary to help prove what happened in the incident.
What is the time limit to file a truck accident claim in Tennessee?
Any person injured due to the careless or negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company needs to be aware that there are statutes of limitation in place for these cases. In Tennessee, the personal injury statute of limitations is one year from the date an accident occurs.
This is shorter than the timeframe in most other states, and a failure to file a claim within this one-your time frame will result in a victim being unable to recover the compensation they are entitled to.
Do you need an attorney for these cases?
If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company, you need to work with a skilled Tennessee truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to use their resources and expertise to conduct a complete investigation into the incident.
You can count on your attorney to handle all communications and negotiations with other parties involved in the case to ensure that you receive fair compensation.