Nashville Truck Accident Attorney
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The law requires commercial truck operators to follow a strict set of rules to promote safe roadways. However, sometimes truck drivers or their companies fail to follow state and federal regulations. These reckless actions can cause other motorists serious and sometimes deadly injuries. Attorney Stanley A. Davis and the rest of our team are here to help you recover after a serious truck accident. We are confident that we can help you understand your best legal options. Our five-star client testimonials and verdicts, and settlements speak to our proven record of success.
When you work with the Law Office of Stanley A. Davis, you do not pay anything out of pocket unless we win your accident case. It is our goal to do everything we can to aid you during your recovery. Our firm can answer questions about your rights and ability to file a claim.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Trucking Accident?
Another benefit of hiring a truck accident attorney is proving liability in a personal injury lawsuit. As mentioned, the more parties that are involved, the more complicated the legal proceedings will be. Depending on the circumstances of your claim, several parties may be held liable in the event of a trucking accident. The more parties that can be held accountable, the more difficult and tedious the legal proceedings can be.
Typically, the following are the most common parties that can be held liable in a truck accident lawsuit:
- Trucking companies: It is the responsibility of a trucking company to ensure that all trucks being used for business are safe and that all routine maintenance has been performed and completed in a timely manner. If an accident is caused due to the truck itself malfunctioning or otherwise breaking down, then you can likely hold the trucking company responsible in the event that you are injured in the accident.
- Truck drivers: Whether the driver is an independent contractor (meaning not a contractual employee with a trucking company) or not, you can hold them personally responsible for any injuries sustained in a trucking accident caused by their negligence — if they were speeding or fell asleep at the wheel, for example.
- Maintenance workers: If the trucking accident was caused by poor maintenance that was recently performed on the truck, then you can potentially hold the maintenance workers accountable for any injuries suffered in the incident. A lawyer can help determine if faulty maintenance was the reason behind the accident and can retrieve any relevant paperwork pertaining to the maintenance performed, in order to determine liability.
- Truck and parts manufacturers: Sometimes, an accident is not only the fault of the driver or the trucking company, but those responsible for manufacturing the parts on the truck as well. If a defective part is found to be the cause of an accident, then either (or both) the truck or the parts manufacturer can be held liable in a personal injury case.
- The shipping or loading company: In some cases, unsecured or improperly loaded cargo may shift during transport, causing a trucking accident. If so, the company responsible for loading the truck is often accountable for the damages.
- Government factions: If the accident was caused by poor road conditions, then it is possible to hold certain government entities liable for any damage done to your car or body. Examples of poor road conditions would be large holes in the road, improper signage, and unmarked or poorly marked construction zones.
Proving liability in a truck accident lawsuit is usually easier said than done, especially if larger companies are involved. Additionally, the opposing parties’ insurance company is likely going to try to lowball you in an attempt to pay out as little as possible. This amount is usually nowhere near the amount of compensation you are rightfully owed, and it usually does not come close to covering the amount that a client ends up owing in medical bills.
It is in your best interest to leave negotiations in the hands of an experienced truck accident attorney like Stanley A. Davis. He will ensure that your rights are protected and that the offer you receive is an appropriate amount that can cover all past, present, and future expenses related to your injury.
Common Violations of Trucking Laws & Regulations
Commercial tractor trailers are required by state federal laws to have certain protections installed to reduce the number of accidents. However, whether it is to save time, money, or both, trucking companies and drivers may carelessly choose to ignore or make a “one time exception” when it comes to following these rules, which often spells disaster. Attorney Stan Davis knows the Tennessee and federal truck laws that both of these parties are legally required to follow.
With this knowledge, he is able to investigate whether your accident may have been the result of:
- No taillights or taillight failure: Motorists can be at risk of colliding with trucks if the taillights on trailers are concealed, inoperative, dirty, or dim.
- No reflective tape or dirty reflective tape: While new trucks are required to be equipped with reflective tape along the sides and rear of the trailer, some companies have neglected to put tape on older trailers. Not having this tape could make a trailer difficult to see at night or during inclement weather.
- Truck improperly parked too close to roadway: Truck drivers should never park on any roadway where the speed limit is greater than 25 mph. There is an exception if a tractor trailer is disabled, but the driver must place warning triangle reflectors to notify other motorists.
- No protective rear guard or rear guard failure: Rear guards are underride bumper devices designed to prevent passenger vehicles from sliding underneath trailers. A carrier can be liable if a motorist’s injuries were the result of defective design, faulty installation, or the complete absence of these guards.
- Truck traveling too slow or too fast: Collisions can result when a slower-moving semi-truck merges into faster-moving traffic, depriving drivers of necessary time to react properly. Truck drivers may also put other motorists in danger when they decide that speeding to make a deadline is more important than your safety on the roadway.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
Most truck crashes result from negligence by the trucking company or the truck driver. In both of these cases, you should be able to file a claim for your injuries and damages with the trucking company’s insurance provider. If you plan to file a claim, here are a few things we recommend you do to strengthen your claim:
Seek Fair Compensation for Truck Accident Damages
Representatives from the trucking or insurance company often attempt to settle with victims out of court. Do not accept a settlement without speaking with an attorney. This allows the liable party to avoid taking responsibility, often for less than your damages are truly worth. You deserve to have fair and prompt compensation for your damages. An experienced attorney can help you seek the compensation you need.
Keep the Blame on the Liable Party
The insurance adjuster may try to shift blame to you or another party. It is important to defend your case with the help of an experienced attorney. An experienced tractor trailer accident attorney can strengthen your case and conduct a thorough investigation.
If a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence caused your accident, it is important to thoroughly investigate the situation to establish fault. Determining fault after a truck accident can make or break your ability to combat unfair settlement offers. For a strong case, certain pieces of evidence may prove essential:
- The truck driver’s logbook
- Eyewitness statements
- The truck’s “black box,” which contains information about the truck at the time of the accident
Additionally, any information regarding previous trucking law violations by the company or driver is useful. The only way to fight big trucking companies and their insurance providers is by using solid evidence that supports your truck accident claim. However, the task of gathering evidence can be difficult. This is especially true when you are dealing with severe injuries, or your family is grieving the loss of a loved one due to a deadly trucking crash. But you do not have to file a truck accident claim alone.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
In his practice, Stan has handled many personal injury lawsuits involving truck accidents, which had a wide range of causes. Here are issues he sees as being some of the main causes that can lead to semi-truck accidents:
- Driver error: An inexperienced or poorly trained driver is more likely to make a mistake that causes the cab to turn back in on itself or the trailer to swing. Truck drivers also need to take special precautions and avoid driving too fast or recklessly. Many truck drivers are careless in poor weather conditions, which can increase accident risk. Those who are fatigued, stressed, intoxicated, or otherwise impaired while operating trucks are also more likely to cause crashes.
- Lack of truck maintenance: All commercial trucks must undergo frequent safety inspections to ensure that their engines, brakes, and other essential components are working properly. If a truck does not receive this maintenance, parts can become defective and cause accidents. A trucking company that knowingly neglects basic safety checks may be liable for the cause of a truck accident.
- Poorly loaded cargo: If the truck’s cargo is loaded unevenly or carries too much weight, this improper weight distribution can cause the driver to lose control and may cause a truck to jackknife or overturn. Loads that are not properly secured can also result in items spilling out from the vehicle, creating driving hazards.
- Improper freight size: While federal, state, and local trucking laws all put limits on the maximum load size and make violators subject to large fines, some companies push the limit to feed their bottom lines. An overweight truck not only needs more stopping distance, but also suffers from additional wear and tear on the vehicle and has lessened maneuverability.
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions: Truck drivers are under pressure to deliver what they are hauling on time, and many accidents are the result of drivers losing control after traveling too fast in poor weather conditions or driving recklessly.
How Nashville Truck Accident Attorney Stanley A. Davis Can Help You
With an emphasis on faith, family, and serving his community, Stanley A. Davis works hard to help clients get their lives back on the right track after a serious truck accident. Accidents involving a large truck or tractor trailer can complicate matters, but you do not have to face this kind of lawsuit alone. Stanley A. Davis investigates these accidents to hold the responsible parties accountable for your suffering or loss.
The Law Office of Stanley A. Davis has helped many clients recover compensation above and beyond the initial offers from these companies. We can handle the entire legal process for you, so you and your loved ones can focus on what is truly important: Beginning to heal.
Help is available if you or a family member were hurt in a collision involving a large truck or tractor trailer. In fact, our law firm has assisted many clients in the Nashville area facing similar challenges. Our law firm has a history of success with truck accident cases throughout Tennessee.
Attorney Stan Davis is familiar with all types of wrecks, and he is often amazed at the incredible strength his clients show even after their involvement in horrifying collisions with trucks. Their strength inspires him to provide the best legal representation.
This includes his work securing numerous verdicts and settlements for those involved in a wide range of truck accident types, such as:
- Broadside or T-bone: This happens when the front or rear of a tractor trailer or the cab strikes one side of the vehicle. These side-impact collisions often occur at intersections and are often fatal for the passengers sitting on the side of the car that is impacted, depending on the speed of the oncoming truck.
- Head-on and rear-end: Truck accident statistics routinely show that these types of collisions are the most common type of crash in which a driver can be involved. This type of accident involves the semi and another vehicle colliding head-to-head or colliding with the vehicle traveling in front, often at a rate of speed faster than other collisions.
- Jackknife: This accident occurs when a tractor trailer’s cargo folds in towards the cab of the truck, named for the similar motion of a pocketknife. Jackknifing could crush any passenger vehicles in the vicinity. Typically, a jackknife accident results in a semi rollover and underrides for anyone traveling near the truck.
- Wide turn: Accidents involving wide turns typically result from one of two truck driver errors: Swinging the truck out too far or not swinging the truck out far enough. Drivers must swing wide to the right before making left turns or wide to the left before making right turns, but the driver is also responsible for making sure there are no vehicles in the truck’s blind spots when they attempt the turn.
- Multiple vehicles: Poor weather, bad roadway conditions and other causes that can be difficult to determine may result in a chain reaction crash. Vehicle pileups can involve more than one truck or passenger vehicle and result in severe injuries.
- Rollovers and lost loads: A truck that is too heavy can have difficulty stopping in time or cause the driver to lose control. An unsecured truck load can even come loose, affecting all the vehicles traveling behind the truck. Truck drivers are required to check their loads before a trip and during stops on the way to the destination
- Override or underride: These are different accident types, but both cause catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. In an override accident, the front end of the truck runs over the vehicle in its path. In an underride accident, the passenger vehicle crashes into and continues underneath the tractor trailer.
- Tire blowouts and air brake failures: Just one tire blowing out or air brake failing can be enough for a loss of control for the driver of the 18-wheeler. Your attorney must investigate the accident to determine if lack of truck maintenance or the careless actions of the driver, company, truck mechanic, or part manufacturer may have caused the blowout or brake failure to occur.
- Blind spot: Accidents resulting from the driver of a truck not seeing a motorist traveling in the driver’s blind spot can be complex. Truck drivers rely on their mirrors when driving and must constantly monitor them, especially when changing lanes.
With truck injury and deadly accident cases, we have access to many resources that can help make these claims successful. This includes hiring experienced accident investigators to establish liability, as well as life care planners to calculate the short- and long-term injury costs for our clients, which can be essential is gaining the fairest amounts of compensation.
Compensation for Truck Accident Victims
If you or a loved one were involved in an accident with a semi-truck, our attorney may be able to help you recover compensation for:
- Loss of income, future wages, and earning potential: This would not only apply to how your personal injury from a tractor trailer accident affects your own lifetime earnings but may also factor in the loss of support for your family if your life expectancy has been reduced as a result of a trucking accident.
- Loss of quality and enjoyment of life: This compensation claim for a truck accident can arise from severe alterations to your quality of life because of the injuries you suffered in the truck crash.
- Medical expenses: Receiving compensation for past medical bills can be easier than future medical bills, but Attorney Stan Davis works with medical experts to determine the medical costs you may also incur in the future.
- Pain and suffering: This is a non-economic damage for a truck accident that can also include mental anguish. Your pain and suffering from a truck crash may be determined by the severity of your injuries and the length of time you will have to live with the effects of these truck accident injuries.
- Funeral expenses: In the case of a fatal truck accident, this can include all costs relating to the funeral service, such as professional fees, coffin costs, and cremation or burial fees.
- Loss of consortium: This phrase refers to the loss of affection and fellowship a partner provided before a fatal truck accident. It may also apply to a spouse who can no longer fully participate in marriage activities because of serious personal injury they suffered in a truck accident.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
Immediately after a truck accident, most people are not in a position to do anything but get medical treatment. The severity of truck accident injuries usually makes staying at the scene and collecting evidence impossible. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been in a truck wreck, you should first concentrate on your health.
Then, when you are able, you should:
- Contact a trucking accident attorney: A lawyer can take immediate action to gather any evidence from the scene. Additionally, an attorney can take steps to prevent the trucking company from withholding or destroying evidence in their possession.
- Keep records of your injuries and medical treatment: Take photographs of your injuries and keep detailed notes about the medication and treatments you receive. You may also want to keep a journal detailing the pain and impairments you experience.
- Do NOT speak to the insurance company: In most cases, the trucking company’s insurer will reach out to you soon after an accident. However, you should not give a statement or speak to any representative of the trucking company until you consult with a lawyer.
What Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Do?
Depending on the circumstances of the trucking accident, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against several parties. The more parties involved — and subsequently, how large the companies involved are — the harder winning your case will be. Larger companies usually have a sizeable retainer of lawyers on hand in the event that they are sued. It is the sole job of these company lawyers to ensure that the company walks away with as little damage done as possible. This means trying to prove their client is not liable and fighting to ensure that the company pays out little to nothing for the defendant’s damages. Luckily, it is the sole job of a defendant’s accident lawyer to ensure that their clients walk away with rightful compensation for their injuries in tow. For this reason alone, it is highly recommended that you seek the legal counsel of a qualified attorney. It is important to have someone like Stanley Davis on your side who understands the law and who has your best interests at heart.
There are other benefits to hiring a lawyer as well. For one, your rights will be protected to the fullest extent of the law, as any experienced attorney knows the intricate details of both state and federal trucking laws. Further, even if you are partially at fault for the accident, an attorney can still help you receive compensation. This is called “comparative negligence,” and it is not recognized by every state. A lawyer can help determine which, if any, specific state rules apply to you and your case.