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Ashland City and Pleasant View are small towns located in Cheatham County, Tennessee. Each of them has a population of about 4,000 residents. Ashland City extends for 9.6 square miles along the Cumberland River. It is also near the junction of Tennessee State Route 12, linking Nashville with Clarksville, and Tennessee State Route 49, linking Springfield and Charlotte with the state of Kentucky. Its landmarks include the cliff system of Sydney’s Bluff, which is located on the other side of the Cumberland River, and the Cheatham Lock and Dam, a recreational area popularly used as a weekend getaway. Commercial truck wrecks in Ashland City and Pleasant View can have devastating consequences. To protect your rights after one of these crashes, you should consult experienced attorney Matt Hardin. As an Ashland City truck accident lawyer, he is knowledgeable in the full range of vehicle collision claims, including car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. He has also handled numerous injury cases involving wrongful death, slip and falls, defective products, medical malpractice, and more.
An injured person who files a negligence claim must show that the truck driver had a duty of care, that he or she breached this duty, that actual and proximate causation linked the breach to the crash, and that actual damages resulted. Some truck accident victims can try to apply the rule of negligence per se. This is a doctrine that makes it easier to hold a defendant liable by creating a presumption of duty and breach in certain cases. The victim must show that the defendant violated a statute or ordinance that was designed to benefit a particular class of people or the public, and that he or she was among the people who were the intended beneficiaries of the law. Someone who uses negligence per se still needs to prove causation and damages. A truck accident lawyer serving Ashland City can assess these aspects of your case in light of this doctrine if applicable.
Truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to a large number of federal and state regulations. Laws promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) govern all aspects of safety in this industry. This includes how heavy a load can be carried by a commercial truck, how many hours a driver can stay behind the wheel without rest, and the extent to which he or she may use a mobile phone. Many of these laws are designed to protect the safety of the public. A failure to follow the FMCSA regulations that results in an accident can lead to a negligence per se claim.
For example, a commercial driver is not permitted to hold a mobile phone to make a phone call, press more than one button, or unsafely reach for a mobile phone while driving. Truckers must have a hands-free set located in close proximity if they need to use a mobile phone in this situation. A truck driver who is found to have violated this rule may face civil penalties up to $2,750 and the possibility of being disqualified from driving if he or she has multiple offenses. The company that employs the driver can be subject to civil penalties up to $11,000 if it requires or allows its employees to text or use a hand-held phone while driving.
If a commercial driver is talking on a cell phone while the truck is in motion, and he or she collides with your car, an Ashland City truck accident attorney can evaluate whether the doctrine of negligence per se may apply. As a member of the public, you are in the group of people that the rule against distracted driving was intended to protect. The phone call may be found to be the legal cause of the accident. On the other hand, if a truck driver is on a cell phone, but you crash into the big rig because you are speeding or distracted, it is unlikely you will be able to prove the element of proximate cause in a negligence per se claim.
Big rig accident cases require representation by a personal injury lawyer with specific knowledge of the regulations that govern this industry. If you are hurt in Ashland City, Pleasant View, or elsewhere in Tennessee, it is important to identify how a commercial driver or trucking company caused a crash and what regulations may have been violated. Contact Matt Hardin by calling (615) 200-1111 or sending a message through our online form.