Gallatin covers 22.5 square miles on Station Camp Creek, near the Cumberland River in Tennessee. Like neighboring cities Hendersonville and Portland, it is situated near open fields, lakes, forests, and hills. The city’s annual events include a county fair, a Christmas parade, and a fall festival on the square. Its Sumner County Museum is a repository for historical artifacts. A number of buildings in the city are architecturally significant, including some restored homes. Several recreational parks there provide good locations for volleyball, walking, tennis, fishing, basketball, and football. Despite these pleasant surroundings, big rigs are an inescapable presence and a chronic source of danger. A truck crash in Gallatin can cause serious injuries and change a victim’s life forever. People in this situation should not hesitate to consult experienced lawyer Matt Hardin. He is skilled in pursuing compensation for individuals hurt in all types of accidents, such as car, truck, and motorcycle wrecks, slip and falls, product liability, nursing home negligence, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and more.
Truck accidents can be catastrophic. One particularly dangerous type of wreck involves a jackknifed tractor-trailer. This can happen because of brake failure or adverse road conditions. It can also happen, for example, if a big rig’s drive wheels lock as the vehicle reaches a place on the road that is slick or textured differently than the rest of the highway. When the truck moves forward, its trailer swings to the side. The driver has different braking options. If he or she locks the drive axles, the truck may jackknife, causing the trailer to move 90 degrees away and strike cars in other lanes. The accident may end with the big rig rolling over.
Since commercial vehicles can weigh 80,000 pounds, they can cause catastrophic injuries to others on the road. If you are hurt in this type of crash, or by a similar event, you may be able to recover damages through a negligence lawsuit. This means that you would need to show the defendant truck driver’s duty, a breach of duty, actual and proximate causation, and quantifiable damages.
In some cases, the big rig driver or the trucking company may point to the change in road texture as the cause of the accident. If the slick patch is weather-related, and there was nothing the trucker could have done to avoid jackknifing, a victim may not be able to recover compensation. However, in many cases, a big rig driver’s negligence contributes to or causes an accident, irrespective of the road conditions.
Sometimes multiple parties may be liable for injuries resulting from a tractor-trailer wreck. If a commercial driver claims he was driving safely, for example, but defective road design created a pool of standing water, a victim may sue not only the trucker but also the construction company or the government entity that created the faulty highway surface. A jury will apportion fault among all parties whom it finds to bear some responsibility for a crash. As long as the victim is not deemed to be 50% or more at fault for a tractor-trailer accident, he or she may be able to recover from all the other individuals or entities found to be at least partly at fault. The compensation award will be proportionate to their percentages of responsibility and can cover both objective and subjective forms of harm. Types of damages may extend from lost wages, hospital bills, property damage, and other out-of-pocket costs to pain and suffering.
Numerous federal and state regulations govern big rig drivers’ conduct on the road. A truck accident attorney familiar with these regulations is more likely to understand whether a commercial driver did something wrong that led to a crash near Gallatin, Hendersonville, or Portland. Trucking companies and their insurers are familiar with the regulations, and they will be more likely to take you seriously if you are represented by someone who has comparable familiarity with the obligations of their employees. Consult Matt Hardin by calling (615) 200-1111 or sending a message through our online form.