Home to the tourist attraction Graceland, Memphis is the largest city in Tennessee, with a population exceeding 650,000. It is the youngest of the state’s major cities and the 20th-largest city in the United States. The region surrounding it is often called Memphis and the Mid-South, and it has a robust economy. In this region, Bartlett is a mid-sized city with a population of over 50,000. Other communities in the Memphis metropolitan area include Germantown, Collierville, Bartlett, Arlington, and Millington. Many large commercial vehicles travel through this bustling region each day. If you are harmed or a loved one is killed by carelessness involving a big rig, you should consult a Memphis attorney who is skilled in litigating truck accident cases. Memphis truck accident lawyer Matt Hardin is familiar not only with these types of injuries, but also with those caused by slip and falls, car, and motorcycle wrecks, medical malpractice, and other forms of negligence.
Because of the weight and size of commercial vehicles, the drivers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians around them face a real threat of catastrophic injury or death in any collision with them. Truck drivers must follow state and federal laws that control the number of hours they drive without rest, and they must keep maintenance records for their trucks. Some common causes of truck accidents include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, tire blowouts, safety violations, speeding, overloaded or improperly maintained vehicles, lack of a rear guard, and driver fatigue.
To succeed in a negligence claim, a victim of a big rig crash must establish that the defendant had a duty of care and breached the duty with a careless or reckless action. The breach must have caused the victim’s injuries, and the victim must be able to point to actual damages that stemmed from the breach.
Like other drivers, truckers owe a duty of care to everyone else on the road. When they drive with insufficient rest or otherwise commit safety violations, these actions can be used to prove that they breached this duty. Commercial vehicles contain records that the driver is required to keep, such as an hours log and truck maintenance history. These may contain the evidence necessary to prove causation. Sometimes, however, a truck company may hide or destroy records critical to a victim’s case. This is called spoliation of evidence, and it can result in sanctions for a party that engages in it if the other party brings it to the court’s attention. A Memphis truck accident attorney will generally be more familiar with these and other issues that often come up in truck wreck cases than lawyers who haven’t handled these matters.
Damages in truck accident cases can be significant because of the devastating injuries that these vehicles can cause. Types of compensation that a victim can pursue may include amounts covering medical bills, lost earning capacity, vocational rehabilitation, missed wages, and more subjective, non-economic forms of harm like pain and suffering.
In cases involving a negligent commercial driver, a victim may consider suing not only the truck driver but also his or her employer under theories of vicarious liability, negligent supervision, or negligent hiring. For example, a company may be held vicariously liable for the actions of an employee who was acting within the scope and course of his or her employment. This can be a smart strategy because truck companies often have more resources than individual drivers to compensate those whom their careless behavior harms.
Although there are detailed regulations designed to protect people from the risk of being injured by a big rig, many truck drivers operate their vehicles while tired, distracted, or under the influence of alcohol. An employer may turn a blind eye to this behavior, but you should not. After a truck crash, the medical bills and lost income can add up, causing severe financial stress that complicates the recovery process. If you are in this position, you should consult a Memphis truck wreck lawyer to determine whether you have grounds for a lawsuit. Contact Matt Hardin by calling 615-200-1111 or sending a message through our online form.