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If you were recently involved in a truck accident, you know how devastating the consequences can be for your entire family. Not only are truck accidents likely to cause serious and debilitating injuries, but they can also total your vehicle and leave you without transportation for days, weeks, or even months.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville truck accident attorneys have helped many clients who were confused or uncertain about their futures after truck accidents. That’s why created this list of frequently asked questions to help victims like you on their roads to recovery. If you have any more questions or concerns about your accident, feel free to contact us by dialing (615) 200-1111 or fill out a free online form.
There are several reasons that truck accidents are more dangerous than car accidents, including:
Even the largest SUVs pale in comparison to big semi-trucks and tractor-trailers in terms of total weight. Big trucks can weigh anywhere from 60,000 to 80,000 pounds, while most passenger vehicles weigh around 3,000 pounds. That extreme weight difference means trucks carry much more force and momentum in accidents that gets transferred to any vehicles they come into contact with, resulting in more serious accidents and more severe injuries.
The purpose of industrial trucks is to carry large amounts of cargo. In many cases, that cargo can become hazardous or even deadly in the event of an accident. Trucks that carry things like caustic chemicals, gasoline, or cement can pose serious dangers to other drivers in the event of an accident. Other types of trucks that can be dangerous include logging trucks, car carrier trucks, and trucks carrying oversized loads.
In most cases, drivers of standard passenger vehicles are able to significantly reduce their speed in the moments before an accident. Because of the advanced braking systems available on modern vehicles, speeds can be reduced significantly in a matter of moments, lessening the impact of a collision and reducing injuries. However, trucks are much more difficult to stop, which means any accident involving a truck often occurs with the truck traveling a high rate of speed, making it much more likely to cause severe injuries.
After a truck accident, one of your first questions is who is ultimately to blame for causing the accident. The truth is that there are several parties that could potentially share blame in a truck accident, including:
Truck drivers are required to obey all traffic laws, such as driving at or under the speed limit, avoiding distractions while behind the wheel, never driving while intoxicated, and never driving while drowsy. If drivers are found to have violated any traffic laws or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations, they can be held responsible for the accident.
Trucking companies are responsible for planning routes and drivers’ schedules to make sure they don’t violate any FMCSA regulations. They’re also required to play by the rules when it comes to things like truck maintenance, truck loading restrictions, and maximum time behind the wheel for truck drivers. If they violate any of these restrictions, they can be held liable for any accident-related expenses.
In many case, a separate entity owns trucks apart from truck drivers and trucking companies. Truck owners are required to make sure their vehicles are in safe working condition at all times and verify that all components, including the steering column, brakes, trailer hitch, tires, and any other features aren’t in danger of imminent failure. If a truck accident is caused by a malfunctioning safety component, the truck owner can be considered responsible.
Not only can truck accidents cause serious injuries that leave you facing expensive medical bills, but they can also disable you and put you out of work for days, weeks, or even months at a time. However, getting compensation for a truck accident isn’t easy, as you have to deal with insurance companies that represent multiple parties.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville truck accident lawyers are familiar with both Tennessee accident laws and how to best prepare truck accident cases for settlement. We have the resources and the experience to stand up to big trucking companies and their insurance providers, and we won’t back down until we’ve done everything in our to get you the money you deserve.