Monteagle is a small town of about 1,200 people located in the Cumberland Plateau region of southeastern Tennessee. The Franklin County portion of the town is part of the Tullahoma, Tennessee Micropolitan Statistical Area. The town is famous for a dangerous part of Interstate 24 that shuts down routinely in bad weather. It is called Monteagle Mountain and referenced in a Jerry Reed song called “The Legend” and a Johnny Cash song. Nearby is the larger community of Winchester, which is home to over 8,000 residents. It is the county seat of Franklin County. If you have been hurt in a tractor-trailer wreck in Winchester, Monteagle, or one of the nearby towns, you should consult skilled attorney Matt Hardin. He is a Winchester truck accident lawyer experienced in all areas of vehicle injury law, including car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. He has also helped many local residents with claims involving wrongful death, medical malpractice, slip and falls, defective products, and more.
Commercial trucks are significantly heavier and taller than passenger cars. A loaded rig may weigh 80,000 pounds, as compared with a passenger car’s average weight of 3,000 pounds. An error that would be minor if made by an ordinary motorist can be catastrophic when made by a trucker.
Big rig drivers and companies are heavily regulated by federal and state laws, and a Winchester lawyer knowledgeable in truck accident cases will be familiar with these rules. For example, federal regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guard against the possibility of truck drivers operating their vehicles while fatigued. They limit the maximum average workweek to 70 hours. Commercial drivers carrying property may drive no more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Any driver who reaches the maximum 70 hours behind the wheel within a week can only resume after resting for 34 consecutive hours. Truck drivers must take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of their shifts.
Trucking companies may be held accountable for a truck driver’s negligence under theories of negligent hire, negligent supervision, negligent entrustment, vicarious liability, or respondeat superior. For example, some commercial drivers do not follow the laws related to service and rest hours because they are paid per mile. They must keep a detailed log book in order to comply with safety regulations, recording their duty status every 24 hours. A trucking company may turn a blind eye to a driver’s failure to keep the log book or obvious falsifications of the log book for business reasons. If a trucker has falsified the log book and caused an accident due to his fatigue, a victim may sue the trucking company for negligent supervision. An experienced Winchester truck accident attorney can help you navigate the nuances of this type of claim.
A company can be held vicariously liable for an employee’s negligence if that employee was acting in the scope and course of the employment relationship when he or she was careless. In such a case, a plaintiff does not need to show that the employer itself did something wrong. This can be useful in truck accident cases when a driver is an employee of a trucking company, which may have more resources to compensate a victim.
Truck accidents in the areas around Winchester and Monteagle can result in significant injuries. If you have been hurt because of a commercial driver’s negligence, a tenacious lawyer can help you assert your right to compensation for the harm that you have suffered. Set up a free initial consultation with Matt Hardin by calling 615-200-1111 or sending a message through our online form.