Filing a truck accident claim is not as simple as recovering damages after a minor fender-bender.
The trucking industry is vital for the economy in Tennessee, but unfortunately the large trucks you see every day on the highway leave hundreds of people dead and thousands injured each year. For the first six months of 2020, for instance, the state police recorded 1,839 truck accidents, which caused 86 fatalities and 822 injuries. If you were injured or if you lost a loved one in such a crash, you’re probably wondering who’s going to pay for the damages and for all the suffering. The money will have to come from the insurance company, but this is a battle that you don’t want to fight alone, especially if you’re still recovering from your injuries. Better look up the best Tennessee truck accident lawyers you can find and let them deal with all the problems.
Filing a truck accident claim is not as simple as recovering damages after a minor fender-bender. First of all, you need to determine liability. In a truck accident, there may be more than one party liable for damages. Fighting with the insurance adjusters comes next and it’s going to be a terrible fight if you present them with a 6-figure claim. They will use whatever they can to minimize the value of your claim, and this is why you need someone who understands legalese, like a skilled truck accident lawyer in Nashville.
How do you determine liability after a truck accident?
If you’ve been in a minor car accident before you know how it’s supposed to go. It’s either you or the other guy who is to blame, you exchange insurance details and sort it out. However, when there’s a truck involved it might be the driver who is to blame, the trucking company or both.
The truck driver can be held accountable if he engaged in reckless driving, ignoring traffic rules or speeding. If he was drunk, again it’s clearly his fault.
There are other situations in which the truck driver may be a victim, just as yourself. If the driver was simply exhausted and closed his eyes for a couple of seconds, an experienced truck accident lawyer will immediately request access to the electronic logging device (ELD) on the vehicle. The data stored on the ELD will show if the driver had been working for more than the 11 hours allowed in one shift under federal regulations. If the company was putting pressure on the man to keep going and get wherever he had to be in record time, your lawyer will have enough grounds to file a claim against those greedy employers.
Also, a seasoned accident lawyer will want to see the report on the state of the truck at the time of the accident. He might even have to call in an independent expert to determine whether the crash was caused by a mechanical failure. If that is the case, it’s the trucking company or the maintenance service they use that should be held accountable. Or, if the truck was overloaded you may have a case against the shipping company or whoever was responsible for the loading part. Whoever put you in the hospital, needs to pay for what they did.