Truck Accident Attorneys Serving All of Tennessee
Most commercial truck drivers are well-trained and follow the strict rules and regulations expected of them. However, failure to exercise responsibility and care when operating an 18-wheeler or another type of large truck can cause life-altering consequences simply due to the vehicle’s size compared to that of regular automobiles. Truck crashes can also occur with other commercial trucks, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists—nearly always with devastating results.
Whether the truck driver was ignoring the rules of the road, was unfit to drive, or was not following company protocol when a crash occurs, victims often suffer from catastrophic injuries and serious property damage.
At The Haynes Firm, our Johnson City truck accident attorneys represent clients seeking compensation to cover the costs of any physical and material damage from the accident. We’re ready to do the same for you.
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Should I Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?
The days following your accident may be spent focusing on your physical recovery and healing. At The Haynes Firm, we have handled many 18-wheeler accident cases and understand the complexities of each individual case.
Many of those injured in truck accidents are uncertain whether they should contact an attorney. If your claim has been denied, the insurance company has undervalued your claim, or you have faced difficulties in getting the treatment you need, you may want to consult an attorney. By consulting with an attorney, you can have a team to help you as you adjust to life after your accident and may better understand your opportunities for financial recovery.
Tennessee Truck Accident Statistics
In 2020 (the most recent year of data), the Tennessee Highway Patrol recorded 12,221 crashes involving large trucks. Overall, truck accidents in 2020 accounted for 1 in 14 motor vehicle collisions in the state. However, one in six fatalities in crashes that year (195 people in all) occurred in trucking accidents.
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, large trucks are a major problem in intersections:
- 1 out of every 4 accidents at intersections in 2020 involved a large truck
- 1 in 5 intersection crashes occurred because of errors in turning left
- 4 out of 27 crashes occurred because the truck driver failed to yield or made an improper turn
Tailgating is another significant issue among commercial drivers. Six percent of truck drivers involved in accidents were following another vehicle too closely at the time of the crash.
At The Haynes Firm, we know the toll truck accidents can take. Our trucking accident attorneys treat you like a person, not a statistic, and we make it a priority to pursue the compensation you deserve for serious injuries or the death of a loved one.
Determining Liability after an Accident
Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that their drivers are well-trained, competent, and follow all necessary safety guidelines. Failure to do so can result in serious injuries or even death. In such cases, our truck crash litigation lawyers are here to help. We use our experience, legal resources, and knowledge to represent victims injured in a truck accident through no fault of their own.
Any number of parties could be responsible for the trucking accident that left you injured. An attorney can investigate your case to help determine who should be held liable.
Common liable parties include:
- Truck drivers
- Trucking companies
- Owners of trucks/trailers
- Shippers or loaders of trucks’ cargo
- Owners of the leasing companies that lent trucks out
- Manufacturers of trucks or manufacturers of truck parts
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Proving fault can be difficult, especially when you’re up against a large trucking company. Insurance providers of these companies will do everything in their power to avoid paying victims after an accident, which is why you’ll need an experienced, proven truck accident lawyer fighting on your behalf.
Truck Accident FAQ
What Causes Most Truck Accidents?
Many different factors can lead to a truck crash. If warranted, our trucking accident lawyers will investigate thoroughly to understand what caused the accident and identify who is responsible.
The first individual whose actions need to be examined in the wake of a trucking accident is the driver of the truck. Commercial truck drivers are bound not only by the rules of the road but federal regulations that govern multiple aspects of operations. Devastating crashes can occur when truck drivers fail to follow these regulations.
A truck accident attorney can hold the driver accountable for errors such as:
- Driving while fatigued
- Failure to yield
- Distracted driving
- Errors and illegal maneuvers when turning
- Following too closely
- Reckless and aggressive driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to inspect the truck and its cargo before a trip
Errors on the part of the trucking company can also cause crashes. Our trucking accident attorneys will obtain and review records to determine if the carrier hires qualified drivers, provides adequate training, enforces hours of service regulations, screens drivers for health issues and substance abuse, and more. Negligence in any of these duties can lead to a crash for which the trucking company can be held liable.
Multiple additional parties may also be liable for a truck accident due to issues such as:
- Failure to maintain the truck: The individual or company that owns the truck and/or the trailer (an owner-operator, the trucking company, or a third party) can be sued if the rig is not properly maintained and an accident ensues as a result.
- Negligent repairs: Both the owner and/or the party responsible for servicing the truck may be liable for accidents caused by substandard repairs.
- Mechanical failures: The failure of any component on an 18-wheeler can be disastrous. If a part on the truck was defective, our lawyers can bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
- Errors in loading and securing cargo: Cargo needs to be loaded and secured in accordance with the rules set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Shipping companies face liability for crashes caused by unsecured and improperly loaded cargo. Liability for an accident may also extend to the truck driver and his employer if the cargo was not inspected and secured.
Truck accidents are complex events. A host of different errors can lead to a catastrophic crash. The trucking accident attorneys at The Haynes Firm consider it their duty to get to the bottom of the accident and hold all of the responsible parties accountable.
What Should I Do After a Trucking Accident?
For the occupants of passenger vehicles, truck accidents often result in serious and even life-threatening injuries. In this situation, your first and only priority is getting help and medical care. Wait for first responders to arrive so they can assess your injuries, extract you from the vehicle, and (if necessary) take you to the emergency room.
However, if you can safely stay on the scene after a trucking accident, there are a number of important steps you should take to protect your legal rights and start building your case:
- Take photographs. Photograph all pertinent details at the crash scene, including damage to the vehicles, debris in the roadway, your injuries, weather conditions, lighting, etc.
- Speak to witnesses. Ask eyewitnesses to describe what happened and get their contact information.
- Exchange information with the driver. Be sure to get the truck driver’s name and phone number, as well as his or her personal insurance information. If the driver is an employee of a trucking company, you will need the name and contact information for the employer and the insurance carrier for the company.
- Provide a statement to the police. Crashes resulting in injury, death, or more than $1,500 in property damage must be reported (see Tennessee Code § 55-12-104). Truck accidents are highly likely to meet one or more of these criteria. As such, you should call 911 at the scene and answer the questions of the responding officer before you leave.
- Seek medical attention. Make an appointment with your doctor or go to the E.R. the day of the crash. Injuries in a truck accident need to be promptly diagnosed and properly documented.
- Contact a trucking accident attorney. You should talk to a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible. Truck accident claims are complicated, and it is crucial to have experienced guidance and support.
Commercial carriers and their insurance companies will not waste any time in the aftermath of an accident. They will launch an immediate investigation and take possession of the truck, trailer, and cargo. All of these steps will enable them to start building a defense before you’ve even had a chance to recover.
Until you speak to an attorney, no one is protecting your rights and interests. A Johnson City truck accident lawyer at The Haynes Firm will get started on your case right away. We will investigate the scene and collect all relevant evidence, then take on the truck driver, trucking company, and any additional parties on your behalf.
Why Are Truck Accident Cases More Complicated?
Trucking accident litigation is very different from claims involving other types of motor vehicles. Some of the reasons truck accident cases are so complicated include:
- Multiple defendants. Where car accidents typically involve just one at-fault driver, defendants in a truck accident claim may include the truck driver, a commercial carrier, third-party mechanics, the shipping company, the manufacturer of the truck and/or its parts, and others.
- Complex liability. When multiple defendants are at fault, arguments inevitably arise as to who is responsible. The finger may even be pointed back at you.
- Federal trucking regulations. Chapter 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations governs commercial trucking in the United States. The duties established by this legislation are complex, and advanced knowledge is required to pinpoint negligence on the part of drivers, trucking companies, and other entities in the event of a truck accident.
- Serious injuries. Any crash can result in a life-altering injury. However, truck accidents have a much higher rate of serious and catastrophic injuries. The more severe an injury is, the more documentation is required to accurately establish the total impact on your life.
- Fatalities. Proportionally, truck accidents have a much higher rate of fatalities than most other collisions. Wrongful death claims require specialized experience and knowledge to handle effectively.
- Substantial damages. The costs associated with a truck accident are immense. You may be entitled to significant compensation for your losses, but accurately calculating the damages you have sustained to date and are likely to incur in the future presents a challenge that requires qualified legal counsel to address.
Given the complexities involved, it is crucial to seek out legal representation after a truck accident. Attorneys at The Haynes Firm have more than 70 years of combined experience and a number of accolades in recognition of our exceptional legal service and results.
We are also experienced trial lawyers who will never hesitate to take on large and powerful defendants in the courtroom. This includes trucking companies, their insurers, and more.
How Is Negligence Established for a Truck Accident?
Negligence is the failure to exercise the appropriate level of care in a given situation. A simple example is speeding. Drivers have a duty to obey the speed limit. When a motorist drives too fast and causes an accident, he can be held liable for the injuries and damages sustained by others in the crash.
Violations of state and local laws and the Code of Federal Regulations may constitute negligence on the part of a truck driver and others involved in commercial trucking. However, actually proving it can be difficult.
Truck accident lawyers at The Haynes Firm will gather all available evidence to prove liability in your claim. Valuable evidence in your case may include:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Eyewitness testimony
- Your medical records
- The police report and other investigative documents
- Video footage of the crash (if available)
- Electronic records (such as data from the truck’s “black box,” the driver’s cell phone records, etc.)
- Testimony from expert witnesses
- Employment records, inspection and maintenance reports, and other trucking company documentation
Much of the evidence needed in a truck accident claim is in the possession of the trucking company. Our trucking accident attorneys will take steps immediately to ensure that all documents, data, and other evidence is preserved.
How Is Compensation Determined for a Truck Accident?
Compensation in a truck accident claim is calculated based on your financial losses (known as economic damages) and the impact on your quality of life (known as non-economic damages). It is extremely important to hang onto any and all medical bills, receipts for medications and medical supplies, earnings statements, and other documentation showing the money you have lost as a result of the truck accident. You also need to be prepared to identify all of the ways your injuries have affected the way you live and work.
A Johnson City trucking accident lawyer at The Haynes Firm will evaluate the evidence in your case and pursue compensation for damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- The cost of ongoing treatment, rehabilitation, therapy, and travel for medical care
- Loss of earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses for assistive devices, household services, etc.
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish and distress
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
It may be possible to negotiate a settlement that fairly compensates you for your losses. However, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit and, ultimately, go to trial to recover the compensation you deserve.
The Haynes Firm has the experience, knowledge, and resources to represent you effectively at the negotiating table and in the courtroom. Our trucking accident attorneys are seasoned trial lawyers with a history of winning on behalf of good people who have been harmed through no fault of their own.
How We Can Help with Your Case
The Haynes Firm has extensive experience in handling truck accident claims in Johnson City and the surrounding areas. We know that, when it comes to these types of cases, details are important. Your attorney will investigate the details of the truck crash, including what caused the collision and who witnessed the crash. This often involves deploying accident reconstruction experts to examine the scene of the wreck, the truck and other vehicles involved (including review of available data on electronic control modules), and other evidence to reconstruct what occurred. The attorneys you hire need to have the financial resources and know how to properly investigate and prosecute these complex cases.
Our Johnson City truck accident lawyers know the importance of:
- Preserving all evidence and available eyewitness statements, including those from law enforcement and emergency medical personnel
- Hiring industry experts to reconstruct the crash, identify Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act violations, and address issues such as conspicuity, root cause analysis, human factors, and more
- Documenting all evidence in order to present the most thorough case possible
- Filing all necessary paperwork in a timely manner
- Fighting for the compensation the victim(s) deserve
At The Haynes Firm, our truck wreck attorneys have more than 70 years of combined experience handling injury cases like yours. To date, we’ve successfully secured millions of dollars for the individuals and families we have represented in Tennessee. We’re here to help you, too.
Such good people, and very professional. They handled my daughter's case with success. I'd recommend them to friends and family.
Where to begin. I would certainly recommend the Haynes Law Firm to everyone. From the beginning to the end their professionalism was outstanding. This experience was totally new for us and Olen Haynes, Jr. made us feel at ease. He took the time to explain everything in detail and was excellent in settling our case. I can’t say enough about this law firm.
Recent Truck Wreck Cases Handled By Our Firm Include:
- Truck driver taking shortcuts through mountainous back roads, causing catastrophic collision with motorcyclist
- Truck driver fails to yield, turns in front of motorcyclist, causing death
- Truck driver strikes and kills pedestrian
At Our Firm, You Are Never a Number
The Haynes Firm has been named a U.S. News and World Report’s Tier I Best Law Firm in personal injury law, and we would be honored to serve as your legal advocate. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to contact our attorneys.