Memphis Truck Accident Attorneys
Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Tennessee
If you were injured by an 18-wheeler in an auto accident, you’re not alone. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 74% of people injured in truck accidents are occupants of other vehicles.
Because 18-wheelers are massive and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, compared to the average passenger vehicle weight of 3,000 pounds, serious damages and injuries can occur when trucks are involved.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, don’t hesitate to call Dunk Law Firm to get started on your claim. Having handled countless auto accident cases as a firm for the last 15 years, our truck accident attorneys in Memphis know what evidence to look for to hold at-fault drivers and other parties accountable.
We take not only your emergency expenses into consideration, but your future costs of care, too, as injuries from truck accidents can be long-lasting and even permanent. We’re ready to stand up against insurance adjusters, trucking companies, and more on your behalf.
On This Page:
- Why Do Truck Accidents Happen?
- Why Do Truck Accidents Cause More Serious Injuries?
- Who is Liable in a Truck Accident?
- How Is Fault in a Truck Accident Determined?
- What To Do After a Truck Accident
- What Damages Can I Recover in a Truck Accident Case?
- How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
- How Common Are 18-Wheeler Accidents?
- Where Do Most Truck Accidents Happen?
- What is the Truck Accident Claims Process?
- How Long Do Truck Accident Settlements Take?
18-wheeler accidents can be caused by the same factors that cause any auto accident, like speeding, though there are also common factors that are unique to truck accidents. Because most truck drivers work for commercial trucking companies, negligence can occur not only on the road, but during inspections and loading, too.
Some causes of truck accidents include:
- Speeding: Speeding is a leading cause of all auto accidents, and trucks are especially susceptible to losing control and rolling over if they drive too fast.
- Fatigued driving: Truck drivers have to transport goods and services long distances – usually across state lines – and often drive through the night. Though they’re required to take meal and rest breaks, sometimes this doesn’t happen, and drivers don’t take breaks in order to deliver cargo on time. Fatigued driving can result in slower response times and prevent drivers from noticing important traffic signals like red lights.
- Driver intoxication: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is an issue among all drivers, including truck drivers. Some truck drivers take stimulants to keep themselves awake and alert on the road, but any intoxication is dangerous and considered to be negligent.
- Improper maintenance: Trucks are typically required to be regularly inspected before use to detect any issues and ensure everything is working properly. Damaged trucks should not be allowed on the road.
- Defective parts: Sometimes a defective or dangerous part, like faulty braking, can contribute to a truck accident and cause serious injuries.
- Improper cargo loading: If an 18-wheeler is carrying too much cargo or is unbalanced, the vehicle is more likely to roll over onto its side on the road, particularly when making turns. Additionally, cargo that isn’t secured can fall off the truck and hit other vehicles or create road hazards.
While rear-end and T-bone accidents can happen to all vehicles, there are unique types of truck accidents that are known to be disastrous, like rollovers (when the truck rolls onto its side or roof, taking other vehicles with it) and underride accidents (when a smaller vehicle becomes lodged beneath the truck).
Accidents involving trucks often result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Catastrophic injuries are injuries that have long-term effects and can be permanent, requiring lifelong medical care and adjustments to your daily life.
Common Catastrophic Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents
Common examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- Burns that require cosmetic surgery
- Spinal cord and neck injuries like paralysis
- And head and brain injuries
Paralysis, for example, can prevent a person from doing their job, require the use of a wheelchair, and demand hours of physical therapy.
While there are many instances in which a truck driver can be held responsible for negligence, like if they were drinking while driving or texting on their phone, other parties may be at fault. It’s important to hire a knowledgeable 18-wheeler accident lawyer in Memphis who can conduct a thorough investigation and determine the exact cause of your damages.
Beyond the driver, other parties that can be held liable include:
- The trucking company
- Truck manufacturers
- Cargo loaders or the company supplying the cargo
No matter who is at fault, our team can fight to secure the full amount of financial compensation available to you. We’ve successfully recovered millions of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and more for our clients so they don’t have to worry about going into debt. When you call us, we can put your mind at ease.
Determining who is actually at fault for a truck accident comes down to the evidence that is gathered at the scene.
There are a variety of different types of evidence that both law enforcement and our team are able to gather to support your case:
- Driver logs, manuals, etc.
- The truck's black box
- The truck driver's driving record
- Training/certification history
- Truck weight and load logs
- Records from the shipping company
- Police reports from the scene
- Evidence of pressure being put on the driver
- Surveillance footage of the accident scene
- Crash reconstruction data
If you believe your injuries were caused by the negligence or recklessness of a truck driver, our team of truck injury attorneys are here to fight for you. Call (800) 674-9339 or contact us online now.
Following a truck accident, be sure to take the following steps to ensure that your case gets off to a good start and you are set up for success:
- Report the incident to the police. Be sure to fill out an accident report and give your statement to the police as soon as possible following the accident (learn more about why this is important in our blog: Why You Should Call the Police After A Crash).
- Get medical attention immediately. Even if you feel fine, you should always see a doctor and keep any records of medical treatment so that you can be compensated.
- Document any injuries and other important details about your accident. Take as many pictures as possible, and keep a record of everything related to your crash, the more details the better.
- Contact a lawyer ASAP. Do not speak with the trucker's insurance company about your accident until you have first consulted with a lawyer who is on your side. Sharing too much can jeopardize your claim.
Similar to other personal injury claims, when filing an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit you may pursue compensation for any of the following damages:
Economic damages can include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Any calculable monetary loss stemming from the accident
Non-economic damages can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Any loss resulting from the accident that cannot be translated into monetary value
Punitive damages are generally reserved for serious accidents where the negligence was particularly egregious or criminal (such as driving while intoxicated).
When it comes to something as serious as a truck accident, you shouldn't rely solely on police reports and witness accounts to win your case.
Our team is prepared to go the extra mile and do the following on your behalf:
- Investigate your accident
- Speak to witnesses
- Review records and reports on the incident
- File paperwork on your behalf
- Investigate the trucking company or driver for negligence
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
- Ensure you get the immediately medical care that you need
- Take your claim to court if necessary
Not only are we ready to fight on your behalf, but our primary attorney was formerly the owner of an 18-wheeler company, giving us an added advantage when it comes to understanding the inner workings of these large companies and how to deal with them.
According to 2019 data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 152 fatalities in Tennessee that resulted from crashes involving a large truck.
Similar reports that were published by the the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) revealed the following trends for truck accidents throughout the country in 2019:
- Over 4,100 people were killed in large truck crashes in 2019
- Only 16% of these deaths were truck occupants, while 67% were passenger vehicle occupants
- An additional 15% of the fatalities involved motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians
- 74% of the truck accident deaths in 2019 were caused by collisions with tractor-trailer trucks
- The majority of truck accidents occur on major roads, interstates and freeways
While it may seem as though most truck accidents would occur in urban areas, research has shown that they actually occur more commonly in rural areas.
This can be attributed to several factors:
- Truck drivers tend to pay more attention when driving in highly populated areas like cities and freeways
- Truckers may let their minds and their eyes wander while driving in rural areas with less traffic
- Speed limits tend to be higher outside of city limits
- Truck driver tend to engage more frequently in distracted driving behaviors (eating, using electronics, texting, etc.) while driving in rural areas
- We will reach out to the trucking company's insurance company on your behalf and work to file a claim. During this time you should avoid speaking to the company on your own and let our team handle any questions they may have.
- If the insurance company is unwilling to settle and provide satisfactory compensation for your injuries we will begin to build a case.
- We will begin the discovery process by researching the company, the driver, the accident, etc. We will also compile evidence of all of your damages that resulted from the accident.
- Our team will put together a demand letter on your behalf detailing what we believe fair compensation would be. If the company still refuses to settle or negotiate with our team, we will take your case to court.
- If we need to go to trial in order to secure a fair settlement on your behalf, we will do so. Our goal is to obtain maximum compensation for you and your family.
Since most trucking companies have their own lawyer who will fight to protect them in court, truck accident lawsuits tend to take longer to settle than the average car accident lawsuit. An average truck accident claim can take a year or more to resolve.
At the end of the day, the trucking company's legal team is interested in protecting the company's bottom line, not in providing fair compensation to their victims. When you hire Dunk Law Firm, you can rest assured that our team will do everything in our power to resolve your claim quickly, but we will also fight to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
Sometimes ensuring that you get maximum compensation means that your claim could take years to resolve. If that's the case, you can be certain that the settlement you receive at the end will be worth it.
After you’ve been injured, don’t hesitate to reach out to our dedicated Memphis truck accident lawyers at (901) 231-4779. We’ve recovered millions for our clients and can apply our knowledge to your case.
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