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.
Call our team today to schedule a free consultation at (901) 231-4779, or contact us online. Acting quickly after your accident can help you return your life as efficiently as possible.
Causes of Truck Accidents
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.
Why 18-Wheeler Accidents Result in Catastrophic Injuries
Accidents involving trucks often result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities. 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).
Catastrophic injuries are injuries that have long-term effects and can be permanent, requiring lifelong medical care and adjustments to your daily life. 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.
Who is Liable in a Truck Accident?
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.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Truck Accident Case?
Similar to other personal injury claims, when filing an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit you may pursue compensation for any of the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Any calculable monetary loss stemming from the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Any loss resulting from the accident that cannot be translated into monetary value
- Generally reserved for serious accidents where the negligence was particularly egregious or criminal (such as driving while intoxicated)
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
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.
How Common Are 18-Wheeler Accidents?
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
What is the Truck Accident Claims Process?
- 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.
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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