Trucking Litigation

trucking-litigationDrivers of tractor-trailer trucks, as well as the companies they work for, owe a duty to other motorists on our roadways to operate their trucks in a reasonable and safe manner. When they fail to do so, and that failure causes harm to another, they are required to answer for the damages they caused.

In Tennessee alone, there were 1,661 large trucks involved in fatal crashes between 1994 and 2005. 1,785 people lost their lives in those Tennessee accidents for an average of 148 fatalities per year. Tragically, the number of fatal accidents in Tennessee has been on the rise. From 1995 to 2005, there was a 21/% increase. The United States Department of Transportation periodically publishes recent statistics regarding crashes involving tractor-trailers. The most recent Progress Report can be viewed here (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/art-safety-progress-report.htm)
 
The average passenger car weighs roughly 5,000 lbs. and a tractor-trailer weighs up to 80,000 lbs, so it easy to see which vehicle is going to bear the brunt of the impact. Serious injuries and death can easily result from moderate-impact trucking accidents. In these collisions, truck drivers typically escape unscathed, while the passengers and drivers of passenger cars suffer severe injury and are often left permanently disabled. 
 
Special Federal and State laws apply to the operation of tractor-trailers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations cover all trucks involved in interstate commerce. These regulations cover a wide-range of topics including hours a driver can go before taking a break, drug and alcohol testing, weight restrictions, vehicle markings, qualifications of drivers and the inspection, and maintenance of vehicles. The U.S. Department of Transportation Regulations can be viewed here (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/rules-regulations.htm)
 
If someone has been involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer, it’s imperative that they don’t delay in speaking with an attorney. There are many pieces of evidence that will provide information on how the accident happened, such as black-box data, driver logbooks, and other documents and records. It’s important to retrieve this information before the trucking company misplaces or destroys it.
 
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to the negligence of a tractor-trailer driver, you may have a claim against that person for your injuries. Compensation for your claim may include payment for medical bills, lost wages, physical and emotional pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disability or scarring, and possibly property damage.
 
REMEMBER: The statute of limitation in Tennessee for personal injury is one year from the date you knew or reasonably should have known that a wrongful act caused your injury.  Don't delay in speaking with an attorney to discuss your rights and options.

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