Collisions involving commercial trucks are often life-threatening. If you have suffered catastrophic injuries due to someone else’s misconduct or negligence, you may be entitled to total compensation.
Get help recovering the money you deserve when you contact an experienced Collierville truck accident lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC. Schedule your free consultation today to find out more about who could be responsible for causing your truck accident and how to hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
Potential Parties You Can Sue
Parties responsible for maintaining road safety and integrity and others responsible for maintaining that of the commercial truck could all share liability when dangerous roads or defective truck parts cause collisions. It is also critical to note that truck drivers and trucking companies must abide by federal regulations specific to the trucking industry.
Some of the parties often named in lawsuits of this nature include:
- The commercial truck driver
- The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT)
- The owner of the tractor-trailer
- The commercial trucking company
- Truck maintenance professionals
- Truck safety inspectors
- Government agencies and executives
- The truck manufacturer
- Other third parties
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Proving Liability for a Truck Accident in Collierville
To prove liability, your truck accident lawyer in Collierville, TN, will need to introduce compelling evidence. This is because the burden of proof in civil claims is based on a preponderance of the evidence. This means the evidence your attorney presented at trial must leave little doubt in the mind of the jury that the defendant is responsible for causing your injuries.
Some of the more powerful types of evidence used to prove fault in a Collierville truck accident claim include:
- The truck’s black box data
- CCTV, body cam, and video footage of the accident
- Photos of the victim’s truck accident injuries
- Reports by accident reconstructionists, police, and experts
- The testimony of expert witnesses
- Witness statements
- The truck driver’s blood alcohol concentration test results
- All involved party’s cell phone records
The Four Elements of Negligence
Your lawyer will also need to show that the elements of negligence have been met for your claim to be successful. These include:
- The defendant must have owed the truck accident victim a duty of care
- The defendant must have failed to make a decision or made a decision that breached the duty of care they owed the truck accident victim
- The defendant’s actions must be responsible for causing the victim’s damages or injuries
- The victim must have suffered emotional, financial, physical, or psychological damages as a result of the defendant’s actions
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Shared Fault Laws and Their Impact on Your Case
Do not be surprised if the defense attempts to blame you for causing the accident. After all, it may be one of their only opportunities to avoid being found financially liable for your suffering. Thankfully, Tennessee follows modified comparative negligence laws. Here, if you are partially at fault for causing your injuries, you can still recover compensation for your damages.
However, your portion of fault cannot be greater than 49% if you hope to recover compensation. If your portion of liability exceeds this limit, you will be barred from having your case heard. In fact, you could instead find that you are being targeted in a lawsuit from the other involved party.
Even if you are able to pursue money for your injuries in a case where you held a level of fault, the amount of compensation you can be awarded will be reduced to ensure you are held accountable for your percentage of fault.
An Example of Comparative Negligence
Ellie was involved in a car accident. She was struck suddenly by a drunk driver. However, Ellie was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the accident.
Although the jury awarded Ellie $100,000 for her damages because Ellie was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the accident, the judge found her 20% responsible for causing her injuries. Her $100,000 injury settlement was reduced by 20%, leaving Ellie with a final injury settlement valued at just $80,000.
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Actions Your Truck Accident Attorney Will Likely Take in Your Case
After hiring a Collierville 18-wheeler accident lawyer to help you recover compensation for the damages you sustained, there are a variety of steps they will likely take to ensure you recover the compensation you need and deserve. Some of the actions your attorney will likely perform include:
- Conducting an investigation into your accident
- Determining the full value of your claim
- Submitting your lawsuit or insurance claim
- Going through all the steps of the pretrial process
- Fighting for compensation in court
- Negotiating for a fair settlement
Conducting an Investigation Into Your Accident
One of the first actions you can expect your attorney to take will be to conduct their own investigation into your accident. This investigation will likely include:
- Visiting the accident scene and taking photos
- Speaking with eyewitnesses
- Consulting with expert witnesses
- Collecting police reports
- Reviewing your medical records
- Going over the truck driver’s logbook
- Examining the truck’s maintenance record
- Reviewing the truck’s black box
All of this can help your attorney determine the cause of your accident, who is to blame, and the compensation to which you are entitled.
Determining the Full Value of Your Claim
When calculating how much your accident claim is worth, your Collierville truck accident lawyer will go over all the losses you have sustained and the level of fault each party holds for your accident to determine which damages you are eligible to apply for and how much you could potentially recover.
Submitting Your Lawsuit or Insurance Claim
Once they have determined how much your claim is worth, your lawyer will discuss your options with you. In most cases, your options for recovering compensation will either be to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party or submit an insurance claim with the liable party’s insurer.
Whichever path you choose to pursue, your attorney will draw up the necessary paperwork and file it with the appropriate party.
Going Through All the Steps of the Pretrial Process
If you are pursuing compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, the next step will be to complete the steps of the pretrial process. This process includes things like sharing discovery, recording depositions, and negotiating through mediation.
Fighting for Compensation in Court
Should your case not settle by the end of mediation, your Collierville truck accident attorney will argue your case in court. They will present the evidence they have collected and demonstrate how the defendant was at fault for your injuries. They will also show the extent of your damages and the compensation required to cover them.
In addition to presenting evidence, your lawyer will cross-examine the witnesses brought forth by the defense and present their closing arguments as they fight to get you the money you deserve.
Negotiating for a Fair Settlement
At every step of the way, your lawyer will be in negotiations with opposing counsel, trying to work out a fair settlement deal that covers your losses. If they are able to reach an agreement, your case will end, and you’ll be able to recover the money you need much faster than through a trial.
However, if a settlement deal is not reached by the end of mediation, going to court will be the only available option.
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Don’t Trust the Insurance Company
When you are involved in a truck accident, it is important to remember that the insurance company is not on your side. The insurance company’s goal is to pay out as little as possible for your claim. They may try to pressure you into accepting a settlement that does not fully cover your damages, or they may deny your claim altogether.
While the insurance adjuster will likely be friendly and try and convince you that they are there to help, the reality is that this is simply a tactic to try and convince you to take a lowball settlement offer before speaking with an attorney. If you accept a deal, you will be unable to pursue further compensation when you discover the full value of your damages.
It is essential to have an experienced Collierville truck accident lawyer on your side to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Hiring an attorney will prevent the insurance company from contacting you directly. When dealing with your lawyer, they will be unable to use the tricks they would normally employ to devalue your claim.
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How Much does a Truck Accident Attorney Charge for Their Services?
Truck accident attorneys and other personal injury lawyers use a different fee system than other types of legal professionals. Rather than charging an expensive fee to retain their services and a high hourly rate, experienced truck accident lawyers typically charge a single fee, which is paid upon the conclusion of your case.
What’s more, this fee is contingent upon you recovering compensation from the at-fault party. If you don’t collect, your attorney will not be paid. This fee structure also gives your lawyer a strong incentive to get as much money on your behalf as possible. That’s because the fee they do receive will be in the form of a set percentage of the damages you recover.
When lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, it makes it possible for all injury victims to pursue damages. Since you will never pay your attorney a single cent out of your own pocket, you can retain legal representation regardless of your financial standing.
The Statute of Limitations for Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Collierville
The statute of limitations for filing a truck accident lawsuit in Tennessee is one year from the date of the accident. This statute of limitations is one of the most restrictive in the country. Because of this, it is critical to take action quickly to recover the compensation you need. You may be barred from recovering compensation if you don’t file your claim within one year.
It is important to note that this timeline for taking legal action can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case, so it is best to speak with an experienced Collierville truck accident lawyer to determine the best course of action for your situation.
The details of your case could either expand or further limit the amount of time you have to file. A truck accident attorney can help you determine if you are still eligible to sue the responsible party even if the one-year mark has come and gone. They can also ensure that a shorter deadline doesn’t pass you by without your knowledge.
Most Truck Accident Cases are Resolved Through an Out-of-Court Settlement
Most truck accident cases end up settling out of court. This means that the parties involved in the case will negotiate a settlement agreement without having to go to trial. The process of negotiating a settlement can take some time, depending on the complexity of the case and how willing each party is to come to an agreement.
In most cases, it is best for both parties if they can come to an agreement without having to go to court. This is because it saves time and money and allows the injured party to receive compensation much sooner than if they had gone through a lengthy trial.
However, there is still a chance that you will have to win your case in the courtroom. If negotiations fail and the parties cannot agree, your case may go to trial. While you can expect to settle your case out of court, your lawyer still needs to take all the steps to prepare for a courtroom battle if necessary.
How Long Will It Take to Recover Compensation After a Truck Accident?
The amount of time it takes to recover compensation after a truck accident depends on the complexity of your case. If you are able to reach an agreement with the insurance company, you may be able to receive compensation in as little as a few weeks. However, if your case goes to trial, it could take months or even years before you are able to recover any damages.
When attempting to figure out how long it is going to take before you collect damages, one of the most important factors is the willingness of the two sides to negotiate. If you or the defendant are reluctant to enter settlement negotiations, you will likely be in it for the long haul.
Damages You Can Pursue After a Truck Accident
After a truck accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the circumstances of your case, you could be eligible to receive compensation for economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are those that have a specific monetary value attached to them. In a truck accident case, economic damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Lowered earning ability
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are those that do not have a specific monetary value attached to them. In a truck accident case, non-economic damages may include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Punitive damages are a type of compensation that is awarded to a plaintiff in order to punish the defendant for their negligent or intentional actions. Punitive damages are typically only awarded in cases where the defendant’s behavior was particularly egregious, such as when they acted with malice or recklessness.
In truck accident cases, punitive damages may be awarded if the driver was found to have been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if the commercial trucking company was found to have been negligent in their hiring practices.
Our Results Speak for Themselves
At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC, we have helped countless accident victims recover fair compensation for their injuries. We have a long history of ensuring our clients get the money they deserve and, in many cases, have secured over a million dollars in damages.
Of course, the amount you recover for your accident will depend in part upon the extent of the damages you endured. No matter the extent of your losses, we will always fight to get you as much money as possible. Our team of Collierville truck accident lawyers is standing by to get started on your case and help you get the money you need.
Types of Truck Accidents in Collierville
Commercial truck accidents in Collierville happen far more frequently than they should. However, part of the reason why these collisions occur so often is that there are so many ways in which they can happen.
Your attorney will need to closely examine the way in which your truck accident occurred to figure out who is responsible for the accident and, therefore, liable for your damages. Some of the most common types of truck accidents our firm has seen include:
- Jackknife accidents
- Underride accidents
- Tire blowouts
- Truck rollover accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
- T-bone accidents
- Highway accidents
- Accidents caused by drunk driving
- Drowsy driving accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Multi-vehicle accidents
- Single truck accidents
- Accidents caused by following too closely
- Blindspot accidents
- Wide turn accidents
- Lost load accidents
- Accidents caused by overturned cargo
- Fatal truck accidents
These are just a few of the different ways commercial truck accidents occur in Collierville. If you were involved in another type of truck accident that we did not list above, you could still have the right to financial compensation. Find out what your next step should be when you contact our office for a free case review.
Common Causes of Collierville Truck Accidents
You know that there are different types of truck accidents, but how do these collisions occur? Semi-truck collisions are often caused by negligent driving. When a negligent truck driver or other motorist fails to uphold their duty of care to others on the roadways, they can cause severe injuries.
Some examples of negligent driving in Collierville include:
- Driving over the speed limit
- Inability to yield to the right of way
- Making illegal turns
- Refusing to stop at a traffic light or stop sign
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Operating a vehicle while fatigued
- Being unfamiliar with the roadways
- Distracted driving
- Road rage or aggressive driving
However, Collierville truck accidents are not only caused by negligent driving. In fact, some of the other common causes of truck crashes include:
- Inclement weather
- Unsecured cargo and lost loads
- Malfunctioning or defective truck parts
- Hazardous road conditions
- Improper truck maintenance
- Hours of service violations
- Inadequate surveillance
Meet with an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Collierville, TN for Help
Although multiple parties may share liability, you can rest easier when you have an experienced Collierville truck accident attorney advocating for your rights. With our team working to build a case against those responsible for causing your injuries, you may be able to recover maximum compensation for your damages.
Schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation with a dedicated Collierville truck accident lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC when you give our office a call or fill out our online contact form. We are ready and waiting to answer all your questions and advise you of your legal options for pursuing compensation.