Collisions involving tractor-trailers are known for being particularly devastating. Individuals involved in big rig accidents often find themselves dealing with critical injuries and tremendous financial losses. There is no reason you should be responsible for covering these costs when someone else is responsible for causing the crash.
Take steps to make the at-fault party pay. Reach out to a Germantown personal injury lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC for a free consultation today. When you do, you can find out more about what to expect from the claims process and who could be found liable for your damages.
Causes and Liability for Big Rig Accidents in Germantown
One of the most essential elements of the truck accident claims process is establishing liability. Your big rig accident will need to be thoroughly investigated. The at-fault party can be ordered to compensate you for every single loss. To figure out who is responsible for causing your injuries, we will need to identify the parties who are responsible.
How Big Rig Accidents Occur
Your big rig accident lawyer in Germantown, TN will thoroughly investigate the cause of your collision so we can figure out who is at fault. Typically, big rig accidents can happen for a variety of reasons.
Negligent driving, dangerous road conditions, unsafe roadways, and trucking companies’ failure to adhere to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations are some of the more common causes of these accidents. However, while drivers often bear responsibility for accidents, other parties could contribute to crashes. For example, some additional causes include:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield or stop
- Drunk driving
- Drugged driving
- Making illegal turns
- Driving while fatigued
- Failure to install street signs
- Failure to replace street lamps
- Failure to repair traffic lights
- Failure to fill potholes
These are only a few examples of how tractor-trailer accidents can happen. Your big rig accident attorney in Germantown, TN will be sure to gather compelling evidence that clearly demonstrates to the judge and jury how the accident occurred.
Who to Sue for Your Damages
Who could be sued for your damages after being involved in a truck accident? Your big rig accident attorney will need to examine the cause of your collision to uncover the truth. For example, anytime a truck driver is at-fault for causing an accident, you can expect a trucking company to be held accountable as well.
If the truck driver was drunk at the time of the accident, you might also have the opportunity to file a claim against local dram shops. According to TN dram shop liability laws, if establishments that sell or serve alcohol do so to someone who is already intoxicated, they could be held accountable if the party goes on to cause a collision.
In some cases, vehicle defects or dangerous road conditions cause accidents. You might have the right to sue the manufacturer of the 18-wheeler parts or those responsible for road safety and maintenance. Additionally, you could file a claim against vendors, distributors, and cargo loaders who failed to secure the freight properly.
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Tennessee Personal Injury Laws You Should Know
It is crucial to understand how Tennessee’s personal injury laws could impact the outcome of your big rig accident claim. There are several laws you should be aware of, including:
- Modified comparative negligence in TN
- Fault-based insurance laws
- The statute of limitations
- FMCSA work-hour regulation violations
Modified Comparative Negligence
Many defendants attempt to escape liability for their negligent actions by blaming the victim for their injuries. However, since Tennessee follows a modified comparative negligence system unless your portion of the liability is greater than 50%, you are able to pursue damages in your case.
If you are found to be 49% or less at fault, you can expect your injury settlement to reflect a shared fault deduction. The amount deducted from your injury settlement will correlate with your percentage of liability. For example, if you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of the accident, the judge might find you 35% at fault for your injuries. If you were awarded $1 million for your damages, your injury settlement would be reduced by 35%, leaving you with $650,000.
Fault Insurance Laws
Tennessee follows fault-based insurance laws. When you are involved in a collision with a big rig, you will file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company instead of filing a claim with your own insurance company.
Statute of Limitations
Under Tennessee law, the statute of limitations for big rig accidents and personal injury claims is just one year. Sadly, if your claim is not filed before the one-year statute of limitations has ended, you will no longer have the right to pursue your case at trial.
Federal Work-Hour Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules and regulations in place that determine how many hours a truck driver can drive at any given time. They also govern the number of days a truck driver can work in a row. Anytime a trucking company forces a trucker to work beyond the federally regulated limits, and those truckers cause collisions, the trucking company can be held accountable.
There are several other FMCSA rules and regulations that could have an impact on who is responsible for causing your damages. You can rely on your Germantown big rig accident attorney to understand these laws and know when they apply to your case.
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Meet with a Big Rig Accident Lawyer in Germantown for a Free Consultation
Your 18-wheeler accident injuries are likely to have a significant impact on your life for the foreseeable future. Getting the at-fault party to compensate you for their negligent actions is critical for the greatest opportunity to rebuild your life without financial distress.
Start working on your insurance and civil claims as soon as today when you reach out to an experienced Germantown big rig accident lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC. You can complete our online contact form or call our office to schedule your free case evaluation.