The statute of limitations, which establishes a specific deadline for filing a claim for damages, is unique to each jurisdiction. To bring a lawsuit in Tennessee to seek compensation for their medical expenses, treatment costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses, victims have just one year from the date of the truck accident to file a complaint. Since this period is substantially shorter than the one in other states, many victims miss this deadline or do not know all of their injuries when the deadline approaches.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it is imperative to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. With only one year to file a lawsuit, time has never been more important. The truck accident attorneys at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi can handle your truck accident claim while letting you fully recover.
Why Is It Necessary to Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?
It is generally important to contact a Tennessee trucking accident lawyer as soon as possible after sustaining injuries in a truck accident. Quick action to obtain a lawyer will bring many benefits to a case. More evidence can be gathered the sooner a lawyer is consulted.
Truck drivers and commercial carriers adhere to business policies to reduce their liability following a collision, which includes erasing any potentially damaging evidence. Sending a spoliation letter to protect truck driver logs, maintenance records, and other crucial information for your claim is one of the first things your lawyer may do.
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What Are Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
As previously stated, for all personal injury cases (which includes truck accidents), under Tennessee law a person has one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit accident the responsible party. Though, under certain circumstances, Tennessee law may permit an extension of the filing deadline. For instance, if the accident victim was a minor at the time of the incident, they might have extra time to file a claim—more time than the standard statute of limitations period. Typically, under Tennessee law, a minor will have until their 19th birthday to file a claim.
Furthermore, there is another exception in the event of wrongful death cases. If the truck accident leads to the death of someone, then the start date for filing a lawsuit is when that person dies and not from when the accident occurs. If someone is injured in a truck accident and then later dies from those injuries, loved ones have from the time of the death until one year later to file a lawsuit.
Finally, the last possibility of an extension is if there are pending criminal charges against the responsible party. When there are concurrent criminal proceedings against the party responsible for the injuries, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases may be extended. In this case, the victim has an additional year, or in some cases, two years, to bring a claim before the statute of limitations expires. One of the most typical instances is when a driver who causes a car accident is accused of driving while intoxicated.
Who Are the Possible Liable Parties After a Truck Accident?
A trucking accident can have more than one party that is responsible for an accident. Truck accidents require a more invasive investigation because there are more parties involved than a typical car accident. When involved in a truck accident, there may be four possible parties at fault.
- The truck driver: Even though it might seem clear, even when a driver makes a mistake, it’s not always their fault. Sometimes the trucking firm (employer) is held accountable for the employees’ acts.
- The trucking company: The corporation may be held accountable for an accident in a number of different ways. Who is responsible for an accident depends on the terms of the contracts between the trucking company and the shipper or manufacturer, as well as between the trucking company and the driver.
- The manufacturer: A truck might be constructed with components from various suppliers. The manufacturer may be held accountable if the accident was brought on by a defective bearing, cargo restraint, brake system, or in any other way connected to a defective item.
- The Shipper/distributor: Some shippers transport goods using their own trucks. Others hire a trucking company, but the shipper still loads the cargo prior to the journey.
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What Are Some Truck Accident Statistics in Tennessee?
Tennessee is a crossing state for many truck shipments, which means there is a higher rate of truck accidents within the state. Also, Tennessee has narrow roads and sharp turns around mountains, which makes driving a truck more difficult. In the latest reporting year, according to the Department of Safety, there were 13,921 truck accidents.
The number one cause of truck accidents in Tennessee is lane departures, followed by improperly following other vehicles and improper lane changes. The top two locations for truck crashes in the state of Tennessee were on interstates and at intersections. Of the 13,921 truck accidents, 5,259 happened on the interstates, and 3,307 occurred at intersections.
The further breakdown shows that the majority of accidents happened in urban areas. Luckily, the vast majority of trucking accidents did not result in fatalities. Just under 2% of all truck accidents were fatal, as reported by the Department of Safety.
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Contact the Truck Accident Attorneys at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi
The complexities of a truck accident case are well-known to our attorneys, and we collaborate closely with life care planners, accountants, medical experts, and other professionals to make sure that we pursue fair recompense on our clients’ behalf. We handle wrongful death and injury lawsuits involving truck accidents on a contingency basis. Please get in touch with us by phone or email if you have any questions or to get a free case evaluation.