Knoxville Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck drivers often fill the streets of Knoxville, bringing goods into the area and transporting them to other areas across the country. Unfortunately, truck drivers can sometimes cause immense challenges for other drivers, particularly on the winding roads in the greater Knoxville area. In many cases, other drivers and passengers suffer severe injuries when involved in truck accidents, especially if motorists lack adequate protection due to their vehicle’s make, model, size, and other features.
Knoxville, Tennessee drivers who sustain serious injuries in a truck accident due to another driver’s negligence, should consult a personal injury attorney to learn more about their right to compensation. Contact us today for more information about our legal services that can help maximize your compensation claim after a truck accident.
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Knoxville Truck Accident Statistics and Examples
Some areas in Knoxville have dangerous roadways that increase the likelihood of vehicle and truck accidents. Therefore, it’s important to know the stats and take precautions to keep yourself and your family safe. The following data applies to traffic accidents occurring on Knoxville roads:
- Deadly or serious injury road accidents happen in the greater Knoxville region approximately every 13 hours.
- Between January 2016 and June 2019, 2,326 serious crashes occurred in the Knoxville region, with 321 of those crashes ending in fatalities.
The above statistics include truck accidents like:
- A multi-truck accident that occurred on Watt Rd
- A crash involving a KAT bus and a FedEx truck, resulting in the bus being pushed into a North Knoxville building
- A truck accident on I-40 near Strawberry Plains Pike, resulting in the death of a driver
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Knoxville
Knoxville truck accidents may occur due to many reasons, including:
- Poor weather conditions: Bad weather can make it much more difficult to navigate safely in a big truck, especially for inexperienced drivers. While heavy snowfall isn’t much of an issue in the greater Knoxville area, the region does see several days with heavy rainfall that can increase drivers’ difficulty on the road.
- Driver fatigue: Truck drivers often spend long hours on the road each day, especially if they have a long run to make or encounter traffic. Fatigued drivers may show many of the same symptoms as drunk drivers, including difficulty safely steering or operating the vehicle.
- Tire blowouts: Big truck tires blow out with a great deal of force that can cause immediate difficulty in controlling the truck. With many motorists on Knoxville area roadways, truck tire blowouts also pose a threat to other drivers.
- Speeding: Some truck drivers choose to push their speed to reach their destinations faster, especially if they have a tight deadline. Since many trucking companies pay by the mile, it can incentivize drivers to exceed the speed limit. However, speeding substantially increases overall accident risk.
- Drug and alcohol use: When drivers get behind the wheel without adequate time to sober up, they’ll have a hard time safely operating their vehicles and making sound decisions, raising the risk of accidents and injuries for everyone on the roads.
- Inadequate training: Many trucking companies are struggling to find enough drivers to fill their vehicles. As a result, trucks sit empty across the U.S., including in Tennessee. Some trucking companies may be forced to push drivers to get back behind the wheel before they’re ready to get products delivered.
- Difficult terrain: While Knoxville itself offers relatively straightforward roads, the greater Knoxville area, including Morristown and Sevierville, includes a number of tight, winding roads that can be difficult for truck drivers, especially inexperienced truck drivers to navigate safely. In the Smoky Mountains, drivers can struggle to keep their vehicles on the road, particularly at higher speeds.
Different Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can occur in a variety of ways, including:
- T-bone accidents: One vehicle strikes another directly in the side
- Head-on collisions: A vehicle strikes another head-on, combining the force of both vehicles as they travel down the road
- Rear-end collisions: One vehicle strikes another in the rear; when a smaller vehicle strikes a big truck from the rear, it can prove incredibly devastating since the force of the accident can shove a smaller vehicle beneath the trailer.
- Jackknife collisions: The truck’s trailer swings out of the control of the truck itself; this type of collision is especially common on winding roads and in shifting load accidents (when the weight in the truck suddenly shifts as products move).
- Falling debris accidents: The cargo in truck shifts or falls; the cargo secured on a flatbed, for example, may pose a severe risk if it’s not secured properly.
How can a Knoxville truck accident lawyer help me?
If you suffered serious injuries in a truck accident in the greater Knoxville area, a Knoxville truck accident lawyer can assist in several ways. Truck accident claims are often much more complex than the average car accident claim, especially if they involve more than one liable party. Working with a truck accident lawyer makes it easier for you to move forward with your claim, securing a positive outcome.
An attorney can help investigate the evidence related to your truck accident.
Frequently, truck accident claims involve a great deal of documentation that your attorney will need to sort through to determine liability for the collision. The trucking company often bears partial liability for the accident, sometimes because of dangerous policies that increase the risk of an accident for semi-truck drivers. A lawyer can evaluate the evidence, including driver logs, trucking company policies, and even dashcam footage to better understand how the accident occurred. NST Law lawyers can provide you with more information about who may bear liability for your accident.
Determining liability isn’t just about ensuring accountability. By determining who caused your truck accident, you can often receive more compensation for the injuries and other damages you suffered. For example, if both the trucking company and the truck driver share responsibility, it may increase the coverage offered by the insurance company.
Additionally, due to Tennessee’s negligence laws, if the other party bears 100% of the fault, you can collect the full payout versus the deduction you’ll be hit with if you share a percentage of the blame, less than 50%.
An attorney can put together a compelling claim that details the compensation you deserve.
In many truck accident cases, the victim has severe injuries that lead to extensive medical bills, prolonged time off work, and significant challenges in the victim’s personal life. Semi-trucks weigh a great deal more than passenger vehicles and take up more space on the road. As a result, these commercial trucks often cause substantial injuries.
Many truck accident victims struggle to calculate the financial damages they suffered as a result of the accident. We can work with you to review your medical expenses and other out-of-pocket costs. From your immediate emergency medical costs to the price of long-term medical care and treatment, including physical and occupational therapy, NST law can put together a compelling claim to express the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.
An attorney can take over negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf.
Dealing with insurance companies after a truck accident is stressful. Sometimes, insurance companies will try a variety of tactics to offer less compensation, which may leave you struggling to cover the full extent of your financial losses. They may provide you with a low initial settlement and push you to quickly accept it instead of taking time to recover and determine what your expenses will look like long-term. They may even try to prove that you, rather than the truck driver, caused the accident.
A truck accident attorney can contact the insurance company on your behalf, reducing your stress levels and decreasing the odds that the provider will successfully limit your rightful compensation. Your lawyer can also help ensure you understand your rights and protect those rights throughout the claim process.
Who can be held liable for my truck accident and injuries?
Truck wrecks often involve several complex situations that make it challenging to determine who might be liable for resulting damages. Truck accident attorneys can fully investigate every aspect of your accident to help you get maximum compensation for your injuries.
The investigation identifies all parties that may share liability for the accident, including:
The Truck Driver
Ultimately, the truck driver makes all decisions about what they do behind the wheel. Failure to adhere to the rules of the road, including workplace policies and traffic laws governing distraction, drunkenness, and speeding, can leave the truck driver liable for an accident that occurs.
The Trucking Company
Trucking companies have a responsibility to take care of their drivers and trucks. They must follow certain regulations and create workplace policies to help ensure their drivers follow the law. Furthermore, they must maintain their trucks regularly to avoid mechanical failure. When a trucking company fails to adhere to necessary state and federal regulations, it may bear liability for any accident that occurs.
The Truck Manufacturer
Sometimes, a mechanical failure may occur because of an error on the part of the truck manufacturer. In those cases, the manufacturer may share liability for the truck accident.
Catastrophic Injuries From Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can involve catastrophic and life-altering injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries, including spinal cord damage and paralysis
- Broken bones, including multiple or severe broken bones
- Internal injuries and trauma
- Severe cuts and lacerations, including facial injuries
How can I be compensated after a truck accident?
To pursue compensation for a Knoxville truck accident, start by contacting an attorney for a free consultation. An attorney can provide you with legal advice on proceeding with your claim to receive the best possible outcome.
In general, compensation for a serious truck accident can cover the following financial losses:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages due to inability to work following the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Property damages
Punitive damages are also available in rare instances where the at-fault party’s actions were egregious, willful, or grossly negligent (e.g., drunk driving). These damages intend to punish the wrongdoer and deter future wrongdoing.
Like many personal injury cases, truck accident claims are better handled by an attorney who can review the circumstances leading up to your accident and negotiate with the insurance companies to push for the entirety of your claim’s worth. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Our Truck Accident Attorneys in Knoxville
At NST Law, we have a long history of securing successful outcomes for our clients. We are passionate about what we do and dedicated to helping our clients obtain compensation for truck and other accident injuries. We offer a free initial consultation to evaluate your case and determine how we can best help you.
Keep in mind, every case is different. Therefore, the results expressed by these past cases don’t necessarily reflect the compensation you can recover for your specific truck accident injuries.
NST Law’s previous truck accident verdicts include:
- $2.7 million awarded after a four-vehicle accident
- $6.3 million awarded in a truck accident resulting in death
- $1.2 million awarded after a vehicle was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler
- $3 million awarded to a married couple involved in a catastrophic tractor-trailer wreck
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Knoxville
Many people find that their actions immediately after a truck accident can considerably impact the compensation they can ultimately recover for their injuries. Follow these steps toward making a full recovery and protecting your legal right to potential compensation:
- Report the accident to the Knoxville Police Department. Accurately explain what happened, including any behaviors you observed that might have contributed to the accident. Don’t accept liability for the accident, but do cooperate with the investigation.
- Seek medical care immediately. Even if you believe you didn’t sustain severe injuries in the accident, get a complete medical evaluation. Sometimes, injuries can take days to become apparent. Your medical records will help establish that your injuries resulted from the accident. Hospitals like Turkey Creek Medical Center, Select Specialty Hospital, UT Hospital, and Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center can help you receive the medical care you need. East Tennessee Children’s Hospital is also an option for children who suffered serious injuries in the crash.
- Keep a copy of the police report. Check it over to make sure that it accurately reflects your accident, including where it occurred and who may be at fault. If you feel the police report is inaccurate or have questions about the information contained in it, talk to an attorney as soon as possible.
- Contact an attorney. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better they can support you throughout the claim process, from the initial contact with the truck driver’s insurance company to your eventual settlement offer.
- Follow up with all needed medical care. Continue to follow instructions issued by your medical care providers after your commercial truck accident, even if you start to feel better or think you can take on more tasks. If your provider recommends physical or occupational therapy, make sure you do your exercises and follow the treatment plan as instructed.
- Avoid posting details on social media while the claim is ongoing. Posting about your accident or the activities you participate in following your injury can harm the investigation. Sometimes, insurance companies may try to use that information against you after you file your truck accident claim.
Trucking Laws in Tennessee
Federal regulations, issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, govern the behavior of large commercial trucks on roadways across the United States, including highways, interstates, and other roads throughout Tennessee.
Tennessee also has specific trucking regulations, including:
- Drivers must carry a CDL to operate with a GVWR (total weight) of more than 26,000 lbs.
- Farm vehicles are exempt from some commercial vehicle requirements when used in a not-for-hire capacity, within 150 air miles of the farmer’s land, and not for the transport of hazardous materials.
- No motor vehicle, including trailers or semi-trailers, can measure more than 8’6″ in width.
- Trucks carrying loose material in an open bed or on the back of a flatbed must either have the material in an enclosed space or covered by a tarp unless it’s secured in a way that prevents it from falling or blowing off of a vehicle. If, for instance, poorly-secured material falls onto your vehicle and causes an accident, the driver may be liable for that mistake.
Contact NST Law Today
If you suffered serious injuries in a Knoxville truck accident, you need legal counsel to help you determine the responsible party and secure maximum compensation for your damages. NST law can help you with your claim to obtain fair compensation to cover your financial losses. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights after a serious truck accident.
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Our client was walking in a Tennessee gas station parking lot when he was struck by a commercial concrete truck. He broke both of his legs and underwent extensive medical treatment.