Knoxville Underride Accidents
Knoxville Attorneys Dedicated to Helping Trucking Crash Victims
Underride accidents are common in Knox County due to the heavy volume of traffic, particularly big rigs, on Interstate 40. An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle such as a standard passenger car goes under the rear or the side of a larger vehicle such as a tractor-trailer, often causing the roof of the smaller car to be crushed or flattened. If you have been injured in an underride accident due to a big rig driver’s negligence, call the Knoxville truck accident lawyers of Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz for a free consultation. We are the largest plaintiff’s personal injury law firm based in Tennessee, and we have more than 30 years of experience representing victims of truck and car accidents across the South.
Seeking Compensation for Your Losses After an Underride Accident
How does an underride collision occur? Who is at fault? That will vary from case to case, depending on the actions of the drivers leading up to the accident. In many cases, the big rig driver will be at fault due to not using a turn signal, failing to perceive a vehicle in its blind spot, having dirty or broken tail lights, making a sudden stop without warning, or failing to use flares or reflective triangles while pulled over on the side of the road. In those instances, it may be difficult or impossible for the passenger vehicle to see the big rig or to avoid a collision, and the big rig driver will likely be responsible for the collision and any injuries that result.
In some cases, the driver of the passenger car may be partially or completely at fault, at least according to the 18-wheeler driver. This usually happens when the car is following the big rig too closely or speeding. In those cases, whether the driver of the passenger vehicle can recover for his or her losses will depend on his or her percentage of fault.
Tennessee follows a comparative fault system under which a percentage of fault may be assigned to each driver involved in an underride collision. If the driver of the passenger vehicle is attributed fault of 50% or more, then he or she may be unable to recover any damages from the big rig driver or trucking company. On the other hand, if the driver of the passenger vehicle is attributed fault of less than 50%, then his or her damages award will be reduced accordingly.
For example, if a speeding car rear-ends a big rig with broken tail lights at the intersection of Cumberland Avenue and Henley Street in Knoxville, then both vehicles may share some responsibility for the accident. Suppose a judge or jury determines that the car was 20% at fault and the big rig was 80% at fault due to the broken lights. In that case, the driver of the car would be able to seek compensation for his losses from the big rig driver but his damages would be reduced by 20%. If it were flipped and the car was found to be 80% at fault for the accident, then the car driver would not be able to recover from the big rig driver at all. Suppose the parties share equal responsibility and both are 50% at fault for the accident. In that case, the car driver is still prohibited from recovering from the big rig driver under Tennessee’s modified comparative fault law.
An experienced trucking accident attorney in the Knoxville area may be able to help you show that the defendant was more at fault for the accident, even if you share a portion of the blame for the crash. It is important that you consult with a knowledgeable lawyer as soon after the accident as possible to assist in the liability determination phase of the case. It may be essential to interview eyewitnesses and gather evidence from the scene of the accident to help prove negligence, and it is better to do this quickly when eyewitnesses’ memories are intact and evidence has not been lost or destroyed due to passage of time.
Seek the Advice of a Knoxville Lawyer
If a big rig driver’s negligence has caused you to be involved in an underride accident, the attorneys at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz may be able to help you pursue a bodily injury claim. To date, we have recovered more than $1.5 billion in compensation for our injured clients. Our firm employs over 30 attorneys and more than 120 staff members, and we serve truck wreck victims in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Jackson, Meridian, Tupelo, Columbus, Grenada, Starkville, Oxford, Hayti, and Caruthersville, as well as other cities across Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Kentucky. Contact our office toll-free by calling 800-529-4004 or by completing our online form to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle crash attorney. NST is the way to go if you were hurt in a truck wreck in Knoxville.