Knoxville Wrongful Death Truck Accident
Commercial trucks can weigh almost 20 times more than passenger vehicles like sedans and SUVs. They are also taller and wider and require greater braking distance. Due to the disparity in weight and size, truck accidents between a big rig and a smaller passenger vehicle will generally result in more serious injuries than a similar accident between two passenger vehicles. Accidents between a big rig and a smaller passenger vehicle also have a high fatality rate, particularly for the occupants of the smaller vehicle. In fact, almost 4,000 people are killed in large truck crashes each year. If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death truck accident, call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz today. Our Knoxville truck accident attorneys have obtained more than $1.5 billion in recovery for injured parties and their loved ones. We are the largest personal injury firm based in Tennessee, serving the Volunteer State for more than 30 years.
Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Fatal Truck Accident
All states, including Tennessee, have enacted wrongful death statutes to allow a claim to be brought if someone dies as a result of a negligent act that would have entitled the deceased to bring a personal injury claim if he or she had survived. Tennessee law defines a wrongful death as one caused by “injuries received from another” or by “the wrongful act, omission, or killing by another.” To pursue a wrongful death truck accident claim, it will first have to be shown that the trucker was negligent and that his or her negligence caused the fatal accident. If the trucker was speeding or made an illegal driving maneuver, the responding officer may cite that person for being at fault for the accident.
In many cases, liability may not be so clear, and the police officer may not issue any citations. In those cases, the trucking company may try to place blame on the deceased, who is unable to defend himself or herself. In Tennessee, a Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) may visit the scene and investigate the accident. In reconstructing the crash, officers may note violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. Obtaining these reports can be valuable sources of information for proving liability.
It is very important to contact an experienced attorney who can reach out to eyewitnesses to obtain accident details or hire an accident reconstruction expert to help determine how the accident happened. Many commercial vehicles are equipped with black boxes which may contain relevant information, such as the speed of the truck at the time of the collision. The information from this black box, as well as the trucker’s log book of driving time, may help to place the blame firmly on the trucker, especially if he was speeding or had been driving for a long period of time without a break in violation of the FMCSA rules.
The statute of limitation for a wrongful death truck accident claim in Tennessee is one year from the date of the wreck. However, you should contact a Knoxville lawyer as soon after the accident as possible to provide sufficient time to conduct a proper investigation. If the claim cannot be resolved for a fair amount before the statute of limitation expires, your attorney will need adequate time to prepare the lawsuit and file it with the appropriate court. In wrongful death cases, probate issues may come into play if the victim died intestate or without a will.
Discuss Your Wrongful Death Claim with Our Knoxville Attorneys
If you have lost a loved one in a trucking accident, you may be allowed to file a wrongful death action on his or her behalf. While there is no way to bring your loved one back, Tennessee law does allow monetary recovery for losses caused by another’s negligence, which can help with funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, and other financial burdens. Call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz toll-free at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation with one of our truck accident lawyers.