Nashville Truck Accidents Involving Bad Weather
Big Rig Accident Attorneys Serving Nashville
Inclement weather is a major factor in many accidents across the United States. An estimated 6,000 people are killed in wrecks during bad weather, and nearly 500,000 are injured in these crashes each year. In order to prevent truck accidents involving bad weather, interstate truck drivers are required by law to adjust their driving as needed in hazardous conditions. Snow, sleet, rain, wind, fog, dust, and smoke all pose dangers, which is why truck drivers have a duty to operate their trucks in a reasonably safe manner in all conditions. Otherwise, the trucker could be responsible for damages caused by a collision, including the other party’s car repairs, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Nashville truck accident lawyers at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz have helped thousands of trucking accident victims throughout the years, and we understand how injuries sustained in a crash can affect victims and their loved ones. In more than 30 years, NST has grown into the largest personal injury law firm based in Tennessee largely based on our record of success and our zealous representation of our clients.
Obtaining Fair Compensation After a Collision with an 18-Wheeler
To win your case following a truck accident involving bad weather, you will need to prove the truck driver negligently caused the collision and your resulting injuries and losses. In Tennessee, the plaintiff bears this burden of proof. Many times, this can be met by showing the trucker violated a regulation promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA regulates the operation of interstate commercial carriers, and its mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks. Under these guidelines, whenever hazardous conditions exist, the trucker must use “extreme caution” when operating the vehicle. Moreover, the regulations state that when bad weather is present, “speed shall be reduced” by the trucker. If it becomes too dangerous to drive, truckers are required to discontinue operation of their truck until it can be safely driven.
Whenever a big rig driver causes an accident as a result of a FMCSA violation, that person could be found negligent per se, which means negligence as a matter of law. Per Tennessee law, three elements must be satisfied in order to establish negligence per se:
- It must be shown that the trucker violated a regulation that imposes a duty or prohibits an act to protect a person or the public;
- It must be shown that the injured party was within the class of persons the regulation was intended to benefit and protect;
- It must be shown that the violation of the regulation was the proximate cause of the accident.
In addition to the individual truck driver, the employer could be found negligent for a truck accident involving bad weather. Federal trucking regulations require employers to properly train their drivers – such as how to safely react to bad weather – and to conduct extensive background checks on drivers before they are hired. Failure to do so could place the employer directly liable for the accident due to negligent training or negligent hiring, for instance. Moreover, if the trucker was operating in the normal scope of his employment, the employer could be held indirectly liable under the theory of respondeat superior.
For example, let’s say a delivery truck driver was instructed to transport food for an upcoming concert to Bridgestone Arena, located at 501 Broadway Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee 37203. Assume it was January, and recent rain and sleet was starting to freeze over. If the trucker was speeding and slid into the rear of your car when he noticed you slowing down for traffic, the employer could be responsible for the trucker’s negligence since he was in the process of making the delivery as instructed by the employer. However, if the accident occurred while the truck driver had taken a detour to run a personal errand, vicarious liability may not apply. An experienced truck accident lawyer in the Nashville area can analyze the particular facts of your case and pursue all theories of recovery on your behalf.
Retain a Skilled Nashville Attorney Today
Driving in extreme weather can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. These dangers are magnified when large tractor-trailers are involved. To learn more about your rights following a crash with a commercial truck, call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz. We represent injured parties across Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Kentucky, including in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Jackson, Meridian, Tupelo, Columbus, Grenada, Starkville, Oxford, Hayti, and Caruthersville. Call us toll-free at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation with one of our trucking accident lawyers. NST is the way to go.