Due to the immense weight and size of these vehicles, a truck accident is likely to be devastating to drivers and passengers in cars, even if the truck driver walks away without a scratch. Someone in a smaller vehicle may suffer catastrophic injuries, such as paralysis, brain trauma, amputation, burns, and fractures. Truck accidents may even result in a tragic death. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, the largest personal injury firm based in Tennessee, our Memphis truck accident lawyers can help you pursue damages from a driver and potentially a trucking company. With over 25 years of experience, we have handled cases arising from truck accidents on highways throughout the South, including in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Kentucky. Unlike many firms, our injury attorneys are ready to bring a motor vehicle collision case to trial if a defendant fails to offer a fair settlement to our client.Establishing Liability for a Truck Accident
If you were injured by a truck driver, you will likely need to prove negligence by establishing the truck driver's duty of care, a breach of that duty, a causal connection from the breach to your injuries, and damages. In some cases, a truck driver's violation of a safety statute may be negligence per se, or negligence as a matter of law.
All interstate commercial truck drivers are required to follow detailed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. These regulations include rules related to logbooks of hours driven, hours of service and rest breaks, maintenance, and loading a truck, among other matters. In some states, if a driver breaks a rule designed to protect public safety, the violation itself gives rise to a rebuttable presumption of negligence without needing to prove the duty and breach of duty elements of the claim.
A trucking company may be held vicariously liable if an employee driver injures others in the course and scope of employment. This means that the trucking company is indirectly responsible and may be required to pay damages if the driver is found negligent. A trucking company may also be directly liable if its own negligence was the cause of an accident.
For example, trucking companies are required to determine that the drivers whom they put on the road to operate a big rig are competent to drive these vehicles in all sorts of situations. They must conduct background checks and ensure that drivers are appropriately trained. If a driver has a DUI in their background or multiple accidents, these should be red flags to the trucking company. A trucking company that ignores red flags or encourages drivers to violate hours of service or other FMCSA regulations may be held liable for negligent hiring, training, or supervision.
Truck accidents may also be a result of improper overloading or equipment malfunctions. Our firm can retain accident reconstruction experts to evaluate whether a truck's brakes failed or the weight was unevenly distributed, thereby causing the accident. In some cases, it may be appropriate to sue a parts manufacturer or another party that was responsible for loading the vehicle.Retain a Knowledgeable Memphis Lawyer for a Truck Accident Case
Not all personal injury attorneys are familiar with the regulations governing the trucking industry and the process of gathering evidence in these complex cases. It is important to secure legal representation from attorneys who have experience in this area of the law. If you have been struck by a careless commercial driver, the Memphis truck accident attorneys at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz can evaluate your case and devise a strategy to pursue damages to which you are legally entitled. Our firm has 33 attorneys and more than 100 staff members, serving people in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Jackson, Meridian, Tupelo, Columbus, Grenada, Starkville, Oxford, Hayti, and Caruthersville, as well as other communities in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Kentucky. Contact our office toll-free by calling 1-800-529-4004 or by completing our online form to set up a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney. With all of our resources and experience at your disposal, NST is the way to go.