Wrongful Death Truck Accidents
The aftermath of a severe trucking accident is often catastrophic. Tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, and other 18-wheelers are significantly bigger than the cars, trucks, and SUVs that most people drive throughout Tennessee and the South. Wrongful death truck accidents occur far too often, and they are usually the result of a truck driver or trucking company’s carelessness. If you have lost a loved one in this type of wreck, you will probably be left with lots of questions and wondering how you will afford the expenses that come along with the incident, in addition to paying for essentials such as housing, food, and education going forward. Let the Memphis truck accident attorneys at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz listen to your situation and let you know how our firm may be able to assist you in your time of need.Wrongful Death Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) tracks data concerning truck crashes across the country. In 2017 (the most recent year in which statistics are available), there were 4,657 large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes, which was 8% higher than in 2015. Approximately 57% of these wrecks occurred on rural roads, while 27% occurred on rural or Interstate highways. 35% of all fatal truck crashes in 2017 occurred at night or early morning (between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am).
Tragic trucking accidents can take many forms, including:
- T-bone accidents – known as broadside collisions, they can be particularly dangerous if the impact occurs on the driver’s side.
- Head-on collisions – when two vehicles collide, the force can be sufficient enough to produce a devastating crash.
- Override accidents – this is when a large 18-wheeler drives over or crushes a much smaller car, possibly trapping the injured victim inside of the vehicle.
- Tanker truck explosions – tanker trucks often carry flammable materials and toxic chemicals. Federal truck drivers must follow specific regulations regarding the transport of these materials to prevent fires and other explosions from occurring.
In a wrongful death truck accident case, surviving family members may be able to recover damages for medical bills and lost wages incurred by the deceased between the date of incident and time of death, as well as pain and suffering. Further damages can include loss of future income, funeral and burial costs, and loss of consortium. Tennessee’s wrongful death statute, via Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-5-113, specifies the types of damages that may be recovered by surviving loved ones and beneficiaries.
To succeed in a truck wreck case, you will need to establish negligence. This can usually be accomplished by showing the truck driver or trucking company breached a duty owed to you to drive safely, thereby causing your injuries and damages. A truck driver can be considered negligent by failing to operate the vehicle in a safe manner, which could include speeding, making an improper turn, failing to yield, or texting while driving. Further, interstate truck drivers must follow FMCSA regulations regarding hours of service, rest breaks, and logging their trips.
If a trucker negligently causes a wrongful death truck accident while acting within the course and scope of employment, the company may be vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence. This legal theory is known as respondeat superior. For example, if a delivery driver, while on route to deliver a package to a customer, runs a red light at Poplar Avenue in Memphis and strikes a vehicle that had the right-of-way, it is likely that the employer will be vicariously liable for the trucker’s carelessness since the trucker was on the clock and traveling on an authorized route. If the trucker was drunk at the time of the collision, the company could be liable for negligent hiring if it knew that the driver had a history of DUI convictions but still hired him as a driver. You should consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer who can help you identify potential legal theories of recovery.Call NST Today for a Free Consultation with a Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you lost a loved one in a trucking accident in Tennessee or a surrounding state, you may be able to recover damages in accordance with Tennessee’s wrongful death statute. Call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz to discuss your options. We represent clients in Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Arkansas, including in Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville, Caruthersville, Hayti, Oxford, Starkville, Grenada, Columbus, Tupelo, Meridian, Jackson, Little Rock, and Jonesboro. Call our office toll-free at 800-LAW-4004 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our motor vehicle collision attorneys. NST is the way to go.