Tennessee highways can be a dangerous place for motorists, especially with the overwhelming number of semi-trucks on the road. While any type of auto accident can have serious and even deadly consequences, semi-truck accidents tend to be more devastating and more legally complex than car accidents.
If you are a Chattanooga, Tennessee resident who has been injured in a semi-truck accident, Herbert Thornbury can help you get the compensation you are entitled to. Call 423-752-0544 to schedule a complimentary consultation with our experienced truck accident attorney today.
- Common Truck Accident Injuries
- Infographic: Top Semi-Truck Accident Injuries
- Common Truck Accident Causes
- Truck Accident Liability
- Common Truck Accident Questions
- Why Choose Our Firm
- Schedule a Free Consultation
Common Injuries from Semi-Truck Accidents
Truck accidents tend to cause severe damage to other drivers on the road. The damage to other cars from the initial crash, a post-crash pileup, and even debris on the roadway can create a large number of potential claims.
If you are involved in a semi-truck accident, it is highly probable that you will sustain some type of injury, and in many cases, these can include:
While not every accident is fatal, semi-truck accidents can leave you with debilitating personal injuries that negatively impact how you live your life. Unfortunately, getting the compensation you deserve can involve a complex legal process. Mr. Thornbury has represented a number of clients in Tennessee semi-truck accident claims, and he will make it his priority to help you get the reparation you are entitled to.
Determining What Caused a Truck Accident
When you get into a truck accident, the strength of your legal claim will play a big part in determining the feasibility of a lawsuit or the size of any settlement. While a certain amount of the evidence can be collected at the scene of the accident from witnesses and the police report, an experienced lawyer knows where to look for additional information that can support your case.
There are many different ways a truck accident could happen, and the exact cause of the truck accident determines many things about the case, including things like liability and the amount of damages that can be recovered. Creating a clear picture of how the accident happened is critical to your case.
Some possible truck accident causes include:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Drug or alcohol use
- Driver distraction
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Overloaded or poorly loaded trailers
- Equipment failure
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Dangerous or unmaintained roads
After an accident involving a truck, you may have several questions about your truck accident and the legal implications of your particular situation. A lawyer like Herbert Thornbury, with years of legal experience in the state of Tennessee, can be an invaluable asset for answering these questions.
A Closer Look at Police and Government Agency Reports
While a police report will explain the basic facts of the accident, it's far from comprehensive. To get a more detailed account of the accident, including the condition of all the truck's major mechanical functions prior to the accident, you need to get the report made by a state truck inspector.
In truck accident cases, Mr. Thornbury often needs to contact a variety of government agencies in order to secure the truck inspector's report and compare it with federal and state regulations. This helps build a stronger and more comprehensive case, and can prove essential for gaining a full understanding of the cause of your accident.
Establishing Liability Following a Big Rig Crash
In many truck accident claims, there a number of potentially liable parties that may be held responsible for damages. These include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking agency and/or cargo company
- The manufacturer of the truck or truck parts
- Government road authorities (in the event that your accident was a result of road defects or disrepair)
Proving legal liability in a truck-related accident requires a substantial amount of investigation and documentation that will need to be recovered and analyzed. Gathering the appropriate evidence in a timely and appropriate manner is crucial to the success of your claim.
The unfortunate reality is that, in many cases, important evidence can often be overlooked or can even go missing. Not all companies like to play by the rules, so it's important to have an attorney on your side who understands the laws and can fight for your rights.
Herbert Thornbury will get the information you need when you need it to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks when it comes to securing evidence and establishing liability.
Recording Devices on Trucks
Lots of companies these days have recording devices on their trucks. These devices can help determine what happened in a trucking accident, and may even contain video evidence of the crash or records of how fast the truck was going. Getting the data from these devices can be absolutely critical for your case.
Herbert Thornbury knows about the importance of these devices, and knows how to get access to the data in a timely manner. This is important, because trucking companies don't keep the data on each truck for very long, and it could be erased due to some oversight on the company's part.
Questions About Truck Accidents
Can I sue for being hit by a truck?
Not only can you sue after being hit by a truck, you absolutely should. Insurance companies seldom pay what an injury is truly worth. Working with a truck accident lawyer helps ensure your rights are protected while fighting for the compensation you truly deserve.
When should I talk to an attorney about a truck accident?
If you were involved in a truck accident in which you or a loved one suffered personal injury, you should talk to an attorney to make sure you understand the full potential impact of your injuries in terms of ongoing medical bills, missed work, and future complications.
You should also talk to an attorney before accepting any settlement from the trucking company. The more “generous” the settlement seems, the more suspicious you should be.
What should I do at the scene of a truck accident?
Make sure you get all relevant documentation about the truck. Get information about the driver (CDL and insurance) and the trucking company he works for. Also make sure you get all the identifying information on the cab and the trailer. And don’t forget to ask about the cargo. In addition, follow all this advice: what to do at the scene of a car accident.
What are the common causes of truck accidents?
Unfortunately, the cause of many trucking accidents is negligence on the part of the driver or the trucking company, including:
- Driver had little training or experience
- Driver under influence of drugs or alcohol
- Aggressive driving behavior (such as excessive speed or erratic lane changes)
- Failure to yield
- Driver fatigue
Sadly, in many cases, trucking companies know about potential problems and do nothing. Trucks that fail inspection are put back on the road, drivers with dangerous records are hired without background check, and drivers are encouraged to stay on the road longer than recommended.
Don’t federal and state laws punish trucking companies that put people at risk?
Sometimes. There are penalties for truckers and trucking companies that violate federal and state regulations, but often these regulations are written in whole or in part by trucking company lobbyists. For example, from 2000-2008, trucking company lobbyists kept rules on the books that allowed truckers to be on the road for 77 hours every 8 days. And although every truck has been required to be built with inhibitor since 1992, lobbying by the trucking injury has ensured no one is required to use them.
Because of this, it is up to people who are injured to step forward and hold trucking companies responsible for the injuries caused by their negligence.
About Herbert Thornbury
Herbert Thornbury has been helping people in the Chattanooga area with legal problems since 1973. Trusted and respected, Mr. Thornbury is Bar appointed as a Hearing Committee Member for the Board of Professional Responsibility by the Tennessee Supreme Court, an adjunct professor of business law at both the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the American Institute of Banking, and a frequent guest speaker at events organized by the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, Chattanooga Trial Lawyers Association, and similar organizations.
More than a respected and knowledgeable attorney, Herbert Thornbury is a dedicated personal injury lawyer who knows, intimately, the local, state, and federal laws that impact truck accident cases. Thoughtful, thorough, and tenacious, Mr. Thornbury is prepared to take truck accident cases as far as needed to help our clients get justice.
Contact Herbert Thornbury, Attorney at Law
To schedule a complimentary consultation with Herbert Thornbury, please call 423-752-0544 today. Located in Chattanooga, Herbert Thornbury, Attorney at Law serves all surrounding areas of Tennessee and neighboring Georgia communities.
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