Tennessee Truck & Tractor Trailer Accidents
Trucking accidents can have catastrophic consequences because of the sheer size and weight of the average commercial truck. Unfortunately, a commercial truck is a difficult vehicle to control, with poor visibility and brakes compared to the average car. Truckers making wide turns often may not even realize they are sideswiping a car or motorcycle.
Large commercial trucks are built with very poor protection for the driver, and poor crashworthiness in trucks affects all individuals involved in the accident. The sad truth is that trucking accidents lead to close to 5,000 fatalities annually in the United States. Tragically, one out of every eight US traffic fatalities involves a trucking collision.
Although Tennessee places second in the nation for truck safety inspections, the state still has a truck accident fatality rate that is 30 percent above the national average. Determining fault in such serious accidents involves many complex legal issues, making trucking accidents a specialized area of practice different from auto accidents. The attorneys at Gilreath & Associates are experienced in the added complexities of litigating a trucking accident injury or death.
Trucking accidents can be caused by carelessness or negligence, including:
- Driver fatigue
- Reckless or careless driving causing rollovers
- Inattention to other traffic
- Non-compliance with federal trucking regulations for rest breaks
- Drug or alcohol use by a truck driver
- Trucking company negligence for inadequate training of drivers
- Trucking company negligence for inadequate safety programs
- Inadequate vehicle inspections
State and federal laws establish a wide, and potentially confusing, array of standards and requirements relating to the operation of commercial motor vehicles. These include:
- The number of hours a commercial driver can be on the road
- Driver training and qualifications
- Oversight and supervision of the driver
- Maintenance and repair of the commercial motor vehicle
Choosing a law firm familiar with such complex regulations is essential. The severity of these accidents requires a reliable trucking accident attorney with a broad range of experience in dealing with:
- Under-rides, in which a car goes underneath a truck
- Rollovers, which cause more than half of all deaths in large truck accidents
- Hazardous spills, which can be lethal to all involved
A tractor-trailer wreck involving a motor carrier regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has built-in protection for an injured accident victim. The problem is that the carriers will not disclose they have insurance policies beyond the mandatory policy until you file suit. For instance, they will not tell you:
- The driver of the DOT-regulated vehicle is their statutory employee, even though the contract refers to the driver as an owner-operator
- They are responsible for the actions of that driver as long as the driver acted within the scope of that statutory employment
- They have valued your claim at five or ten times the amount they are offering you for a full release of your right to sue
Read more about DOT protection.
Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America
Gilreath & Associates is a member of the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America and Sid Gilreath is a national board member. AITLA is a national association of committed lawyers who have joined together to improve roadway safety by working to eliminate unsafe and illegal interstate trucking practices.
Don't fall for the claims of attorneys promising fast cash and no hassles. A serious case involving severe injuries or death requires serious effort. Contact the experienced trucking accident attorneys in Tennessee at Gilreath & Associates for a knowledgeable evaluation of your case.
Click here for Trucking Accidents Frequently Asked Questions