Each year, commercial trucks are involved in many fatal collisions with passenger vehicles. Even if passenger vehicle occupants survive these crashes, they are often left with life-altering medical issues and injuries.
If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident because of the driver’s or another party’s negligence, you may be eligible to pursue compensation. At Greg Coleman Law, we know truck crash victims often have many questions about filing a claim. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined legal experience and we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars. We are dedicated to pursuing maximum compensation for personal injury victims.
Founder and managing partner Greg Coleman has been recognized by his peers in Best Lawyers, has received the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell and is a member of The National Trial Lawyers Association Top 100.
Our Knoxville truck accident lawyers take cases on contingency, which means we do not get paid unless our clients receive compensation. The initial consultation is also free.
Greg Coleman Law. Millions Recovered. Call (865) 247-0080.
Why It Is Important to Hire an Attorney to Help You
Truck accident claims often involve multiple parties, state and federal regulations, insurance policies and other complex issues. It can be very difficult to recover full compensation for your injuries and damages without the help of a licensed attorney.
An experienced lawyer from Greg Coleman Law is prepared to walk you through the legal process, including handling legal filings, settlement negotiations and the investigation of the accident.
Injury victims who hire an attorney often recover more compensation than those who do not hire legal representation. However, the lawyer you choose to represent you can make a big difference in your claim. Our firm has obtained millions for our clients and our attorneys have received numerous accolades.
Learn more about how we may be able to assist you. Call (865) 247-0080
Do You Have a Valid Case?
This is a loaded question because there are so many factors your attorney may need to consider. For example, how did the accident happen? Discussing this with your attorney will give him or her a chance to determine if the truck driver may have acted negligently.
Your attorney will likely need to know the extent of your injuries and damages. He or she is likely going to review any evidence you collected from the scene as well.
To recover compensation for a truck crash claim, your attorney needs to determine if he or she would be able to prove the four elements of negligence:
- You were owed a duty of care
- The breached duty is directly connected to the crash that caused your injuries
- You suffered damages
- The duty of care was breached
If you were injured in a truck accident, it is important to meet with a licensed attorney as soon as possible. There is limited time to file a claim and it takes time to investigate and build a strong case.
When you call our office and when you speak to an attorney, we will ask you a series of questions to determine if you may be eligible to file a claim.
Who May be Liable for a Truck Crash?
Often, the driver is the one responsible for a commercial truck accident. He or she may have been speeding, not paying attention or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There are many other examples of negligence on the part of the driver.
However, the driver is not the only one who may bear responsibility for what happened. Other potentially liable parties in a truck accident claim may include:
- Trucking company
- Owner of the cab
- Owner of the trailer
- Company that performed maintenance on the truck
- Company that made the trailer or cab
- Company that loaded cargo into the trailer
Victims may be eligible to receive compensation from all liable parties. These parties would be responsible for their percentage of the damages suffered.
This is just one of the reasons why these claims are often complicated and why victims should strongly consider seeking help from a licensed Knoxville truck accident attorney.
What is a Truck Accident Case Worth?
There are many forms of compensation that may be pursued in a truck accident claim. The damages that may be available depending on the specifics of the case, such as the severity of the injuries and the victim’s need for future treatment after the case has concluded.
While each case is unique, some of the forms of compensation that are commonly pursued by Knoxville truck accident lawyers include:
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Lost income from missed time at work
- Lost earning capacity for permanent injuries that make people unable to work in the same capacity as before
- Loss of companionship
- Home renovations to accommodate a disability
- Past and future medical bills (such as bills for surgery, prescription medication and physical therapy)
The value of a claim is determined on a case-by-case basis. However, it can be very difficult to accurately value a claim without a Knoxville truck accident attorney’s help.
Call Greg Coleman Law today for legal assistance. Phone: (865) 247-0080
Deadline for Filing a Claim
In Tennessee, there is a one-year deadline, also known as a statute of limitations, for file a claim after an auto accident, including a truck accident. If you do not file a claim before the deadline, you may lose the chance to pursue compensation for your damages.
It is important to call us immediately after your accident so that we may have enough time to review the facts of your case to see if your claim is viable. It takes time to investigate and build a case.
Insurance Policies That Cover Commercial Trucks
There are a variety of insurance policies for commercial trucks. Some of them are required by law while others are optional and tailored for a business. Examples include:
- Primary liability
- General liability
- Physical damage
- Motor truck cargo
- Bobtail insurance
- Trailer interchange
- Trucking umbrella policy
Federal law requires local truck drivers to maintain a certain amount of liability insurance depending on what types of freight are behind hauled. For example, commercial trucks hauling freight need anywhere between $750,000 and $5,000,000 in coverage, while trucks carrying non-hazardous freight that weighs less than 10,001 pounds need $300,000 in coverage.
Considering the amount of coverage provided by these policies, you can understand why trucking companies have an interest in devaluing crash claims and trying to pay out the least possible amount. That is why it is so important to seek representation from an experienced Knoxville-based truck accident attorney.
Factors to Consider in a Truck Accident Liability Claim
There are a lot of factors involved in pursuing compensation after a truck crash. That is why you need an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer who knows how to build a strong case.
Classifications of Truck Drivers
There are three classifications of truck drivers:
- Owner-operator – The driver owns the actual truck but leases it out to a trucking company or is an independent contractor of the trucking company.
- Company driver – The driver is employed by a specific trucking company and drives the company’s truck(s).
- Independent owner-operator – The driver is the owner and driver of the truck and uses it to move goods and owns a fleet.
The truck driver’s classification is likely to affect liability for the accident.
Maintenance of the Vehicle
The owner of the truck is the one responsible for maintaining it in safe working order. Without proper maintenance, many things could go wrong and potentially lead to a crash. For example, brakes may fail or there could be a power steering failure or another mechanical issue that helps to cause an accident.
If a vehicle is not properly maintained, it should not be driven. There should also be records of repairs and upkeep of the truck, and your attorney may review these records when investigating the crash.
If the owner of a truck took the proper steps to maintain the vehicle, but there was still a malfunction or mechanical issue that led to an accident, the manufacturer of the truck or one of its components may hold liability.
Unsecured or improperly balanced loads can make trucks more dangerous, especially on interstate roads that have high-speed limits. If the party responsible for loading cargo did not secure it or load cargo properly, and this contributed to a crash, this party could be liable for damages from the accident.
Trucking Industry Regulations
There are many other federal and state commercial trucking regulations that may have an impact on a truck crash claim, such as width and height requirements, safety chain requirements and regulations on brakes.
For example, all commercial trucks that weigh more than 10,000 lbs. that are involved in interstate commerce must undergo an inspection each year. The inspection covers:
- Brake systems
- Coupling devices
- Fuel systems
Trucking regulations are just one of the many factors involved in a truck accident claim. That is why it is important to hire an experienced attorney with the resources and know-how to fully investigate the crash and the many factors involved. Trucking companies often have multiple attorneys and are committed to paying out as little as they can.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
The first thing to do after a truck accident is to tend to your injuries. There is a good chance you will need treatment both at the scene and at a hospital. However, you should seek medical attention even if you do not feel much pain. It may take a few hours or a day to feel some of your injuries, and without treatment, they could get much worse.
If possible, you should take photos of the scene and get the contact information of all parties involved in the accident. Write down identifying information for the truck. If you have time, write down what you remember about the crash before you forget. Crash victims can quickly forget important details about an accident.
Call 9-1-1 immediately after the crash so the police will come to the scene, investigate the situation, and complete a report.
After receiving medical treatment to stabilize your injuries, you should strongly consider hiring an experienced attorney who is ready to help you file a claim. If you are called by the trucking company or an insurance company, be careful what you say. You are within your rights to refer these people to your attorney to help protect your claim.
Greg Coleman Law is here to help. Give us a call at: (865) 247-0080.
Common Truck Accident Causes
Truck accidents happen for a variety of reasons, but driver negligence is the most common reason. For example, many crashes are caused by the following forms of negligence:
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
Truck crashes may also be caused by the negligence of other parties that own or maintain the truck or have responsibility for the cargo. For example, a trucking company may have allowed a poorly-trained driver to get behind the wheel. The cargo-loading company may have failed to properly secure the cargo. Another example would be a trucking company failing to drug test a driver with a history of drug use.
Call Today to Set Up a Free Consultation with a Knoxville Truck Accident Lawyer
Our team of attorneys has decades of combined experience representing accident victims in the Knoxville area and throughout the state of Tennessee.
We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients, and we have the resources to fight for the compensation you need after a truck crash.
Remember, we do not get paid unless you receive compensation. Your initial consultation with one of our licensed attorneys is also free of charge, and there is no obligation to hire our firm. You decide if you want to move forward if we validate your claim.
Our office in Knoxville is just a block away from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
Call us today: (865) 247-0080. We are here to help.