Nashville Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident in or around Davidson County, you have legal options.
At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you determine if you have the legal right to compensation beyond what the insurance company may provide.
Our team works on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay a dime unless we win your case. Give us a call at (615) 590-3106 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Nashville truck accident lawyer today.
With I-24, I-65 and other major roads crisscrossing Nashville, semi-trucks are a common sight on the streets of Music City. While these trucks are vital to the economy of Nashville and the state of Tennessee as a whole, delivering goods to local businesses, they can pose a danger to those on the road. In 2008, the most recent data year, there were 1,559 truck accidents in Davidson County.
While this was only a small part of the 21,196 total vehicle accidents in the county that year, truck accidents have the tendency to cause much more property damage and more severe injuries than typical car accidents.
Compensation Available to You After a Truck Accident in Nashville
In the majority of cases, the truck driver will be responsible for the injuries and other losses you suffered. However, in some instances, the trucking company may be held liable, such as if they didn’t provide proper training to their drivers. In other cases, the party responsible for maintenance of the truck may be liable if a vehicle malfunction causes the wreck. Your Nashville truck accident lawyer will determine which party is responsible; there may be multiple.
During your free consultation, your lawyer will evaluate all of the details of your case and determine how much compensation you may be owed. Typically, this compensation, or damages, is divided into two categories: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages pertain to the monetary losses you suffered, such as medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more. If your loved one is killed in a truck accident, you may also receive compensation for funeral and burial costs, your loved one’s lost earning capacity, and more.
Noneconomic damages are more ambiguous. Because they aren’t related to money, they are more difficult to put a solid number on. As such, your lawyer will consult with doctors, psychologists and other experts to determine how much you are owed for pain and suffering, physical disfigurement, mental anguish, and more. In instances of wrongful death, noneconomic damages may also include the loss of your loved one’s society, companionship and love, as well as their mental anguish.
In some instances, punitive damages may also be assessed. These damages are intended to punish the person who caused your injuries, and are only awarded if that person acted “maliciously, intentionally, fraudulently or recklessly.” If punitive damages are assessed, they are capped at $500,000 or twice the amount of compensatory damages (economic and noneconomic damages combined), whichever is greater.
It’s also important to note that Tennessee follows a “modified comparative negligence” statute. This means if you are partially at fault for the truck accident, you can still receive compensation. However, the compensation you receive will be lessened by the percentage you are at fault. In addition, if you are 50 percent or more at fault for the wreck, you can’t receive compensation.
Common Types of Truck Accidents in Nashville
Though truck accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, the most common cause is drowsy or distracted driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, truckers drive around 60 hours per week, covering at least 107,000 miles a year on average. While 60 hours a week is the maximum legally allowed, many drivers don’t take the required breaks to rest in order to meet demanding deadlines. No matter the cause of the wreck, if the truck driver or other party besides yourself is at fault, you may be entitled to compensation. A Nashville truck accident lawyer can help you determine your legal options, including your right to compensation.
Drowsiness and other factors can cause a variety of truck accidents, including:
- Jackknifing, which occurs when the cab of the truck turns and folds against the trailer
- Rolling over, caused by a shift in the balance of the truck, causing it to tumble
- Sideswipes, when often occurs when a truck changes lanes and hits another vehicle that’s in their blindspot
- Rear-end collisions, since semi-trucks can’t come to a stop quickly when traffic in front suddenly stops
- Wide turn collisions, which generally occur when a truck doesn’t have enough room to make a right turn
- Mechanical failure accidents, which can happen when a vehicle is properly maintained or through a freak occurrence
Common Injuries After a Truck Accident in Nashville
Because semi-trucks are so large, it’s common for truck accidents to result in serious, and often fatal, injuries. If you suffer any of these or other injuries, you may be entitled to compensation:
- Head injuries, such as a concussion or severe brain damage
- Spinal cord injuries, which can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis
- Broken bones, especially in the face, ribs, arms, and legs, which can cause other complications
- Neck and back injuries, such as muscle, tendon, and ligament damage
- Wrongful death, for which the deceased person’s loved ones can recover compensation
Get the Help You Deserve from a Nashville Truck Accident Lawyer
After a truck accident, you may suffer serious injuries, leaving you with mounting medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and other expenses. What’s more, you may be unable to work, leaving you with no way to pay your bills.
At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, our lawyers are dedicated to helping you get the compensation you deserve so you can start putting your life back together. You may receive a settlement offer from the insurance company after your wreck. The insurance company knows you may be struggling financially after the collision, and will likely try to low-ball you so they don’t have to pay what you deserve. If you accept that offer, you forfeit your right to seek greater compensation.
Before you accept anything from the insurance company, call us first. We’ll evaluate your case, including any settlement offer you received, and determine if we can get you more compensation. Give us a call at (615) 590-3106 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Nashville truck accident lawyer today.
Nashville truck accident FAQs
In most car accident cases, the driver of the car is the person who is held at fault. In rare instances, the manufacturer of the vehicle or the mechanic who performed maintenance may be held responsible. But because most car accidents happen because a driver isn’t operating their vehicle properly, the driver is liable.
In truck accident cases, however, there are sometimes multiple parties that can be held liable. Like car accidents, most truck accidents can be blamed on the driver. But in some cases, the trucking company can be held at fault, such as if they didn’t properly train their drivers or put too much pressure on drivers to meet unreasonable deadlines. The truck manufacturing company or the person responsible for maintenance can also be held liable.
Because truck accident cases are complex, especially since the trucking company and their insurer will likely have a team of lawyers on their side, you need your own experienced Nashville truck accident lawyer representing you.
There are four general tenets of negligence that must be proven in your case:
1. Duty of Care: First, you must show that the truck driver or other parties responsible had a duty of care to you. Truck drivers and trucking companies have strict federal regulations they must follow, in addition to standard rules of the road. Manufacturing and maintenance companies have a duty to ensure the vehicle is safe before it’s driven.
2. Breach of Duty of Care: If the truck driver, trucking company or other party doesn’t follow their duty of care, they are said to have breached it. However, if the accident happened because of an unforeseen circumstance, then there may be no one considered liable for the accident. For instance, if the brakes are relatively new and have been properly maintained, but they suddenly fail for no real reason, then no party may have breached their duty of care if a wreck occurs.
3. Directly Caused Injuries: You must also show that any injuries you sustained were directly caused by the accident. So, if you have pre-existing injuries that weren’t made worse, or if you are injured in an unrelated incident after the wreck, you may not be able to recover compensation.
4. Real Damages: Finally, you must show that you suffered real damages because of the wreck. This may include property damage, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
- About 20 feet in front of a truck (never cut off a semi-truck!)
- Along the left side of the cab
- All along the right side of the cab and trailer, at an angle outward to two lanes
- Thirty feet behind the truck
A good rule of thumb is to look for the driver’s face. If you can’t see them, they can’t see you. Better yet, avoid driving near trucks if you can manage it. Stay a good bit ahead or behind them.