In an accident between a tractor-trailer weighing as much as 80,000 pounds and your 3,700-pound car, you are looking at major property damage and the possibility of catastrophic injuries.
Tennessee law protects you following an accident with a semi. You may be able to make the law work in your best interests.
What caused the crash?
Tennessee is a “fault” state. In simple terms, whoever is at fault pays damages. It is not all-or-nothing, though. Each motorist bears a percentage of responsibility and a percentage of damages.
Proving negligence is key in a tractor-trailer accident. A judge or jury may find a trucker who is negligent to be at fault. Common examples of negligence include the following:
- Fatigue caused by drivers attempting to meet unreasonable delivery deadlines
- Speeding and other violations
- Driving impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
- Inadequate training
- Faulty truck design
- Faulty truck maintenance
What can you do?
The first priority at an accident scene is taking care of the injured. Summon police and medical help. Tend to the injured until they arrive.
Next, you can begin protecting your rights. Take notes and photographs. Talk to witnesses and get their contact information. Exchange driver’s license and insurance information with the truck driver. Cooperate with police when they arrive. Stick to the facts without embellishing what happened. Contact your own insurance company.
You are building your case. The information you collect at the scene can help you recover compensation for the following:
- Property damage
- Injuries and medical expenses
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
What can you expect?
Accidents involving big rigs can be overwhelming. You are facing off against the trucker, his or her employer and its insurers. They have experience on their side. Accidents are a part of doing business for them. However, you know who is at fault. You know you want to hold them responsible. Explore your options. Preserve your rights and secure a future for yourself and your family.