Trucks of all types and sizes are common on Tennessee highways. Considering their massive size and weight, it is no surprise that countless preventable accidents involving these commercial vehicles occur in our state each year. If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck collision, you may have a claim for damages against the driver or trucking company. The tenacious big rig crash lawyers at Freeman & Fuson are dedicated to serving victims in Nashville and the surrounding communities who have been hurt because someone else acted carelessly. With over 25 years of combined experience, attorneys Mark Freeman and Joseph Fuson form a legal team skilled in resolving these complex cases. We are committed to getting to know our clients on a personal level and fighting for their rights in settlement negotiations and, if needed, in court.Hold a Negligent Driver or Trucking Company Liable for Your Injuries
As with all Tennessee drivers, truckers are required to act with reasonable care while transporting their cargo. This means that they need to take as many precautions as the ordinary person would take in a similar situation to avoid posing foreseeable risks of harm to others. The duty of care also requires truckers to obey the numerous regulations that govern their industry.
A negligence claim may arise if a big rig driver violates this duty with a careless action, usually called a breach. For instance, a trucker might breach his or her obligation to drive carefully by failing to properly operate brakes, swinging too wide on a turn, or getting behind the wheel in an exhausted or intoxicated condition. The trucking company also might violate its duty of care by actions such as failing to adequately train its drivers or encouraging them to overload their vehicles in excess of the weight limits imposed by federal regulations.
Once an accident victim has shown the duty and breach elements of a negligence claim, he or she still must prove causation and damages. The injured person must demonstrate that he or she would not have been hurt if the truck driver or trucking company had not behaved carelessly, and that the crash was a reasonably foreseeable result of the breach. The last step in a successful negligence claim consists of identifying actual damages that can be compensated. These can consist of both economic and non-economic forms of harm, ranging from lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage to pain and suffering.
Big rig accidents can result in serious injuries that may require substantial amounts of compensation. In some situations, the operator of a truck works for a larger company that may have more resources to reimburse a victim. An injured person may consider bringing a claim against the driver’s employer under a theory called vicarious liability. This makes it possible to hold a company financially responsible for the negligent acts of its agent, even if the entity has not been careless itself. To succeed in making this argument, the victim would need to show that the trucker was an employee of the company rather than an independent contractor, and that the accident happened during the scope and course of the employment relationship.
Another important factor to consider is the time window you have to bring a negligence lawsuit. Tennessee law allows only one year after a crash to file your case with a court. If you fail to do so, you likely will lose the right to seek compensation for your injuries. This means that you should not hesitate to seek the counsel of an attorney with extensive experience litigating these complex matters.Discuss Your Truck Accident Case with a Nashville Lawyer
Since trucking companies and their insurers enlist lawyers to aggressively defend against the claims of crash victims, it is crucial for an injured person to obtain qualified counsel of his or her own. If you have been harmed near Nashville because a commercial driver was negligent, contact the truck accident attorneys at Freeman & Fuson. We are available around the clock and will gladly set aside time for a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Call 615.298.7272 or contact us online today, even if you are not sure whether you have a claim.