If you are an active driver, you know that the highways and roads of Tennessee can be dangerous places. The volume of vehicles around you at any given moment can be huge.
So can the volume of any single vehicle. Commercial tractor trailer trucks, whether they are handling short hauls or long, are not only large in size but massively heavy. Laws of physics being what they are, collisions involving big rigs typically cause greater damage. Serious or fatal injuries are common.
Differences in size aren't the only thing that make crashes involving trucks more complicated than other motor vehicle accidents. Trucking is subject to more layers of regulation. Laws dictate that those in the trade carry extensive insurance coverage. There are many players and each may have separate policies. And since every insurer wants to minimize liability, victims in crashes involving a truck often find seeking compensation means confronting a host of unwilling actors.
Additional complicating factors
In nearly every personal injury case, the legal theory under which victims make their claim is one of negligence. In a vehicle accident, that negligence might be due to the actions of the other driver. But with trucks, multiple parties could bear liability because of their relationship with the driver or because company policies of operation violated the law.
In addition to the driver, other potential defendants could include:
- The owner of the truck
- The employer of the driver
- The shipper, if hazardous cargo made injuries more severe
- The manufacturers of the truck or any of its many components, if there is evidence of product defect
- Those responsible for the truck's maintenance
- Government regulators
Of course, if you bring a claim, the responsibility rests with you to prove the alleged negligent acts of individuals or negligence in design, manufacture or assembly of parts.
Legal strategy options
It's also useful to know, too, that filing a claim for compensation is not the same as filing suit. Pursuing the compensation you may be due to cover medical costs, wages lost, pain, suffering or disability might be best accomplished out of court through other means, such as arbitration or mediation.
What should be clear from all of this is that many options exist for seeking compensation and it can be complicated to know which will obtain the optimal outcome of your case. If you want confidence about how to proceed, speak with a skilled attorney.