Truck Accident Lawyer in Tennessee
LEGAL HELP FOR TENNESSEE TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS
Tennessee, home to approximately 6.6 million people, welcomes tens of millions of tourists each year, solidifying its status as a top destination in the United States. People from across the country flock to the Volunteer State to visit the various natural sites and musical landmarks. Tennessee is also a national leader in agricultural production, from cattle to soybeans.
The state is split roughly in half by I-40, connecting the three largest cities in the state from west to east — Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville. Interstate 65 runs through the heart of Nashville, connecting the country music capital to Kentucky in the north and Alabama to the south. These roadways see an abundance of traffic, including semi-trucks. Unfortunately, the presence of commercial motor vehicles means an increased risk of trucking accidents. There is no shortage of semi-truck crashes in the state of Tennessee — in 2014, 110 people were killed in trucking accidents.
In addition, an estimated 111,000 people were injured in trucking accidents in the United States that same year. Trucking accidents oftentimes lead to catastrophic injuries due to the weight differential between semi-trucks and passenger vehicles. These life-altering injuries can leave you unable to work and in excruciating pain. Sadly, many trucking accidents are entirely avoidable and preventable if truck drivers and trucking companies follow the laws and regulations put in place to keep you and your family safe.
At Thomas J. Henry, we understand how difficult it can be after sustaining a severe injury due to a commercial vehicle accident. That is why we can advance your court costs and litigation expenses. In addition, we can also advance you money for living and medical expenses if you’re hurting and out of work — interest free. You don’t have to spend anything and you will pay zero attorney’s fees unless we win your case.
Over the years, Thomas J. Henry has helped trucking injury victims across the United States stand up against the largest trucking companies in the world and achieve record-breaking results. We are dedicated to developing your case properly and to its fullest extent, keeping clients informed and in the best position to receive the compensation they deserve.
THE LEGAL RESOURCES NEEDED TO WIN YOUR TENNESSEE TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE
When hiring a truck accident attorney, you need a law firm that has the financial resources and experience to ensure your Tennessee personal injury case is handled with care every step of the way. At Thomas J. Henry, our experienced Tennessee truck accident lawyers are dedicated to our clients’ needs and are equipped with the technology necessary to make clients comfortable and informed.
- At every phase in your case, from the accident scene to the slam of a gavel, Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys are there. No matter where you live in Tennessee, our attorneys are accessible to you via satellite technology, live streaming, or in person via jet services. If you cannot make it to one of our offices, we can make it to you at your home, hospital, or workplace. Your case information is important, so we made sure that your injury attorney is equipped with technology that allows them to access your case files from anywhere in the world at the click of a mouse.
- Thomas J. Henry is intent on providing dynamic representation for our clients. That means employing the leading-edge solutions in case management, client interaction, and information security. When our experienced trucking accident attorneys have access to your case files, remotely, from anywhere in the nation, they can hold meetings, draft and review documents, and share files with legal professionals with ease. We don’t let accessibility impede on the security of your information. Your case files will remain protected and confidential. Period.
- Expert witnesses
- Trucking experts serve as witnesses in commercial trucking litigation matters, providing experts reports and testimony for judges, attorneys, insurance companies, and government agencies in Federal and State court trials and arbitration. It is vital to find the right expert and the best expert witnesses for your case. Each expert witness we engage has been thoroughly examined and questioned before ever participating in your case. Our firm has spent a tremendous amount of time selecting only the best experts across the nation. We are continuously searching for new and intuitive ways to use experts in personal injury cases.
- Expert witnesses in a trucking accident case may include:
- Accident reconstructionists
- Forensic scientists
- FMCSA compliance consultants
- Doctors, psychiatrists, and other medical professionals
- General equipment technical experts
- Transportation safety specialists
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A TRUCKING ACCIDENT?
Tennessee trucking accidents can be frightening and overwhelming, especially if you have sustained an injury in the accident. There are actions you can take following a trucking accident to help protect your rights as a trucking injury victim.
- Stop immediately after the crash. Assess the situation.
- Check yourself and passengers for injuries.
- Make the accident visible to others, if possible (i.e., vehicle hazard lights, road flares).
- Call the police. Contact 911 if there is an emergency or any serious injuries. Be sure a paramedic responds as well.
- Record the facts and be as accurate as possible with the responding police officer. Take pictures of the accident scene, damage to your vehicle, any injuries you or a passenger sustained, and any other factors that could help your case in the future.
- Collect the names and contact information for all parties involved in the crash and any witnesses to the accident. In addition, obtain the insurance information of all drivers involved in the wreck.
- Seek medical attention. If you aren’t entirely sure if you’ve been injured or not, play it safe and get a check-up from your primary care physician.
- Some injuries and pain do not appear until days after the trucking accident.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Keep a log of any expenses or changes in health due to the accident.
- Avoid speaking with other insurance companies or claims adjusters (refer them to a retained attorney, if you have one).
- Contact an experienced Tennessee truck accident attorney.
- Retaining an attorney as soon as possible can be very beneficial to your potential case. At Thomas J. Henry, our experienced team of trucking accident lawyers will immediately go to work, obtaining and preserving evidence from the accident and giving you legal advice along the way. We make sure you are comfortable and that your rights as a semi-truck accident victim are protected. Experienced Tennessee injury attorneys keep you informed throughout the process, and at Thomas J. Henry, we take every measure possible to obtain the compensation you deserve.
WHO CAN BE SUED AFTER A TRUCKING ACCIDENT?
Several parties could potentially be found negligent in your Tennessee trucking accident case, including:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Commercial vehicle manufacturer
Knowing who and where to sue is crucial, and Thomas J. Henry has the knowledge and expertise to make sure your case is handled correctly. In addition to knowing who and where to sue, our experienced attorneys make sure all the details of your trucking accident case have been researched and discovered, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Trucking accidents in Tennessee can be complex cases, but Thomas J. Henry has represented injured victims across the United States. For years, our experienced trucking accident lawyers have demonstrated how negligent truck drivers and trucking companies have caused irreversible, long-lasting injuries and deaths that were completely unnecessary.
COMMON TENNESSEE TRUCKING VIOLATIONS THAT RESULT IN ACCIDENTS
Semi-truck accidents can be caused by several different factors — most of which are preventable. When truck drivers violate traffic laws, severe accidents can occur and leave other motorists with debilitating injuries. Common violations that lead to Tennessee trucking accidents include:
- Driving while fatigued
- Improper loading
- When large trucks fail to secure their loads properly, motorists are put at an extreme danger. Contents from these trucks, including hazardous materials, could spill onto the roadways, causing serious accidents.
- Distracted driving
- Commercial vehicle regulations ban drivers from using mobile devices while driving. Doing so is considered a serious traffic violation and could lead to a CDL suspension.
- Failure to maintain vehicle
- Improper lane changing
- Following too closely
- The average stopping distance for a loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 55 mph is 196 feet, compared with 133 feet for an automobile.
- Driving while impaired
- Improper turns
WHAT ARE ECM AND GPS DEVICES?
Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Electronic Control Modules (ECM) can be found in commercial motor vehicles and other vehicles regulated by the United States Department of Transportation. GPS and ECM devices can provide invaluable information that could make the difference in your Tennessee trucking injury case. Experienced injury attorneys can determine how fast a truck driver was traveling prior to an impact and which routes were taken beforehand. In addition, ECM and GPS devices can reveal the driving habits of the driver.
It is paramount that these devices are acquired because they can assist in determining fault and liability in trucking accident cases. Thomas J. Henry will immediately file a lawsuit and restraining order to secure the information on the ECM and GPS devices. Also, we will obtain the truck driver’s required Federal Motor Carrier documents, which can shine light on the driver’s employment with the trucking company.
FEDERAL GUIDELINES HELP PREVENT TENNESSEE TRUCKING ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES
Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains regulations and rules for commercial motor vehicles, drivers, and trucking companies. Serious trucking accidents and injuries can occur when drivers and companies fail to comply with these regulations which are made to keep motorists safe on the roadways. When these regulations are broken and you or a loved one is injured as a result, we will make sure they pay for your suffering.
Commercial motor vehicle operators are required to obtain commercial driver’s licenses (CDL). CDL holders are held to higher standards. Committing serious traffic violations, such as using a handheld cellphone while driving, can lead to revocation of a driver’s CDL. These are a few of the requirements and regulations pertaining to commercial motor vehicles:
- Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
- Tennessee CDL holders must be at least 18 years of age to operate within the state’s borders.
- To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
- Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
- In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
- For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
- Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
- Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.
HOURS OF OPERATION GUIDELINES
One of the most important regulations for commercial motor vehicle drivers is the Hours of Service (HOS) regulation. Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,
- may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
- may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
- Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
Passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,
- may drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
- may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following eight consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
- may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
- Drivers using a sleeper berth provision must take at least eight hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.
Drowsy driving is one of the most common causes of trucking accidents. A study conducted by the AAA Foundation revealed that driving on only four or five hours of sleep increased the risk of a crash as much as driving with a blood alcohol content between .12 and .15 (.04 is the legal BAC limit for truck drivers).
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED TENNESSEE TRUCKING ACCIDENT AND INJURY ATTORNEY
In the United States, thousands of people are injured seriously and fatally in trucking accidents each year. Many of these victims would still be living full, healthy lives if trucking companies and their drivers abide by the federal and state laws put in place to keep motorists safe. When the unthinkable happens, you need an attorney with a record of achieving record-breaking verdicts and settlements and the legal resources necessary to win those cases. Our experienced Tennessee truck accident lawyers are available to respond to trucking accidents 24/7, nights and weekends. If you or a loved one have been injured in a trucking accident in Tennessee, call Thomas J. Henry.
Disclaimer: Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only. Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.