Truck Accident Attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee
Traffic accidents of any kind can be serious and result in significant injuries or fatalities. When a traffic accident involves a large truck, however, the odds of a truly devastating outcome increase exponentially. According to statistics compiled and released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were approximately 415,000 reported large truck crashes in 2020. Out of these crashes, 101,000 resulted in injuries, and 4,444 resulted in fatalities.
If you have suffered an injury in a truck accident — or if a loved one has been injured or killed in such an accident — you need an experienced truck accident attorney to help you seek fair compensation. At Wykoff & Sikes, PLLC, we are prepared to stand by your side as you look for a solution to the problems caused by your truck accident.
If you are in the greater Knoxville area, or the surrounding cities of Johnson City, Chattanooga, Crossville, and Sevierville, reach out to us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal options. Our team is ready to help you seek justice and move forward from this difficult time.
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Laws Regarding Truck Accidents
Traffic laws and regulations vary from one state to another across the country, but there are certain common aspects that you will find anywhere. If you are dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident and looking at your legal options, understanding the laws regarding truck accidents is essential.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
Specific nationwide standards are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). These regulations were created to attempt to reduce the overall number of commercial trucking accidents and the fatalities that often result from them. These regulations establish minimum standards for trucking operations in interstate commerce across the country.
Tennessee Truck Regulations
In addition to the standardized regulations instituted by the FMCSR throughout every state, the state of Tennessee has its own laws and regulations regarding commercial trucks and their operation, such as limiting the weight of commercial vehicles to 80,000 pounds, as well as laws regulating the width, height, and insurance requirements for commercial trucks.
Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents
The period of time an injured party has to file an injury claim from a truck accident varies in different states, but according to Tennessee law, the injured party has just one year from the date of the accident to file a claim to seek compensation.
While the liability in a normal traffic accident is usually limited to the drivers of the vehicles involved, there is a wide range of potential parties that could be held responsible for a truck accident. If a large commercial truck is involved in an accident, an injury claim could seek to hold several parties accountable, including:
the truck driver
the trucking company that employs the driver
the truck manufacturer (or the manufacturer of specific truck parts)
individuals who loaded the cargo on the truck (if an improper load caused the accident)
maintenance personnel responsible for upkeep and repairs on the truck
One or more of the parties listed above could potentially be held responsible for the accident, giving an injured individual a range of options when it comes to pursuing financial compensation.
Factors Determining Liability
Many factors determine which party may be legally liable for a truck accident. Some of which include:
Truck driver liability: If a truck driver was fatigued from excessive hours behind the wheel, made a driving error that violated traffic laws, or was inadequately trained to operate a commercial truck.
Liability of another vehicle driver: If another vehicle caused an accident that involved a large truck, a mistake made by the driver of the responsible vehicle may be deemed legally liable.
Road conditions: The conditions on the road at the time of the accident can play a significant role in determining liability. Weather, inadequate road repairs, and other factors come into play here.
Working with a knowledgeable truck accident attorney will help you assess which parties are responsible for the accident, providing you with a starting point to file your injury claim.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Filing a claim to seek compensation is different depending on whether you are filing on your own behalf as an injured party or filing on behalf of a loved one who was injured or killed in the accident.
If you are the victim of the accident, you can seek to file a personal injury claim against the party (or parties) you believe to be responsible for the accident. Such a claim can give you the opportunity to be compensated for medical costs or lost wages (if your injury left you unable to work).
For Loved Ones of Deceased Victims
If your loved one was killed in a truck accident, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party (or parties). A successful wrongful death claim can provide the surviving loved ones with compensation to pay for funeral and burial expenses, outstanding medical bills from before the victim died, lost wages (if the victim was a provider), loss of companionship, and other losses suffered.
Like the statute of limitations imposed on victims of truck accidents, an individual has a one-year period from the date of the accident to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of their loved one.
Truck Accidents Attorneys in Knoxville, Tennessee
Dealing with the aftereffects of a serious truck accident can feel overwhelming. You shouldn't have to handle everything on your own. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Knoxville, Tennessee — or the nearby areas of Chattanooga, Sevierville, Crossville, and Johnson City — contact our team at Wykoff & Sikes, PLLC to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.