Legal Options After a Truck Accident in Tennessee
Many East Tennessee truck accidents are caused by a truck driver's mistakes. Truck drivers are in charge of enormous and heavy equipment, and a moment's inattention, a lack of sleep, the use of prescription or recreational drugs, work stress, a lack of familiarity with the road, or speeding, among other behaviors, may result in grave consequences for other people on the road. Sometimes these accidents are also caused by maintenance or mechanical problems, such as improper load distribution, loading mistakes, defective tires, transmissions, or depowered front brakes. At the Hartsoe Law Firm, Knoxville truck accident attorney Mark Hartsoe can advise you on your legal options after a wreck. He has an accident reconstruction team available 24-7 that he can dispatch to the scene of a crash to make sure that valuable evidence is not lost.Legal Options After a Truck Accident in Tennessee
Any party involved with a truck that is in an accident may bear some responsibility for the crash. In addition to the driver, it may be important to investigate the trucking company that employed them, manufacturers, loaders, road conditions, and any other drivers involved in the accident. Anyone who was negligent in connection with the crash may be held responsible. It is crucial to investigate all potential causes as soon as possible.
Evidence may vanish with time or because of intentional misconduct by trucking defendants. Your attorney may send a letter about spoliation of evidence to alert the appropriate parties that you may have a legal claim and that any pertinent evidence from the wreck should be retained. This puts trucking defendants on notice of your claim and prevents them from later saying that they destroyed the evidence in the ordinary course of their business. In Tennessee courts, it may be possible to hold any party that destroys, falsifies, or alters evidence accountable through monetary or issue sanctions.
It is also important to contact the police immediately after a truck crash. The police report may provide important evidence, such as information about whether any safety laws, including FMCSA regulations, were violated. In the trucking industry, FMCSA regulations govern many different aspects of a truck driver's conduct, including how many hours consecutively a truck driver may drive without a break and mandatory drug testing. When a truck driver violates a safety law, the violation is the cause of an accident, and injuries result that are of the type that the law was designed to prevent, negligence per se may apply. In cases in which negligence per se applies, there is usually a greater emphasis on proving the extent of the damages than on proving liability.
Mark Hartsoe also can explore whether other parties may be held responsible. For example, if the brakes were defective, you may be able to bring in the brake manufacturer, alleging strict liability or breach of warranty. If the road conditions were unusually bad, we can investigate what the weather conditions were and whether the driver should have slowed down. In Tennessee, joint and several liability has been mostly abolished. This means that each at-fault party is only severally responsible for the damages, up to their degree of fault. Thus, it is important to investigate all possible sources of compensation.Discuss Your Truck Accident Case with Knoxville Attorney Mark Hartsoe
Often, the only way to recover compensation after a truck accident is through a lawsuit. It is rare that an insurer would agree to pay you the full amount to which you are entitled without the help of an experienced trial attorney. If you are concerned about your legal options after a truck accident, you should consult experienced Knoxville truck accident lawyer Mark Hartsoe. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form to set up a free appointment with a motor vehicle collision lawyer. Mark Hartsoe can assist victims throughout East Tennessee, including in Knox, Blount, Monroe, Loudon, Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Campbell, Hamblen, Greene, Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.