Knoxville Truck Accident Lawyer
Devastating injuries resulting from truck wrecks and car accidents make up a substantial portion of Mr. Hartsoe’s practice. Knoxville truck accident lawyer Mr. Hartsoe is a member of the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group, as well as the Inadequate Security Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice. Hartsoe is frequently asked by other attorneys to handle tractor-trailer and car wreck cases on a referral, co-counsel basis. Mr. Hartsoe has lectured other attorneys on handling trucking cases from a plaintiff’s perspective and is familiar with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that regulate commercial trucking operation. Mr. Hartsoe has also lectured to attorneys in Tennessee on handling car wreck cases from a plaintiff’s (injured party) perspective. Hartsoe works with engineers and other accident reconstruction expert witnesses to help prove liability. It is critical to have an experienced lawyer represent you when you have been injured by a tractor-trailer or have been in a car wreck.Knoxville Truck Accident Lawyer
For the past 10 years, Mr. Hartsoe has focused a significant portion of his law practice to Tennessee tractor-trailer accident litigation. Accidents involving tractor-trailers frequently result in severe injuries or death. Actions taken immediately after the accident usually have a dramatic impact on the outcome of the litigation. Taking appropriate steps to preserve physical evidence, investigate the accident scene, and interview witnesses are vital to maximizing your outcome in a Tennessee tractor-trailer accident. The trucking company insurance representatives will likely visit the accident scene immediately after the accident and begin collecting evidence to avoid paying your claim or to attempt to minimize their liability. Physical evidence in the form of debris fields, skid marks (if available) must be evaluated by a well-qualified accident reconstruction expert as soon as possible. Mr. Hartsoe is prepared to visit the scene as soon as possible after notification in order to promptly take steps in order to preserve evidence. He stands ready to represent you and promptly take all the actions necessary to gather and preserve important evidence in order to take the necessary steps to ensure a successful outcome.Legal Claims Arising from Truck Accidents
A victim who is injured in a truck accident often can file a personal injury claim against a truck driver and potentially other parties, such as a trucking company that employed the driver. These claims usually would be based on the concept of negligence, which is a legal term for careless or reckless behavior. A negligence claim consists of four main parts: duty, breach, causation, and damages. The duty of care involves driving safely under the circumstances, as a prudent truck driver would drive. A breach consists of any action that falls short of the applicable duty of care. Often, a violation of federal trucking regulations will serve as proof of a breach, since 49 C.F.R. Section 390.3(e) requires truckers and trucking companies in interstate commerce to comply with applicable regulations. Causation means that the breach led directly to the accident in which the victim was injured, and proving damages involves showing that the victim sustained losses that can be reasonably quantified.
Damages in truck accident cases can take several forms. The two main types of damages are economic damages and non-economic damages, which together are known as compensatory damages. Economic damages refer to relatively objective, easily quantified forms of losses, such as medical bills, lost income, and damage to the victim’s property. Non-economic damages refer to more subjective forms of losses, such as pain and suffering. The quality of the attorney whom you retain can make a huge difference in proving non-economic damages. These awards vary greatly depending on the specific facts of the case and the persuasiveness of the victim’s evidence. This evidence may consist of testimony by the victim and other witnesses, medical records and other documentation of the victim’s injuries, and sometimes expert testimony about the effect of the victim’s injuries on their quality of life.
Under Section 28-3-104 of the Tennessee Code, an accident victim has only a limited time period in which to sue a defendant for injuries resulting from a truck accident. As with other personal injury claims, a truck accident case must be filed within one year, or a victim will lose their right to compensation. This period is shorter than the statute of limitations in most states. If you are bringing a wrongful death claim after a fatal truck accident, a one-year statute of limitations also applies.Liability of Other Parties
As mentioned above, you may be able to sue an entity in addition to the individual truck driver. This may be based on the concept of vicarious liability, which holds an employer liable for the negligent actions of an employee while they were performing their job duties. In some situations, a trucking company also may be directly liable if its own negligence contributed to the accident. For example, a trucking company can be held liable if it violates 49 C.F.R. Section 382.601, which requires companies to create a policy for dealing with alcohol and drug abuse by drivers. A victim would need to show that the absence of such a policy caused or contributed to the accident.
Some truck accidents result from a defect in the truck or one of its components. If the brakes malfunction or a tire blows out, a victim may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer. This type of claim may not rely on a negligence theory. Product liability cases tend to be based on a theory of strict liability. This involves showing that the truck or a component contained a defect and that the accident resulted from the defect. The victim does not need to show that the manufacturer failed to meet a certain standard of care.
Truck accidents are typically complex, and it can be challenging to identify every party that may have played a role in causing the crash. This is one reason why it is important to hire an experienced attorney who can investigate the case thoroughly and bring all of the at-fault parties into the lawsuit. Since individual truck drivers may not be able to fully compensate a victim who suffers catastrophic injuries, suing other defendants can be critical in obtaining all of the damages sustained.Truck Driver Fatigue
Tractor-trailer drivers drive long hours and unfortunately experience dangerous truck driver fatigue which causes many tractor-trailer accidents. Mr. Hartsoe has handled cases where truck drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel and injured innocent families traveling down the roadway. Approximately 500,000 trucking accidents occur every year in the United States. Because of the tremendous size and weight difference between cars and tractor-trailers (10,000 + pounds), collisions between the trucks and cars are usually catastrophic. Frequently the driver of the tractor-trailer escapes injury while the car driver is either severely injured or killed. Mr. Hartsoe has made presentations to attorneys and insurance and trucking representatives regarding handling automobile accidents and truck accidents from the plaintiff (injured party) perspective. Mr. Hartsoe is familiar with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations of the U. S. Department of Transportation which regulate tractor-trailer operation. In addition to driver fatigue, many Tennessee tractor-trailer accidents are caused by speeding, unqualified drivers, failing to properly maintain and repair the tractors and trailers, failing to yield the right-of-way, mechanical or brake failure, overloaded trucks or trailers, loads that shift weights. Let Tennessee tractor trailer accident lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe help you pursue your claim to ensure maximum recovery of your damages.Hartsoe Rapid Response Team
We are prepared to travel when notified to any location in Tennessee or Virginia to respond and investigate tractor-trailer accidents. Trucking companies and their insurance carriers will usually send out their lawyers, insurance adjusters and other representatives to photograph accident scenes, interview witnesses, and take other steps to preserve evidence at an accident scene. It is critical that injured persons and their families also take prompt action. The Hartsoe Law Firm is prepared on short notice to go to the scene of an accident to take photographs, interview witnesses and investigate. In many cases, the question of fault (liability for the accident) is the critical issue in the case because most people are severely injured or killed when they are struck by a tractor-trailer. The insurance company will spare no expense to try to gather evidence to prove that it was the injured party’s or someone else’s fault. Taking prompt action with an experienced attorney helps level the playing field. If an injured party delays in taking action, it often costs them in the damages they might be able to recover.
- An investigation should be completed promptly – time is of the essence
- Knoxville truck accident attorney Mark Hartsoe is ready to investigate your Tennessee tractor-trailer accident on short notice
- Mark Hartsoe will marshal the necessary experts to evaluate evidence to prove liability
- Mark Hartsoe works closely with medical doctors to assist with preparation of medical proof in your Tennessee tractor-trailer accident litigation. Please see our Results section to see Mr. Hartsoe’s extensive experience in representing persons and families who have been injured or killed in Tennessee tractor-trailer accidents.