Trucking Blind Spot Accidents
One of the most common causes of truck accidents is a commercial driver's failure to check his or her blind spots. The consequences of a trucker’s moment of distraction can be extremely severe. At the Hartsoe Law Firm, truck accident attorney Mark Hartsoe is committed to serving Knoxville residents who have been involved in collisions with commercial vehicles.Holding a Truck Driver Liable for Ignoring Vehicles in Blind Spots
Tractor-trailers are often four times the size of a passenger car, and if a double trailer is being pulled, the size difference is even greater. Tractor-trailers also have enormous blind spots just behind and on both sides of the truck, but particularly the right rear side. These blind spots are called "no zones." Truck drivers may not see vehicles that stay in these spots, particularly if they stay for a long period of time in a no zone. A driver who cannot see a mirror on the side of the tractor-trailer should be aware that the driver likely will not be able to see them.
Some commercial drivers do not receive adequate training on their blind spots. Others may be fatigued and forget to pay attention to a blind spot. A truck driver whose negligence in connection with blind spots results in an accident may be liable to a victim. As in other accident cases, the injured driver would need to establish four elements by a preponderance of the evidence: the truck driver's duty, a breach of that duty, causation, and actual damages. Failing to check a blind spot or make a safe lane change may be a breach of duty.
The damages in a tractor-trailer accident may be substantial, due to the likelihood of catastrophic injuries or even a wrongful death. Often, victims of these accidents are left with permanent, lifelong injuries. They may never be able to work again, or they may need to switch careers. Sometimes a tractor-trailer driver's own insurance is insufficient to fully compensate or make whole an accident victim. In some cases, it may be necessary to pursue compensation from the tractor-trailer driver's employer. Usually trucking companies carry a greater amount of coverage than individual drivers.
A trucking company can usually be held vicariously liable for a truck driver who failed to operate a vehicle safely if the driver was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. Moreover, a trucking company may be held directly responsible if it was negligent in hiring, supervising, or training the driver.
After a blind spot accident, the truck driver’s and trucking company's insurers may claim that you were at fault for lingering too long in a blind spot. Tennessee follows a rule of modified comparative negligence. This means that if a jury evaluates your degree of fault for a blind spot accident at 50% or more, you would be barred from any sort of compensation. As long as your fault is 49% or less, however, you can potentially recover damages. The total damages would be reduced by your own percentage of fault.Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Collision Case with a Knoxville Attorney
Due to the doctrine of modified comparative negligence, it is crucial to retain an attorney with experience litigating truck accident cases. Trucking companies and their insurers and attorneys are likely to be more concerned about protecting their profits than making sure a victim of negligent driving is compensated. Motor vehicle collision lawyer Mark Hartsoe can guide injured individuals in the Knoxville area and elsewhere in Tennessee through the process of pursuing compensation. For a free initial consultation, call (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form.