Any traffic accident can result in significant vehicle damage, as well as personal injuries to the drivers and passengers involved, but wrecks involving commercial trucks can be especially dangerous. Because of their size and weight, tractor-trailers and other similar vehicles can be unwieldy and difficult to maneuver in emergency situations, meaning that impacts with smaller commuter cars can have devastating results.
If you were recently involved in a wreck with a commercial vehicle, personal injury attorney David E. Gordon could help you recover any losses you sustained. Once retained, a Cordova truck accident lawyer could go over the circumstances of the incident with you, work to determine which parties bear legal liability, and take legal action to pursue appropriate compensation.
In most situations, truck crashes in Cordova can be litigated based on the same standard of simple negligence that other car accident cases operate upon. If a truck driver drives drunk, falls asleep at the wheel, speeds, or violates any other state traffic law, they would be the primarily liable party that the plaintiff could file suit against.
However, liability is not always so straightforward in truck accident cases. For example, the legal doctrine of respondeat superior allows an employer to be held liable for the actions of their employee under certain circumstances. Accordingly, if a trucking company failed to complete a thorough background check and hired a driver with a history of DUI, for instance, the employer could bear liability if their employee gets in an accident on the job because of intoxication.
Furthermore, a trucking company could be directly liable for an accident if it can be traced back to their own negligence rather than the driver’s. For example, if the load the driver was carrying shifted during transit because it was not secured properly before the truck left for its destination, that would not be the fault of the driver. Depending on the circumstances, a Cordova truck accident legal professional could be able to hold a mechanic or other third party liable for a wreck if it stemmed from a mechanical failure or something else neither the driver nor their employer had direct control over.
Regardless of who is to blame for a truck accident, there are numerous potential restrictions on civil recovery that Cordova plaintiffs should be aware of. Perhaps the most important is the cap Tennessee state law sets on recoverable non-economic damages. First established in Tennessee Code §29-39-102 and recently upheld in a ruling by the state Supreme Court, civil plaintiffs may not recover more than $750,000 for pain and suffering damages, or $1 million in cases involving a catastrophic injury like amputation of a limb or paralysis.
Furthermore, truck accident cases are governed by the same statute of limitations as all other civil cases in Tennessee. As per Tenn. Code §28-3-104, if a prospective plaintiff in Cordova or their truck crash representative does not file suit within one year of when the accident occurred, the case may be time-barred, and the individual may risk losing their right to compensation.
When truckers and trucking companies disregard the safety of other drivers sharing the road with them, the risk of a dangerous accident occurring increases dramatically. Unfortunately, pursuing civil compensation in the wake of a serious truck wreck can be a difficult endeavor under the best of circumstances, especially if you attempt to do so without professional legal guidance.
A qualified Cordova truck accident lawyer could help with every step of the civil case process and work tirelessly to secure a positive outcome on your behalf. To discuss the legal options available to you, call attorney David E. Gordon today to schedule a consultation.