Truck Accident Lawyer Memphis, TN

An accident between a red car and a truckTruck accidents can cause major property damage and severe injuries. Therefore, you want to do everything you can to avoid them. Although some truck accidents are not avoidable, you can take the necessary steps to lower your risk of being involved in one. Here are a few helpful tips on avoiding these types of accidents.

Be cautious when passing

There may come a time when you have to pass a big truck on the road. When you’re in this situation, make sure to proceed with caution. Remember to use your turn signal and pass on the left where truck drivers can see you better.

Stay out of the blind spots

Truck drivers have big blind spots. If you get into one of these blind spots, the truck driver will not be able to see your vehicle. To reduce the risk of getting hit, always stay more than 20 feet in front of a truck or more than 30 feet behind.

Give extra room when trucks are turning

As a truck accident lawyer in Memphis, TN can confirm, commercial trucks have to make much larger turns than passenger vehicles. When you see a truck getting ready to make a turn, you should keep your distance.

Be extra patient

It is not uncommon for drivers to become frustrated with commercial truck drivers. They have to take longer to turn and must go at slower speeds to stay safe. While this can be annoying to deal with at times, you must realize that it is necessary. Recognize that truck drivers have to take these measures to stay safe and practice patience.

Say “no” to distractions

It’s never good to be distracted while driving. As a truck driver lawyer in Memphis, TN can confirm, it can be especially dangerous when you’re driving by commercial trucks. If you are distracted by something else when a truck approaches your vehicle, you have a higher chance of getting into an accident. Stay off your smartphone, do not eat or drink and avoid changing the radio stations.

Check the weather

Poor weather conditions, such as rain and wind, can make driving more difficult. It can be especially dangerous around truck drivers. If you have to drive in bath weather, you should use even more caution around truck drivers.

A truck accident lawyer from Patterson Bray knows that the injuries you sustain from a truck accident can be very serious. Although many people may think you would be lucky to make it out of a truck accident with injuries instead of dying, the injuries you have to live with can cause you pain for years to come. These will not only cost thousands—even tens of thousands of dollars—when it comes to medical bills due to hospital stays and surgeries, but you may even be dealing with very expensive rehabilitation treatment programs so that you can learn to walk or move certain parts of your body again. Don’t hesitate to call a lawyer if you are worried about paying for your injury recovery.

What To Do Immediately if You’re a Victim of a Truck Accident

If you are hit by a truck while driving, the immediate aftermath is a whirlwind. You are likely scared and shocked. More importantly, you might even be injured.

Of course, you are going to need help from a truck accident lawyer in Memphis, TN such as Patterson Bray, but here is a handy guide on what you should do as soon as the accident happens.

Call 911

If you are able to function at all after the accident, your first item of action should be to call emergency services. Since trucks are much larger and heavier than cars, the impact from this type of an accident is bound to be significant.

You may be injured and not even realize it. Your body’s adrenalin allows you to stay in shock after you sustain an injury in order to help you survive. That said, even if you are not seriously injured, someone else involved in the accident may be hurt. Having an ambulance present at the scene is the best option.

Swap Insurance Info

Your truck accident lawyer in Memphis, TN will likely want to know if you got in touch with your car insurance provider after a serious accident involving a truck. They will also want to know if you have the details of the car insurance provider and employer of the truck driver who hit you.

Though the minutes after an accident are hectic, keep insurance information at the forefront of your mind. Swap details if the truck driver is willing. If not, take down their registration number as well as any company logo that may be visible on the truck.

Your legal representative at Patterson Bray will advise you on how and when you should contact either insurance provider and whether you should be in touch with the truck driver’s employer.

Call a Loved One

After a serious accident involving a truck, it is no surprise if you become traumatized. As a victim with possible physical injuries, you should call and let a loved one know that you were in an accident. If you cannot personally talk to them, have someone else call on your behalf and share any details regarding your condition, including whether you need to go to the hospital.

getting injured by a truck is one of the most traumatic and dangerous experiences a person can have in their life, but your truck accident lawyer in Memphis, TN will help you through the difficulties that follow. Contact Patterson Bray and request help as soon as you can.

Common Types of Injuries from a Truck Accident

Because of the size difference between your car and the truck, it makes sense that you are likely coming away with worse injuries than the truck driver. Below are some of the most common types of injuries you might sustain if you were in a truck accident.

Broken or Fractured Bones

Although not life-threatening once treated, broken or fractured bones can still cause you a great deal of pain and may even mean you have to be out of work until your injuries are healed. When this is the case, you may be able to receive compensation for lost wages when it comes to your job.

Internal Bleeding

Unfortunately, internal bleeding can be life-threatening and is not the most obvious kind of injury you can sustain. Regardless of whether you can see your injuries or not, you should always get checked out by a medical professional immediately following a truck accident because internal bleeding may be present.

Head and Brain Injuries

Head trauma occurs in these types of accidents because of the force of a truck hitting your car, causing your head to move from side to side or causing it to hit something, like the steering wheel or the window. Like internal injuries, brain damage can be the type of injury that doesn’t show symptoms for days or weeks until it is too late. If you feel dizzy, have vision problems, have more frequent headaches, or feel that you have altered moods, it is imperative that you see a doctor as soon as possible.

Bruises and Lacerations

While bruises and lacerations may not seem like serious injuries, it is still important to have a medical professional look at them. Lacerations are open wounds and if you do not get them treated quickly it is possible that they could become infected.

Truck Accident Infographic

Common Types Of Injuries From A Truck Accident Infographic

Common Myths About Truck Accidents

Many myths surround truck accidents. Victims are often in a better position to handle related legal matters when these notions are dispelled. Lack a full understanding of the ramifications associated with trucking accidents, and you’ll be in a compromised position to deal with the fallout. A qualified truck accident lawyer in Memphis, TN, such as the sort you’ll find at Patterson Bray, can go into great detail regarding the following mistaken beliefs.

Breaks Are Strictly Enforced

Truck drivers are indeed required to rest after they’ve been driving for extended lengths of time. These breaks are vital, as truckers who continue driving run the risk of falling asleep on the road. Once they dose off, they’re no longer in control, effectively turning their vehicles into highway missiles. It’s a near certainty that a catastrophic wreck will be the result. Sadly, it’s impossible to monitor whether drivers are taking their required stops, and the pressure of arriving at a destination on time can be too much for some professional haulers.

Truck Drivers Are Always Guilty

Highway accidents are often caused by operator error, but that isn’t the only reason they happen. They also occur because of faulty mechanical parts. In these cases, the company that manufactured the pieces may be guilty. The attorneys at Patterson Bray have a thorough understanding of these sorts of complex lawsuits.

Also, the company employing a truck driver might impose unrealistic expectations that contribute to a highway disaster. The person responsible for implementing rules such as these may be found guilty in a court of law. A skilled truck accident lawyer in Memphis, TN, is someone you should contact about filing a lawsuit of this nature.

Insurance Companies Are Fair

While ads portray them as looking out for their customers, the reality is that insurance companies only care about their bottom lines. They’ll take any reason they can to refuse payment. Those without proper legal representation have much lower odds of getting what they deserve from these corporate behemoths. The right truck accident lawyer in Memphis, TN, can be invaluable when the time comes to negotiate with insurance representatives.

Truck Accident Lawsuits Are Expensive

Many truck accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. Under these arrangements, the attorney doesn’t get paid anything unless the client wins. This means you can hire the best truck accident lawyer in Memphis, TN, even if you don’t have the money to pay out of pocket. Don’t hesitate to contact a legal representative who can help secure the compensation you deserve.

The Severity of Trucking Accidents

For many, driving near semi-trucks or 18 wheelers can lead some drivers to have a sense of anxiety. No one wants to experience something as tragic as to fall victim to an accident involving an 18 wheeler. Such an accident can lead to serious injuries and even be fatal. Due to the sheer weight and size of an 18 wheeler, they can surely deliver devastating results. Truck accidents can occur as a result of:

  • Truck Rollover
  • Rear-End Collisions
  • Lost Loads
  • Underride Accidents
  • Wide Turns
  • Head-On Collisions
  • T Bone Accidents
  • Following such an accident, you will need to focus on what may be a lengthy and painful recovery. You will surely want to give yourself the opportunity to fully focus on your recovery while a TN Truck Accident Lawyer takes the lead on your case. For guidance, call an experienced truck accident lawyer in your area.

The Complexity of Determining Fault

Determining who should be held accountable can be challenging. In some cases, you may even be able to hold more than one party responsible when taking legal action. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on the trucking industry to deliver cargo quickly and efficiently. Because of this, trucks may be operating with drivers who are overworked and over fatigued, poorly maintained trucks, and more. This has the ability to be incredibly hazardous for other drivers on the road. You may be wondering who you can hold accountable for the accident.

Working with an experienced truck accident lawyer can review your case and help determine who can be held accountable. Examples of parties who may be responsible include:

  • Truck Manufacturers
  • Truck Driver
  • Trucking Company

A truck accident lawyer can help by carefully reviewing your case, determining fault, valuing your claim, and negotiating a settlement in your favor.

Following a trucking accident, your life will be forever changed. Because truck accidents produce devastating results, chances are you will be experiencing costly damages. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of your ability to seek compensation following the truck accident you have fallen victim to. Working with an experienced lawyer can prove essential in moving forward with your case. Call us as soon as possible so that we can review your claim and provide you with the guidance you need.

Truck Accidents As a Result of Distracted Driving

When you are hoping to file a claim for the injuries you got after a truck accident, one of the first things you will likely be looking for is why the truck accident happened in the first place. Was the truck driver responsible or were they a victim in the accident as well? One of the most common reasons that truck accidents occur is because the truck driver was driving distracted. There could be any number of things that are distracting the truck driver and when this occurs, a truck driver could be so distracted that they do not see you in enough time to stop the accident before it happens.

Why do truck drivers get distracted

There are many reasons a truck driver may get distracted. Think about the times you have taken long road trips. After the first hour or two, not only are you starting to get bored, seeing scenery flashing by you may also begin to make you tired on your drive. Truck drivers may use distractions to keep them awake while they are behind the wheel. However, using a distraction, like a cell phone or a radio to keep them awake may have the opposite effect that was intended. They may get distracted:

  • Listening to a podcast, the radio, or a video while driving.
  • Looking at the GPS or map to figure out where they need to go.
  • Eating or drinking on the road if they do not have time to pull over.
  • Brushing their hair, shaving, or applying makeup.
  • Talking on the phone or texting.

While none of these activities are inherently bad, they should not be doing them while they are actively driving.

When anyone is distracted while they are driving, they lose precious seconds that they should be focusing on the road. In mere seconds, traffic lights can change, you can round a corner that is backed up with cars, or a car could come into your lane and you do not give yourself the proper time to react. When this is the case, a truck driver, carrying a load far greater than the average car, could miss the time needed to avoid a collision and instead ram into a car, injuring or killing the people inside.

If you believe a truck accident you were involved in is the result of distracted driving, do not hesitate to mention this to your lawyer when looking for the cause of the accident.

Contact a Memphis Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, including distracted driving, driver error, drowsy driving, defective truck parts, and overweight or improperly loaded trucks. During your initial consultation with a member of our team, do not hesitate to voice your questions and concerns. A good truck accident lawyer is more than happy to address your concerns and questions and make you feel as comfortable as possible.

When a commercial truck slams into a passenger vehicle, the injuries and damage can be devastating to a family. At Patterson Bray, we have been representing victims of truck accidents for years, and have seen the catastrophic injuries many victims suffer. We have also helped numerous families whose loved ones did not survive their injuries in getting justice for that heartbreaking loss.

Contact Patterson Bray today at (901) 372-5003, and rest assured that a Tennessee truck accident lawyer can be the one to represent you in seeking damages for the pain and loss you have suffered.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents occur every day in Tennessee for a wide range of reasons. Commercial trucks are so large and heavy that they are more likely to cause life-threatening injuries because  Here are some common causes of truck accidents.

  • Driver fatigue. Truck drivers spend long hours on the road. Even though federal regulations prohibit drivers from driving too many hours in a row, not all drivers follow these rules. They may drive longer than they’re permitted to meet their deadlines. Unfortunately, this can result in fatigue. Truck drivers who are running on little sleep may lose focus of the road ahead and ignore safe driving practices. They might even fall asleep behind the wheel, causing accidents.
  • Failure to properly secure loads – It’s crucial for truck drivers to properly pack and secure cargo so that it’s evenly distributed across the truck. Otherwise, an accident is more likely to occur. The product could fall off the trailer and onto the road.
  • Driving under the influence – Unfortunately, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is a huge problem among truck drivers. They may take drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine to stay awake and relieve boredom. Unfortunately, these drugs can impair a truck driver’s judgment and increase the likelihood of an accident.
  • Driver distraction – As a trucking accident lawyer in Memphis, TN can confirm, distractions cause a large number of truck accidents. As mentioned above, truck drivers have to spend long hours behind the wheel. This can lead to boredom eventually. Truck drivers, therefore, may use distractions to keep themselves occupied. They might check text messages, talk on the phone, change the radio station or eat. Unfortunately, all of these actions can divert a truck driver’s focus off the road, increasing the risk of an accident.
  • Speeding – Truck drivers are under constant pressure to make their deliveries on time. If truck drivers get behind, they may be tempted to drive above the speed limit to meet their deadlines. Speeding can lower their reaction times and increase the risk of vehicle crashes.
  • Poor training – Operating a commercial truck is more difficult than driving a passenger vehicle. As such, truck drivers have to go through rigorous training before they can get behind the wheel. However, some trucking companies may skimp on training to save money. Truck drivers who have poor training are more likely to cause accidents.
  • Traumatic brain injury – Also referred to as a TBI, these are the most severe head injuries car accident victims can sustain. These injuries can also be “silent” ones because many times there is no bruise, bump, or wound that would normally warn the victim they have been injured. A TBI can occur even if the victim’s head did not hit a surface, but simply by the jerking movements a body makes upon crash impact. Symptoms of a possible brain injury are loss of consciousness, confusion, headaches, and changes in personality. Other common catastrophic injuries to the head that can cause brain injury are a penetrating wound and a fractured skull.
  • Penetration of the abdomen or chest areas – Whenever an object penetrates the abdomen or chest areas, there is a high risk of a fatal injury. Organs in these areas that sustain damage are the bowels, heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs. Major arteries and vessels can also be punctured.
  • Fractures – Depending on the severity of the break, fractured bones can cause all kinds of medical issues for a victim, even requiring surgery and physical therapy to help the bones heal. Facial fractures are common in serious car accidents and victims often have to endure multiple surgeries, including plastic surgery, before they are completely recovered. In many cases, there is permanent disfigurement or scarring. Fractured bones can also create a potentially fatal injury if the broken bone punctures an organ.

Truck Accident Lawyer Memphis, TN

Truck accidents are no joke and if you’ve been in one it is often in your best interest to contact a truck accident lawyer in Memphis, TN as soon as possible. Around 4,700 lives are taken each year as a result of a trucking accident. If you’ve never been in one then you may not know just how back they can be. These accidents can leave many people on the load road of recovery that is often costly.

You might assume that they are on the same level of severity as passenger car accidents. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Here is what you need to understand about why truck accidents are so much worse than the average car accident.

Trucks Are Much Larger 

If you think about the average semi-truck on the road you know that they are massive compared to most cars out there. These big vehicles can be up to 80 feet long and weigh thousands of pounds more than your standard passenger car. When you consider their weight it is easy to see that these accidents can be devastating, even at low speeds.

Due to the sheer size of these trucks, they are able to do more damage to cars regardless of how fast they are going. When you add more speed to them, what could be an average accident for two passenger cars often turns deadly when a semi is involved. The simple fender-bender between two passenger cars is an easy fix but if you get into one with a semi you will find that your car is often totaled and injuries can come up. No matter how minimal the accident is you can expect to have hefty repairs to your vehicle.

Dealing With More Than Just the Driver 

Typically when you are in a truck accident there are more parties involved than just the driver. Depending on the situation that led to the accident you could have to sue the driver, the manufacturer of the truck, the transport company. Pr even the maintenance provider. Unless the truck driver was acting irresponsibly on the road, they may not be responsible for the accident.

Instead, it could be their parent company, the people that loaded the cargo, or even the mechanics of the truck. All these factors can make it harder for you to file a case.

Cargo Can Be Dangerous 

A truck is already dangerous due to its size but it isn’t the only danger out there. The cargo those trucks are carrying can be dangerous by itself. There is always a slight chance that that cargo wasn’t loaded properly or it wasn’t secured correctly before the truck left on its route. This can make things dangerous as loose cargo can make accidents more severe.

Things get worse if the cargo is hazardous or contains caustic chemicals. This can influence the damage done in the accident and you may be entitled to additional settlements for it.

If you or a loved one have been in a truck accident then talking to a truck accident lawyer in Memphis, TN is in your best interest.

If Your Truck Accident Was Work-Related

If you were either driving a truck for work or were otherwise engaged in work-related activities at the time of your crash, it is important to speak with a truck accident lawyer Memphis, TN motorists trust about your legal options. Depending upon the circumstances surrounding your crash and your work status, you may be in a position to pursue more than one kind of compensation at this time.

Most full-time and part-time employees of all but the smallest companies are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage. Workers’ comp is a no-fault system. This means that even if your accident was totally your fault, you likely remain entitled to collect benefits as a result of your injuries. The three major exceptions to this general rule involve accidents that were caused by intoxicated or otherwise impaired workers, intentional collisions, and crashes resulting from workers who had instigated road rage incidents. Otherwise, even if an accident was partially or totally your fault, you should still be able to collect these benefits.

If your crash was work-related and anyone other than your employer may be held legally and financially liable for contributing to the cause(s) of your collision, you may also be in a position to file a personal injury lawsuit. Workers’ compensation beneficiaries are only barred from suing their employers for personal injury damages—any other party may still be named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit even if the injured party has received a workers’ comp settlement.

If Your Accident Was Partially Your Fault

With that said, it is important to communicate with an experienced Memphis, TN truck accident lawyer if you believe that you may have been partially to blame for your accident. Tennessee recognizes a comparative negligence theory of liability. This means that as long as you were not 50 percent or more to blame for the harm you have suffered, you remain entitled to seek compensation from others who contributed to the cause(s) of your crash. Depending upon the severity of the harm you have suffered, the compensation you may be owed could be considerable.

If You Have Lost a Loved One to a Fatal Truck Accident

If you have lost a loved one as the result of a fatal accident involving a large truck, you may be entitled to one or more kinds of compensation at this time. An experienced Memphis, TN truck accident lawyer can clarify whether you are in a position to file a wrongful death lawsuit and/or claim workers’ compensation death benefits.

Some of the damages a victim can pursue in a truck accident lawsuit

  • All past, present, and future medical expenses. This includes all hospitalizations, surgeries, physician appointments, diagnostic testing, physical therapy, medications, and medical equipment and devices.
  • Lost wages from any time missed from work while the victim was recovering. This also includes benefits the victim may have lost. If the injuries have left the victim unable to return to work, then they may also receive loss of future compensation benefits.
  •  Non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, permanent disability, scarring, disfigurement, and loss of life enjoyment.

What if the victim does not survive

When a victim does not survive their injuries, their family can pursue a wrongful death claim against the liable party. Damages not only include some of the expenses of the accident mentioned above, but also specific damages for the family, such as emotional anguish, loss of the victim’s love and guidance, and loss of the victim’s financial support.

Memphis Truck Accident FAQs

What should I do immediately after being involved in a truck accident in Memphis, TN?

After being involved in a truck accident in Memphis, TN, your first step should be to ensure the safety of yourself and anyone else involved by moving to a safe location if possible and calling 911 for medical assistance and to report the accident. Tennessee law requires that any accident involving injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,500 must be reported. Exchange information with the other parties involved, including names, contact details, and insurance information, but avoid admitting fault. It’s also important to document the scene with photos and gather contact information from witnesses. Following these initial steps, consult with a Memphis-based attorney specializing in truck accidents to navigate the complexities of the legal process and protect your rights.

How is fault determined in truck accidents in Memphis, TN?

Fault in truck accidents in Memphis, TN, is determined through a combination of state traffic laws and the evidence collected from the accident scene. This can include police reports, witness statements, photographs of the scene, and potentially data from the truck’s electronic logging device (ELD). Tennessee follows a “modified comparative fault” system, which means that a party can recover damages if they are found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident. However, their compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault. An attorney with experience in truck accidents can help navigate these determinations and work to establish the other party’s liability.

What types of compensation can I recover after a truck accident in Memphis, TN?

Victims of truck accidents in Memphis, TN, can recover various types of compensation, depending on the specifics of their case. These can include economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage, as well as non-economic damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. In cases where the conduct of the at-fault party is found to be especially reckless or egregious, punitive damages may also be awarded. The specific compensation you may be eligible for can be best determined by consulting with a knowledgeable truck accident attorney in Memphis.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a truck accident lawsuit in Memphis, TN?

In Memphis, TN, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit related to a truck accident is generally one year from the date of the accident for personal injury claims and three years for property damage claims. This means you must file a lawsuit within these time frames to seek compensation for your injuries or damages. It’s important to note that failing to file within the statute of limitations typically results in the loss of your right to sue. Because there can be exceptions and specific nuances to these rules, it’s advisable to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.

How can a Memphis truck accident attorney help me with my case?

A Memphis truck accident attorney can provide crucial support and expertise in navigating the complex legal landscape following a truck accident. They will investigate the accident, gather evidence, and work to establish the liability of the truck driver or trucking company. An experienced attorney can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation and can represent you in court if necessary. They can also advise you on the specifics of Tennessee law, help you understand your rights, and ensure that legal deadlines are met, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

Exploring Your Legal Options Is a Time-Sensitive Challenge

The law doesn’t grant injury victims or the surviving loved ones of fatal injury scenarios endless time to explore their legal options. If you wait too long to speak with an attorney, the strength of your case could be compromised and/or you could be barred from seeking rightful compensation whatsoever. If you have not yet scheduled a risk-free consultation with the experienced Tennessee legal team at Patterson Bray PLLC, please do so without delay; we look forward to speaking with you.