Central Tennessee and the Nashville region, have become a major hub for the trucking industry over the past decade. That means that our area has also become a hub of the massive 20% increase in trucking accidents all across the nation over the past 20 years. So, if you’re injured in a truck accident, you’re going to want quality representation. A Nashville truck accident attorney at Mitch Grissim & Associates has the experience to get you the compensation you deserve.
These accidents are nothing short of devastating to the lives of the people involved. They cause injuries that can take years, even a lifetime from which to recover, and they take away livelihoods, relationships, and even the ability to make ends meet.
When getting compensation for your injuries becomes complicated and feels like a road block, your best option is to work with a qualified truck accident lawyer like Mitch Grissim & Associates.
Truck Accident Frequency
Unfortunately, truck accidents have become more common over the past several years. In the last twenty years alone, we’ve seen a 20% increase in truck accidents which is awful considering how dangerous and damaging they often are. While they cover a small portion of all automobile accidents, the damage they cause is considerably more likely to be severe and potentially life-threatening.
What to Do after a Truck Accident
The first thing you should do after you’re in any sort of motor vehicle accident is to get the names and contact information of any witnesses and to call first responders. If you’re able, take all the photos you can of the scene from as many different angles as you can. Make sure you file a police report, and above all, get medical attention.
Even if you don’t feel injured you should make sure to get checked out; you could have suffered an injury that won’t manifest for weeks or months, and every day you delay getting checked out can make all the difference. Not only can it result in worse injury, it can damage your efforts to get compensation.
What Happens After I Call?
Insurance Adjuster Tactics
Insurance adjusters may show up at the scene of the accident even before first responders get there. They do this because it’s their job to do nothing short of upsetting your claim. They are paid by the insurance company to get you to sign off on a lowball offer, or to negate your claim entirely. No matter how they might act like your friends, the insurance company adjuster is your enemy in your claim, and they’re looking to take money away from you.
They’ll do everything from denying you’re hurt to punching holes in your story to trying to bully you into signing your rights away, to even claiming you were the one at fault. They can also be very hard to battle.
Truck Accident Causes and Proving Negligence
The core problem at the heart of many truck accident cases is how difficult it is to prove who is responsible. Even if the problem is an inexperienced, exhausted, fatigued, distracted or even intoxicated driver, the trucking company can also share responsibility. If the issue is shifting cargo, it can be the loading company. If it’s faulty brakes the manufacturer of the parts or the maintenance crew can share blame.
Trucking companies, in particular, can adopt unhealthy practices that put them at fault much more than the driver. These include not properly training new drivers and rewards for long hours and high speeds. In fact, these unrealistic schedules could directly cause a truck driver to purposely drive unsafely and cause an accident despite the risks.
It’s essential to have someone familiar with trucking industry laws in your corner, who can cut through non-payment tactics, efforts to pass blame, and murky concepts of responsibility, to get you the full compensation you deserve for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and future earnings
- Damage to quality of life
- Emotional trauma
- Lost relationships
- Pain and suffering
- And more
If you’re worried that you may have partially been at fault for the accident, you can still pursue a claim. Just because you acted carelessly doesn’t mean you were more careless than the truck driver. Since fault is determined by who was being the most careless, you may still be entitled to compensation.
When both parties share liability, the amount of compensation owed is determined through comparative negligence. This examines your responsibility for the accident and assigns it a percentage. For example, if you were found to be 10% liable for the accident and your needed $10,000 in damages, the truck driver, owner, whoever else is liable, etc will only be obligated to pay $9,000.
Examples of Carelessness Around Trucks
If you don’t want to be held liable for any portion of a potential truck accident make sure you avoid these common driving mistakes. There are no-zones around trucks in which the driver cannot see you. Avoid these areas. Don’t drive to the right of a truck that’s turning right or merge into a lane with a truck suddenly from an entrance ramp on the highway.
Other problems include failing to account for a truck that’s changing lanes such as speeding up as a truck is entering your lane in front of you. If you jump into a lane in front of a truck then stop, you could get rear ended since trucks need a longer distance to brake properly. All of these factors among others could potentially put you at least partially at fault for a truck accident.
Trucking Company Tactics
No company is going to want to pay for damages if they can avoid it. In fact, many companies will actively pay lawyers to argue against your claim and deny you the compensation you deserve. That’s why it’s so important to have a skilled truck accident attorney in your corner, so you can fight back.
Truck companies adopt quite a few different strategies to avoid liability. They lease trucks rather than buy them outright, so when a claim seeks the owner of a truck, they don’t come to the trucking company. These companies will even abandon the drivers leaving them with full liability since they hire so many as independent contractors rather than full-fledged employees.
Fortunately, these arguments don’t hold up against the law anymore, but that won’t stop their attorneys from claiming otherwise. With a truck accident lawyer on your side, you won’t fall for any of these common tricks and excuses trucking companies like to use.
Do You Need an Experienced Nashville Truck Accident Attorney?
If you’re in the Nashville area and you need a qualified and experienced truck accident attorney in your corner, contact Mitch Grissim and Associates for a free consultation today.