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Multiple entities may be to blame for a truck accident

When big rigs and passenger cars crash, the occupants of the car are typically the ones who suffer critical injuries or lose their lives. Sharing the Tennessee highways with semis and tractor-trailers is dangerous because an accident can happen in the blink of an eye. Did you know that a large truck could weigh 20 to 30 times more than your car? They are tall, and their ground clearance can be significant enough to allow your vehicle to slide beneath it.

You will not know for how many hours the operator of the truck has been driving. Under federal hours-of-service regulations, drivers must rest after 11 hours of driving, but is this driver in compliance or not?

Typical truck accident causes

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says truck driver fatigue and defective equipment are likely the two primary causes of big-rig accidents that result in death and injuries on highways nationwide. The institute notes the following:

  • Driver fatigue: Although 11-hour shifts are allowed, after eight hours of driving a large truck, the operator is twice as likely to precipitate a crash. It is not only the current shift but also periods of sleep deprivation and disrupted sleep and rest cycles that cause fatigue.
  • Defective equipment: Researchers say faulty equipment doubles the chances of tractor-trailer accidents. The two most prevalent crash causers are defective braking systems and steering equipment, responsible for about 56% and 21% of big-rig accidents, respectively.
  • Braking disparities: Poor braking systems can aggravate braking disparities when it comes to longer stopping distances, especially on wet and slippery road surfaces. Along with automatic brake adjusters, antilock brakes are crucial for keeping wheels from locking, improving driver control in emergency stop situations and reducing the risk of jackknifing.

Dealing with serious injuries, intensive care, long-term therapy and medical care following a truck accident is challenging. The prospect of navigating lawsuits in pursuit of financial relief can be daunting. Would you even know where to start and whom to hold responsible?

Help is available

You might not even be aware of all your legal options, and the possible compensation could be more than you expect. An attorney with extensive experience in truck accident cases in Tennessee can assess the circumstances and cause of the accident and determine which entities shared in the cause of your injuries or your loved one's death.

Along with the truck driver, the list of defendants could include the truck manufacturer, the trucking company, the employer, and the mechanic who did repairs or maintenance on the truck. You might even have grounds to include the retailer who sold defective spare parts. This is a complicated field of the law, and leaving it in the hands of an experienced attorney will improve your chances of maximum recovery of current and future financial and emotional damages brought about by the truck accident.

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