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chattanooga truck accident lawyer
Commercial truck accidents are some of the most common—and most deadly—motor vehicle wrecks in Chattanooga. Every year, thousands of victims suffer serious injuries and lose their lives in truck accidents throughout the state. Trucks are everywhere on Tennessee’s highways. There are many reasons that trucks are involved in so many deadly accidents, including:
- It takes large trucks longer to stop; at 55 mph, it takes a car 240 feet to stop; it takes a truck 450 feet or more.
- Large trucks need more room for turning and maneuvering; they typically need to swing the rig wide to the left before starting a right turn.
- Truck drivers have to contend with unique factors behind the wheel, such as driving long hours, sleeping on the road, and using electronic devices while driving.
And truck accidents, especially those that involve thousands of pounds of cargo, do real damage. That’s a lot of mayhem and a lot of people with severe injuries whose lives have been turned upside down.
How Can We Help?
At Wettermark Keith, our Chattanooga, Tennessee truck accident attorneys are here to help victims recover financially and physically. We go to bat on behalf of injured crash victims in cases against commercial trucking companies, their insurance providers, and other defendants. If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, contact us right away for a free initial consultation. Our truck accident lawyers may be able to help you obtain a financial award for your losses.
From day one, we can help you by identifying the defendant, gathering evidence, and bringing together a strong claim to damages. We know what evidence a judge or jury will search for to verify the defendant’s guilt. We can take official photographs, obtain copies of police reports, and gain access to key evidence such as the truck’s black box. Our lawyers can take many actions on your behalf to optimize your odds of recovering compensation.
Why Truck Accidents Are Complicated
Truck accidents become complicated quickly. Many different questions need to be answered before a victim of a truck accident can recover for the significant injuries that truck accidents tend to cause:
- Was the truck being used in business when the accident occurred?
- If so, is the truck used in interstate commerce, making it subject to federal safety regulations?
- Was the truck being used to carry hazardous material? If so, both the kinds and severity of injuries may differ from other accidents, and there will be specific regulations that apply.
- Is the truck owned by the driver, by the business, or by some other person? These relationships can be very tangled in the commercial trucking industry.
- Did the truck, and its driver, comply with all safety regulations imposed on it by federal, state, and local authorities?
These are just some additional questions raised in a truck accident. The usual questions about all motor vehicle accidents still need to be answered: was the truck speeding, did the driver keep a proper distance between vehicles, was a signal given before changing lanes, and so on.
It takes years of experience to get the answers to all these questions quickly and efficiently. And speed and efficiency matter when you, a friend, or a relative is severely injured, unable to work, unable to walk, unable to live as you did before the accident. The attorneys at Wettermark Keith in Chattanooga have that experience, and a track record of success in getting the compensation that so many victims of truck accidents so desperately need.
The Value of Event Data Recordings
Event Data Recorders, more commonly called EDRs, are electronic devices that record a variety of information about a vehicle’s performance. Most passenger vehicles now have them, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed that all manufacturers of “light passenger vehicles” install them beginning in September 2014.
The rule doesn’t apply to heavy vehicles, but starting in the 1990s many manufacturers of truck engines began equipping them with EDRs that capture information about how the truck was being operated at the time of a crash. There are all different kinds of heavy truck EDRs, and they don’t all collect the same information. Most EDRs will, however, collect the basics of speed and brakes, and some can provide a lot more information about what happened just before and during the accident.
Untangling the web of electronic devices and electronic data to find and preserve the information that may be crucial to recovery for your injuries is a job best managed by attorneys who have done it many times before. Our legal team at Wettermark Keith has years of experience in handling accident cases, with connections to the engineers and other experts that help us make your monetary recovery possible.
What Are Common Truck Accident Injuries?
Wettermark Keith is a full-service personal injury law firm. We don’t only accept truck accident claims, but a wide variety of injury lawsuits. It’s our mission to help all clients with negligence-related injuries recover fair compensation in Chattanooga. Our attorneys can take cases involving all types of injuries, including catastrophic injuries that will permanently affect you or a loved one. Come to us for help no matter what injuries you have. These could be:
- Broken bones
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Spine injury
- Brain injury
- Organ damage
- Crush injuries
Whether you’re the victim or it’s someone you love, we may be able to help your family achieve a financial award from the at-fault party. We know how to go up against large and powerful corporations in Tennessee, including trucking companies. We’ll start with a free meeting with you and your family about your truck accident, where we’ll ask you questions and listen to your story. Then, we’ll craft a legal strategy based on your unique needs.
What Should I Do After a Chattanooga Truck Accident?
It’s important to take the right actions to protect yourself as the victim of a truck accident. Until you hire a lawyer, no one will be looking out for your best interests. It’s up to you. If you need help with your case from the get-go, contact Wettermark Keith for legal advice. Otherwise, take a few critical steps first to set up your case.
- Document the collision. While still at the scene of the accident, take photos and videos with your smartphone, if possible. Write down important facts such as the truck driver’s name, truck number, license plate number, trucking company name, date, time, and location.
- Call the police. Call 911 from the scene to report a trucking accident. Almost all of these accidents result in injuries or serious enough property damages to warrant a call to the local police station. Don’t admit fault for the crash to any police officers or the truck driver.
- Go to the hospital. Get medical care from a professional immediately after a truck accident in Chattanooga. Request copies of important medical documents such as your diagnosis and prognosis reports.
Stay calm, protect yourself, and don’t give too much information to the insurance claims adjuster who contacts you about your truck accident. Then, contact Wettermark Keith as soon as possible for a free evaluation of your case. We might offer to take over your claim from there.
Knowledge, Experience, and Commitment to You, Our Client
Many truck accidents involve businesses and insurance companies that have a lot more money and a lot more power than the victims of the accidents. At the Chattanooga law firm of Wettermark Keith, we can offset that with experience, diligence, and determination. The hundreds of millions of dollars we have recovered for our clients attest to it. Call us for a free consultation about the facts of your case. The sooner you get us involved, the more likely it is we can help.
No Recovery, No Fee Guarantee
When selecting clients to represent in court, our firm operates on a contingency fee basis. What this means to our clients is simple: if we don’t win your case, you won’t pay anything. We choose to operate this way for the sole benefit of our clients, we want to see you obtain a successful recovery so that you can continue to carry on with your life.
Contact us today if you have been the victim of a personal injury or lost a loved one to a wrongful death. Fill out the free case evaluation form on our website and we will get back to you promptly.