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Experienced 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer in Knoxville: Fighting for Your Rights
Looking for an 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Knoxville, Tennesee who you can trust? Turn to Wettermark Keith! Get a free consultation today.
Any car accident will radically change your day, but truck accidents are oftentimes life-changing. Because of their size and weight, 18 wheelers can cause havoc on other drivers on the road, especially if they’re driving negligently. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a truck, know that you’re not alone and that there is help available to you. Many people involved in these truck wrecks opt to hire an 18 wheeler accident attorney in Knoxville, and we at Wettermark Keith take our role as your lawyer seriously.
Keep reading to learn more about 18 wheeler accidents in Knoxville, and what you can do about your wreck.
Steps to Take After a Truck Accident
The very first thing you should do following a truck accident is to take stock of the situation. Are you or the other individuals involved hurt? How bad is the damage to one or both of the vehicles? Is it safe to remain at the crash site, or do you need to move to a nearby shoulder? Answer these questions before you do anything else.
After you’ve made a quick assessment, you, a witness at the site, or the truck driver needs to call the Knoxville or Oak Ridge police. These types of accidents need to be reported, and a police officer will make sure the situation is treated appropriately. If anyone is hurt, you can also call for medical help. As you wait for the officer to arrive, don’t say anything to the other driver, not even the words “I’m sorry.” Apologizing can be taken as a sign of guilt and can hurt your chances at insurance compensation in the future.
If you have your phone or a camera, take pictures of the crash, including your car, the semi-truck or tractor-trailer, the roadway, any witnesses present, the overall scene, and even any minor injuries you have sustained. Write down what you remember as soon as you can, as it’s common for accident victims to forget the details of the incident later on. Get eyewitness testimony by taking notes or getting voice recordings, as well as the names of witnesses. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
Finally, call a trusted 18 wheeler accident attorney in Knoxville. Having your Knoxville truck accident lawyer on your side as soon as an accident occurs will give you the best chance at getting the compensation you need. If the lawyer is given notice and is available, they may be able to arrive on the scene and gather evidence to build your case. Either way, you will be able to refer others involved to your truck accident attorney who will filter unjust claims and be able to communicate on your behalf to get you a fair settlement.
Do You Have a Valid Truck Accident Case?
Even though truck accidents are very common, not every person who has been involved in a truck accident has a valid case. Sometimes, neither you nor the truck driver was at fault, but a crash still occurred. Likewise, not all accidents result in heavy injuries or major damage to your vehicle.
To properly examine if you have a valid truck accident claim, you need to consider the following.
Did I Suffer Injury, or Did My Vehicle Get Damaged?
If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then you have the beginnings of a valid truck accident case. While it’s not enough to answer “yes” to these questions and file a case, you cannot have a valid claim without damage to yourself or your vehicle.
Was the Truck Driver Acting Negligently?
There are many stringent laws that truck drivers have to follow in the state of Tennessee. Being found in violation of those laws can count as negligence if the truck driver has an accident. There are other laws that are universally applied to anyone on the road that can contribute to negligence as well, including distracted driving, driving too fast, or drifting in and out of lanes without indication. If the truck driver’s own actions or inactions caused the accident, you have a valid case.
Who Can Be Liable for Truck Accident Cases?
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident case, you might think that the driver that caused your injury is the only one who can be held liable for your damages, but this isn’t the case! Depending on the circumstances of your crash, many people can be held responsible for your claim.
The Trucking Companies
The truck company that hired the truck driver can also be held liable for your accident. This is because they may have contributed to the truck driver’s negligent actions by not instituting policies that keep their drivers safe on the road.
The Truck Manufacturer
Likewise, the company that makes the truck model that injured you may be held liable if it’s found that a product flaw was to blame for the accident. For instance, if the truck model had poorly designed hubs that caused the tires to be loose, the truck manufacturer would be responsible for any accidents that ensued due to that design flaw.
Truck Maintenance Personnel
It’s not just the driver, the company, or its maker that have a hand in keeping the truck safe, it’s also the maintenance team that oversees the upkeep of the truck that are partially responsible. If the crash occurred because the truck was not properly maintained, the personnel behind it may be held liable.
There are many people who may be responsible for your case, but without filing a claim with the help of an 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Knoxville, you may never be aware of your options. Keep reading to see what a difference an attorney can make.
Why It Is Important to Hire an Attorney to Help You
When you’re involved in a car crash with a commercial truck, you’re not just going up against the driver. You’re going to be faced with the insurance company, trucking company, and potentially many other parties. Just like a single person wouldn’t take on a whole sports team by themselves, you shouldn’t face the opposing side by yourself, either.
Not only do Knoxville truck accident attorneys provide support in knowing how best to proceed legally, but they are also your advocates when otherwise everyone else in the case would be against you. Their job is to fight for your rights and your compensation, and the right lawyer will prove themselves loyal to your cause. If you need someone else on your side, give us a call.
Factors to Consider in Your 18 Wheeler Accident Claim
Even though the events of your crash might seem straightforward to you, there are a lot of factors you should consider as you seek to start an accident claim. On top of the events of the crash, there are other details, like the classification of the truck, that might have an impact on your claim.
There are 3 types of classifications for the types of drivers of commercial vehicles in the state of Tennessee and for much of the United States: Class A, Class B, and Class C. While these classes are mostly a designation of weight, other regulations may apply per class, like the number of passengers, the type or the cargo being carried, or the overall distance the driver may go. A person having one of these types of drivers’ licenses also requires certain laws to be met, regulations to be adhered to, and regular maintenance to be performed.
In addition to the type of commercial vehicle, the terms of the trucker’s employment may have an impact on your claim. If the driver is the owner and operator of the vehicle and the company responsible for transporting the commercial goods, you will have fewer people to deal with in the case. The driver may also be an employee of the overall company, meaning you will need to speak with others within that trucking company, as well. Finally, the driver may function as a contractor for the company that he or she is representing, and as a result, your case may be complicated due to the terms of their contract.
In short, there are a lot of varying factors just regarding the truck itself that could make your case difficult to manage. That’s where we come in. Our education and years of experience have prepared us to deal with these small details.
Other than needing a special license to operate a commercial vehicle, truck drivers and their companies also need to follow the regulations set forth for their industry. Too often, these companies and drivers don’t properly uphold the laws they should, which puts you in danger and can result in a wreck.
If you are dealing with a situation where the accidents involve illegal action like driving under the influence, you will need to contact a lawyer that can go up against the criminal defense legal services hired by the guilty party. However, there are other, less obvious regulations that cause serious harm.
Some of the most frequent crash-causing faults we see include exceeding the speed limit (but especially exceeding 15 miles an hour over the speed limit), unlawful or unsafe lane changes, tailgating, and operating the vehicle without the proper license. If you think one of these issues was the cause of your wreck, contact our team.
Wettermark Keith: 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer in Knoxville
Truck accidents can turn your life upside down. We’ve seen it before with our clients. Wettermark Keith stands as a law firm of hope when you feel overwhelmed by the consequences of the accident. Our team will fight for you to get the financial coverage you need for your medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage, loss of wages, and much more. Let us stand up for you and your family. Contact our team today for an 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Knoxville, Tennessee who you can trust.