Seasoned Accident Lawyers Understand Why Truck Accidents Happen in Bristol, TN

We get answers after a serious tractor-trailer crash

Even though the government imposes strict safety regulations on truck drivers and trucking companies, accidents still occur all too frequently. The injury lawyers of Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, PC help accident victims determine the cause of a crash and hold the responsible parties accountable. Whether driver fatigue or faulty brakes are to blame, we work tirelessly to help you obtain full and fair compensation for your losses.

Can Tri-Cities trucking accidents be prevented?

Accidents involving semi-trucks, 18-wheeler tractor-trailers or other types of large trucks have many preventable causes. These include:

  • Truck driver fatigue -- Driver fatigue is responsible for an estimated 40 percent of truck accidents, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Although commercial truck drivers are required to follow strict hours of service requirements to ensure that they are well-rested, they often drive longer than allowed and may even falsify log books.
  • Truck driver error -- Due to the size and weight of their vehicles, truck drivers have little room for mistakes. Negligent driving behaviors include failure to check blind spots, failure to yield and failure to observe traffic control devices, such as stop lights.
  • Distracted driving -- Big rig drivers are often on the road for long periods of time and engage in activities that divert their attention from the road. Dangerous distractions include texting, eating, adjusting navigation devices and talking on cell phones.
  • Speeding or aggressive driving -- Speeding is particularly dangerous in a large truck, given the added time it takes to stop safely. Other aggressive behaviors, such as tailgating and erratic lane changes, can also lead to serious accidents.
  • Driver impairment -- Impaired driving behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler is particularly dangerous. Alcohol and drugs slow the truck driver's reaction time and interfere with other skills needed to safely operate the vehicle. Due to the prevalence of substance abuse among truck drivers, trucking companies are required to regularly screen drivers and keep detailed records of alcohol and drug testing results.
  • Lack of driver training -- In addition to a commercial driver's license, driving a large truck requires rigorous training and experience. If drivers are not trained properly, they will not know how to deal with challenging driving conditions, such as bad weather, heavy traffic, sharp turns, steep grades or equipment malfunctions.
  • Improper maintenance -- Trucks must be regularly inspected and maintained to run properly. For instance, faulty brakes have been cited as an associated factor in more than 29 percent of commercial motor vehicle crashes.

Who is responsible for truck accidents in TN?

Many different parties can be responsible for a Tri-Cities trucking accident. Potential defendants include:

  • The driver of the truck
  • The owner of the truck, cab and trailer
  • The employer of the driver
  • The manufacturer of the truck or truck parts
  • Third parties who performed maintenance or inspections

The liability is determined by the facts of your case. For example, running a red light would make the truck driver negligent. The company that hired the truck operator may be held vicariously liable if an accident happens while the truck driver was acting within the scope of his work duties. If a tractor-trailer's brakes malfunction prior to an accident, the company that made the vehicle or performed maintenance may also be held accountable.

To identify all potential sources of compensation, Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, PC performs an extensive investigation. Our Bristol accident attorneys review the truck driver's logbook, vehicle maintenance records and inspection reports for potential violations. We may also reconstruct the crash scene using witness accounts and truck accident experts.

Start your truck accident claim today by contacting an experienced accident attorney

Our knowledgeable and dedicated lawyers can help you after a serious trucking accident. Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, PC is a respected injury law firm that has served the Tri-Cities region since 1909. Call our offices today at 423.212.5042 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. Our office is conveniently located in Bristol, and we also offer hospital or home visits to accident victims and their families.