Chattanooga may not be the largest city in Tennessee, but its strategic location—nestled at the foot of the Appalachians, and bisected by two of the most heavily-traveled interstate highways in the region—makes the “Scenic City” among the busiest towns in the entire state. However, Chattanooga’s busy roads pose dangers beyond frustration. Every day, semi-trucks headed toward Atlanta, Nashville, and Birmingham traverse the interstate, sometimes entering the city to receive shipments or unload goods. While most big rig operators are seasoned professionals who make safety their top priority, semi-truck accidents still happen with alarming regularity.
The Long-Lasting Consequences of a Semi-Truck Accident
Large commercial truck crashes with passenger vehicles have catastrophic consequences. Even at low speeds, these collisions break bones and bend steel. Victims could suffer injuries including, but not limited to:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Multiple broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Traumatic head injuries, including concussions and skull fractures
- Internal organ damage
Even with the right health insurance policy, recovering damages is challenging—especially if the semi-truck driver, or their employer, refuses to admit liability. However, you don’t have to accept a bad-faith offer of settlement simply because a reckless motorist is unwilling to accept responsibility for their misconduct.
Protecting Your Rights After a Chattanooga Commercial Vehicle Crash
Tennessee state law affords semi-truck accident victims the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or party who caused their collision-related injuries. However, your right to a fair recovery could be contingent on the steps you take in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Protect the integrity of your claim with the following actions.
Tennessee broadly requires that motorists report any accident resulting in personal injury, significant property damage, or death. Even when calling the police seems inconvenient, a law enforcement report can reinforce an insurance claim or serve as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit.
Get Immediate Medical Attention
You should always have prompt medical care after a semi-truck accident, even if you don’t believe you were seriously injured. A physician identifies, diagnoses, and treats seemingly “invisible” injuries, including potentially life-threatening conditions such as internal bleeding and traumatic head injuries. Medical records from this initial examination also help prove a correlation between the accident and your request for damages, especially if your condition requires more extensive treatment.
If you believe you can safely remain at the accident scene, try to collect evidence. This includes photographs of the damage to your vehicle and of your visible injuries, or a videotaped walk-around of the crash site.
Speak to Eyewitnesses
Eyewitness testimony can make or break a Tennessee semi-truck accident claim. If another person witnessed your collision, ask for their full name, phone number, and other contact information.
Contact An Attorney
You stand a greater chance of making a successful financial recovery when you have a skilled Chattanooga semi-truck accident lawyer on your side. An attorney helps you collect, analyze, and assess the evidence needed to negotiate a fair settlement, advocating your best interests while you focus on your physical recovery.
The Advantages of Working with a Chattanooga Commercial Vehicle Crash Lawyer
Far too many Tennesseans fall victim to a popular misconception: hiring an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer is too expensive to be worth the potential rewards. However, Weir & Kestner Injury Lawyers operate on a contingency-fee basis. When we accept a new case, we never ask our clients to pay for our services up-front. Instead, we only accept payment as a percentage of your eventual settlement. If we cannot help you obtain compensation, we don’t get paid.
Our highly experienced team of commercial vehicle crash lawyers can help you:
- Investigate the causes of your Chattanooga truck crash.
- Identify potential defendants, which could include the truck driver, the trucking company, or even an automotive parts maker.
- Collect, analyze, and preserve relevant crash-site evidence.
- Negotiate with an insurance company.
- Prepare for trial.
Currently, Tennessee doesn’t cap damages in most semi-truck accident claims. You could receive as much compensation as you need to begin rebuilding your life. However, you cannot afford to wait too long before contacting an attorney: the Volunteer State has a strict statute of limitations applicable to all personal injury claims. If the statute of limitations lapses, you could lose your rights to recovery.