Studies show that commercial truck drivers are, on average, more careful than other drivers on the road. They're trained to be careful and there are a host of regulations requiring them to be careful. But when a truck driver is careless, the consequences can be devastating.
A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper was badly injured recently when a truck driver slammed into his patrol car as it sat by the side of the road. The trooper was in the car, reporting to the scene of a previous crash involving a tractor-trailer truck and his car's lights were flashing according to officials.
Officials said the second truck smashed into the trooper's car and hit a tow truck before speeding off. The trooper was left with fractured neck vertebrae, a fractured rib and arm injuries. Police later found the damaged truck at a service station down the road from the scene of the accident. They said they suspected the truck's driver to have been drunk and on medication at the time of the accident.
All told, the trooper was probably quite lucky to survive a collision involving a tractor-trailer. Large commercial trucks can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, compared to an average sedan's 3,000 pounds. The size difference means that a collision that might be little more than a fender-bender between two passenger cars can lead to serious injuries or death when one of the vehicles is a semitrailer.
Those injured in truck accidents are often left with extremely expensive medical bills, lost wages, permanent disability and other damages. The injured may be compensated for these damages when their injuries were caused by a truck driver's negligence, but other parties may be held liable as well. Trucking companies may sometimes be held liable for accidents caused by their employees because the employees were only acting as the company's agent. In other cases, trucking companies may be held liable because when their violation of trucking regulations led to the accident.
Tennessee residents who have been hurt in a truck accident should get help researching their legal options. The losses that come with these accidents can be too much to bear on one's own.
Source: KNOXNews.com, "Sheriff: Driver who hit trooper likely on pills," Hayes Hickman, June 25, 2013