A fiery 10-vehicle crash near Nashville recently left two people dead and five others injured. Two tractor-trailer trucks flipped on their sides in the wreck, and at least two passenger cars caught fire. Rescue workers arrived at the scene and were able to douse the flames and save two people in one of the cars, but could not save two people in the other car.
Police said the accident occurred when a tractor trailer was unable to brake in time to avoid hitting vehicles in front of it that were stopped due to a previous accident some miles away on Interstate 24. At least some of the victims in the cars were reported to have been on their way to the Bonnaroo music festival.
The size of commercial tractor trailers makes truck accidents much more dangerous than other traffic accidents. A typical passenger car weighs about 3,000 pounds, but a fully loaded semitrailer can weigh more than 80,000 pounds. Studies show that professional truck drivers are more careful than other drivers on the road, but when an accident happens, it is likely to produce serious or fatal injuries.
As in a traffic accident involving two passenger cars, the injured or their family may be compensated for damages through a personal injury lawsuit if their injuries were caused by another person's negligence. However, liability is somewhat more complicated in truck accidents than in typical car accidents.
The truck driver may be found liable for damages, but in some cases so may the truck company or other business entities. For example, a truck maintenance company that failed to fix faulty brakes before a crash may be held liable for injuries caused by the faulty brakes. Likewise, a trucking company may be found liable for injuries caused by one of its drivers that it had forced to work when exhausted, in violation of federal regulations designed to protect traffic safety.
Those who have been injured in truck accidents, or their families, should get help investigating their legal options. Truck accidents often result in severe injuries, enormous medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. When these damages are the result of someone else's negligence, the injured deserve to be compensated.
Source: News Channel 5, "2 Killed, 5 Injured In 10-Vehicle Crash On I-24E In Murfreesboro," June 13, 2013