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Man killed in Tennessee tanker truck crash

A man was killed as he drove his pickup through a Tennessee intersection recently when a large tanker truck slammed into him. The cause of the crash is under investigation, police said.

Accidents that might be little more than a fender-bender between two passenger cars can easily lead to serious injury or death if one of the vehicles is a large truck. A typical family car weighs only about 3,000 pounds, but a loaded 18-wheeler can weigh more than 80,000 pounds. Studies show that commercial truck drivers drive more carefully than other drivers on the road, but when they do cause an accident, there is a serious potential for it to be fatal to the occupants of the other car.

After a typical traffic accident, the injured may be compensated for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages if the accident was caused by another driver's negligence. In the case of a fatal accident caused by another driver's negligence, the victim's family may be compensated for damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. Drivers act negligently when they fail to exercise the same level of care that a reasonable person would under similar circumstances and someone else is injured as a result.

This legal picture becomes more complicated after truck accidents. In many cases, a court may find that the driver was acting as an agent of the trucking company, and therefore the company may be found liable. In other cases, a trucking company may be found liable because it failed to properly maintain its vehicles, or because it violated federal trucking safety regulations, such as those designed to reduce the hazards of truck driver fatigue.

These lawsuits can be technically complicated and emotionally difficult. However, the financial damages that come with a wrongful death are very real to the family left behind. These lawsuits can help a family cope with the aftermath of a terrible truck accident and can also help hold negligent drivers or negligent trucking companies accountable for their actions.

Source: News Channel 5, "One Killed In Tanker, Truck Crash In Maury County," Sept. 3, 2013

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