One woman was killed and another badly injured in a hit-and-run crash on a Tennessee road recently, and, as of this writing, the Tennessee Highway Patrol was still looking for the driver responsible. Apparently because the damage to the victims' car was so extreme, officials believe the vehicle that hit it was a semitrailer.
According to police, the driver and her passenger were headed westbound on Interstate-40 in Benton County when an unknown vehicle struck them from behind. Police believe that the other vehicle did not stop as the impact caused the victims' car to spin off the road into a culvert and flip over several times. The 56-year-old driver was injured and later taken to a local hospital. Her 83-year-old passenger was killed. The Highway Patrol has asked for the public's help in tracking down the driver of the other vehicle.
Authorities do not yet know what type of vehicle cause this accident. But, based on the damage that it caused, it could have been a truck. A fully-loaded semitrailer can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, compared to a family car's 3,000 pounds. When these two types of vehicles collide, the results can be catastrophic, especially for the smaller vehicle. Accidents involving a car and a large commercial vehicle can easily lead to serious injury and death.
In addition to their added dangers, truck accidents raise more complicated legal issues than typical traffic accidents. When someone is injured in a collision between two cars caused by another driver's negligence, the injured may be compensated by filing suit against the negligent party. In truck accidents, a negligent truck driver may be held liable, but in many cases the trucking company may be held liable as well. In some cases, the trucking company may be held liable because the driver was only acting as its agent at the time of the crash. In other cases, the company may be held liable because it violated trucking safety regulations, such as those designed to minimize truck driver fatigue.
There are many things to consider before filing a claim based upon a truck accident. Tennessee residents who have been injured in an accident caused by a truck, or the families of those killed, should seek out help understanding their legal rights and options.
Source: Jackson Sun, "Tennessee Highway Patrol searching for suspect truck in fatal hit and run," Sep. 5, 2013