Nashville personal injury attorney Caroline Taylor from Whitfield Bryson & Mason discusses a series of questions about truck accidents. If you have additional questions you may post them in the comments section below the video or visit her online at https://www.nashvillepersonalinjurylawyerwbm.com.
Jean – I was rear ended by an 18-wheeler last week. While I didn’t have any major injuries, my car is completely totaled. The truck driver said he couldn’t slam on his breaks because it would have caused his load to smash through the back of his cab. Is this true? How does that affect my claim?
Sam – My wife was hit by a truck driver a few days ago. I immediately made my way to the crash and luckily she was okay, but the truck driver looked like he hadn’t slept in days. Are there rules for how long truck drivers can work?
Harrison – Are trucking companies responsible for damage caused by rubble or other small pieces of cargo that flies off the truck and hits other cars?
Kay – What happens when a truck accident is caused by bad maintenance on a truck? Who is responsible in those types of accidents?
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Transcription of content:
– Hi I’m Caroline Taylor this is John Whitfield we’re attorneys in Nashville at the law firm of Whitfield Bryson & Mason. We’ve had some people that have inquired about some trucking accident questions and so we wanted to answer those to the best of our ability so, first question that was written in is from Jean and says “I was rear ended by an 18 wheeler truck last week while I didn’t have any major injuries, my car is completely totaled. The truck driver said he couldn’t slam on his breaks because it would have caused his load to smash through the back of his cab. Is that true, and if so how does that affect my claim?”
– Well thanks Jean for the question. First off truck accidents are different than your run of the mill car accidents. Trucks have greater more stringent obligations in regard to what they do when the travel down the interstate. That’s easy to understand, they’re great big huge rigs 18 wheels. They have certain requirements on the federal law that they have to comply with. And so as a result it’s different than a regular case in regard to the answer of your question it’s the responsibility of the driver of the truck to make sure that his load is loaded appropriately. He’s got the obligation to look ahead and his primary responsibility is to those people that are also on the road with him. And it’s not an excuse to say well I didn’t hit the brakes because I was worried about my load in the back. That’s not acceptable. That’s his responsibility driving one of these huge rigs.
– Absolutely. So Sam also wrote in and said “my wife was hit by a truck driver a few days ago. I immediately made my way to the crash and luckily she was okay, but the truck driver looked like he hadn’t slept in days. Are there rules for how long truck drivers can work?”
– Well thanks Sam, and that goes back to what I said a second ago. Yes, the answer is yes. There are rules and regulations regarding how long a truck driver can go and drive one of these huge rigs. It’s mandated by federal law and it used to be back in the day that there were certain types of manipulation of these logs that these drivers had to maintain. Now you and I have had cases before, got some now even that that comes into play. And now we can look and there are digital devices that are inside these 18 wheelers that you can download and you can obtain that information. So yes the answer is, they’ve got a certain amount of time to drive and a certain amount of time they should not be driving that’s important in a case like this.
– Absolutely and making those records electronic has certainly helped the manipulation. Back in the day when you could write in how long you had worked. That was certainly easier to manipulate than it is now. Next question is from Harrison and he asked “are trucking companies responsible for damage cause by rubble or other small pieces of cargo that flies off the truck and hits other cars.”
– Absolutely they are. And anyone that’s been on the interstate before you’ll see an 18 wheeler and in many instances you’ll see these big tarps on the back of the trailer itself they are responsible to assure that they tie down everything reasonably so that it doesn’t fly out and cause injury. We had a case one time where a wheel actually came off a trailer and hit a motorcyclist and killed this guys wife. And that example is what I’m talking about. They’ve got the obligation to make sure that things don’t fly off the back, or don’t fly off the trailer that can harm anybody else.