Busy Tennessee roadways like Interstate 40 and Interstate 24 are filled with cars. Interstate 40 runs nearly the entire State of Tennessee, from Memphis through Knoxville. Among those vehicles that fill our roads and interstates are commercial trucks. While Tennessee is home to many large corporations, thousands of truck drivers from companies based all over the country drive through the Volunteer State on a daily basis. Since these big rig trucks are much larger in weight and size than the average sedans, SUVs, and pickup trucks driven by most Tennesseans, when one of these trucks crashes into a smaller car, injuries frequently result.
What are some steps you can take if an 18-wheeler strikes your car?
Stop at the Scene and Call the Police
Tennessee law requires this. Per Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-10-101, the driver of any vehicle involved in a wreck that results in injury or death shall stop at the scene or as close to the scene as reasonably possible. Failure to abide by this law can result in the violator’s license being revoked or suspended.
Look for Logos and Other Identifying Information on the Truck
A complex aspect of a truck accident case can be confirming all potential defendants involved in the case. In a typical auto accident case, it is not uncommon for the other driver to also own the vehicle he or she was driving. In that situation, there may be only one defendant. However, there will usually be multiple parties involved in a trucking accident. For starters, the truck driver may work for a trucking company. That company may own the truck, or it could lease the truck from another party. There may be parent companies or subsidiaries involved as well.
If a commercial vehicle hits you, there will likely be a corporate logo somewhere on the truck. This will help you identify the company should the other driver flee the scene before the police arrive. Further, all companies that operate commercial vehicles that transport passengers or cargo across state lines must register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and posses a USDOT Number, which is a unique number used to identify the company and facilitate proper record keeping regarding inspections, accidents, and other safety information. Conducting a thorough investigation at the beginning of the case is critical.
Exchange Information with the Other Driver
This is also the law in Tennessee per Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-10-103, which states that drivers involved in a car wreck should give their name, address, and vehicle registration number to the other driver or occupant(s) of that car. Upon request, the driver must provide a copy of his or her driver’s license. This statute also requires a driver to render reasonable aid if it is apparent that another party to the accident was injured or requests assistance.
Assess Your Health
As always, you should take utmost precaution when it comes to your physical and emotional well-being. If you are hurt in an accident, you should seek advice from a qualified medical professional. Many trucking accidents heavy-impacts crashes, and you may suffer injuries that require immediate medical treatment.
To discuss your car accident case with an experienced injury attorney, call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz. We are the largest Tennessee-based plaintiff’s personal injury law firm, and our lawyers serve clients throughout Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri. Call us for a free consultation at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form. We are available 24/7 to take your call.