Tow trucks, like all other trucks on the roadways, can be dangerous due to their large size and heavy weight. Tow truck drivers must follow a stricter safety standard as they are often responsible for hauling another vehicle from one place to another.
When a crash occurs, it can be particularly devastating for motorists in smaller vehicles. If you suffered injuries in a tow truck accident, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help.
We have the skills necessary to handle tow truck accident injury cases and are available to help you recover the damages you deserve. Call 865-546-1111 to schedule a free case evaluation with a tow truck accident lawyer in Knoxville.
Should I File a Lawsuit After a Tow Truck Accident?
Before filing a lawsuit, our attorneys will try to negotiate a settlement with your insurance company, as well as the tow truck company’s insurer. Ideally, these insurance companies will make a fair settlement offer to pay for your medical expenses and lost wages and include additional damages for your pain and suffering. However, dealing with an insurer is rarely that simple.
Even after an insurer determines that the tow truck driver and their employer were at fault for your accident injuries, they may still find reasons to offer you less money than you deserve. Some insurers will try to trick you into giving a recorded statement where you admit partial fault or downplay your injuries. In some cases, insurers try to gain the victim’s trust by giving them smaller amounts of money early on until the statute of limitations expires on the claim. In Tennessee, you have one year after the accident to file a claim. Once that time expires, you will no longer be able to sue for recovery.
Our attorneys are well aware of all the ways insurers try to avoid paying an accident victim the money they owe them. We can be your voice throughout the process, keep track of all legal deadlines, and negotiate deals on your behalf.
If the insurance company is unwilling to settle your claim for the amount you deserve, our attorneys will file a claim in court.
How Does Negligence Play a Role in My Crash?
If you were in an accident involving a tow truck, chances are that you have suffered terrible injuries. In many cases, the tow truck driver is clearly at fault for what happened and should be liable for damages. However, the tow truck driver likely works for a tow truck company that may also be liable for damages. It is our job as your attorneys to prove the defendants’ liability in court using various forms of evidence.
Our first step will likely be to file a claim for negligence. To prove negligence, we will have to establish the following elements.
All motorists, including tow truck operators, have a duty to others to operate their trucks responsibly and in accordance with the law. If they breach that duty, they are liable for the damages they cause.
Breach of duty
We will establish that a tow truck driver breached their duty to you by operating their vehicle negligently. The type of breach will depend on the cause of the accident.
Next, we will show that the breach caused your accident and injuries. Our attorneys will use expert testimony and medical records to establish causation. For example, a medical expert can speak to the fact that the crash caused your spinal cord injuries.
Lastly, we will use your medical records and employment records to prove that you suffered physical, emotional, and financial injuries as a result of the crash.
How Will My Lawyer Prove the Tow Truck Driver Breached Their Duty of Care?
Tow truck drivers can breach their duty in many ways. No matter what happened in your case, we will find the evidence we need to prove a breach occurred.
Improperly Loading the Truck
If a tow truck is pulling a load that is too heavy or is otherwise improperly loaded, the cargo may slide off the truck and crash into a vehicle. If this happened in your case, we will refer to trucking regulations to prove that the driver violated state law when loading the truck. We will also consult with accident reconstruction experts and engineers to show that the accident occurred because of the driver’s failure to properly load the truck.
Failing to Inspect the Vehicle
If a driver fails to maintain the tow truck, one or more systems can fail and result in an accident. We will contact scientific experts and accident reconstruction experts to recreate the crash and determine if the driver’s failure to inspect the vehicle resulted in the crash.
Violating Traffic Laws
As with other car accidents, tow truck drivers may commit standard traffic violations like speeding, driving while distracted, or failing to check blind spots. Any of these can cause an accident. If the truck driver in your accident violated a traffic law, we will refer to the police report, contact witnesses, and research Tennessee statutes to determine which laws the driver violated.
Can I Hold the Tow Truck Company Responsible?
Companies can be liable for the actions of their employees—as long as the employee is acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident. Generally speaking, tow truck operators are likely on-the-job and are therefore an agent of the tow truck company. Therefore, if a driver acts negligently behind the wheel, the tow truck company may also be responsible for your damages.
In addition to being vicariously liable for their employee’s actions, the tow truck company itself may have acted negligently. For example, if the company did not properly supervise a new driver and that driver caused your crash, the company could be liable for negligent supervision. Tow truck companies also have an obligation to hire competent and trustworthy drivers to operate their trucks. If the company hired a driver without a proper background check, our attorneys can file a claim against the company for negligent hiring.
We Can Help You Recover Compensation for Your Injuries.
If you were in a tow truck accident, you and your family may never be the same again. Let our attorneys help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses. Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, at 865-546-1111 for assistance with your claim.