Distracted Truck Driving Accidents in Chattanooga

Distractions are dangerous for any driver. However, the results can be catastrophic when a heavy truck operator does anything other than focus on the road. Motor vehicle accidents involving trucks sadly often result in severe, permanent injuries.

If you were hurt in a distracted truck driving accident in Chattanooga, our firm might be able to help. Our truck wreck attorneys regularly handle claims involving distracted operators and could pursue the maximum compensation on your behalf.

Specific Restrictions on Texting and Cellphone Use

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) restricts commercial drivers from texting or using mobile phones while operating a vehicle. Drivers who violate these rules face fines and disqualification from driving certain vehicles.

A practiced attorney could review accident reports to determine whether cellphone usage contributed to the collision. Additionally, they could assess FMCSA records to verify if a truck driver has previously been cited for any violations.

Examples of Distracted Driving

Any time a driver shifts their attention away from the road, their response and braking time to impending obstacles is reduced. Aside from talking or texting, some common causes of distracted driving include:

  • Talking with passengers
  • Communicating with dispatchers
  • Using radio controls
  • Searching for GPS directions using a navigation system
  • Eating and drinking

For those injured in crashes with distracted truck drivers, the reason for the distraction is irrelevant. The right attorney understands that what matters most to an injured victim is getting the help they need to recover and move forward with their lives.

Establishing Liability in a Distracted Truck Driving Collision

The obvious defendant in a truck driving accident case is the distracted driver. However, other parties may be held liable for a victim’s injuries under a legal theory known as “respondeat superior.” This essentially means that an employer may be responsible for the actions of an employee when they act within the scope of their employment and under the employer’s supervision.

For example, the truck owner might be responsible for the driver’s negligence, particularly if they knew that their employee engaged in activities likely to impact their attention to the road. Additionally, if the trucking company mandated that its truck operators contact customers while driving, they may be responsible for the accident.

The Deadline for Filing a Distracted Driving Injury Claim

Injured parties should be aware that state law does not grant unlimited time to pursue damages for injuries caused by a distracted driver. Under Tennessee Code Annotated §28-3-104, a victim must file a claim within one year of the accident. This deadline applies regardless of whether the distracted driver was negligent or if they intentionally caused the collision. However, a court could extend the timeframe if the driver is subsequently charged with a crime relating to the accident.

Tennessee’s statute of limitations is among the shortest in the country. If someone files a claim outside this deadline, a judge could dismiss their lawsuit and deny them any compensation. As such, a person injured by a distracted driver is well-advised to seek counsel from a knowledgeable local attorney.

An Attorney Can Discuss Your Distracted Truck Driving Accident in Chattanooga

Anyone who sustains severe injuries in an accident should have time to heal. If you have been harmed in a truck accident in Chattanooga and believe a distracted driver is to blame, our team could subpoena phone and text records, analyze black box data, and conduct a full investigation to determine the accident’s cause. Call us today to get started.

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