If a trucking company is found to be at fault when one of their drivers causes a serious accident, they may have to pay out large sums of money to the victims. Because of this form of serious liability, many companies will want to strictly control who can drive their vehicles.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to a fatal accident on Interstate 24 in Marion County on a Friday morning.
Semi truck goes into oncoming traffic on Interstate 24
Police believe the incident began when two large semi trucks collided at around 2:30am near mile marker 165. This area is just west of the Georgia state line near Chattanooga. One of the trucks, which was going eastbound on I-24, crossed the median and went head on into another truck of similar size going in the opposite direction. The initial impact caused a fire to ignite, and another SUV and semi truck nearby were also damaged in the accident. The collision claimed the lives of two people involved.
The westbound lanes of I-24 were shut down for several hours through a large stretch of Marion County. Even as lanes were gradually reopened, there were sporadic lane closures at various points while emergency crews worked in the area. Rescue crews also discovered at least one other injured driver in addition to the two fatalities. Cranes had to be brought in to remove large pieces of the trucks and other debris.
The truck that crossed into oncoming traffic was owned by a trucking company from Arizona, but they claim that the man who was driving at the time does not work for them and they are uncertain why he had access to one of their trucks. The truck was scheduled to ship a large amount of milk jugs, but it was missing for several days before the accident. The Tennessee Highway Patrol said that none of the vehicles involved were transporting any kind of hazardous materials. The Arizona based trucking company issued a formal statement saying that they will conduct their own investigation, but they are certain that the driver was not performing actual work for them when the crash happened.
Why is the driver’s employment status important?
An important issue in this situation will be determining whether the driver at fault in fact worked for the trucking company or not. If he did, the business will be responsible for any injuries or property damage caused by the driver. This is because all companies are strictly liable for torts committed by their employees while they are working in their standard job duties. Because of this civil law doctrine, the issue of whether the driver actually worked for them may mean thousands or millions of dollars worth of losses. If this truck is found to be at fault, the damages will be quite large because multiple people died in this major collision. A personal injury attorney can argue that the victim’s family should be compensated relative to the person’s future earning potential and medical costs associated with their treatment.
Local attorneys are available to assist you
To learn more about lawsuits related to motor vehicle accidents, contact The Law Office of George R. Fusner. The firm has been helping local clients in Nashville and nearby parts of Tennessee since 1977.