Earlier this month in Sumner County, two teens were killed and another two injured when the vehicle they were riding in was struck by a semi-truck on Highway 109. According to a report by one local news source, the accident occurred near the intersection of Highway 109 and Old Highway 109 around 6:15 on a Monday night.
Evidently, the four students were all members of Portland High School’s bowling team and were riding in a Chevrolet HHR at the time of the accident. The driver of the HHR turned from Highway 109 onto Old Highway 109 without yielding to an oncoming semi-truck, and the truck slammed into the passenger side of the student’s vehicle.
Both passengers on the impact side of the HHR were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The other two students involved in the accident were seriously injured but are expected to survive. Both were taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The driver of the semi-truck was not hurt in the collision and is not expected to face any charges as a result of the accident.
Establishing Liability in Fatal Tennessee Accidents
In many cases involving semi-truck accidents, the driver of the truck is at least partially responsible for the accident. However, that does not seem to be the case here, since the driver of the HHR seems to have failed to yield to the truck.
In a tragic case such as this, the fact that the driver of the truck was not at fault for the accident does not mean that the family of those who died in the accident does not have any avenue for recovery. Rather than seek recovery from the semi-truck driver, the families can seek recovery from the student-driver’s insurance.
Although car accidents are often viewed in terms of the vehicles involved, rather than the individuals inside those vehicles, there is nothing preventing a passenger in one vehicle from filing suit against the driver of that vehicle. The claims are the same in the eyes of the law and are based on the same legal theory of negligence.
Proving a Negligence Claim in Tennessee
Proving a negligence claim is simple in theory but more difficult in practice. It requires that a plaintiff establish four main elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. In terms of the first two elements, the accident victim must prove that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care that was violated by some action (or inaction) on the part of the defendant. The remaining elements can be met by showing that the defendant caused the accident that resulted in the injuries the plaintiff suffered.
Have You Been Injured in a Tennessee Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a serious Tennessee car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries or loss you have suffered. To learn more about how the laws in Tennessee act to protect accident victims, and what you may be able to recover for the accident you have been involved in, call 615-200-1111 to set up a free initial consultation with a dedicated Tennessee personal injury attorney today.
See Related Blog Posts:
Bartlett Police Officer May Be Responsible for Fatal Tennessee Accident, Nashville Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published October 22, 2014.
5 Common Causes of Auto Accidents, Nashville Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published November 14, 2014.