Whether in Tennessee or any other state, tragic results are virtually guaranteed when a pickup truck crashes into a tractor trailer head-on in a vehicle accident on a state highway. It happened recently on Highway 54 near Brownsville when a pickup that was traveling eastbound crossed the center line and crashed into a tractor trailer heading westbound. The pickup driver, a 60-year-old female whose apparent negligent driving remains unexplained at this time, died in the crash.
In Tennessee and all other states, whenever a vehicle rear ends another vehicle, it is usually determined to be negligent driving. Even when the first vehicle slows down or comes to a sudden stop due to traffic ahead, the driver of the second vehicle is considered to be engaged in negligent driving. The driver is considered negligent for not keeping a proper distance under the circumstances and for not keeping a proper lookout ahead.
A driver does not have to make actual physical contact with the victim's car in order to be found negligent and liable for the victim's damages. Sometimes, the negligent driver can set a chain reaction in motion so that another car strikes the victim's car during the course of a car crash. This scenario appears to have happened recently in Tennessee in the course of a fatal three-car accident that occurred in Wilson County.
Compensation for injuries suffered in a vehicular accident in Tennessee is based on tort principles of negligence. If a person is injured due to the negligence of one or more parties in an auto accident, the at-fault party is liable for compensating the victim for the economic value of the personal injury suffered. A driver's civil law obligation to compensate the victim for injuries in an accident has little to do with whether a driver will also be arrested or convicted for criminal activity with respect to that accident.