Another tragedy occurred Saturday when a tractor trailer struck Armando Roca’s car from behind, killing his passenger and wife Dorothy Roca, on interstate 81 in Greene County, Tennessee. The collision occurred at approximately 2pm when the Roca’s car, driven by Mr. Roca, was rear ended by a tractor trailer driven by Samuel Alvarenga. How do tragedies like this happen? It all starts with the tractor trailer company.

If the Roca’s hire an experienced trucking lawyer to represent them they will find that this wreck was the result of safety and training violations by the trucking company. The driver of the trucking company was most likely over his hours of service, making him fatigued and unable to react in time to avoid the collision. This is a topic I have written extensively on in the past in this blog and elsewhere. Further the company probably did not train the driver on safe following distances and unique problems in stopping his truck.

The Roca’s wreck was complicated by a prior wreck that occurred a tenth of a mile from the site of this wreck. Why is this a complication, since it is a professional driver’s duty is to pay attention to what is on the road in front of him?   Simply because the defendants will use this, the prior wreck, as an excuse to avoid accepting any responsibility for causing the wreck involving the Roca’s. Regardless of the prior wreck, had the trucking company properly trained their driver the wreck involving the Roca’s would never have occurred.

Another horrible part of this collision is while Mr. Roca is in the hospital, and having to arrange for the funeral of his wife and is being forced to deal with a thousand other worries and burdens as a result of this tragedy, the defendant’s insurance carrier has sent out a rapid response team to preserve evidence favorable only to the truck driver and the truck company. The insurance company is taking advantage of the tragedy to benefit its insured at the cost of the Roca’s. I have written about this insurance industry practice extensively in prior blogs. If the Roca’s know qualified investigators they should hire them immediately to protect their rights. If they don’t know where to turn, they should hire an experienced truck litigation lawyer to assist them ASAP.

The most frequent mistake I see by people injured by tractor trailers is the hiring of lawyers that are experienced in car wrecks, or some other are of the law, to handle a truck wreck case. To put it simply they are different. Please see my prior posts on ways to check out if a lawyer is experienced in the handling of tractor trailer cases or whether they just have a nice (if misleading) ad.

At this firm we regularly represent drivers who are injured by the negligence of truckers. We are always available to review such incidents.

 Morgan Adams is a trial attorney licensed in Tennessee and Georgia. He is listed as a "2008 Mid-South Super Lawyer" (Limited to the top 5% of the lawyers in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas), is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (limited to lawyers who have recovered 1 million dollars or more for their clients), and is the Chair-Elect of the American Association of Justice’s Interstate Trucking Litigation Group. He has served as chair of the Tennessee Association of Justice’s Trucking Litigation seminars since 2004, and is a frequent speaker at national continuing legal education programs on trucking liability cases.