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Are Passengers Allowed to Ride in a Truck Bed in Tennessee?

Posted on in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Campbell County personal injury lawyer

Some people may like to ride in the back of a pickup truck for fun, but this can lead to injuries if a person is thrown or ejected from the truck bed. Each state has its own rules when it comes to truck bed passengers. In Tennessee, no child under the age of six years old may ride in the back of a pickup truck. Tennessee law also states that no minor under 12 years old is allowed to ride in a truck bed when the vehicle is traveling on an interstate or a highway. Those passengers who are older than the age of 12 are able to legally ride in the truck bed. However, if they are ejected and injured in a car accident, they can seek compensation from the at-fault driver.

What Can Cause a Passenger to Be Ejected From a Truck Bed?

Since there are no seat belts installed in pickup truck beds, it is more dangerous to ride in this area of the truck, especially in certain road conditions. A collision does not need to happen in order for someone to be thrown from a truck bed.

Conditions that can eject a passenger include:

  • Bumpy roads

  • Slippery road surfaces

  • Driver recklessness (swerving, speeding, turning too fast) 

  • Driver braking too hard

  • Passenger not remaining seated during a trip

Whether or not a collision occurs, the result can be devastating for someone thrown from the truck. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that over 200 people a year are killed when they are ejected from a truck bed.

Those who survive an ejection can suffer injuries such as:

  • Broken bones

  • Road rash and burns

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Lacerations and bruises

  • Whiplash

  • Internal injuries 

  • Back or spine injuries

In some cases, these injuries can have long-lasting effects on the victim, rendering them unable to return to work or school.

Who Is to Blame for Injuries to a Truck Bed Passenger?

In accidents that involve children under the age of six years old (or 12 years old if an accident happens on the highway), the driver of the truck will be held criminally responsible for the incident. The driver will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to $50 in fines and 30 days in jail.

If another motorist is involved in a crash that injures a truck bed passenger, the circumstances of the collision will be investigated to determine the at-fault driver. The victim is within his or her rights to file a lawsuit against whichever driver is considered at fault. This is true even if the driver of the vehicle in which he or she was riding is found to be at fault. Victims may be able to receive compensation for damages such as:

  • Medical bills

  • Property damage

  • Pain and suffering 

  • Loss of income

Contact a Jacksboro, TN Auto Accident Attorney

Passengers who are thrown from truck beds can suffer from debilitating and painful injuries that may impact their lives for years after the incident. Nowadays, the medical bills that come with those injuries can be just as devastating. This is why if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should hire a lawyer from the Law Office of William F. Evans to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with our diligent Campbell County personal injury lawyers, call 423-449-7980.




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