Truck Accidents Causes

Alabama Truck Accident: Hows and Whys

An Alabama traffic accident involving a commercial truck, such as an 18-wheeler or other large freight carrier, can be much more catastrophic and tragic than an ordinary car accident. A typical fully loaded large commercial truck can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, while an average passenger automobile weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. A big truck can be up to 75 feet in length.

Because of this size disparity and due to the basic laws of physics, any collision between a commercial truck and another vehicle is likely to result in serious, even fatal, injuries. While statistics show that truck drivers are generally much more careful on the road than automobile drivers, and thankfully the incidence of fatal crashes involving trucks and other large vehicles has declined in recent years, large truck crashes still account for about 5,000 fatalities each year.

The fatal crash rate for large trucks is 2.6 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. This staggering statistic is more than 50 percent greater than the rate for all vehicles on the roads.

When determining accountability for injuries stemming from a truck accident, several parties could potentially be held responsible. Key among these are the truck driver whose actions may have led to the mishap, the trucking company that employs the driver, the manufacturer of the truck if vehicle defects contributed to the accident, the cargo loading team if improper loading played a role, and any external third parties whose involvement could have indirectly caused the accident. There are many causes of truck accidents. Some, but not all, of the reasons include:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Brake failure
  • Unlicensed drivers
  • Speeding
  • Blind spots
  • Driver error
  • Weather
  • Failure to inspect
  • Failure to maintain safety systems
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Drunk driving
  • Violations of the rules of the road
  • Failure to signal turns
  • Aggressive and reckless driving
  • Overloading
  • Defective parts
  • Poor design
  • Shifting loads
  • Negligent hiring
  • Equipment failures
  • Backing carelessly
  • Overturning trucks
  • Inadequate training of drivers
  • Drugs
  • Poor design of the truck or its parts
  • Lack of crashworthiness
  • Sudden stops

The trucking industry is highly regulated by both federal and state law, with ‘standards of care’ outlined in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. These regulations include rules related to the training of drivers, scheduling of loads to allow sufficient time for delivery, limits on the duration of driving time, pre-trip inspection of equipment including brakes, lighting, tires, and other safety-related mechanisms, the requirement of using extreme caution when hazardous conditions adversely affect visibility or traction, and prohibitions on driving when conditions become sufficiently dangerous. Despite these regulations, the goal of which is to ensure safety, the practical effect has been to increase the complexity of litigation related to issues of causation and liability.

Because truck accident litigation is so complex and because the trucking company and its insurance provider will immediately begin an investigation to limit your recovery, it is essential that you quickly hire an experienced truck accident attorney to preserve evidence and protect your rights following an accident. It is also essential that you get prompt medical attention for your injuries.

An experienced truck accident attorney will work to preserve evidence, obtain or safeguard trucking company records, interview witnesses, and substantiate crucial, time-sensitive information. For example, trucking companies may destroy driver logs and other documentation after a legally-defined waiting period. This documentation may be the best source of information for establishing liability, the destruction of which may prove fatal to any claim. Failure to act promptly may result in the termination of your legal options.

Successful truck accident attorneys have more specialized knowledge than traditional auto accident attorneys. laws governing the trucking industry are complex. Investigating big-rig accidents takes a great deal of time, resources and familiarity with the technological issues involved. Your attorney should know how to photograph commercial vehicles, obtain driver’s logs, investigate brake and tire conditions, and conduct underride investigations.

A thorough investigation of the trucking company’s hiring, training, and supervision policies also is required. Sometimes our firm finds that the company has hired unqualified commercial operators or has refused to fire a driver who they know has lost his driver’s license or is a dangerous driver.

Through our depositions over the years, we have found some disturbing practices: vehicles failing routine maintenance checks on brakes and tires but still traveling the highways; trucking companies failing to conduct regular safety and training meetings for their operators; trucking companies failing to conduct routine driver education courses; drivers falsifying daily trip logs driving more hours per day than allowed; and tractor-trailer companies failing to conduct adequate background checks into the credentials and experience of their drivers.

If you are involved in an accident involving a truck, follow these simple rules. They will assist you in preserving your rights and in obtaining adequate compensation for your injury.

  • File a police report.
  • Obtain the names and contact information of all witnesses.
  • Photograph the accident scene from multiple angles and distances. Photograph any injuries suffered by those involved in the accident.
  • Maintain and preserve records that discuss the impact of the accident on your personal and professional life.
  • Keep records of all expenditures related to and stemming from the accident.
  • Inform your physician and attorney about how the injury occurred, the location of any injuries, no matter how minor they appear, and all symptoms arising from those injuries. Symptoms may include disorientation, memory loss, and pain.
  • Accept no offers of settlement without first talking to an attorney. Do not discuss the matter with any person who is not your attorney or doctor, especially if they represent the truck owner.

Why you need a truck accident lawyer

Truck accidents are complex, and the trucking company and its insurance provider will immediately investigate to limit your ability to recover compensation. That’s why hiring an experienced truck accident attorney is crucial. They can preserve evidence, identify liable parties, manage complex negotiations, ensure maximum compensation, guide you through the legal process, and take your case to trial if necessary. With their specialized knowledge, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your rights are protected and that you’ll receive the compensation you deserve.

Why hire Randy Ferguson to handle your truck accident case?

Are you looking for a truck accident attorney in Decatur? It’s essential to consider several factors when selecting the right one. An experienced attorney can work tirelessly to gather evidence, secure trucking company records, and verify information that can be crucial to your case. Don’t let crucial evidence slip away; choose an attorney who acts quickly and preserves any evidence before it’s lost.

Truck accidents require specialized knowledge that goes beyond what a typical auto accident attorney possesses. The trucking industry is governed by complex laws, and investigating big-rig accidents requires significant time, resources, and a solid understanding of the technological issues involved. Your attorney should be adept at taking photos of commercial vehicles, obtaining driver logs, investigating brake and tire conditions, and conducting underride investigations. Our experience has shown that many trucking companies neglect routine checks on brakes and tires and fail to conduct regular safety and training meetings for operators, which can lead to tragic accidents.

It’s crucial to select an attorney with a solid track record of success in truck accident cases. Most personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning they’re motivated to get the best possible outcome for your case. It’s also essential to choose an attorney with whom you feel comfortable and can establish a strong working relationship. This relationship can have a significant impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of your case handling. Finally, select an attorney who offers a free consultation to discuss your case without any financial commitment on your initial visit. This consultation can help you evaluate the attorney’s approach and determine whether they’re the right fit for your case. Don’t settle for less; choose an attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve. The lawyers at Ferguson & Ferguson have helped victims of trucking accidents obtain large verdicts and settlements throughout the country. Contact us today for a free consultation. Call 256-534-3435.

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