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Heavy trucks, also called 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, big rigs and semis, are important to the commerce of both Alabama and our nation. But when a large commercial motor vehicle (CMV) gets into an accident while transporting goods, the impact can be devastating. When a tractor-trailer or even a heavy dump truck collides with a passenger car, the passenger car and its occupants get the brunt of the impact. If you were in an accident with a truck, an Alabama truck accident lawyer at Belt & Bruner, P.C. has the experience to help you get the compensation you deserve.
According the University of Alabama, large trucks were involved in nearly 5,800 crashes in the state in 2012. These Alabama truck accidents resulted in more than 1,500 injuries and 90 deaths. Most heavy commercial truck crashes occurred on state roads and interstates (38 percent and 30 percent respectively), followed by U.S. highways (24 percent), county roads (six percent) and city roads (two percent). Any driver is at risk of a collision with a tractor-trailer, dump truck, tanker truck or other heavy CMV.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, it is important that you understand your legal rights. A claim or lawsuit against a negligent party or parties allows for the recovery of compensation for damages. As these cases are frequently far more complex than passenger vehicle accidents, legal representation can help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.
Several parties are potentially liable in truck accident cases. Those liable may include the truck driver, trucking firm, company that loaded the truck, parts manufacturer, truck maintenance and repair company, or manufacturer of the truck.
To help you understand your rights and the legal process, we provide answers to some of the most common questions about truck accident injury claims.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Our truck accident lawyer at Belt & Bruner, P.C.
At Belt & Bruner, P.C., our attorneys and staff are dedicated to holding negligent truck drivers and the companies that hire them accountable for the injuries they cause and the lives they disrupt. We have seen firsthand the physical, mental and financial harm that victims of truck crashes and their families face. We are ready to help victims obtain the compensation to rebuild and carry on with their lives.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a truck accident, we can put our years of experience and resources to work for you. Call us today or use our online form for a free consultation about your legal rights and options.
Types of Alabama Semi Truck Accidents
Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) include tractor-trailers, semi-trailers, tank vehicles (commercial motor vehicles designed to transport any liquid or gaseous materials within a tank or tanks) and school buses, according to the FMCSA. A CMV has a gross combination weight of 10,000 pounds or more, or a gross combination weight of 26,001 pounds or more when including its trailer(s).
Any of these large, heavy commercial vehicles can get into a wreck that causes catastrophic destruction to property and people. Because of their size and weight, an 18-wheeler traveling at 50 miles per hour creates a much greater impact than a car going a similar speed. Cars are designed to provide some protection to passengers if they are hit by vehicles of similar size. They are not made to withstand the impact of a tractor-trailer that weighs 10-times as much as a sedan.
Heavy truck accidents can cause sudden death or any number of catastrophic injuries, from cuts and bruises to broken bones, concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI), back and spinal cord injuries, paralysis and coma. A victim’s recovery is often a long, painful and expensive process. Some accident victims succumb to their injuries long after the fateful crash.
What Causes Heavy Truck Accidents in Alabama?
Large commercial trucks get into wrecks for a variety of reasons. Too often the reason is negligence or carelessness on the part of the truck driver. The FMCSA said in June 2012 that the top five driver-related factors for large trucks in fatal crashes were:
- Distraction inattention
- Failure to stay in the proper lane
- Obscured vision
- Failure to yield right-of-way
The primary causes of crashes involving large trucks in Alabama reported in 2010, in order of frequency, include:
- Improper lane change or use
- Failed to yield right-of-way
- Unseen object, person or vehicle
- Misjudged stopping distance
- Defective equipment
- Swerving to avoid object, animal or person
- Improper turn
- Improper backing
- Failure to heed traffic sign/signal
- Crossed median/centerline
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Improper passing
- Drowsy driving
- Ran Off Road
- Driving under the influence (of alcohol or drugs)
While some of these factors may be unavoidable, such as an unseen object, person or vehicle, most of the truck accident causes cited are avoidable. Most accident causes are the fault of the truck driver’s activity or in the cases of long work shifts/unrealistic travel schedules and delivery deadlines, the trucking company that employs the trucker.
Speak with a truck accident attorney Alabama today for a semi truck accident claim.
Our Birmingham truck accident attorneys are aggressive advocates on behalf of injury victims. We have extensive experience investigating truck accidents and negotiating with insurance companies. We investigate every truck accident as if we are going to take the case to trial. That detailed gathering of evidence allows us to negotiate from a stronger position for our clients.
Keith T. Belt, Jr., the firm’s founder, has been selected as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the American Trial Lawyers Association and is also an Alabama Super Lawyer.
Contact the Birmingham truck accident attorneys of Belt & Bruner, P.C. today. We’ll work hard to make sure you obtain the compensation you and your family deserve.