If your injury was caused by an accident involving a semi-truck, then you have the right of getting compensated for those injuries. Many people don’t know how this is done, and you might be one of them. Filing an accident claim is important because it will help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you want to maximize what you get, then it is a good idea to have a Birmingham truck accident attorney to help you because they will bring in a lot of experience. Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers prides itself on being one of the best injury firms in Alabama, and there is a team ready to get started with your case.
You will get a free consultation when you contact our injury lawyers in Birmingham. Call 866-6MB-WINS to learn more about how we can help your case.
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Alabama Truck Accident Statistics
Accidents involving semi-trucks tend to be very serious and fatal. There are different reasons for these accidents happening. Heavy traffic, driver negligence, road construction, poor truck maintenance, road construction, driver fatigue, distracted driving, and impaired driving are some of the common causes of accidents that involve large trucks.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released the numbers and they show 4,400 buses and large trucks were involved in collisions in a year. The University of Alabama did a study and reported that in a single year, there were 7,782 crashes involving tractor-trailers that resulted in 2,184 people getting injured and 89 dying.
Alabama has a robust trucking industry, and there are 9,160 trucking companies according to the Alabama Trucking Association. While trucking companies are valued for the jobs they provide to the people of Alabama, they are expected to do their best when it comes to hiring and training their drivers, maintaining the vehicles, and ensuring that everyone is safe on roads and highways.
The damages and injuries suffered by an accident victim can be costly and very serious. If you happen to be hurt because of a trucking accident, then you might be forced to spend a lot of time and money on treatment and therapy when recovering from the accident. If you have been injured, then the driver and trucking company can be held liable for the crash.
What Should You Do After A Truck Accident?
If you find yourself in a truck accident in Birmingham, AL, you should follow these steps:
Get To Safety
You should be far from traffic because it can end up in another accident. If you have to move your car, then move it to the side of the road, but make sure it is safe to do so.
It is important to let the authorities know about the accident as soon as possible. This is even more important if you need medical attention. Call 911 and try your best to explain what has happened and where you are. When the police arrive, tell them you need the police report once they are done.
If you can, start gathering evidence of the accident. You can take quality videos and photos using your smartphone. You should take them from different angles and distances because you want your attorney, insurance company, and the jury to get the exact picture of what happened and the extent of the damage. You should also take pictures of property damage or skid marks on the pavement.
If you have been involved in an accident, make sure you have exchanged personal information with the driver of the truck or any other drivers involved in the incident. Obtain phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers. You should also get the name of the company the driver is working for and their phone number. A smartphone will prove to be a great tool when it comes to the gathering of information. Take as many pictures as possible to document the scene of the accident.
Gathering Witness Information
In addition to the information you are going to get from the driver, it is also important to get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of people who witnessed the accident.
Not Admitting Fault
After an accident, many people are usually tempted to start discussing who or what might have caused it. Your best course of action is refraining from talking about the accident, or else you can easily end up admitting to wrongdoing. You should not admit to passengers or drivers that the accident was your fault. The insurance adjusters, the police, and the courts are the ones to determine who was at fault and then hold them liable for the injuries and damages.
Notify Your Insurance
You have coverage, but it is important to let your insurance company know about the accident you have been involved in. If it is a comprehensive cover, then you can make a claim through the insurance company. They will be the ones contacting other parties to start the process of investigating the accident.
Contact The Other Drivers Insurance
Once you get the information on the auto insurance of the truck, let them know that there is the potential of a third-party claim. This is not the right time to answer any question. There is no obligation to go into details when letting them know about the accident; the insurer is going to ask for an interview later. Always remember that what you say when talking to the insurance company for the first time can be used when denying or approving your claim.
Alabama Truck Accident Laws
A truck is defined by the Alabama Department of Transportation as a vehicle that has weight more than an SUV. A bus does not fall into this category. Some more specific types of trucks are delivery trucks, 18-wheelers, and work trucks.
A truck accident can involve a truck colliding with another truck, motorcycle, car, or even pedestrian. If a driver is found to have violated truck driver law requirements in Alabama, they are going to be held liable for the injuries and property damage as a result of the accident. They can also be held liable for the deaths resulting from the accident.
There are Highway Safety Laws that all drivers, including truck drivers, have to abide by. These laws usually vary from one state to the next. It is a must for drivers to follow the guidelines at all times.
In Alabama, there is no handheld ban for drivers, but texting while on the wheel is prohibited for all drivers. The speed limits vary according to location, and mini truck drivers should not use the interstate highways. Mini truck drivers have to follow the 25 miles per hour maximum speed.
Commercial truck drivers in Alabama have to pass written tests before they can get their Commercial Driver’s License. It is a serious violation for a driver to drive a truck without a license, whether it is in Alabama or any other state.
How Can A Lawyer Help A Truck Accident Claim?
When you have been injured from an accident that involves a truck, the insurance adjusters, the truck company, and their lawyers are going to be aggressive from the start. These companies are there to make a profit and protect their interests, which is why they try their best to minimize the liability of the company. This way, they can reduce the value of the claim.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you should not give the lawyers of the trucking company or the insurance adjusters any statement or information. If you do this, there is a good chance they are going to use it against you. You might think what you are saying is innocent, but they can easily manipulate it to their advantage.
A thorough investigation will be needed when it comes to accidents that involve trucks. Here at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, there is a team of truck accident lawyers well conversant with state and federal regulations. We know the process and what to look out for when investigating truck accidents. You should remember that the truck company is going to act fast, which is why you need to contact us as soon as possible, or else the evidence may be lost. Give us a call and have experienced professionals handle your case.
Our truck accident lawyer will be working for you and will act fast. Some of the services you can expect to get when you hire us include;
Identifying the at-fault parties
- Preserving and collecting evidence of negligence
- Investigating the accident and in some instances hire experts to handle specific matters, and this can include traffic reconstruction reports
- Collaborating with economist when evaluating complex medical and financial matters
- Advocating and negotiating on your claim aggressively
- Preparing for trial if it reaches that stage
When the insurance company or the party is reluctant when it comes to compensating you, then a truck accident lawyer from Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers will be there to help you take it to the courts. We are trial lawyers who have a reputation when it comes to testifying to our capabilities.
If you have been involved in a truck accident that was the result of carelessness from another person or negligence, then a truck accident lawyer is going to help you with the case. Make an effort of talking to a lawyer who will be able to guide you through the process.
Compensation You Can Receive From An Alabama Truck Accident Claim
The damages you can expect to get include economic and non-economic damages, which is the same as most personal injury cases. The compensation you can expect to get from truck accident damages includes specific financial damages such as:
Current Medical Expenses
This will include emergency room fees, hospital care, surgery, treatment, and consolations.
Future Medical Expenses
This includes costs of rehabilitation and any other ongoing medical attention.
This covers the lost wages from the day of the accident to the end of the case.
Loss of Earning Capacity
If the accident has left the victim unable to do their regular work operations or negatively impacted, then they can get compensated for it. This amount will be calculated by looking at what the victim would have been able to earn were it not for the accident.
Pain and Suffering
This covers the pain and suffering the victim had to deal with because of the accident. Many factors are going to affect the amount, and this includes the nature of the injury, the extent of pain, and the time it has or will take for the victim to recover.
There is compensation for emotional pain and anguish from the accident. This can include emotional distress, embarrassment, worry, grief, nervousness, fear, and more.
Loss of Consortium
The surviving children or parents of the victim can get compensated for the loss of services, aid, assistance, or company.
How Much Can I Get For My Truck Accident Claim?
If you have been injured because of another person’s carelessness or negligence, then you might be thinking about a personal injury claim. This will be in your best interests because the expenses after such injuries are usually high.
Accident victims in Alabama are allowed by law to seek damages from the at-fault party.
A victim can recover compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. We will let you know how calculations are done. Before filing a personal injury claim, you need to know certain things.
If you want to get the compensation, then you will have to show that the negligent actions of the defendant caused the accident. If you prove this, you will need to show that the injury was caused by the accident. A claim will be denied if you fail to do this.
Another thing to know is that a system of contributory negligence is used in Alabama. This means if you bear some share of the blame for the accident, then you will not be able to get compensated. If the other driver ignored a red light but you were driving at a high speed, then both of you are considered to be negligent. This means you will not be able to get compensation, even if you were 1% at fault.
There is a two-year statute of limitations in Alabama, and this is counted from the date of the accident. If you don’t file your claim during the two years, you are going to lose your right of recovering damages. Talk to a truck accident attorney to know whether you can make a personal injury claim in Birmingham, AL.
How Long Do I Have To File A Truck Accident Claim In Alabama?
If you were working or under contract when the accident happened, then the deadline can be six years, but this is usually rare. The common deadline is two years from the day of the accident or recognition of the injuries.
How Can Be Found At Fault For An Alabama Truck Accident?
Liability tends to depend on the details of your case, and also the ability to show negligent behavior led to the accident and the injuries. It can be difficult to prove negligence in such cases, and this is why you should get an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you. Fault varies from one case to another, and few possible parties can be held liable for the accident.
Below are some parties that can be held liable.
The Truck Driver
This is the most obvious person liable for the accident. It is easy to prove negligence by the driver, especially when you are working with an experienced truck accident attorney. Negligence can be through driving too fast, failing to follow regulations, driving for long without resting, and using narcotics when driving. While it is not a good idea to jump to conclusions, there are some instances where the driver acted poorly and caused the accident.
The Trucking Company
The specific details of the accident will determine whether the company that hired the driver is liable. If the truck was not properly maintained, then the trucking company will be held liable. The trucking company can also be opened up to liability when we demonstrate that the company knew about the negligent behavior of the driver but did nothing about it. Such things can be hard to prove, and this is why you are advised to get an experienced lawyer to help you.
This is one of the hardest one to prove, but there are some cases where it has to be considered. If the manufacturer of the truck or parts is negligent, and mechanical failure caused the accident, then they can be held liable. It is hard to prove negligence in such cases, which is why it helps to get an experienced attorney who is going to go through the details of the case before determining whether the manufacturer can be held liable.
A Third Party
There are cases where someone else caused the accident and can be held liable for the injuries you sustained. If someone is walking in the middle of the road and the truck driver avoids hitting them and ends up colliding with your car, then the pedestrian can be held liable. Negligence will extend to a party or person who acted unreasonably and caused an accident. All the factors have to be considered when determining liability.
When Can Companies Be Held Responsible For An Employee’s Accident?
In most truck accident cases, there is a person who is at fault when the truck hits a person, crashes into a car, train, or business, resulting in injury, property damage, or even death.
Trucking companies used to ask drivers to sign on as independent contractors so they could minimize their liability. This is not allowed anymore, which is why most cases will pursue the trucking company. It is also a straightforward option to follow. What these truck companies have decided to do is pour a lot of money on their legal teams by hiring defense attorneys. This leaves them with a team of attorneys ready to defend the cases. This is why it is very important for you to hire a reputable Alabama truck lawyer who will be able to protect your interest and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
The trucking company can be held liable for not hiring competent drivers or providing training, failing to maintain their trucks, and also letting cargo be improperly loaded. The driver can be held liable for driving aggressively, driving under the influence, or failing to follow rules and regulations. The negligence might come in the form of a brake, tire, or other parts manufactured.
Common Causes Of Truck Accidents
There are a lot of trucks on the roads, and this has contributed to more accidents. There are also unreasonable demands from the trucking companies and low standards for truck drivers. In Alabama, below are some of the most common causes of truck accidents.
- Excessive speed
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Driver fatigue
- Brake, Tire, or other equipment problem
- Following too closely
- Roadway issues
- Tire problems
- Lack of familiarity with roadways
- Unstable cargo
Contact A Birmingham Truck Accident Attorney With Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a truck accident, then you need to talk to Birmingham, AL who will help you with your case. We are going to do a review of the case and see if it is worth pursuing. We will also help by answering any question you might be having.
Give our Birmingham car accident lawyers a call at 866-6MB-WINS and get a free initial consultation today. You will be able to meet and talk with an expert without paying a single cent. You will not pay anything until your case is settled.