When it comes to auto accidents, ones involving a commercial truck can be the most devastating to those driving in a passenger vehicle. That's largely because of the size differential.
A large truck is defined as a medium or heavy truck weighing more than 10,000 pounds, while a tractor-trailer used for heavy hauling can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
A commercial truck can also include a delivery vehicle or even a 15-passenger van. Compared to a passenger vehicle weighing about 5,000 pounds. When these two vehicles collide, occupants of the passenger vehicle are almost certain to take the brunt of it.
In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 79% of the large trucks that were involved in fatal traffic crashes weighed in excess of 26,000 pounds.
Large trucks accounted for 9% of all vehicles involved in deadly crashes that year, with a total of 4,761 individuals killed in fatal commercial truck crashes.
An accident with a commercial truck is not the same as an auto accident, and the attorneys at the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers understand that. It is our goal to protect your rights while holding the other side responsible, so you can be compensated for your injuries and expenses.
Commercial Truck Accident Causes
Since taking your car almost anywhere you need to go is a simple fact of everyday life, you are sure to encounter many commercial vehicles sharing the road. And according to federal statistics from NHTSA, there are about 500,000 large truck accidents every year in the U.S.
- Driver fatigue or impairment
- Distracted driving
- Poorly loaded cargo
- Sudden lane changes
It bears repeating that trucks need extra time to stop and following too close and a sudden lane change may be all that's needed to cause an accident with a commercial truck.
Trucks may have been loaded in a hurry without properly securing the load. Due to the conditions of the road, sometimes loads shift contributing to the trucking accident.
Truck drivers operate on a schedule and are supposed to limit their time on the road under the federal hours-of-service rules and restrictions. When we look further, we often find that the truck driver has violated those rules.
Suing the Responsible Party in a Truck Accident
We may find that there are multiple layers we need to uncover in a serious commercial trucking accident.
Tired Driver – If the cause of the accident points to a tired driver, we will explore his hours of service to make sure he had not exceeded his allotted time on the road. The Mike Bell firm will also check to see if there is a second set of books that may tell a more realistic picture about how long that driver had been on the road.
Unrealistic deadlines – We will explore the entity who hired the driver. Had the driver been given an extraordinarily impossible deadline to get goods to their location? Did the carrier or transport company have a history of these unrealistic expectations?
Loading a Commercial Vehicle – If during transport the load shifted, that could contribute to a truck jackknife. Were the weight limits followed?
The Truck Manufacturer – Was any portion of the truck under recall? Defective parts can be a contributing factor in an accident and put everyone at risk.
Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers
The experienced truck accident lawyers at The Mike Bell Firm will discuss your accident in a complimentary consultation.
You may experience:
- A traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Loss of limbs
- A burn injury
- Broken bones
- Other serious injuries
Once we determine the cause of the accident and the at-fault party, we can begin to determine who will compensate you for your injuries. That might include medical bills, the cost of rehabilitation, lost wages, and compensation for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life.
We may seek funeral expenses in a wrongful death case.
Call The Mike Bell Firm, Birmingham at (205) 666-6000 to reach one of our experienced commercial truck accident attorneys. We are ready to go to work for you and get started protecting your rights.