Getting the pieces put back together after a Birmingham truck accident seems impossible at first. However, you can always get help; all you have to do is ask. It's vital that you get legal help, medical help, and support from your close friends and family. Your trucking accident probably left your car and your body in less than ideal condition. As you go through picking up the pieces, you should focus on your healing more than anything else.
In the meantime, you can get the appropriate help in resolving the truck accident. From how to navigate insurance claims, and who to talk to, or not talk to, with the trucking company or employer of the trucker. Don't worry too much about all the things that you need to take care of, instead go through and assess your to-do list as one single item after another. Having only one or two tasks to manage now can make the total resolution much easier, and hiring a Birmingham truck accident attorney will take some of the burden off of you.
Understanding Who Is at Fault in a Birmingham Truck Accident
Alabama does not use the standardized comparative negligence laws that other states use. Instead, it is one of the few that uses contributory negligence, which means that if you're even a little bit at fault, you can't make any recovery. For many victims,s fault becomes as much a concern as all other elements of their case.
They don't have the luxury of working with a small reduction in payment or compensation. Instead, they need to ensure that they receive a 0% fault association, and it's vital that they not get stuck with fault for something like a simple traffic violation.
Basically, if you were speeding or violating traffic law to any extent, then it's possible that you could lose all compensation. Even a tiny percentage of fault puts away the opportunity for compensation.
You May Not Always Go Through Traditional Car Insurance Claims
Unlike most other vehicle drivers, truckers carry massive coverage policies. They do this to protect themselves, not to protect other drivers. In fact, many will carry these massive policies even when they are a full employee of the trucking company. As a result, the companies that offer this type of insurance don't operate the way that Geico and Progressive do. Instead, they look to protect owner-operators.
There's also the issue of whether you need to file a claim with the truckers insurance policy or through the trucking company. Vicarious liability states that the company is always responsible for the actions of their employees. Trucking companies have cleverly gotten around this type of liability through using owner-operator drivers, where they act as independent contractors. It's changed how people handle insurance claims and how much liability the trucking company can take for their driver's poor driving or bad behavior.
Negligence, Carelessness, and Other Extreme Behavior
When you're looking at something like negligence through distracted driving or drunk driving, you have this other level of extreme behavior. Carelessness and recklessness is often the reason behind trucking accidents. These drivers operate for far too many hours, get road hypnosis, and to combat tiredness and hypnosis. They turn to manage these feelings with caffeine, distractions, alcohol, and other drugs.
Even when you don't have the presence of distractions or drugs, you have the element of tiredness. The tiredness itself could be negligence enough to push further for compensation.
How Can You Fight Against Big Trucking Companies?
Trucking companies aren't exclusively responsible for their drivers. Yes, there is some extent of vicarious liability, but usually, long-haul truckers aren't direct employees. Instead, they're owner-operators.
Fighting against trucking companies requires a skilled and aggressive negotiator. The negotiation element is the most critical for getting the victim the proper compensation.
Contacting Your Birmingham Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accidents are horribly messy and disastrous. Not only do you have extensive injuries, and possibly a fatality involved with your crash, but now you're dealing with multiple companies. Often the trucking company or the trucker's insurance provider will scare off the victims with intimidation and exceptionally low settlement offers. They're aggressive, they usually don't budge, and they're doing this not just to protect their wallet, but their driver as well.
As the victim, it's impossible to have predicted this type of event. After accidents in a normal vehicle, it's easy to assume that any crash would have a fairly easy resolution. So how exactly can you manage your crash resolution? Calling a Birmingham truck accident law firm can help you grab control over your claim, issue a clear demand, and even take the case to court if you can't reach a fair settlement agreement.