In Alabama, truck accidents that involve delivery trucks, tractor-trailers, and other commercial-type of vehicles, can cause complex injuries and, in certain circumstances, they may even lead to someone’s death. If you or your loved one has been involved in an Alabama truck accident, the law allows for an injured individual to file for compensation and seek a recovery for their damages.
To file a successful Alabama truck accident claim, you are required to prove that the responsible party was at fault or negligent. There are three elements that establish this required proof –
The first step in proving negligence is providing evidence that the truck driver owed you a duty of care. Truck drivers have a fiduciary duty to use reasonable care when driving to avoid an accident.
If the defendant (the truck driver at fault) is shown to have failed to comply with the required standard of care, their actions are considered negligent. As such, they are guilty of breaching their required duty of care.
The petitioner of the truck accident lawsuit must show that their injury was caused by the breach of the truck driver’s duty of care.
Proving negligence in Alabama can be quite challenging if to walk the legal path without appropriate guidance. It is vital to determine the at-fault party if you are to receive full compensation for your damages. Experienced truck accident attorneys in Mobile can help you pursue and prove your truck accident claim. The process begins with a comprehensive investigation of your case to determine where liability lies.
Common Types of Truck Accidents in and Around Mobile, AL
In 2020, there were 8,579 accidents involving trucks in Alabama, associated with 130 fatalities. The most common types of Alabama trucking accidents include the following –
- A rear-end truck accident – this involves a truck hitting the back of another type of vehicle.
- A rollover truck accident – when loaded improperly and speeding, a tractor-trailer can potentially roll over. This can cause a serious multiple-car and truck accident. Also, because a truck has a higher center of gravity, it is more likely the vehicle will be involved in a rollover should it travel in windy conditions or take a turn too sharply.
- A head-on accident – this is usually among the most severe type of accidents.
- A jackknife accident – this describes the scenario where the trailer pulled by a semi-truck pushes the tow vehicle to one side. Ultimately, when a jackknife occurs, the cab and trailer create a v-shape.
- A T-bone truck accident – an accident where one car or truck crashes straight into the side of another, which often causes serious injuries.
The Causes of Truck Accidents
The possible causes of truck accidents can vary widely. The most common causes include the following –
- Truckers driving over the speed limit or too fast for driving conditions
- Improper lane changes or passing
- Inexperienced or improperly-trained truck drivers
- Improper backing or turning
- Aggressive driving
- Failing to yield to a right-of-way, sign, or signal
- Unseen vehicle, object, or person
- Distracted truck drivers
- Cellphone Use, etc.
- Tired or Fatigued Truck Drivers – the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is tasked with the responsibility of regulating how long (known as hours of service) drivers can stay behind the wheel. The time allowed depends on if the commercial driver is carrying people or property.
- Drunk or Impaired Truck Drivers – Alabama law (Code of Alabama Section 32-5A-191) considers a truck driver legally intoxicated if their BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is .04 or higher. Note that this is half the legal limit for all other drivers.
What Legal Issues Typically Arise During Truck Accident Claims?
There are various state and federal laws that apply to commercial trucking accidents in the state of Alabama. The agency responsible at the state level is ALDOT – the Alabama Department of Transportation.
There are two federal agencies that are tasked with the responsibility of regulating and investigating truck accidents –
- The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
- The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Title 49 within the Code of Federal Regulations covers a wide variety of related legal issues that include –
- A requirement that truck drivers have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
- Limiting a trucker’s working hours
- Setting forth truck weight restrictions
- Mandating rest periods.
- Requiring those responsible to maintain their trucks and tractor-trailers properly
- Mandating regular truck inspections
- Keeping accurate records of inspections and repairs
If a trucker or their employing trucking company violates any provision in federal statutes (including Title 49) or the regulations set forth by the Alabama Department of Transportation, victims may have grounds for an Alabama truck accident lawsuit.
Why It’s Essential To Consult with An Attorney Soon after Being in a Truck Accident?
Tractor trailers are incredibly dangerous motor vehicles. They can weigh up to 20 times more than the typical passenger car, and the weight disparity often translates to catastrophic consequences and serious injuries.
When you or someone you know/love has been involved in an accident that involves a truck or commercial vehicle in the greater Mobile, AL area, it is essential to speak with an accident attorney as soon as possible. Any delay on your part will give the insurance or trucking company a jump start on investigating the scene of the accident.
As a victim of a trucking or commercial vehicle accident, you need to ensure a legal expert represents you and your interests if you are to receive just compensation.
How Can An Accident Lawyer Help?
Experienced accident attorneys in Mobile, AL, and surrounding areas, will take your truck accident seriously right from the start. They can help negotiate what can be a complex and confusing claims process in Alabama.
Without an attorney representing you and proactively investigating the crash on your behalf, you may be jeopardizing your ability to receive compensation for damages after the accident. Call today to discuss you’re the details of your case and learn about your legal remedies and options.