Alabama Truck Accidents
Alabama’s roads are filled with commercial trucks, which perform the critical task of transporting goods across the state and the nation. Unfortunately, the drivers at the helm of these 80,000-pound machines often make terrible mistakes that have life-altering consequences. When they do, the victims of those mistakes are left with excruciating pain and a mountain of medical expenses.
Penn Kestner & McEwen attorneys are ready to help if you find yourself in this situation. We have years of experience helping clients obtain total compensation, and we’re standing by to do the same for you. Please contact us online or call (800) 732-3070 for a free evaluation of your case.
Alabama Truck Accident Statistics
There were more than 10,000 truck accidents in Alabama in 2019, with more than 2,600 leading to severe injuries or death. Nearly 140 people lost their lives. Improper lane change or use caused about 15% of truck accidents (1,558), while 10% of crashes (1,047) occurred due to the truck driver failing to yield the right of way. Defective equipment played a role in 4% of accidents (417).
Types of Truck Accidents
The following is a quick look at some of the kinds of truck accidents that occur regularly.
- Underride and override accidents – When a truck stops suddenly, motorists often don’t have time to hit the brakes. They slam into the back of the truck, which will often shear off the top of the car. Federal law requires trucking companies to attach underride guards to their vehicles. But far too many companies fail to comply. Conversely, override accidents occur when the truck rolls over a passenger car, crushing it. Trucking companies will often fail to properly service a truck’s brakes, making it impossible for the driver to avoid an override.
- Rollover accidents – Trucks can easily roll over on their side when a driver takes a sharp turn too quickly. This happens due to inexperience and driving while impaired due to alcohol or drug use. A sudden shift in cargo can also lead to the driver losing control and the truck rolling over.
- Jackknife accidents – This type occurs when the coupling device fails. The device keeps the cab and trailer attached. When the device malfunctions, the cab swings out, forming a shape resembling an open jackknife. The driver will lose control, and the truck will destroy all cars in its path.
Injuries Associated with Truck Accidents
- Injuries to internal organs – A truck accident can result in severe damage to internal organs, such as a lacerated liver or ruptured spleen.
- Injuries to the brain – Truck accidents subject those in passenger cars to tremendous impacts. These impacts will often result in concussions or traumatic brain injuries that can make it impossible to perform everyday tasks.
- Spinal cord damage – Spinal cord damage resulting from a truck collision can be so severe it leads to permanent paralysis.
Potential Liable Parties
There can be several parties to blame for a truck accident. You’ll need the help of an experienced lawyer to obtain compensation from the ones that share responsibility. The truck driver may have made a mistake, or the company that owns the truck may have failed to maintain the vehicle properly. The manufacturer could be liable if a defective part failed, such as a tire.
There are also some instances where a company will negligently load a truck’s cargo. As mentioned earlier, the cargo can come loose and cause the truck to roll over. The company responsible for loading the truck could also be held liable.
Understanding Multi-Party Liability
It takes the experience of a seasoned truck accident attorney to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. One of the reasons is that there can be so many parties that share liability. Insurance policies covering trucks can be worth millions of dollars. Insurers and the trucking companies they cover will do whatever they can to keep from having to pay.
Your attorney will need considerable skill to fight this formidable opposition. The insurer is going to try and blame you for the wreck. At the very least, they’ll argue you were at least partially to blame. A lawyer can investigate to show you didn’t do anything wrong and that you’re entitled to full compensation.
Steps to Take After Your Accident
The moments after a truck accident aren’t just terrifying; they’re also confusing. Victims are often in a mental fog and don’t know what to do. But if you can take the following steps, you’ll help ensure your health and the strength of your case.
- Get medical help – You might think you’re okay, but that could be due to the adrenaline flowing through your body. Adrenaline could mask a severe injury, so call 911. Check on others involved so the dispatcher knows how many people may be hurt.
- Talk to the police – The dispatcher will also send an officer to the accident scene. They’ll ask you what happened, so tell them everything you can. However, don’t admit any degree of fault. If you do, that will make it hard for you to win your case.
- Take pictures – Only take pictures of the accident scene if it’s safe and you’re physically able to do so. If you can, these pictures could provide valuable evidence.
Why Choose Penn Kestner & McEwen?
Once you’re safe, get in touch with Penn Kestner & McEwen as soon as possible so we can investigate the accident. The earlier you do this, the better the chances we’ll be able to gather the evidence you’ll need.
Most truck accident cases reach a settlement, but there are times when they’ll go to trial. If this happens in your case, you can rest assured we’ll be ready to make a compelling argument in a court of law.