Truck Accident Lawyers Winning Your Wreck Claims in Alabama
Any auto accident is a frightening concept, but the sheer size and scale involved with commercial trucks and 18-wheelers can make the situation a lot worse. From long-lasting, serious injuries to fatalities, the outcome can be devastating for those involved.
Incidents involving 18-wheelers and commercial trucks appear to be on the rise, with the NHTSA reporting a 12% increase in the number of people killed within the 10 year period spanning 2008 to 2017. Even if an accident does not result in a fatality, injuries sustained by those involved can be catastrophic. Knowing the best legal avenues can help ensure that victims have the financial support they need.
What Can Cause a Large Truck Wreck?
Some of the most common causes for truck and 18-wheeler accidents include:
- Poor or inadequate training
- Loads which are too large for the truck
- Loads which are not secured properly and shift
- Truck driver fatigue caused by over scheduling and overworking
- Vehicle not being maintained or checked properly for roadworthiness
- Driver speeding or failing to brake in time to avoid an accident
- Driver failing to check any blind spots before moving or merging
- Failure to signal properly or in good time before changing lanes
- Driver operating the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
What Can I Claim Compensation For?
If the driver of the truck is found to have been liable for your injuries or for a wrongful death, you may be entitled to claim damages. This may be due to reckless driving—defined as being:
“Any person who drives any vehicle carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard for the rights or safety of persons or property, or without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property, shall be guilty of reckless driving.”
Alternatively, the truck driver may be found guilty of negligence, meaning that their actions directly contributed to the accident and any subsequent injury or death suffered by the victim.
If you are successful in proving liability, you may be able to claim damages to cover expenses incurred, such as:
- Medical expenses accrued at both the time of the accident and any medical costs, hospital stays, etc., which arise as a result of the accident
- Loss of earning potential from both the time of the accident and any instance where the victim is required to change or leave their employment
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and trauma
- Permanent physical impairment or disfigurement
- A reduction in the quality of life
- Any loss or damage to property
What is Contributory Negligence?
Alabama operates under a system of contributory negligence which means that you will be unable to recover damages if you are found to have played any part in causing the accident. This is a contrast to other states which operate under a concept of comparative negligence and will allow damages to be claimed minus the percentage the victim is deemed to be at fault. However, in Alabama, if a judge rules that you were even 1% to blame for the accident, you will be unable to pursue damages or compensation.
What About Wrongful Death?
In some cases, accidents involving large trucks or 18-wheelers can prove fatal. In these instances, the family of the victim may be able to pursue a claim for wrongful death against the driver or trucking company. These claims may be pursued if it can be proven that were it not for the death of the victim, they themselves would have been in a position to pursue a claim for wrongful act, omission, or negligence. Additionally, it must be proven that it was the wrongful act, omission, or negligence of the driver which caused the accident.
How Long Do I Have?
The Alabama statute of limitations gives individuals two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. This limit is applicable both to those pursuing a personal injury case and a victim’s family pursuing a claim for wrongful death.
How Can We Help?
Here at Pharr & Associates Injury Attorneys, we have extensive experience in working with the victims of truck accidents across Alabama. Our team of qualified attorneys have the skills, expertise, and experience to help you take your case to the next level and work to secure the outcome you deserve. Call us today at (256) 487-6080 for a free consultation to get the help you need.