Truck Accident Attorneys in Fairfield, AL
Alabama is home to more than 9,000 trucking companies, and many of them are based in Fairfield and other communities throughout the Birmingham area. These companies transport essential goods and supplies throughout our state and around the country, and we are largely dependent on the trucking industry to maintain the standard of living we enjoy.
When a commercial truck gets into an accident, the results can be devastating. When a large tractor-trailer that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded crashes into another vehicle, object, or person, the others involved are the ones who are likely to get the worst of it. In fact, the vast majority of those killed in trucking accidents are either occupants of other vehicles or motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
Those who are lucky enough to survive a crash with a commercial truck can end up with severe and catastrophic injuries. These injuries are life-altering not only for the victim, but for close family members as well. For households in Fairfield and nearby areas that have to deal with serious injuries, the effects can last for several months or even years, and in the worst cases, the injuries could be permanent and debilitating.
For residents of Fairfield, Birmingham, and other Alabama communities who have been injured in a truck accident, obtaining just compensation can be a very difficult process. These types of cases tend to be far more complicated than a standard auto accident claim, and large trucking companies and their insurers expend a significant amount of resources to defend those responsible. If you are in this situation, you need experienced legal counsel by your side working hard to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.
At Burge & Burge, we understand that truck accident injuries can take a major physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families, and we are here to provide strong legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time. Personal injury is our primary area of focus, and over the years, we have successfully represented numerous clients from Fairfield and other Birmingham area communities who have been injured through no fault of their own.
In a commercial truck accident case, there are a number of things that need to be looked at. A trucking crash often results from the convergence of several different contributing factors, and a thorough investigation is needed to get to the bottom of what happened and who was responsible. When we take on a case, we go to work immediately to build a strong claim that puts you in the best possible position to recover maximum compensation.
Common Causes of Fairfield, AL Trucking Accidents
Truck accidents in Alabama usually happen because of driver negligence or negligence on the part of an outside party. Although there are some crashes that happen because of bad weather or other events that are beyond anyone’s control, a report by Stanford University found that approximately 90% of all motor vehicle crashes are caused (at least in part) by human error.
Here are some of the most common reasons why truck accidents occur:
- Speeding/Aggressive Driving: Truck drivers are typically under a tight deadline to deliver their loads, and they are only legally allowed to be on the road for a set number of hours during the day and week. So, the farther they can travel during the time they are on the road, the better the chances that they can stay on schedule. This unfortunately encourages more aggressive driving behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating, and various other dangerous maneuvers.
- Drowsy Driving: Driving for long distances particularly during evening and overnight hours can naturally lead to drowsiness and fatigue. When a truck driver is sleepy or fatigued, they risk falling asleep at the wheel. Most people do not realize the point at which they go from being sleepy to falling asleep, and this makes drowsy driving very dangerous.
- Intoxication: Drunk driving remains one of the leading causes of all types of vehicle accidents, and chemical impairment is a factor in a significant number of truck accidents as well. Driving at night heightens the chances of encountering other drunk drivers on the road, and truckers also sometimes turn to alcohol and various other substances to deal with the stress of the job and take the edge off.
- Driver Distraction: Smartphone activity has made distracted driving an increasingly common cause of auto accidents. Many drivers are tempted to send and read text messages while behind the wheel, and this type of distraction takes their entire focus away from the road.
- Weight and/or Distribution Problems: When a semi-truck is loaded beyond its weight limit or loaded unevenly, it is easier for it to tip over when the vehicle encounters heavy winds and other adverse driving conditions. Sometimes, shipping companies load too much freight into the truck in order to save money by sending more on the same shipment. Or a truck might be improperly loaded because those loading it are in a hurry to get the vehicle back on the road.
- Negligent Maintenance: Big rig trucks are on the road continually, and they accumulate a lot of wear and tear within a short period of time. If these vehicles are not properly maintained, breakdowns can occur and cause them to get into an accident.
- Faulty Vehicle/Vehicle Parts: A trucking accident could result from a defective vehicle or vehicle part, such as a faulty braking system or a malfunctioning electrical system.
Who is Responsible for a Fairfield, AL Truck Accident?
As we touched on earlier, liable parties in a truck accident could extend beyond just the driver. Other parties that could be held responsible include:
- The driver’s employer
- The owner or lessor of the truck
- The party in charge of maintaining the truck
- The cargo or shipping company that improperly loaded the truck
- The maker or seller of a defective vehicle or vehicle part
- The party responsible for maintaining safe roadways
Truck accident cases are even more challenging to pursue in states like Alabama where they apply the contributory negligence legal standard. Under contributory negligence, an injured party can be barred from recovering damages even if they are found to be just 1% responsible for the accident. This is another reason why it is absolutely crucial to get an experienced attorney involved in your case as early as possible. Otherwise, your right to recover compensation could be jeopardized.
Contact a Skilled and Knowledgeable Fairfield, AL Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered injury in a trucking accident in Alabama, Burge & Burge is ready to go to work for you. To schedule a free consultation and case assessment with one of our seasoned attorneys, message us online or call our office today at 205-251-9000.