Truck Accident Lawyers in Homewood, AL
Big rig trucks frequently roll through Homewood and other areas of Alabama delivering goods and supplies to our communities. We depend on commercial truckers to maintain our way of life, and the trucking industry is also one of our state’s largest employers. There is no doubt that trucking is an essential industry, but it can also be very dangerous. Each year, there are nearly 100,000 large commercial trucks that are involved in accidents, and these accidents result in thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of serious injuries.
18-wheelers often weigh 20 to 30 times as much as regular passenger vehicles, and when the two collide with each other, it comes as no surprise that those who are inside the passenger vehicles are the most likely to get the worst of it. In fact, 67% of those killed in truck accidents are occupants of passenger vehicles, while only 17% are occupants of large trucks.
When someone is involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, it can result in serious and catastrophic injuries. But because these cases tend to involve more severe injuries, trucking companies and their insurers typically dedicate more resources to fighting the claim. They will look for any way they can to undermine the case and avoid paying damages or pay as little as they can. There are also a lot of complicating factors with truck accident cases, and it is not advisable to try to pursue the claim on your own.
At Burge & Burge, we have several decades of experience standing up for victims of truck accidents in Homewood, Birmingham, and nearby Alabama communities. Our firm is focused on personal injury and related areas of the law, and we have a successful track record with even the most complex cases.
Trucking accidents often involve multiple parties that may be at fault, and there are numerous laws and regulations that govern the industry. For this reason, it is very important to work with attorneys who have handled lots of cases like these in the past, and who understand what it takes to prevail against well-funded adversaries like the large trucking companies.
Causes of Large Truck Accidents
Most trucking accidents that happen in Homewood and other areas of Alabama are preventable and caused by negligence on the part of a driver or another party. Some common reasons why semi-truck accidents occur include:
- Aggressive/Reckless Driving: Truck drivers are often dealing with unrealistic deadlines, which forces them to cut corners in order to deliver their loads on time. This might cause them to drive more aggressively than they should, sometimes crossing over into reckless driving. Examples of driving behaviors that increase the chances of an accident include excessive speeding, following too closely/tailgating, and illegal or dangerous passing maneuvers.
- Distracted Driving: Almost all of us have smart phones these days, and truckers who are on long trips are often very tempted to send texts and other electronic messages back and forth to pass the time. Texting is a dangerous activity while you are driving, no matter how experienced you are. When someone is totally focused on their phone, it makes it much easier to miss important things that happen on the road, such as a car entering their blind spot or a pedestrian crossing the road in front of them.
- Drunk Driving: Driving while intoxicated is another illegal and very dangerous activity which has been talked about for a number of decades. Still, some truckers turn to alcohol and various types of drugs in order to take the edge off and help ease the stress of the job.
- Drowsy Driving: Driving while drowsy or fatigued is especially common among truckers because of the nature of their job. Traveling long distances often during evening and overnight hours can cause a driver to get sleepy. We know that falling asleep behind the wheel can lead to catastrophic consequences, but even if that does not happen, drowsiness still inhibits a driver’s ability to use their peripheral vision and react in time to effectively deal with adverse road conditions.
- Overloaded/Unevenly Loaded Trucks: Some trucking accidents result from a tractor-trailer that is beyond the allowed weight limit or is unevenly loaded. This could happen either because the shipping company is trying to haul more cargo on the same load and/or because they are in a hurry to get the truck back out on the road and stay on schedule.
- Negligent Maintenance: Large commercial trucks typically log several thousand miles over the road each month. With so much wear and tear, it is absolutely essential that proper maintenance is performed in order to keep the truck running smoothly. When this does not occur, a breakdown on the road could result in an accident.
- Vehicle Defects: A trucking accident could be caused by a faulty vehicle or vehicle part that goes wrong while the truck is on the road. Examples include computer dashboard malfunctions, break line failures, and tire blowouts.
Liability for a Homewood, AL Truck Accident
Trucking accident victims may be entitled to compensation not only for direct monetary losses such as medical bills and lost earnings, but also for noneconomic losses such as pain-and-suffering, psychological trauma, loss of enjoyment, and permanent injury. However, as mentioned previously, these cases are typically far more complicated than a standard auto accident.
There are several parties that could be held liable for a truck accident, which may include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company that employs the driver
- The owner or lessor of the truck
- The cargo/shipping company that loaded the truck
- The party responsible for maintaining the truck
- The manufacturer, supplier, or distributor of a faulty vehicle or vehicle part.
A thorough investigation is necessary to get to the bottom of what happened and identify all contributing factors as well as parties that could be responsible. You can be certain that the other side is already at work preparing their defense, so it is crucial to get an experienced attorney working on your behalf as soon as possible so you are in the best possible position to recover maximum compensation.
Contact a Seasoned Homewood, AL Truck Accident Attorney
At Burge & Burge, we understand that trucking accident injuries can take a major physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families, and we work hard to make the legal process is smooth and stress-free as possible. We handle all of the complicated legal tasks, and we deal directly with the other side, so you can focus on getting recovered. Throughout the process, we provide frequent updates on the progress of your case, and we are always available whenever you need to reach out with questions or concerns.
To schedule a free consultation and case assessment with one of our Alabama truck accident lawyers, call our office today at 205-251-9000 or message us online. We are ready to go to work for you!