Truck accidents are serious matters. If you’ve been hurt in a trucking accident, your first priority will be healing. But as you recover, you’ll likely wonder who can be held responsible for your injuries. This article will discuss 7 ways to prove fault in an Alabama truck accident.
Truck Accidents are Dangerous
Sadly, trucking accidents are quite common. Nationally, the number of truck accidents increased 33% from 2011 to 2020. The picture is the same here in Alabama. State records show that truck accident injuries and fatalities have generally been increasing since 2011.
Truck accidents are far more serious than auto accidents between two cars. A loaded semi-truck can be more than 25 times heavier than the average car. An 18-wheeler is also much longer than a typical sedan. These size differences mean that when a truck and a car collide, the car – and its occupants – will be far more likely to suffer a serious or fatal injury than anyone in the large truck. As a result, claims like wrongful death or pain and suffering are common in trucking accidents.
How to Prove Fault in an Alabama Truck Accident
In a typical car accident, Car A hits Car B and it’s usually not difficult to find out who’s at fault. But because of the way the trucking industry works, proving fault in an Alabama trucking accident can be more difficult.
Semi-trucks are not just placed on the road with a driver. Many different people and companies are involved with loading, maintaining, and driving 18-wheelers and other large trucks. Because any of these entities could have been responsible for causing the accident, when it’s time for fault to be determined in an Alabama truck accident, an experienced truck accident lawyer will consider all possibilities. Let’s look at some of these people and companies to see how they might be at fault in your trucking accident.
Possibly at fault in your trucking accident – the truck driver
When it’s time to prove fault in an Alabama truck accident, the truck driver is the most obvious place to start. Like all drivers, truck drivers must operate their vehicles safely. Like everyone else, they cannot drive while sleepy, distracted, or drunk. Semi-truck drivers must also obey the rules of the road like other drivers.
But unlike the driver of a normal car, a tractor-trailer driver must obey many more rules and regulations. In addition to having the proper commercial driver’s license, they must follow strict requirements for sleep and breaks. These large truck drivers must also keep accurate driving logs and not drive more than a certain number of hours in any 24-hour period. Injury lawyers will know what to look for to help you prove the driver’s negligence.
A Birmingham truck accident attorney can help you look at other factors that might prove that the truck driver was at fault in your case.
Possibly at fault in your trucking accident – the driver’s employer
Even if the truck driver is the one that hit your car, they may not be solely at fault. Most truckers are employed by a trucking company. Federal laws place strict limits on driver routes and hours. However, some trucking companies push their drivers to drive more than they should or forgo sleep to maximize the number of loads that they carry. If there is evidence that the driver’s employer engaged in these tactics, they might also be responsible for your injuries.
Possibly at fault in your trucking accident – the maintenance company
The trucking industry is complex. Some drivers have employers; others are independent contractors. Some trucking companies do everything in-house while others hire companies to do things for them. If a trucking company hires a truck maintenance facility, the maintenance company could be a defendant in your case. Your Alabama personal injury attorney will look for evidence that the company failed to perform necessary maintenance or did so poorly.
Possibly at fault in your trucking accident – the shipping or loading company
When it’s time to prove fault in an Alabama truck accident, a defendant that’s often overlooked is the shipping company. These companies are responsible for loading the trucks. While loading a truck might seem like a simple task, loading an 18-wheeler improperly can lead to imbalances that can cause dangerous accidents. The loads must also be properly secured. If the shipping company did not do its job properly, it may have contributed to your injuries. An experienced truck accident lawyer will know which questions to ask the shipping company.
Possibly at fault in your trucking accident – the truck’s manufacturer
Even if the truck driver and the trucking company did everything properly, the truck manufacturer could be at fault. A manufacturer has an obligation to make safe products. If the company that made the 18-wheeler truck put a defective product on the road, they may be responsible for your injuries as well. Experienced truck accident attorneys can help with these claims.
Possibly at fault in your trucking accident – other drivers
The road is filled with many cars. If the truck that hit you did so because it was reacting to something that another driver did – making an improper lane change, driving in the truck’s blind spot, or other dangerous actions – that driver might be responsible for your injuries. An experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer will know which questions to ask to determine whether another driver could be a defendant in your case.
Possibly at fault in your trucking accident – a government
Trucks drive on roads. If your accident happened because the road was not well-maintained, you might have a case against the local, state, or federal government responsible for keeping the road safe. It is difficult to sue a government – especially in Alabama – but your accident lawyer can help.
We can help you prove fault in an Alabama truck accident
If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, you will need compensation to help you recover and take care of your medical bills. If you need to prove fault in an Alabama truck accident or have other questions about Alabama personal injury law, contact Collins Law, LLC. Our founder, April H. Collins, is a leading Birmingham personal injury attorney who handles truck accidents, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other accidents. Click here or call (205) 881-0403 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.