Phenix City Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accidents are some of the worst crashes. When a tractor-trailer or other heavy truck gets into a wreck with a passenger vehicle, those in the smaller vehicle often bear the brunt. Even when people survive these accidents, the injuries they are left with often last for months, and in many cases, years. In some cases, truck accident victims are left to deal with disabilities for their entire life.
Due to their severity, truck accident injuries are usually very costly to treat. When someone else was at fault, victims of truck crashes can seek compensation for all their losses through a personal injury lawsuit. A lawsuit can quickly become complicated, particularly when going up against a huge trucking company and insurers who are trying to protect high-limit policies.
Anyone who has been in a truck accident that wasn’t their fault needs an Alabama truck accident lawyer to help them take their case to court and give them the best chance of winning. Contact the Bence Law Firm LLC now for a free consultation about your rights and options.
Why 18-Wheeler Accidents Are More Complicated
There are many complications in a truck accident that can pose a challenge when trying to claim compensation for injuries and other losses.
One of the biggest complications of truck accidents is the serious injuries they cause. Typically before filing a personal injury lawsuit to claim compensation, accident victims must have reached, or be close to reaching, maximum medical improvement. This is so they know how much to ask for in medical bills and other expenses. This can take a very long time in the case of a truck accident though, as the injuries are often devastating and can change a person’s life forever.
Passenger vehicles are no match for the weight and size of a tractor-trailer. When the two crash into each other, the passenger vehicle sustains a great deal of damage. In many cases, these vehicles are totaled, as the amount of damage is so great that the car is not worth fixing. This means the accident victim is not only left with severe injuries, but also without a vehicle. At a time when they are trying to get to doctor’s appointments and more, they now don’t even have a vehicle that can get them there.
Due to the size and nature of commercial trucks, in addition to the fact that they often travel throughout many states, trucking companies are required to purchase large insurance policies. In fact, the average insurance policy on a truck is often as much as 50 times more than the insurance on a smaller vehicle.
Truck insurance policies often have limits in the millions of dollars, an amount the insurance company will surely try to avoid paying. They will send their best adjusters out to investigate the accident in order to shift blame for the accident onto the victims. If they are successful, they may reduce the settlement or even deny the claim altogether.
Truck drivers and trucking companies have an entirely different set of regulations they must follow. Trucks are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and they must undergo regular inspections. Truck drivers must take frequent breaks, maintain log books, and drivers must have a certain type of license to drive an 18-wheeler.
These are just a few of the regulations mandated. Understanding these regulations is often a large part of truck accident cases. Another major factor is the number of different parties who may be responsible for the crash and liable for paying compensation to the victim.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Truck Crash in Alabama?
After a truck accident, many accident victims assume the truck driver is to blame. This is often true. If the driver was speeding, ignored posted signs, changed lanes illegally, failed to yield, or did any number of other things that are against the law, they could potentially be held liable for the accident. However, the trucker often isn’t the only one liable for the crash.
Sometimes when an attorney investigates a crash, they’ll find that the trucking company is also liable. Trucking companies are responsible for their employees, including their truck drivers. They must ensure that a driver is experienced and capable of driving a truck safely and properly. They must also provide proper training. Trucking companies can be held liable for any injuries that result from an accident caused by their drivers.
In some accident cases, neither the truck driver nor the trucking company is to blame for the accident. If the accident was caused by a defective part on the truck, the truck manufacturer or the manufacturer of the faulty part can be held liable. For example, if the brakes on a truck were faulty by design and the truck could not stop in time and hit someone, the injured parties may hold the manufacturer responsible.
In addition to these potentially liable parties, a cargo company that loaded and secured freight improperly can also be held responsible for a crash. If the load falls off the truck, it can cause a serious accident. Improperly secured cargo can shift and cause a truck to wreck. Anyone who loads cargo onto a truck must ensure it is loaded and secured properly so no one becomes hurt from it. When they fail to do so, those injured may hold them liable for any accidents that result.