If you were hurt in a truck accident, you could be eligible for financial compensation for your injuries and other losses. Actually getting those damages compensated, however, can be a difficult task. Trucking companies often use experienced legal teams and work with their insurance companies to deny liability and fight claims.
With the help of your own attorney, you can present a strong case and fight to get the compensation you deserve. Often, insurance claims fall short of covering your damages in full, and you will need to consider filing a lawsuit to recover all of the damages in your case.
Call the truck accident attorneys at Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357 for a free case analysis.
Determining Fault in a Truck Accident Case in Madison, AL
There are many ways that a trucker or trucking company could be at fault for a truck accident. The driver can be held personally responsible for the crash if they did something negligent behind the wheel to cause the crash. The company that they work for can also be held liable for the driver’s negligence or for its own negligence. For example, problems with the truck itself or with the driver’s safety and certifications could be problems for the trucking company.
The following are all common causes of accidents that our truck accident lawyers can help you with.
If the driver commits a traffic violation and it results in a crash, then they are likely at fault for the crash. Speeding, tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, and even running red lights are surprisingly common with truck drivers, and these issues can all put other drivers on the road in danger.
With large trucks, the danger of a traffic violation is often magnified. With speeding, for example, the sheer mass of an 18-wheeler makes accidents involving high speeds significantly more dangerous. With failing to signal, a truck suddenly turning or changing lanes can potentially hit multiple cars and cause serious damage to a single car or many cars.
Trucking companies are often liable for accidents their drivers cause while committing traffic violations. This is especially true if the trucking company knew their driver had a history of serious traffic offenses and hired them anyway.
Although drunk driving is obviously a traffic offense, it is worth discussing separately. Truck drivers often rely on drugs or alcohol after long hours on the road in an attempt to help them stay focused or awake.
The “buzz” from alcohol is a misnomer; while alcohol can make you feel alert and awake, it slows your reaction times and is ultimately a depressant. Similarly, other drugs like amphetamines make people more alert and awake, but they are still dangerous drugs that can cause complications, dependence, and erratic behavior. It is illegal to be impaired by any of these drugs or substances while driving, especially if you are a commercial driver.
Failing to properly load a truck can result in serious safety risks. When cargo is not properly tied down, it can shift during transit and cause improper weight distribution in the trailer. Improperly loading weight at the back of the trailer rather than the front can increase the odds of a trailer “fishtailing” and swaying back and forth. This kind of improper loading can result in a truck shifting out of its lane or even fishtailing so badly that it sways into another vehicle or causes a “jackknife” accident by folding the trailer against the tractor portion of the tractor-trailer.
With flatbed trucks, improper tie-downs can be a more obvious risk. Logs, construction materials, and other items could fall off the back of a flatbed, potentially causing serious accidents and damage.
Truckers and trucking companies are supposed to follow various regulations that control things like equipment standards, driver safety standards, licensing standards, and more. Some of the most common violations are also some of the riskiest.
Truck drivers are required to be properly licensed and free of health concerns that could put make their driving dangerous. Additionally, drivers must follow other requirements, such as restrictions on driving with recent DUIs or other particular violations on their record.
As mentioned, loading and cargo rules can help keep others safe, such as the maximum weight limit of 80,000 lbs. There are also other equipment and maintenance standards truck drivers and companies must follow.
One very important standard is the FMCSA’s hours of service rules. These rules require mandatory breaks and put limits on the hours a driver can spend on the road in a given period of time. If trucking companies push drivers to violate these regulations, they could be at fault for any accidents their tired drivers cause.
Getting Compensation for Truck Accident Injuries in Madison, AL
Getting your injuries and damages compensated in an accident can mean a combination of insurance claims and lawsuits. Generally, drivers – especially commercial truck drivers – are required to carry insurance to cover any accidents they cause. This means that there will be insurance available for you to file a claim against, but the insurance companies and trucking companies involved in your case could deny your claim or ignore the valuation you put forward.
Instead of relying on insurance companies, it is best to take matters to court in many cases. When you file a lawsuit against the at-fault parties, they will be pushed into taking your case more seriously. Judges and juries can potentially award very high damages, even over the trucking company’s objections. This can help you get the damages you need rather than the damages the insurance company is merely willing to pay.
However, before the court can award damages, you need to prove your claim and prove the damages you suffered. Proving that the trucker and the company they work for were at fault requires evidence of what happened and why their driver is at fault. Evidence of what damages you suffered requires medical records, bills, statements, and financial records.
Call Our Madison, AL Truck Accident Attorneys Today
Contact Howe Law’s truck accident attorneys today at (844) 876-4357 for a free review of your potential truck accident case.