Birmingham Truck Accident Attorney
According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, the year 2019 saw 10,486 truck crashes on Alabama roads, causing 2,612 injuries and 137 deaths. Most injuries and fatalities happened to people in the passenger vehicle unlucky enough to get hit in a collision with the truck. For this report, trucks are defined as any vehicle heavier than a light truck or SUV and include delivery trucks, 18-wheelers (semi-trucks, tractor-trailers), tow trucks, dually trucks, and work trucks.
Truck accidents in Alabama are most likely to occur on state routes and interstates, but they happen on U.S. routes and county and city roads as well. The leading causes of Alabama truck accidents are:
- Improper Lane Change or Lane Use
- Failed to Yield Right of Way
- Unseen Object, Person, or Vehicle
- Misjudged Stopping Distance
- Improper Backing
- Defective Equipment
- Improper Turn
- Avoiding Animal, Object, or Person
- Failure to Heed Sign/Signal
- Crossed Median/Centerline
- Driving too Fast for Conditions
- Improper Passing
- Ran Off the Road
- Driving Under the Influence
- Driving Over the Speed Limit
As you can see from the list above, in nearly every instance, accidents could be avoided if the negligent driver simply paid better attention to the road and used safe driving practices such as driving at a safe speed, keep a proper distance, signaling and checking blind spots, etc.
Trucking accidents cause some of the most severe and catastrophic injuries to the people in the smaller and lighter passenger vehicles that get hit, including brain injuries, spinal injuries, multiple broken bones or loss of limb. The fatality rate in truck accidents is also much higher than it is for crashes between automobiles. The Birmingham truck accident attorneys at Goldasich, Vick & Fulk concentrate their law practice specifically in the area of helping accident victims who have suffered the most serious injuries. Call our office if you or a family member has been hit by an 18-wheeler.
Leading Reasons Birmingham Truck Accidents Happen
As noted earlier, truck accidents have a long list of causes. Here are some of the most common and dangerous reasons for semi-truck tractor-trailer accidents.
Drowsy or fatigued truck drivers are considered to be a leading cause of trucking accidents. Federal regulations limit how much duty time and driving time truckers can lawfully work at a stretch, but the trucking industry has had so much influence on these regulations that it is questionable whether the rules really do much to protect the safety of truck drivers and others on the road. Under these rules, truckers can drive for eight hours before taking a 30-minute break. They can drive for 11 hours a day and be on duty for 14 hours before taking only ten hours off and starting all over again. They can also work 60 hours over seven straight days or 70 hours over eight straight days before taking off for 34 hours to start a new seven or eight-day workweek. If they encounter adverse driving conditions that put them behind schedule, truckers are lawfully allowed to exceed these limits.
To top it all off, truckers routinely skirt these rules and drive longer hours than are legally allowed.
About 20% of the nation’s truck fleet is in such bad shape that when these vehicles are pulled over and inspected, they are immediately taken out of service as being too unsafe to be on the road. Bad or missing brake components and bad tires are the leading safety issues, but the big rigs also suffer from non-working signal lights, malfunctioning coupling devices, lack of safety equipment and other hazards. Rather than being proactive about fixing these issues, trucking companies put these dangerous behemoths on the road every day, hoping they won’t break down, cause an accident, or get caught driving out of compliance with federal regulations.
When a truck is not loaded or secured properly, cargo can come loose and fall off of or out of the truck, or the load can become unbalanced, causing the driver to lose control of the semi and sending it into a rollover, jackknife or other catastrophic truck accident. These accidents are an example of how complex a truck accident case can be, where fault might lie with the driver, the trucking company that hired the driver, the owner of the truck, the third-party that loaded the trailer, or any combination of these.
Our Birmingham Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help After a Trucking Accident
At Goldasich, Vick & Fulk, our mission is to help people who have suffered catastrophic injuries because of another’s negligence or misconduct, including trucking accidents on Birmingham roads and interstates. Our clients are often in need of significant compensation to deal with the costs, losses and harms inflicted on them by a negligent trucker or trucking company, and our job is to see they are taken care of. We have achieved numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for our trucking accident clients, so far totaling more than $48 million. We’ll show you the same compassion and dedication to results we show our other clients.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Birmingham trucking accident, please call Goldasich, Vick & Fulk at 205-731-2566 so we can learn about the facts of your case and let you know how we can help. Call today for a no-cost consultation.