Montgomery Alabama Truck Accident Lawyer Takes Your Case Against a Big Rig Operator and Company
When you are driving down a highway and a big-rig approaches, how often do you try to get out of its way? That’s always a good idea. Call them big-rigs, 18-wheelers, or tractor trailers, there are more than 10 million of these large trucks on our roads bringing goods across the country.
A large truck is defined as any vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds, but some of these trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, while your car weighs around 5,000 pounds. Due to the weight differential, when there is a collision with a passenger car, the results can be catastrophic to the automobile and its passengers.
Sadly, it is often left up to the family of those who do not survive these catastrophic crashes to bring forward an action against the at-fault driver on behalf of their loved one.
Mr. Nix’s experience as a Montgomery Truck Accident Attorney assures you that every aspect of your truck accident will be investigated to build a the strongest possible case on your behalf.
Alabama Big Rig Crashes
Nationally, trucks make up 6 percent of registered vehicles on the road, but they account for 11 percent of national road deaths. According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, in 2017, there were 9,351 trucks involved in crashes.
In Alabama, there are dozens of fatalities each year among those passengers involved in crashes with large trucks, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Nationally, FMCSA reports truck accidents that resulted in injuries have risen substantially in recent years.
Cause of Alabama Truck Accidents
If you are on the road near a big rig, it is important to understand the cause of most truck accidents. Often, it is the driver of the automobile.
Please be careful as you drive near a big-rig and understand the trucker needs additional time to brake. Do not cut off the truck driver who is following a passenger vehicle as he may be intentionally allowing additional safe space between his big-rig and the vehicle ahead of him in case he needs to slow down or stop.
The primary cause of all crashes that involve a truck is an improper lane change or use, along with a failure to yield the right of way. Other causes of truck accidents are:
* A hidden vehicle
* Misjudged stopping distance
* Defective equipment
* Avoiding an animal, object, or person
* An improper turn
* Improper backing
* Failure to heed a sign or signal
* Crossing the median
* Driving too fast for the conditions
* Improper passing
* Fatigue or falling asleep
* Driving under the influence
* Tire blowouts
* Overloaded or unbalanced cargo
It might not be surprising that the interstate saw the highest number of crashes and fatalities, just under one-third, in 2017.
Mr. Nix has seen too many instances of horrendous injuries including crushed passenger compartments, vehicles that submarine under the big-rig, and passengers ejected from the vehicles.
Alabama Truck Driver and Company Negligence
The Alabama Trucking Association reports there are more than 9,000 trucking companies in our state.
We know from experience that many trucking companies push their employees to meet deadlines that are unrealistic. A truck driver is required by law to have adequate rest and a mandatory ten-hour break while the law states he can no longer drive more than 14 hours.
Unfortunately, tight deadlines often make it impossible for a driver to be both well-rested and deliver his goods on time.
Regulations require the use of electronic logging devices that record the driver’s hours of service, during which he is driving.
As an experienced truck accident attorney, Mr. Nix understands the importance of the electronic logging devices and any additional second set of books.
What to Know Right After the Accident
Have no doubt, the motor carrier and its representative will be at the scene as soon as they possibly can and they are not there to represent you. Quite the contrary, that’s why it is so important to secure representation right after an accident with a commercial vehicle.
Upon visiting the scene of the accident we can see the evidence left behind on the road including skid marks, the point of collision, and conditions at the time of the accident.
We will send a preservation letter to the trucking company so that all evidence is preserved including the black box recorder and the logs that show how long the driver had been on the road at the time of the collision.
Also another important element of our investigation is to determine what, if any, pre-checks the carrier required on the big-rig before the driver hit the road.
Was the truck in good operating condition? When was its last inspection of the tires or brakes? What were the hiring practices of this particular carrier and is there any pattern of accidents among the fleet? Was the load on the truck proper for that vehicle and was it distributed properly?
We also understand that some drivers are simply not competent to be operating a big-rig. Had the driver been previously cited?
Alabama just lowered the age to legally operate a commercial vehicle of 26,000 lbs. or more to age 18, down from 21, to help fill a truck driver shortage. It remains to be seen what effect that will have on safety.
Who is Liable?
It will be our job to determine the liable party in this accident. That may include the truck owner who may also be the driver. He is responsible to make sure his truck is safe enough for the road.
Deviation from the standard requirements of safety is the basis of an action by the injured party.