Alabama Truck Accident Lawyers

Heavy trucks, also called 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, big rigs and semis, are important to Alabama's and our nation's commerce. But when a large commercial motor vehicle (CMV) gets into an accident while transporting consumer or industrial goods, the wreckage can be devastating. When a tractor-trailer or even a heavy dump truck collides with a passenger car, the passenger car and its occupants get the worst of the wreck.

The University of Alabama's most recent Alabama Traffic Crash Facts says there were nearly 8,000 crashes involving trucks in the state in 2010. These Alabama truck accidents resulted in more than 2,000 injuries and more than 100 deaths. Most heavy commercial truck crashes occurred on U.S. and state roads (35.5 percent and 32.7 percent respectively), followed by interstate highways (15 percent), county roads (12.4 percent) and city roads (4.4 percent). Any driver is at risk of a collision with a tractor-trailer, dump truck, tanker truck or other heavy truck.

At J. Clay Benson, Attorney at Law, our lawyers and legal staff are committed to holding negligent and reckless truck drivers and the firms that hire them accountable for the harm they cause, particularly when regulations are ignored. We understand the physical, emotional and financial harm that victims of truck crashes face. We want to help families obtain the compensation they need to rebuild and carry on with their lives.

We can put our skills, experience and resources to work for you if you or a loved one has been harmed in a truck accident. Call us today at (334) 356-1925, or toll free at (855)-94J-CLAY or use our online form for a free consultation about your legal rights and options.

Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates commercial trucks and buses, said in a November 2011 report that there were 286,000 crashes involving large trucks in the U.S. in 2009. These truck accidents caused 74,000 injuries and 3,380 deaths. The University of Alabama's Alabama Traffic Crash Facts says that 7,898 crashes involving trucks in the state in 2010 led to 2,002 personal injuries and 113 deaths.

Any of these large, heavy commercial vehicles can get into a wreck that causes catastrophic destruction to property and people. Because of their size and weight, colliding with an 18-wheeler traveling at 50 miles per hour is much worse than being hit by a car going 70 mph. Cars are designed to provide some protection to passengers if they are hit by vehicles of similar size. They are not made to withstand the impact of a tractor-trailer that weighs 10-times as much as a sedan.

The FMCSA identifies a variety of preventable truck accidents in a handbook for drivers titled "A Motor Carrier's Guide to Improving Highway Safety." Among them are:
  • Accidents at intersections in which the driver fails to control speed or fails to check cross-traffic and wait for it to clear. These accidents also include ones where a truck collides with a person, vehicle or object while making a right or left turn or collides with a vehicle making a turn in front of the truck.
  • Striking another vehicle in the rear because the truck driver fails to maintain a safe distance and/or following speed.
  • Being struck in the rear by another vehicle because the truck driver is passing slower traffic near an intersection and has to make a sudden stop, or stops suddenly to park, load or unload. Rear-end accidents also occur where the 18-wheeler is improperly parked or the driver rolls back into a vehicle behind it while starting on a grade.
  • Sideswipe and head-on collisions because the driver is not entirely in the proper lane of travel or does not pull to the right and slow down or stop for another vehicle encroaching on his or her lane of travel.
  • Squeeze plays and shutouts in which the driver fails to yield right-of-way when necessary to avoid the accident.
  • Mechanical defect accidents in which the defect is a type the driver should have detected in making the pre-trip or en-route inspection of the truck and/or cargo, or during the normal operation of the truck. These accidents can also be caused by a driver's abusive handling of the vehicle. Defects may be known to the driver, but ignored. In other cases, the driver was instructed to operate with a known defect.
  • Other types of accidents in which the driver does not operate at a speed suitable for the existing conditions of road, weather and traffic or fails to control speed so that he or she can stop within assured clear distance. Other causes include situations where a truck driver misjudges available clearance or fails to accurately observe existing conditions. Truck accidents also happen where the driver is in violation of company operating rules or special instructions, the regulations of federal or state regulatory agencies, or applicable traffic laws or ordinances.
What Happens After a Commercial Truck Crash?
Trucks are often owned by corporations that employ drivers, so a wreck involving a tractor-trailer can quickly become more complicated than a collision with a passenger vehicle. Once the trucking company's lawyers get involved, the injured driver can count on problems.

A trucking firm's lawyers and insurance company will work to protect their clients' interests after an accident. This why it is important that you get experienced legal advice from an Alabama truck accident attorney after you have been in a collision with a heavy truck. Before you agree to or sign anything offered or suggested by a trucking company's insurance company or lawyer, talk to J. Clay Benson, Attorney at Law. Otherwise, you may be giving up your rights to compensation that you deserve.

Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers Today
If you've been injured in a truck accident in Alabama, contact J. Clay Benson, Attorney at Law, (334) 356-1925, or toll free at (855)-94J-CLAY or through our online form for a free consultation. Our Alabama personal injury attorneys are committed to providing quality legal representation so that you can get the money you need to rebuild your life.