Truck Accident Lawyers in Bay Minette
Truck accidents are a serious problem on American roads. When you combine semi-trucks and tractor-trailers, there are over seven million trucks in operation at any given time. They are up to 30 times heavier than the average car, and due to their structure, are prone to massive blind spots that lay the foundation for serious accidents. Those who are involved in tractor-trailer accidents often face severe or fatal injuries, not to mention thousands of dollars in property damage and lost wages.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a tractor-trailer collision, find out how the team at Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell P.A. can help you move forward. You may be entitled to compensation. Schedule a consultation now by calling our Bay Minette office at 251-651-0483 or our Chatom office at 251-847-2237.
The Unique Dangers of Truck Accidents
Statistically, truck accidents are much more dangerous than accidents involving standard passenger vehicles. By design, trucks are simply able to cause more damage than passenger vehicles. They are generally 20 to 30 times heavier than other vehicles, so even at low speeds they are capable of causing substantial damage. This also means that trucks take much longer to stop than passenger vehicles, so they are particularly deadly in inclement weather. Their ground clearance also creates the risk of underride accidents, which often lead to serious or fatal injuries for people in other vehicles.
When these collisions do occur, it’s the drivers and passengers of other vehicles that tend to suffer. Over 4,000 people died in truck collisions in 2019, and 67% of those fatalities were occupants of passenger vehicles. Only 16% of the fatalities were truck drivers, and the remaining fatalities were pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
The challenges of truck accidents don’t stop after the actual collision. Navigating compensation for a truck crash is much more difficult than getting compensation for a passenger vehicle accident. In a crash that involves passenger vehicles, negotiation typically occurs between the parties’ insurance companies.
Truck accidents involve numerous other parties, including the owner of the cargo being transported, the owner of the truck, the truck driver’s employer, the company who loaded the cargo, and the company set to receive the cargo. This can make it much more challenging for victims to figure out who owes them compensation and how to fight for that compensation.
Determining Liability for Bay Minette Truck Accidents
After you hire a Bay Minette truck accident attorney, one of their top priorities will be figuring out liability. Depending on the evidence available and what they uncover during their investigation, they may find out that one or multiple parties played a role in the accident, including:
- The truck driver
- The owner of the trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- The repair shop responsible for truck maintenance
- The party who loaded the truck
- The owner of the cargo
- The government agency responsible for road maintenance or signage
Figuring out liability involves determining the root cause of the accident. Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Speeding (which includes driving below the speed limit but too fast for weather conditions)
- Poorly maintained vehicles or skipped routine maintenance
- Unclear road signage
- Driver fatigue or distraction
- Impaired driving
- Mechanical failure
- Inexperienced drivers or poorly trained drivers
- Failure to check blind spots
Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents
The physical, mental, and financial costs associated with truck collisions can be enormous. Drivers and passengers in passenger vehicles often sustain very serious injuries that require weeks, months, or even years of recovery. Some of the most commonly reported truck accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Injuries affecting the neck and back
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Cuts and lacerations
- Infections resulting from contact with the road
- Spinal cord injuries, including those that lead to paralysis
What to Do After a Truck Collision in Bay Minette
Taking the right steps after a truck accident can help you protect your health and plan ahead for a personal injury claim. After a collision, we recommend:
- Moving away from the truck. You don’t know whether or not the truck is carrying hazardous materials. If it is, an explosion could be imminent. Put some distance between yourself and truck if you physically can.
- Checking for injuries and calling 911. Verify whether or not anyone in your car is injured. When you call 911, report all immediately visible injuries.
- Gathering photo and video evidence. The more evidence you have from the crash, the stronger your personal injury claim will be. Take photos of the accident scene from multiple angles and distances. If you can, take video footage of the scene of the accident. Include important signs or road markers to identify where you are.
- Collecting witness contact information. Truck accidents often cause massive slowdowns on the highway, so people may stop to offer assistance. If anyone saw the accident, get their contact information so you can pass it on to your attorney.
- Seeking medical attention immediately. This is non-negotiable. Even if you feel fine or you’re just a little sore, get checked out by a doctor right away. The surge of adrenaline released during an accident can block pain receptors, making it impossible to know how injured you really are. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is key to a full recovery, and some injuries can be fatal if not immediately identified.
- Hiring an attorney. Once you’ve gotten the medical care you need, hire a personal injury attorney in Bay Minette. They can begin the process of seeking compensation for you.
How Our Team Can Help
Our team’s extensive experience in Bay Minette truck accident claims makes us the natural choice for your case. We understand the complicated nature of truck accidents and the barriers you face when it comes to getting full and fair compensation.
Even if it’s obvious who is at fault for the accident, you may find that the numerous insurance companies involved in the claim pass you around without ever taking responsibility for their role in the accident. This can become exhausting and discouraging. When you hire us, we begin an investigation immediately and use the results of that investigation to demand fair compensation from the liable parties.
We also know the wide range of evidence available in a truck accident case, much of which is not available in other types of vehicle accident claims. The truck’s black box contains important information on the truck driver’s speed, driving habits, brake patterns, and erratic movements.
This can help us determine whether the driver was fatigued or if they often drove unsafely. The driving log that each truck driver is required to maintain is a good way to figure out if the truck driver took all necessary breaks and followed federal laws regarding driving hours.
Choose Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell P.A. for Your Truck Accident Claim
The team at Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell P.A. is ready to talk to you about your options after a truck accident. You can contact our team online to schedule a consultation, or you can call our Bay Minette office at 251-651-0483 or our Chatom office at 251-847-2237. We know this is a stressful and overwhelming time. Let us help you get through it.