Decatur Truck Accident Lawyers
Representing Morgan County tractor-trailer crash victims
When truckers get behind the wheels of their rigs, it’s part of their job and their responsibility to handle their vehicles safely. With commercial trucks weighing up to 40 tons, an accident with one can be catastrophic for the unlucky driver who happens to get in the way.
A semi-truck is bigger and heavier, and therefore more dangerous, than all other vehicles on the road. It’s a simple and unfortunate fact that in the event of a collision between car and truck, the truck is going to win every time. If you’re involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, talk to the Decatur personal injury attorneys at Martin & Helms.
Our lawyers help you bring a claim against the person or entity responsible for your accident, and seek compensation for your damages – things like your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other losses. We’ve been advocating for the rights of people like you here in Decatur for decades. We have the strength and experience to take on the trucking and insurance companies – we’ll fight for what you deserve and won’t stop until justice is served.
Local and state-wide truck accident statistics
- Commercial trucks and tractor-trailers are heavier than a light truck or SUV. These can include delivery trucks, 18-wheelers, tow-trucks, or other work trucks. The Alabama Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that 10,010 commercial trucks were involved in accidents in 2017. There were 2,563 injuries and 101 fatalities.
- Locally in Decatur, we see major truck traffic on I-65, I-565, US-31 (6th), and AL-67 (Beltline Road), as well as on some of the smaller roads and highways. No matter where or how your accident occurred, we’ll help prove who or what was liable and hold them accountable.
Common causes of Decatur truck accidents
Tractor-trailer accidents can happen for any number of reasons. When you start working with our team, we begin investigating every possible cause of your accident to find out who or what entity is responsible. There are, however, a few common causes of truck accidents:
- Careless driving. All drivers, including truck drivers, are expected to follow all Alabama traffic laws. Improper traffic safety like speeding, running stop signs or red lights, or failure to yield can lead to tragic accidents. Truck drivers should always pay attention and plan their routes, so they stay on commercial truck-approved roads only.
- Distracted driving. Because of the sheer size of a tractor-trailer, distracted driving puts every driver on the road at risk. Long-distance driving can be boring and monotonous, and some truckers might become reliant on their smartphones, GPS, radios, or eating behind the wheel to pass the time. These are dangerous activities as well as against the law.
- Drowsy driving. Driver fatigue is unfortunately a common problem with truckers. Even though federal law requires them to rest after a specified number of driving hours, some truckers will exceed their mental and physical limits to meet the demands placed on them by their employer. Some companies even encourage their drivers to skirt federal regulations.
- Drunk or drugged driving. Accidents caused by drunk driving are inexcusable, and if a trucker gets behind the wheel of his or her vehicle while intoxicated, the results can only be catastrophic. Impaired drivers put everyone else on the road, including motorcyclists and pedestrians, in danger.
- Defective truck parts. Some truck accidents happen due to mechanical issues like defective tires that blow out, or faulty brakes that fail at the worst time. Our attorneys know how to hold manufacturers responsible when their defective products cause you injury.
- Improper maintenance. Alabama and federal law require commercial trucks undergo regular and routine maintenance and, if any safety issues are found, they must be addressed and repaired before they’re allowed to go back on the road. Some accidents can be directly traced back to an undone or improper equipment maintenance (such as bad brakes and bald tires).
- Inadequate driver training. Truckers require a special drivers license, as well as many hours of training. In addition to learning to drive a big rig, truck drivers also learn basic maintenance, traffic laws, safety and emergency procedures, and how to safely load and unload their trailers. However, some companies may hire inexperienced or unqualified individuals.
- Incorrectly loaded trucks. In the interest of cutting costs, some companies may attempt to put profit over safety and load their trucks beyond maximum limits, or hire untrained labor to load their trucks. Driving with unbalanced or overloaded cargo puts an 18-wheeler at a higher risk of rolling over. An overloaded truck may more easily spill its cargo as well, which can cause a mess on the highway and a multi-vehicle accident.
Depending on the exact circumstances of your wreck, one or more parties could be liable for your injuries: the driver, the trucking company (motor carrier), the freight broker, and/or the shipper. Contact a Decatur truck accident lawyer from our firm to learn how this can affect your claim.
Types of compensation for a big-rig wreck near Decatur
The circumstances, people, and injuries involved around any truck accident in Decatur are different. Depending on your particular situation and the extent of your injuries, you may be entitled to financial compensation for things like:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Your medical expenses might include things like hospital and doctor visits, therapy and treatment, surgeries, and prescriptions. You could also be awarded compensation for pain and suffering due to your emotional and physical pain. Pain and suffering typically includes:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Chronic pain
- Shortening of life
- Limits on normal daily activities
- Depression and anxiety
Some juries also award punitive damages to the victim, which are meant both as a punishment and a deterrent to the guilty party in cases of extreme recklessness and willful negligence.
Talk to our tenacious Decatur truck accident lawyers today
If you were injured or you have a loved one who was injured or killed in a truck accident, the Decatur injury attorneys at Martin & Helms can help. We have the resources and experience to find out who or what was responsible for your accident and help you seek financial compensation for your injuries. To set up a friendly consultation with one of our lawyers, call us at 256-539-1990 or fill out our contact form.