Madison Truck Accident Attorneys
Strong advocacy for victims and families of Alabama truck crashes
You can find a tractor-trailer or commercial truck on I-565, US 72, or Rt. 20 at almost any given time, and almost any given day. Truck accidents usually cause more fatalities and more catastrophic injuries than cars due to the size, weight, and mass of the truck. Trucks are much harder to drive and control than the average passenger car.
At Martin & Helms, we fight for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who were injured in truck accidents in and around Madison. We are experienced at showing that truck companies are responsible for the negligent actions of their drivers. Contact us today to find out how we can help.
Common types of truck accidents
Many truck accidents happen in the same way that car accidents happen. A driver wasn’t paying attention or was speeding. Truck drivers who drink while driving are especially dangerous to anyone on the road.
Many types of truck accidents are unique to trucks. Our Madison truck accident lawyers work with investigators and the police to show exactly how a huge truck caused you to suffer an injury. We also work with traffic reconstruction professionals when needed. We conduct extensive discovery as well.
We file claims on behalf of clients injured by:
- Rollovers. Trucks are higher and longer than cars. This means their center of gravity is different. Trucks also transport cargo that can roll around in the truck if it’s not properly secured. When trucks speed or take a turn too quickly, they have an increased risk of rolling over. Once a truck, such as tractor trailer rolls over, there’s a good chance the cargo will spill. A rolled over truck means any cars or vehicles near the truck will be in danger.
- Jackknives. Tractor-trailers are prone to turning in on themselves. The end-result is that the trailer ends up at a 90 degree angle from the tractor. Like a truck rollover, a jackknifed truck can cause nearby drivers to crash into the truck, each other, or veer off the road – as they try to avoid the tractor-trailer combination.
- Wide turns. Large trucks need more room to maneuver when making a turn. Many large trucks need to veer into another lane to make the turn work. Any cars near the truck can be crushed causing death or serious injury.
- Blind spots and backup accidents. Truck drivers normally can’t look out their rear view mirror to see what’s behind them. The length of the truck means that side mirrors often don’t pick up cars and motorcycles that are close to the truck. That is one reason large trucks should not make frequent and sudden lane changes.
- Spilled cargo. When trucks rollover or jackknife, there’s a good chance the cargo will spill. Even when the driver stays in his/her lane, lumber, machines, inventory, and all types of goods can spill out the back or over the sides. When cargo spills, the truck driver can lose control. Drivers in the path of the spill can be easily hurt by flying cargo or in trying to avoid the cargo.
- Under-ride accidents. Cars are much smaller than trucks. When trucks stop short, a car traveling behind the truck can slide under the truck killing the occupants of the car. Trucks should have underride guards to prevent these tragic accidents from occurring.
- Safety violations. Trucks are required to be inspected on a regular basis – including before the start of each trip. This includes brakes, lighting, and other equipment. Trucking companies that fail to follow federal and state safety rules can be held liable for a truck accident.
Common causes of Madison truck accidents
Driver negligence is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. Our firm represents clients injured as a result of:
- Drunk driving
- Driver fatigue
- Driver distraction
- Poor driver education
- Poor maintenance
- Aggressive driving tactics
- Failure to obey the rules of the road
Truck company liability
Truck companies are generally liable for any accidents their employees cause because the truck driver is their agent. Trucking companies can also be liable if they fail to follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules for inspecting and supervising their trucks and their drivers.
Our experienced Madison truck accident lawyers work to show that the driver who caused the truck accident was an employee of the trucking company. Alternatively, we fight to show the trucking company negligently failed to supervise an independent contractor who drove the truck.
Third-party liability in a truck accident
Even the smallest defect in a truck part can cause a wheel to come off or cause a truck to be unable to steer or stop. Many truck accidents have occurred due to defective fuel lines, headlights, or the failure of key truck parts to work.
Truck manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of trucks can be held liable for a truck crash.. The makers and retailers are liable if:
- A truck part is defective
- The defect causes an accident
- The physical injury or death is due to the defect
Alabama also has “dram shop” laws. This means taverns and other liquor vendors, such as hotels, may be liable if they serve someone who is visibly intoxicated (such as a truck driver) and that person causes an accident.
Damages allowed in truck accident cases
Many truck accident victims suffer permanent injuries or injuries that require a great amount of medical care. No matter how severe the accident was, victims are entitled to demand:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
In long-term cases, we work with financial professionals and your doctors to verify the sums needed to care for your medical needs and your inability to work.
Trucks normally have devices that store information about their trips. Our team needs to see that evidence. The sooner we can speak with witnesses, the better their memories are. It’s also critical that we understand your medical problems quickly. In some cases, we may recommend you seek referral to specialists and therapists after consulting with your treating doctors.
Get the help you need after a Madison truck accident
Delay can hurt your case. At Martin & Helms, we have more than 20 years of experience representing injury victims. Call 256-539-1990 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment with an experienced Madison truck accident attorney. We’re dedicated to helping our clients get justice.