Semi-trucks crashes can result in significant bodily harm and property damage. Accident victims could be left with vehicle repair bills or require hospitalization. If you cannot work after your semi-truck accident, your medical debt may affect your credit report.
Fortunately, you can file a civil suit or an insurance claim to seek damages to cover the cost of your lost wages, medical care, and other losses. The truck accident attorneys in Birmingham at Morris Bart & Associates, LLC can help you determine the strength of your case.
Why Should I Get a Lawyer for a Truck Accident?
Personal injury lawsuits, like truck accidents, can be difficult to navigate without legal representation. It can be helpful to have a legal team guide you to your best options after you suffer from a trailer truck collision.
Those who retain the services of a reputable lawyer often receive more compensation than those who go it alone. Our truck accident lawyers in Birmingham understand how to make the most of your settlement.
Get a Better Settlement With Our Team
Teaming up with an attorney can result in a higher payout for your case. The team with Morris Bart & Associates, LLC has over 40 years of experience securing settlements for our clients. We know insurance companies often throw out lowball offers, and we are experienced negotiators.
We also consider your future care needs. It’s easy to get bogged down with hospital bills and accept the first offer without thinking about tomorrow. We can refer to medical experts to estimate the settlement you will need for maximum recovery.
Some of our real case results include:
- $852,845 for our client who was injured in a car accident
- $490,000 for a client with neck and back injuries after a truck accident
- $337,500 after a truck accident resulted in two concussions and broken vertebra
For a free legal consultation with a Truck Accident lawyer serving Birmingham, call 800-537-8185
Determining Liability in a Birmingham Truck Accident
Alabama law addresses truck accident cases under respondeat superior, or vicarious liability. This understanding of legal liability states that it’s not always an independent truck driver who bears the responsibility for your accident. Instead, some of that responsibility falls to the truck driver’s parent company.
That said, there are other parties that can also be held responsible for your semi-truck losses, like:
- A small company
- A corporation
- A local municipality or state government
- A private truck driver
Naming a liable party in your complaint isn’t a matter of closing your eyes and pointing. Instead, you need to consider any evidence of negligence that you can find at the scene of your accident. This evidence helps you make your case for compensation while also giving you an idea of what forces contributed to your losses. These forces can include:
No one who gets behind the wheel of a truck is infallible. That’s why driver error tends to be the cause of so many of today’s semi-truck accidents. Some of the most common errors drivers make at the wheel are:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving at high speeds
- Violating roadway laws
- Operating a vehicle in extreme weather
- Driving without proper rest or driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
If you believe one of these behaviors resulted in your accident, you have the grounds for a civil case. Should police officers come to the scene of your accident, you may even have the chance to produce proof of negligence without a broader investigation.
A police officer who declares that a truck driver engaged in dangerous roadway behaviors and issues a ticket or instigates an arrest provides you with proof of negligence that you can take to court. In citing the liable party’s arrest or ticketing, you can more effectively argue for the compensation you need to recover from your losses.
Poorly Maintained Roads
You may have accepted potholes as a part of your daily driving experience, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not dangerous. A government that refuses to repair a severely damaged road can be accused of violating the duty of care owed to you and other drivers on the road. If an unrepaired and unmarked pothole causes a truck accident, it also throws liability into question.
You can hold Alabama’s government officials liable for your losses if the road your semi-truck occurred on was poorly maintained or dangerously designed.
Defective Automotive Parts
The companies that manufacture long-haul trucks have an obligation to ensure those trucks are in working order. More than that, these manufacturers most appropriately advertise, design, and maintain under-warranty trucks. Manufacturers who release subpar products without safety-testing their trucks can be responsible for related accidents.
Similarly, automotive mechanics who work on long-haul trucks must reasonably provide truck drivers with the maintenance that their vehicles need to safely operate on the road. Failure to provide a truck driver with reasonable service or a working part can see a mechanic held liable for a resulting accident.
If an attorney can identify a failed automotive part or improperly maintained part as the cause of your semi-truck accident, you can determine whether it’s a mechanic, a manufacturer, the trucking company, or some combination thereof that you want to hold responsible for your losses.
Drivers aren’t the only employees operating under the helm of a larger agency. Trucking companies also employ packers to ensure that the products they are transporting remain as safe as possible. These products need to be packed with particular care, as an uneven distribution of weight could make a truck dangerous to operate.
If the packers who loaded a truck, either at its destination or at a warehouse, fail to account for the truck’s weight limit or balance, they can be liable for that truck’s subsequent accidents.
Birmingham Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 800-537-8185
Birmingham Truck Accident FAQ
Get answers to some frequently asked questions from a Birmingham truck accident lawyer.
What Types of Compensation Can You Get in a Truck Accident in Alabama?
There are several damages for which you can pursue compensation. If our Birmingham truck accident lawyers obtain a ruling in your favor in court, it may include an award for:
- Current and future medical treatment
- Ongoing and prospective care costs
- Current and future lost wages and benefits
- Diminished earning capacity
- Repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death damages
Depending on the cause of your accident, you may be awarded punitive damages. This form of compensation does not reflect the losses you suffered. Punitive damages are awarded in cases of willfully negligent acts. The purpose is to punish the defendant for recklessly dangerous behavior.
How do I Prove Damages in an Alabama Truck Accident Claim?
Oftentimes, commercial trucking companies will try to shift the blame for an accident to you so that you cannot seek reimbursement. Your case will need to be supported by compelling evidence. An attorney from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC can help you retrieve:
- The trucking company’s maintenance records
- The semi-truck driver’s employment record
- Video footage from vehicle dashcams
- The semi-truck driver’s service hour records
- The semi-truck driver’s break logs
- The semi-truck driver’s drug and alcohol test results
Trucking companies are not required to retain their black boxes, break logs, or other driver-related information for an extended period of time. The sooner you can connect with an attorney, the more likely it is that you can get your hands on the evidence you need to make your claim.
When Should I Get a Lawyer for a Truck Accident in Birmingham?
The statute of limitations on truck accident cases is two years, according to Alabama Code § 6-2-38. That includes claims that hinge on vicarious liability. If the liable party in your case is a local government, there may be additional legal deadlines that require you to file sooner.
If you miss these deadlines and do not take legal action in your truck accident injury case before time runs out, you may lose the right to hold the trucking company responsible in court.
You should get a lawyer for a truck accident in Birmingham as soon as possible. While two years may seem like enough time, there are plenty of legal maneuvers your Alabama truck accident lawyer must make. The legal system often moves slowly, so time is of the essence. Do not delay in filing your claim or speaking to a lawyer.
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Responding to Truck Accident Settlement Offers
Because trucking companies bear some responsibility for their drivers’ behavior, there’s a chance that they may reach out to you with a settlement offer before you can take legal action. These settlement offers can seem like they can help you overcome your accident losses. They may vastly underestimate the economic value of your damages, though.
In most cases, trucking agencies and insurance providers alike want to protect their wallets from your accident. If you do receive a settlement offer, bring that offer to our office. We can weigh what you’ve been offered against our own estimate of your accident’s value. If it appears that an agency is trying to short you, we can negotiate for a more substantial settlement.
Turning down a company’s initial settlement offer is part and parcel of the negotiating process. When you have our Birmingham, AL, truck accident attorneys on your team, you can rest easy knowing that even if an initial offer looks good, we can fight for your maximum possible compensation.
What to Expect After Filing a Truck Accident Complaint
To file a truck accident complaint, you need to deliver it to a county clerk within Alabama’s statute of limitations. Once your claim reaches the right representative’s desk, that party will consider your losses and decide whether or not to bring your case before a judge.
If your case is approved, you’re not locked into a particular course of action. Rather, you’ve received permission to legally summon the party named in your complaint about conversations about your truck accident losses. Alternatively, you have the right to fast-track your case into a trial.
You can discuss whether settlement negotiations or a truck accident trial might better suit your needs with one of our attorneys. If the defendant appears combative or prone to intimidation tactics, a trial can help you give your conversations about compensation structure. Your attorney, with the defense’s representation, can alternatively structure your negotiations.
Schedule Your Free Truck Accident Case Consultation
The expense of overcoming a truck accident’s injuries can feel paralyzing. You, however, don’t have to try and take on a trucking company alone. No matter who you want to name liable for your losses, you can count on a truck accident attorney in Birmingham to stand beside you.
Morris Bart & Associates, LLC consists of more than 100 personal injury attorneys prepared to do good legal work on your behalf. Whether you have questions about your legal rights or need to question a settlement offer, you can contact our office to schedule a free case consultation.
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