On Alabama Roads: What to Do After a Commercial Truck Accident
Commercial truck wrecks are different in some ways than car wrecks. Knowing the proper steps to take if you get into a truck accident on an Alabama road or interstate highway through Alabama can not only save lives, but also make any legal issues that come up a lot easier to handle.
Many accident victims do not recognize how difficult it can be to get the money damages they need to cover the losses and expenses they incurred because of a truck crash. This is especially true when injuries are extensive and the lasting effects of the accident are significant. Knowing what steps to take can help.
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What Makes Truck Crashes Different?
For starters, the severity of injuries sustained by victims of truck accidents can be much greater than with car accidents. Commercial trucks are much larger in size and weight than regular cars, weighing as much as 80,000 pounds, and it is common for the results of an accident to reflect that.
Further, the maze of legal and insurance issues a victim must navigate following a commercial truck accident is typically more complicated than in the aftermath of a car wreck. There is a much larger body of laws governing commercial trucks, including regulations that govern how commercial insurance companies investigate truck accidents and assess damages to determine liability.
This makes it imperative to take the proper steps following a truck accident – and to consider seeking professional assistance from a truck accident attorney. Responding appropriately after the accident (assuming you can do so) can put you in an infinitely better position to recover compensation if you make a personal injury claim.
Six Steps to Take After a Commercial Truck Wreck
Assuming your injuries allow you to and it is safe to do so, you should take as many of the following steps as possible as soon as you can after a crash. If your injuries are too severe or there are other safety issues, these steps are secondary to getting the care you need or avoiding additional injuries.
- Call 911. Request emergency medical assistance if needed. Even if your injuries do not seem serious, you should still contact the police. An officer will compile an accident report, which your personal injury attorney may use to prove negligence and liability.
- Get medical attention. Check yourself and other people for injuries.
- Take pictures. Photos of the crash scene can tell the story of how the collision unfolded. Your auto accident lawyer may use photographs to support your claim.
- Get the names and contact information of witnesses. Don’t worry about getting their story down; your attorney can contact them later.
- Visit your doctor. Doctors’ records will help your attorney prove the existence of any injuries you sustained in the wreck and calculate your damages.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. Truck accident cases can be extremely complicated. A truck accident lawyer can gather evidence, interview witnesses, calculate your damages, and help you fight for fair compensation.
How Truck Accident Claims Work in Alabama
Truck accidents are like other collision cases in some ways. In most cases, they both involve one driver acting negligently and causing a collision. Proving negligence occurred is key in holding the at-fault party liable for your injuries and other losses.
However, in truck accidents the truck driver may not be the only liable party. Vicarious liability is possible because of case law in Alabama that allows victims to build a case against the trucking company and the driver who caused the crash. By filing an insurance claim or injury suit against both parties, victims may be able to recover compensation for damages that include:
- Current and future medical needs because of accident injuries
- Property damages such as vehicle repairs
- Lost income because of missed work
- Future income lost if they cannot return to work
- Pain and suffering
- Other intangible losses
A truck crash injury attorney can develop a case and value damages after an accident. They will demand appropriate compensation from the insurance companies, including those representing the trucking company. This may lead to negotiations for a settlement agreement. Many parties agree to a fair settlement, and their case ends without going to court.
If a suitable settlement agreement is not possible or there are other reasons an insurance claim is not the best route to compensation, your lawyer may recommend suing the truck driver and trucking company or another liable party. Taking the case to trial is often the last thing victims want, but it may be what is best for your case and the only option for getting the compensation you deserve based on your case’s facts.
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Talk to an Alabama Truck Accident Lawyer at Morris Bart & Associates, LLC
You can speak with an attorney from the Morris Bart law firm today for free. We provide case consultations for truck accident victims in Alabama to ensure they know their rights and how our lawyers can help them pursue justice and compensation. We may be able to help you get the money you need to pay your bills. We have locations in Birmingham, Decatur, Hoover, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery.
At the Morris Bart law office, you will find a personal injury attorney with the knowledge, resources, and litigation experience to represent your interests. Call (800) 537-8185 now for a free consultation.
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