Birmingham Truck Accident Lawyers
Serious representation for serious injuries resulting from Alabama truck wrecks
All vehicle accidents are serious, but a collision involving a tractor-trailer is much more likely to result in devastating injuries. If you were in a truck accident with a big rig, flatbed, utility truck, or any commercial vehicle, you deserve a team who will fight for you. The Birmingham truck accident lawyers of Mezrano Law Firm want to help you get on the road to recovery. Call today or fill out our contact form to learn more.
The most dangerous roads for truck accidents in Birmingham
“Malfunction Junction” may finally be gone, but the interstates running through Alabama are still a real risk for drivers. In Birmingham, the most dangerous roads for tractor-trailers are:
- Northern Beltline Highway (I-422)
- Red Mountain Expressway
Truck accidents on local roads and highways
Most semis aren’t allowed to use local and backroads, but those roads are not off-limits to all commercial vehicles. US 31, which runs from Calera through Gardendale, has had its share of deadly accidents. So have US 11 in Bessemer and US 78 in Irondale. Even Palisades Boulevard gets its fair share of delivery trucks, moving trucks, and tow trucks.
Our point is this: while big-rigs might make news headlines, any commercial truck can do serious damage to a passenger vehicle, pedestrian, cyclist, or motorcycle riders. Just because you’re traveling on a road where tractor-trailers don’t go, doesn’t mean that a truck accident can’t happen.
Common causes of Alabama truck accidents
According to the Alabama Department of Transportation’s (ALDOT) Drive Safe Alabama campaign, these are the primary causes for collisions involving large trucks:
- Improper Lane Change or Use
- Failed to Yield Right of Way
- Unseen Object, Person, or Vehicle
- Misjudged Stopping Distance
- Defective Equipment
- Improper Backing
- Improper Turn
- Avoiding Animal, Object, or Person
- Crossed Median/Centerline
- Failure to Heed Sign/Signal
- Driving too Fast for Conditions
- Improper Passing
- Ran Off Road
- Driving Under the Influence
While speeding, fatigue, and drunk/drugged driving tend to bear the greatest share of the blame, it’s improper lane use that tops the list (approximately 12% of all truck accidents), followed by failure to yield and unseen person/object.
What can we tell from this information? That trucker drivers’ blind spots are likely responsible for the majority of truck accidents. Remember that commercial truck drivers are pretty high up – usually between 13 and 14 feet, as opposed to the average car (just under 5 feet) or SUV (just under 6 feet) – and it can be very difficult to see the area right in front of the cab.
Defective truck part claims can get complicated
Trucking companies are responsible for their trucks’ maintenance. If the tires are bald, or the gear shift sticks, or the brakes are being finicky, it is the trucking company that is responsible for fixing the problems. If a defective truck part led a driver to lose control of his or her rig, and you are injured in the process, you may be able to hold the following parties liable:
- The truck driver, for failing to report and/or fix the problem
- The supervisor, for failing to perform a proper inspection
- The trucking company, for failing to fix the issue
- The manufacturer, for creating a defective product (or failing to warn about potential issues)
Not all truckers are company employees, however, which is where things get complicated. If the driver is an independent contractor, then the company itself may be able to avoid liability. This is why you need to speak with a Birmingham truck accident lawyer as soon as you can, so you can figure out who is liable for your injuries and plan accordingly.
Birmingham trucking companies
Birmingham is home to a LOT of trucking companies:
- Watkins Trucking Company
- Buddy Moore Trucking
- P&S Transportation
- Deep South Freight
- Alabama Carriers Inc
- Wilson Trucking Company
- J&M Tank Lines
- Jeffers Trucking
- Brown Trucking & Excavating
- Bill Hinton’s Trucking Inc
And these are just a small representative of the local companies. American Freight, Nationwide Transport, Averitt Express, Con-way, and a slew of national companies have offices here. No matter which company your driver worked for, you can trust Mezrano Law Firm to help you in your claim. We have the resources to handle a case against the national companies, too – and we are not afraid to fight back when that is what is best for you.
Accidents Caused By Trucks Making U-Turns
Traffic rules and regulations are put in place to help keep all drivers safe on our roads and highways. When drivers violate rules by making illegal u-turns accidents happen.
Making a U-turn is a risky maneuver for the driver of any vehicle, when the vehicle is a large, commercial truck they are putting themselves and other drivers on the road in great danger.
Why are U-Turns Dangerous
- Limited driver visibility. The driver of an 18-wheeler already has limited visibility when the truck is traveling in a straight line. Now imagine trying to make the widest turn possible without being able to see what is going on around the vehicle.
- The truck is not visible enough to other drivers. If it is nighttime in a poorly lit area, or in weather conditions that limit visibility, other motorists may have difficulty seeing the truck as it makes a wide turn.
- Blocking several lanes of traffic. If a tractor-trailer needs to make a U-turn, it will likely have to cross several lanes of traffic as the driver negotiates that turn, which poses a danger in low visibility situations.
Trucking Companies Ban U-Turns
Many Trucking companies in the industry generally advocate prohibiting U-turns. If a trucking company is not going to forbid their drivers to make u-turns, they must make sure that their drivers are sufficiently trained in negotiating a U-turn safely and effectively.
Regardless of how careful a driver you are, you do not have control over the other drivers around you and how they behave behind the wheel.
Injuries resulting from collisions with commercial trucks
Truck accidents often result in severe injuries for a number of reasons. The sheer size and weight of the truck increases the force behind the impact. If the truck doesn’t have rear or side guards, a smaller vehicle can literally be crushed underneath. At Mezrano Law Firm, our Birmingham truck accident injury lawyers handle claims of catastrophic personal injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal injury and paralysis
- Neck, head, and shoulder injuries
- Broken bones and amputations
- Organ damage
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Burn injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries, including contusions, lacerations, and deep-muscle injury
- Wrongful death
How much is my Birmingham truck accident case worth?
While we can’t tell you how much your injury case is worth in an initial consultation, we can say that you could be entitled to damages for:
- Economic losses. These include your medical bills, your lost wages, your loss of potential earning power, your property damage, and other such losses.
- Non-economic losses. These are more subjective losses, including things like pain and suffering, mental trauma, loss of companionship, and loss of life.
- Punitive damages. These are designed to punish wrongdoers, so they will not continue their negligent behavior. Punitive damages are usually capped at 3x your damage award amount (though no more than $1.5 million), and are the only types of damages allowed in a wrongful death suit.
Generally, the more severe your injury, the more your case will be worth, because severe, life-altering injuries cost more to treat, fix, and rehabilitate.
What you should know about attorneys’ fees
A lot of our clients were skeptical when they first met with us about hiring an attorney. After all, the insurance company had offered a settlement award, and why should they pay for a lawyer if they could just get a check?
The truth is this: insurance companies are not your friends. Their only goal is to keep the money they take in, not pay out fair, just awards to people who are seriously injured. The simple act of retaining counsel is often enough to get the initial settlement offer raised; hiring Mezrano Law Firm may even increase that offer more, because we’re not afraid to go to trial to get what our clients deserve.
Whether you take a settlement or go before a jury, you don’t have to worry about paying us. That’s because we work on contingency. That means we pay all the costs associated with your case up-front, and if we don’t win your case, then we don’t get paid.
Once your case is over, your award goes into a trust. Your medical bills and expenses are paid first, and then we take our fee and costs out of the award. You keep everything that is left, and won’t have to worry about paying us any more money. As an added bonus, your award is largely tax-free, because only punitive damages are subject to taxes.
Trusted Birmingham truck accident lawyers on your side
A truck accident can be a life-altering event. Make sure to work with a Birmingham truck accident lawyer who puts your interests first. We are just over 2 miles west of Birmingham Zoo, off U-31, to learn more about Mezrano Law Firm and how we can help, please call 205-206-6300 or fill out our contact form.
If you have a case, you have a lawyer. Call us today to learn more.