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Birmingham Truck Accident Lawyer

When large commercial trucks are involved in collisions with passenger vehicles, they often lead to severe, catastrophic injuries for occupants of the smaller vehicles. Unfortunately, these types of collisions occur with increasing frequency each year in Birmingham.

If you have been hurt in a truck accident injury in the Birmingham area, DeGaris Law can help you get the compensation you deserve. For the past three decades, the DeGaris team of Birmingham car accident lawyers have been serving the residents of Shelby County and fighting for maximum compensation for truck accident victims.

So get started working with Birmingham’s top truck accident lawyer. Book your free, no-obligation case review and consultation today. Call us at 205-575-8000 or schedule your appointment online today.

Why DeGaris Is Birmingham’s Truck Accident Lawyer Of Choice

At DeGaris Law, our Birmingham truck accident lawyers stand out with their depth of expertise and authority.  We provide comprehensive support throughout the entire legal process, from investigating the incident and navigating state and Federal trucking regulations to negotiating with insurance companies and, if necessary, filing a lawsuit on your behalf.

With a proven track record of securing significant verdicts and settlements, we’re dedicated to delivering the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Here’s how the DeGaris Law team can help you with your truck accident case. 

  • Offer You Skilled Legal Representation and Advice: The DeGaris team provides helpful advice to truck accident victims and will represent you in settlement and court proceedings.
  • Manages Evidence, Documentation, and Deadlines: Say goodbye to keeping track of piles of evidence and documentation like police reports and medical history. The DeGaris Law team is here to do all of that for you.
  • Knows Common Trucking Insurance Devaluation Strategies: When insurance adjustors from the trucking company try to devalue what you’re owed, attorneys at DeGaris Law know exactly how to thwart their common strategies.
  • Have Skilled Investigators Who Can Prove Details Regarding Your Case: Additionally, we have the resources that are necessary to experienced investigativors and industry experts resources and industry experts to ensure a thorough examination of every aspect of your case.

Commercial Trucks are Highly Regulated

In an attempt to keep our roads safe, the commercial trucking industry is heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).  These regulations govern the hours that truck drivers can drive, the maintenance schedule for vehicles, hiring and training practices, and provides strict standards for all securing cargo.

However, despite these high traffic standards, there are still many fatal crashes that involve semi-trucks. According to TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit, there was an average of 130 people killed in accidents involving a large truck from 2017 to 2021, which is 26 fatalities.

Semi-Truck Accident Causes In Alabama

Unsafe and Unqualified Drivers

The explosive growth of the trucking industry has increased so much that trucking companies hire sometimes hire drivers who are unqualified or do not provide sufficient training.

For instance, to drive a truck in Alabama, you only need to:

  • Already have a valid, non-CDL driver’s license.
  • Have proof of legal residence in the United States, if you’re not a citizen.
  • Show paperwork that proves you have legal permanent status and are domiciled in Alabama.

Additionally, after February 2022, drives have to take an entry-level truck driver (ELDT) training as dictated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). However, fully licensed versions of courses can be completed 100% online with no practical training.

With the lower standards and unrealistic deadlines, drivers do not always drive safely or follow FMCSA regulations. Driver fatigue, falsified log books, insufficient rest breaks, disregard for traffic laws, and cell phone distractions all contribute to a very dangerous situation on Alabama roads.

Poorly Maintained Trucks

Truck maintenance is a critical part of the safety of truckers out on the road. If a company leases their trucks to drivers, they’re federally responsible for maintaining their vehicles. Poorly maintained trucks can affect how the truck drives and if it is more liable to get into accidents.

According to the Federal Code of Regulations (CFR) § 396.3, “Every motor carrier and intermodal equipment provider must systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles and intermodal equipment subject to its control.” 

This includes maintaining and inspecting parts such as:

  • Brake Lines
  • Wheels
  • Rims
  • Axles
  • Truck Frame
  • Suspension

Even if the truck driver is an owner-operator with no parent company, their poorly maintained truck could cause the accident.

How To Handle A Truck Accident Case And Determine Liability

The first step in a truck accident case in Alabama is to establish fault. When establishing fault in truck accident cases, it’s important to know that any of the following groups could be considered partially or entirely at fault for the accident.

Truck Driver

The truck driver may be at fault for the accident. They could’ve engaged in unsafe driving practices (speeding, taking the curve too fast, ignoring traffic signals, or weaving in and out of lanes) or negligent behaviors. Cellphone use and alcohol and drug use could also contribute to inattentiveness on the road.

Truck Company and Third-Party Maintenance

As previously discussed, if the truck driver is not an owner-operator but leasing their truck from the company, that company is responsible for maintenance. If it is found that a lack of maintenance activity caused the accident, then the parent company could also be held partially or entirely at fault.

Additionally, if a trucking company contracts out maintenance duties to a third party and it is found that that company was not meeting maintenance guidelines, that contracted company could also be held liable.

Another way a trucking company could be found partially or entirely at fault for the accident is if it pressures its employees (implicitly or explicitly) to break FMCSA guidelines for safe truck operation to deliver goods on time or ahead of schedule. If the truck company is found to endanger the lives of others through these reckless choices, then it could also be determined to be liable.

Truck Part Manufacturer

Another group potentially liable for a truck accident is the truck part manufacturer; this would be considered a product liability case. If a malfunctioning truck part was determined to be the cause of the accident, then the truck part manufacturer could be held liable.

How Long Do I Have To File A Truck Accident Case In Alabama?

In Alabama, the deadline for filing a case is typically two years from the date of the incident, according to the statute of limitations found under AL Code § 6-5-502.

How Much Can I Recover In A Birmingham Truck Accident Case?

While it’s impossible to estimate just how much you can recover in a Birmingham truck accident case without scheduling a free case review, we want you to know if your case is successfully concluded, it can help you pay for any of the following expenses as part of your damages:

  • Medical Bills and Liens
  • Rehabilitation Costs
  • Lost Wages
  • Lost Future Earning Potential
  • Loss of Companionship
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Funeral and Burial Expenses (If Applicable)

Additionally, if the behavior of the negligent third party was exceptionally egregious, the judge may also award punitive damages to the victim and their family. These types of damages do not try to reimburse the victim but seek to punish the defendant for their behavior.

How Birmingham Truck Accident Attorneys Investigate Trucking Cases

The law firm that you hire can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case, especially when severe, life-altering injuries are involved.  A good attorney can determine legal responsibility through investigations into the details surrounding your case.

At DeGaris Law, our Birmingham truck accident attorneys will treat every case as if it will go to trial.  We conduct comprehensive investigations, interview witnesses, question police officers and, if required, bring in experts to reconstruct the accident scene.

Get a Free Consultation with a Birmingham Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our Birmingham personal injury attorneys today for a Free Consultation regarding your legal rights. To book your free, no-obligation case review, give us a call at 205-575-8000 or schedule it online today.

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