Birmingham Large Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers
If you were injured in an accident involving a large semi-truck due entirely to the truck driver’s or another negligent party’s actions, do not hesitate to contact the Birmingham truck accident lawyers of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP. We might be able to represent you in your claim and seek the compensation you’re owed from the insurance company.
Recovering after a collision with a tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, or another type of semi-truck can be challenging. You likely require ongoing medical treatment to heal the injuries you suffered. Many accident victims can’t afford the bills associated with their doctor appointments and face significant financial strain. You can depend on our legal team to fight for the maximum compensation available, so you’re not forced to pay for any expenses out of pocket.
The Birmingham large semi-truck accident lawyers of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP will fight by your side until the end. You won’t have to go through this traumatic experience alone. We understand the overwhelming responsibility of an insurance claim. You won’t have to worry about handling the process yourself. We can complete every step on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery.
Why Semi-Trucks Are Dangerous
Semi-trucks are made up of a front cab with a trailer attached to the back. The trailer can transport various cargo throughout the state or country. Truck drivers can carry consumer goods, construction equipment, household appliances, and even vehicles on the back of their semi-trucks.
Although tractor-trailers are necessary to the economy, they’re incredibly dangerous. Since they’re larger and heavier than passenger cars, they can cause significant damage during an accident. Typically, the smaller vehicle occupants sustain debilitating injuries, while truck drivers suffer minimal harm.
Below are the major factors that contribute to the dangers of semi-trucks:
- Heavy cargo – A semi-truck with a full cargo container can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This adds more weight and force to the momentum of the truck during a collision. Accidents between trucks and small cars are often violent and destructive.
- Massive size – Semi-trucks are long and high off the ground. They take up a lot of space on the road. Driving a tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, or similar vehicle requires a commercial driver’s license, tests, and training. An inexperienced or unqualified truck driver likely won’t know how to handle hazardous conditions or emergencies. They could lose control of the truck and crash into another vehicle, pedestrian, or stationary object, such as a telephone pole.
- Bigger blind spots – The blind spots on passenger vehicles are much smaller than the blind spots on semi-trucks. Instead of two, truck drivers have four blind spots. There’s one in front of the cab, behind the trailer, and on either side of the truck. When truckers don’t check these areas adequately before turning, merging, or changing lanes, they could collide with a car traveling alongside.
- Longer stopping distance – Stopping distance is the distance it takes a driver to notice a perceived danger and apply the brakes. Semi-trucks require a greater distance to reach a complete stop than most vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it takes 200 yards for a truck traveling 65 mph to stop.
If you notice a tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, or another semi-truck on the road, you should maintain your distance if possible. Staying out of the way could prevent you from becoming involved in a catastrophic accident.
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
Accidents involving a semi-truck can happen for various reasons. The most common include:
- Defective parts – The parts on a semi-truck must work together so the driver can operate the vehicle safely. Defects caused by the manufacturer of those parts can lead to a malfunction. For example, if the brakes don’t work correctly, the trucker can’t stop for a red light or stalled traffic.
- Distracted driving – Driver distractions can include texting, eating, looking at a GPS, and reaching for something in the back of the cab. When a truck driver becomes distracted at the wheel, they can’t see what’s happening around them. They could run a red light or drift into oncoming traffic.
- Driving under the influence – Federal regulations place more restrictions on truck drivers than non-commercial motorists. Instead of a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, a BAC of 0.04% is considered driving under the influence for commercial truckers.
- Speeding – Driving above the speed limit or too fast for poor road or weather conditions prevents drivers from having total control of their vehicle. Semi-truck drivers need to maintain control at all times since they’re operating an 80,000-pound vehicle. Collisions at high rates of speed with a large truck can be deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 9,478 fatalities occurred in speeding-related crashes in 2019.
- Disobeying traffic signals and signs – Traffic signs and signals direct drivers on the road. They indicate when motorists should yield to pedestrians, adjust their speed for a sharp bend ahead, and stop at an intersection. A truck driver might ignore a sign or signal because they’re in a hurry to get their job done. Unfortunately, this can place them on a collision course with another driver.
- Negligent hiring – Motor carriers can contribute to accidents involving semi-trucks. Hiring a truck driver knowing they don’t have the experience, licensing, or training required places the occupants of other vehicles at risk.
- Tailgating – Semi-truck drivers should keep their distance from cars on the road. Following someone too closely can prevent them from slowing down or stopping when necessary. If they’re trailing another vehicle, they likely won’t have enough time to swerve or slam on the brakes to avoid a collision.
Whether one of these or another factor caused the accident you were in, you should reach out to Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP. We can review the circumstances to determine whether we can hold the truck driver, motor carrier, or another party liable for your injuries.
Compensation Available After a Semi-Truck Accident
Motor carriers must purchase liability insurance for their truck drivers. The coverage amounts depend on the weight of the truck and the type of contents it contains. For example, a truck under 10,000 pounds carrying non-hazardous freight must have $300,000 in liability insurance.
You could file an insurance claim if someone else were at fault for the crash. The settlement you receive should compensate you for the losses you suffered and damages incurred, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Property damage
If the insurance company denies your claim or refuses to settle for a fair amount of compensation, you could pursue a lawsuit. Punitive damages are available if you can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with the intent to commit fraud, malice, the intent to oppress, or wantonness.
If you sustained injuries in a semi-truck accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP immediately to speak with one of our Birmingham large semi-truck accident lawyers.
Our Birmingham personal injury experts will advocate for your rights and fight for the justice and compensation you rightfully deserve. Call (205) 324-1212, or contact us online now for your free initial consultation.