Birmingham Logging Truck Accidents Attorney
As the name implies, a logging truck is a large truck designed primarily for carrying logs of various lengths. Many tractor units of logging trucks can have more than one trailer attached.
Certain logging trucks are designed for use in the forest areas where trees have fallen but other logging trucks are specifically designed for highway use. Either kind of logging truck can be involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Did you suffer serious injuries or was your loved one killed in a logging truck in the greater Birmingham area? You need to know that you are probably entitled to a lot more compensation than an insurance company might offer you.
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can fight to get you the compensation you need to pay your medical bills, recover lost wages, and move on with your life. Call (205) 324-1212 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with our experienced logging truck accident attorneys today.
Why Do I Need a Logging Truck Accident Lawyer?
Logging truck crashes are not the same as your traditional car accident. You are extremely likely to be contacted very soon after your collision, possibly even at the scene of the crash, by an agent for the logging truck’s insurance company.
In most cases, representatives will seem sincere in the concern they express and they will speak about how you will be taken care of. Many agents will also specifically tell people that they will not have to worry about hiring an attorney, usually so they can “keep more money for themselves.”
You need to know that the insurance company is never on your side. In every single case, the insurer has the goal of paying as little as possible to resolve a claim. In other words, the insurance company wants to pay the least amount of money possible to settle your claim.
An insurer may offer you what seems like a fairly large settlement offer, but you absolutely must keep in mind all of your possible future expenses, as many victims learn very quickly that the settlements they agreed to are not enough to cover these costs. You are going to want a lawyer to handle your settlement negotiations since they are going to have a far better understanding of the true value of your claim.
Why Choose Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP?
Kirby Farris and Ken Riley are both Birmingham residents born and raised in Alabama. Our attorneys have more than 100 years of combined legal experience.
Mr. Farris and Mr. Riley are both admitted to the Alabama Supreme Court as well as the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, and United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. They are members of the American Bar Association, Alabama Bar Association, and Birmingham Bar Association.
Our firm will conduct an independent investigation to determine the cause, collect evidence, and identify all liable parties. We can negotiate a fair and full settlement or file a lawsuit, and we have obtained numerous verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million.
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP does all of this on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay nothing unless you recover a financial award.
Logging Truck Accident Cases We Handle
The Federal Highway Administration states that Alabama has a truck weight limit of 80,000 lbs. on interstate highways 84,000 lbs. on non-interstate highways. Weight is only one factor relating to logs, as the lengths of the logs can also make loading cargo more complicated.
Logging trucks can be involved in a wide variety of different accidents. Some of the most common kinds of crashes include, but are not limited to:
- Violations of Traffic Laws — Speeding, improper lane usage, and failure to obey traffic signals or signs are some of the more common traffic offenses committed by log truck drivers, but any number of other minor violations could also lead to a motor vehicle accident.
- Improperly Loaded or Secured Cargo — The actual logs on logging trucks need to be properly secured, as any loose logs can fall off trucks and into traffic where they can easily cause other crashes.
- Driver Error — Several accidents are attributed to logging truck drivers, and some of the most common kinds of mistakes that logging truck drivers make include following too closely (tailgating), misjudging the speed or distance of other vehicles, and talking or texting on a cell phone.
- Improper Backing — A logging truck that involves multiple trailers is far more complicated to back out of any space, and drivers can cause accidents when they do not account for the traffic they are backing into.
- Unsafe Road Conditions — Governmental entities are usually tasked with maintaining their roads, and certain defects such as potholes that cause logging truck accidents could make such entities liable in some cases.
- Inclement Weather — While rain, sleet, or snow can be examples of conditions that make driving a logging truck more difficult, the driver still remains responsible for operating in a safe manner. Some drivers who do not adjust accordingly are more likely to cause collisions.
- Driver Fatigue — Many logging truck drivers are regular commercial vehicle drivers who usually work very long hours. While federal law sets limits on the number of hours commercial drivers can operate in a day and week, some drivers and logging companies have drivers operate well beyond legal limits and such drivers are at increased risk of causing accidents.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) — When it comes to logging trucks, drivers can be charged with DUI if they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04, or only half the regular legal limit for passenger vehicle operators.
- Defective Parts — A logging truck crash may have been the result of a malfunctioning component within the vehicle, and the manufacturer of the part involved may be liable for a design defect or manufacturing defect.
- Failure to Maintain— Some logging truck accidents are simply the result of older trucks being used without receiving their needed service. The owners of the trucks can be liable in such cases.
The main reason that logging truck accidents are so dramatically different from ordinary car crashes is the number of parties that could be held liable. For example, any of the following parties could be held responsible for a logging truck accident:
- Logging truck driver
- Logging truck owner
- Logging company
- Maintenance company
- Parts manufacturers
- Shipping agencies
- Cargo loading companies
- Governmental entities
- Other motorists
The nature of the injuries that logging truck crashes can cause varies depending on several factors. Some of the most common kinds of injuries to stem from these accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Muscle strains
- Neck injuries
- Internal organ injuries
A person could also very well be killed in a logging truck accident. The family members of the deceased person are usually able to file wrongful death lawsuits to recover damages in such cases.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Logging Truck Accidents
What should I do after a logging truck accident?
When you have been involved in any kind of logging truck accident, always make sure you get medical attention. Even if you do not think you were harmed, still visit a hospital just to be sure. While you are at the scene of your crash, try to take pictures of everything involved and try to get lots of photographs from different angles and distances. Also look around to see if there are people who saw the accident. Ask these people for some kind of contact information in case they are needed as witnesses. Do not post anything about your accident or injuries on social media websites. Generally, avoid discussing your case with anyone (especially an insurance company) until you have legal representation.
Can I still recover compensation if I was partially at fault for my logging truck accident?
Not in Alabama, no. Unfortunately, Alabama recognizes the affirmative defense of contributory negligence, under which a person is barred from recovering any damages when their own negligence proximately contributes to their injuries. In other words, a defendant needs to be 100 percent at fault because even a single percentage of fault applicable to a victim will prohibit them from recovering anything. Contributory negligence is the primary reason it is critical for you to not make any recorded statement to a claims adjuster.
How long do I have to file a logging truck accident claim?
Alabama gives a person two years from the date of their logging truck accident to file a lawsuit. Certain exceptions can result in the limitations period being tolled (or delayed). A minor is not legally able to file a lawsuit and so they have two years to file from the date that they reach 19 years of age, the age of majority in Alabama. Similarly, the statute of limitation can also be tolled for individuals with a disability such as a coma that makes them considered incapacitated by the court, and these people have two years to file from the dates that they regain function.
Contact a Birmingham Logging Truck Accidents Attorney Today
If you sustained severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a logging truck accident in Birmingham or a surrounding area of Alabama, Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP will represent you and make sure that you get the maximum compensation possible for the injuries you suffered. Don’t let the negligence of a logging truck operator or the company that hired them cost you your health and livelihood. Let us represent you. We can provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (205) 324-1212 to take advantage of a free consultation.