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Truck accident lawyer

Trucks may use the same roads as passenger cars, but they have two characteristics that make them more likely to be in an accident:

  • They take longer to stop; at the same speed, trucks travel more than twice as far as a passenger car before drivers can bring them to a stop
  • They are considerably more difficult to maneuver; for the larger “big rigs” this means that right turns actually start with the driver pulling wide to the left to get a better turning angle

Imagine what this “drift left to turn right” maneuver looks like to the vehicle behind the truck and you can easily understand how it tends to cause accidents.

Almost 7,000 trucks were involved in crashes in Alabama during 2011, resulting in the deaths of 92 people and injuries to over 1,700 more. Many of those injuries involve collisions with fully loaded trucks, travelling at considerable speed. If you or someone you care about is one of these victims, you need the aid of an accident attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases in Alabama. At the Huntsville, Alabama, law firm of Wettermark & Keith, LLC, our attorneys have thirty years cumulative experience and have helped victims recover hundreds of millions of dollars needed to compensate them for their serious injuries.

What Causes Truck Accidents?

Factors Number of Trucks Percent of Total Relative Risk
Vehicle: Brake problems 41,000 29% 2.7
Driver: Traveling too fast for conditions 32,000 23% 7.7
Driver: Unfamiliar with roadway 31,000 22% 2
Environment: Roadway problems 29,000 20% 1.5
Driver: Over-the-counter drug use 25,000 17% 1.3
Driver: Inadequate surveillance 20,000 14% 9.3
Driver: Fatigue 18,000 13% 8
Driver: Felt under work pressure from carrier 16,000 10% 4.7
Driver: Made illegal maneuver 13,000 9% 26.4
Driver: Inattention 12,000 9% 17.1
Driver: External distraction 11,000 8% 5.1
Vehicle: Tire problems 8,000 6% 2.5
Driver: Following too close 7,000 5% 22.6
Driver: Jackknife 7,000 5% 4.7
Vehicle: Cargo shift 6,000 4% 56.3
Driver: Illness 4,000 3% 34
Driver: Internal distraction 3,000 2% 5.8
Driver: Illegal drugs 3,000 2% 1.8
Driver: Alcohol 1,000 1% 5.3

Why Truck Accidents are Complicated
A collision involving a truck involves all the questions that come up in every type of accident. These questions include:

  • What was the speed of the vehicle involved?
  • Were the drivers following the rules of the road as to staying in lane, signaling their intent to change lanes, keeping a safe distance between vehicles, etc.?
  • Were any of the drivers drunk, under the influence of drugs, or just plain distracted?

When a truck is involved, though, there are any other questions that need to be answered before there’s any chance of victims being compensated for their injuries, including, but certainly not limited to:

  • Who owns the truck and who was responsible for its operation at the time of the accident? These can be tricky issues in a commercial trucking situation.
  • Is the truck subject to the federal truck safety regulations imposed on trucks that are used in interstate commerce?
  • Were both driver and truck in compliance with all safety regulations imposed by all levels of government (local, state and federal)?
  • What cargo was the truck carrying? If the cargo included hazardous material, additional regulations will apply and victims may suffer additional injuries.

How quickly and efficiently these questions get answered is tremendously important to victims too injured to work, walk, or simply live as they did before the accident. At Wettermark & Keith, LLC, we have pursued these answers in many cases. We know where the answers are likely to be and, maybe even more importantly, how the people who caused your injuries are likely to dodge the questions.

The Value of Event Data Recordings
The data from Event Data Recorders (EDRs) can make the case a lot easier and quicker. These devices come in many models and configurations, and differ a bit in the information they record when there’s an accident. Most of the devices will record some basic information that sheds light on the accident, such as speed and how the brakes were used.

The personal injury attorneys at Wettermark & Keith, LLC, have the experience to find and use the EDR information that can make the difference in your case. That means knowing the local vehicle experts who retrieve the information, and understanding what the information means to your case.

Even the Odds—Get Help
Those responsible for truck accidents are often businesses with resources that dwarf those that victims have. Our attorneys have faced this situation for years and have a very successful track record in recovering compensation for truck accident victims. There’s no charge for the initial visit as we get to understand your case. The longer you wait to get help, the harder it becomes to get the recovery you deserve. Call us today to schedule a free consultation to tell us what happened.

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Auto accident types

Car crashes vary in type and severity. The point of impact and the speed at which the car is traveling have a great deal to do with the injuries that an accident victim is likely to sustain.

The personal injury attorneys at the Huntsville, Alabama, law offices of Wettermark & Keith, LLC, have experience with nearly every type of car accident imaginable, and we are able to prove liability in nearly all the cases we accept when the accident is caused by another driver who was negligent, reckless, or careless. The accident types that we see most frequently in our car accident practice include, head-ons, t-bones, sideswipes, rear-impact, and rollover crashes.

Head-on Crashes
We are happy to report that head-ons don’t occur very often. They make up only two percent of all car accidents. Unfortunately though, when they do happen, they are the most deadly of all accident types, causing ten percent of all traffic fatalities.

Head-on collisions usually happen on a two-lane road when a driver—who is usually either substance impaired, distracted, or overly fatigued—drives into the other lane and collides with an oncoming vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. The force of the impact is essentially doubled (assuming both vehicles are traveling at the same speed) and the resulting front-end impact is often deadly.

Head-on crashes also occur when a drive turns the wrong way onto a one-way street or enters a highway from the wrong direction after getting on the wrong ramp.

T-Bone Side Impact Accidents
A T-bone accident is one where one car strikes another on its side at a right 90 angle. T-bone accidents occur most commonly at intersections when one car runs a stop sign or red light and ploughs into the side of a car properly traveling through the intersection, or when a car attempts to turn left without yielding to oncoming traffic.

T-bones are the cause of a disproportionate number of traffic fatalities: they comprise 13 percent of all car crashes and produce 18 percent of the deaths, killing around 9000 people every year.

Sideswipes Accidents
A sideswipe is a side impact collision that involves one car glancing off another. The two cars can be traveling in the same direction during a careless lane change, when attempting to merge into traffic from a ramp, or when a one car wanders sideways from its lane and swipes the side of a car in the lane next to it.

In some cases, a sideswipe occurs when contact occurs between the sides of two cars traveling in opposite directions.

Rear-Impact Collisions
These are the most frequent type of car accident. They are somewhat less likely than other types of crashes to cause fatalities. They can often cause neck and back injuries, which can be serious and occasionally fatal. In a rear impact, the lower neck vertebrae are hyperextended, while the upper neck vertebrae are hyperflexed. This is commonly known as whiplash and can result in sprains, strains, and herniated discs when a car is hit hard from the rear.

Rear impact accidents are generally caused by tailgating, when one car drives too close to the car in front of it, or when a driver who is not paying attention to the road ahead doesn’t brake when the flow of traffic stops. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 29.6 percent of car accidents in the U.S. are rear-end crashes.

Rollovers Accidents
A rollover accident is when a car flips onto its roof. This is an extremely deadly type of accident, especially when the occupants of the vehicle are not wearing seatbelts and are ejected as the car rolls. Older model sport utility vehicles, pick-up trucks, and vans are particularly prone to rolling over because of their high center of gravity, which causes them to be unstable, especially when taking curves at high speeds. Rollovers constitute only 2.3 percent of the nation’s accidents, but they often result in fatalities.

Getting Help after an Alabama Car Crash
When you’ve been involved in any kind of a car crash in Alabama that someone else caused, you are entitled to make a claim for monetary compensation for your damages. In Huntsville, the personal injury attorneys at Wettermark & Keith, LLC, have a long history of success in bringing in high value damage awards, with a 95 percent win rate and more than $250 million obtained for clients since 2003. Call us today to schedule a free review of your case.

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Construction accident lawyer

Construction Site Injuries and Fatalities
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that as of March, 2014, there are 5,964,000 Americans working on construction jobs. This is very good news for the job market and the economy, but it also means that more people are working at one of the most dangerous jobs in the country.

Every year the industry reports approximately 150,000 accidents, causing and an average of 1000 deaths and an untold number of injuries.

Four Most Frequent Causes of Construction Injuries and Deaths
Four common types of accidents in the construction industry cause a majority of injuries and deaths. In the industry, they’re known as “the fatal four:”

  • Falls, the number one cause of construction accident injuries. Structural steel workers have the highest incidence of falls, and roofers are also at especially high risk. Instability of scaffolding, ladders, and roof structure, as well as excavations and unmarked drop-offs are among the causes.
  • Caught-in/between accidents, those where a worker is trapped or crushed between objects. Cave-ins, being pulled into heavy machinery, being crushed by a hydraulic bed or trapped between two moving objects or between one that is moving and one that is not are all examples of this type of construction accident.
  • Being struck by a moving vehicle, construction equipment, or object falling from a height
  • Electrocutions from faulty tools and equipment, exposed wires, power lines, extension cords, etc.

Injury Types that Commonly Occur in Construction Work
This is a partial list of some common types of construction accident injuries that we frequently handle at Wettermark & Keith, LLC:

  • Spinal cord injuries, often resulting in tetraplegia or paraplegia
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Serious burns
  • Internal organ damage to lung, kidney, spleen, liver, etc.
  • Facial injuries, including eye injuries, nose injuries, jaw fractures or dislocations, facial scarring, and dental
  • injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Death

If you or someone close to you has sustained injuries in an Alabama construction accident, you should waste no time in consulting the personal injury attorneys at the Huntsville, Alabama, law firm of Wettermark & Keith, LLC. We bring to the table more than 30 years of combined experience representing construction accident victims and have obtained millions of dollars in compensation for our injured clients.

Workers’ Compensation
As with other on-the-job injuries, illnesses, or deaths, you will usually look to Workers’ Compensation for benefits covering medical expenses, lost time from work, cost of rehabilitation services, or if the injury was fatal, a death benefit. You don’t have to show who was at fault to receive Workers’ Comp benefits, only that your injury occurred on the job.

Potential Third Party Claims for Larger Recoveries
Workers Compensation is limited; it does not compensate you for your suffering, disability, disfigurement, or loss of enjoyment of life. Although you won’t be able to sue your employer if you’re covered by Workers’ Compensation, your attorney may be able to identify some third party whose negligence contributed to your being injured and who can be held liable.

At the Huntsville law firm of Wettermark and Keith, LLC, we have a history of successfully handling construction site injuries and fatalities. We have experts available to help investigate accident causes to determine if a third-party can be found liable, possibly a sub-contractor, engineer, property owner, architect, or manufacturer of a defective tool or other piece of machinery. We feel that you should be compensated for all of your damages, and we have the knowledge and the resources to make that happen in many construction site injury cases.

Passion, Commitment, and Aggressive Pursuit of Justice at Wettermark & Keith, LLC
Our dedicated personal injury attorneys are deeply committed to fighting for justice for the injured and for survivors of fatal construction site accident victims. If your life has been torn apart because of someone else’s wrongdoing, call us today. We will perform a free case review of the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident and will advise you of your legal options.

The time to file a personal injury claim is limited by Alabama law, so don’t risk losing your right to a recovery; act now by calling Wettermark & Keith, LLC, to safeguard your right to recover monetary compensation for your construction accident damages.

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