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: Felt under work pressure from carrier||16,000||10%||4.7|
|Driver: Made illegal maneuver||13,000||9%||26.4|
|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|
|Vehicle: Cargo shift||6,000||4%||56.3|
|Driver: Internal distraction||3,000||2%||5.8|
|Driver: Illegal drugs||3,000||2%||1.8|
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.