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Alabama Trucking Accident Attorneys

LEGAL HELP FOR ALABAMA TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY VICTIMS

The Cotton State is home to thousands of miles of public roads, crisscrossing the state in every direction and connecting Alabama to its neighboring states. On these roads, commercial semi-truck accidents claimed the lives of 84 Alabamians in 2014 — 16th most in the United States that year. Whether on I-20, I-85, or Interstate 65, the vast majority of goods transported in the Heart of Dixie are shipped via semi-truck. Large volumes of truck traffic ultimately can lead to accidents and severe injuries.

Unfortunately, many deadly truck accidents are avoidable and preventable and are caused by the negligence of trucking companies and truck drivers. State and federal guidelines and regulations are there to keep you safe on the road alongside semi-trucks. When these laws are ignored, you and your loved ones’ lives are put in danger.

When tragedy strikes, we understand how difficult your life can be made. Severe injury or loss of life can put you and your family in a tough financial bind. Our firm can advance your court costs and litigation expenses, advance you money for living and medical expenses (interest free), and charge you nothing unless we win your case.

To win your case, you need a law firm that will serve your every need, be available to you 24/7, and provide the legal resources required to deliver you the compensation you deserve for your trucking injury. Alabama trucking accident victims can rest assured that Thomas J. Henry will fight tirelessly on their behalf. Year after year, Thomas J. Henry is recognized for obtaining record-breaking, multi-million dollar results for clients.

LEGAL RESOURCES TO WIN YOUR ALABAMA TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASE

In order to deliver the best representation possible, Thomas J. Henry employs state-of-the-art technologies and experts on the behalf of trucking accident victims. From day one to resolution, your trucking injury case will be handled by experienced truck accident attorneys, efficiently and effectively.

  • Technology
    • Your complete case profile is active in our modern computer system from the first time we meet, whether we meet at one of our offices, at your home, or at the hospital. Leading-edge case management, client interaction, and information security solutions are employed to make sure your case files are readily available at anytime and anywhere, but also secure and protected. Case information can be expedited to our legal professionals at a click of the mouse, ensuring information is always up-to-date.
  • Mobility
    • In addition to being available 24/7, our attorneys are accessible from anywhere on the globe. Not only can our experienced injury lawyers access your case files from anywhere, but through satellite technology, cutting-edge mobile technologies, and jet services, they can meet with you wherever it is convenient.
  • Trucking Experts
    • It is paramount to find the right experts and the best experts to provide reports and testimony for your case. Thomas J. Henry has spent years examining and questioning experts from across the nation, selecting only the best for your case. Whether they serve as witnesses for judges, attorneys, or insurance companies, expert witnesses can bring significant specialized knowledge to enhance your case. Examples of trucking injury witnesses include:
      • Accident investigation experts
      • Forensic engineers
      • Doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, neurologists
      • Commercial motor vehicle compliance consultants

COMMON CAUSES OF ALABAMA TRUCKING ACCIDENTS

There are several factors that can lead to a trucking accident. Many of these causes are absolutely preventable, and the carelessness of a truck driver or trucking company can leave you or a loved one with a severe injury.

  • Driver fatigue
  • Drowsiness or falling asleep at the wheel
  • Distracted driver (i.e., on cell phone)
  • Travelling at high speeds, or driving too fast for road conditions
  • Unsecured loads
    • When semi-truck drivers fail to secure their loads properly, motorists are put at an extreme danger. Contents from these trucks, including hazardous materials, could spill onto the roadways, causing severe accidents.
  • Failure to maintain vehicle
  • Improper lane change or turning

Because of the weight differential between semi-trucks and ordinary passenger cars, small mistakes on the road by a large truck can result in catastrophic injuries and potentially death. Semi-trailers can weigh up to 40 tons — an average passenger car weighs around two tons.

WHAT DO I DO AFTER A SEMI-TRUCK ACCIDENT?

Trucking accidents can be overwhelming, especially if you or a passenger have been seriously hurt. Following a crash, there are certain things you can do to protect your personal well-being and your rights as a trucking accident victim.

  • Stop immediately after the crash and assess the situation
    • Accidents can be disorienting. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Make sure it is safe outside your vehicle before attempting to exit.
  • Make the accident visible
    • Use your vehicle hazard lights, set out reflectors, or use road flares to signal to other motorists that there is a crash scene approaching.
  • Notify the police
    • Contact your local police department or call 911 if there is an emergency. Filing a police report is an important step in filing insurance claims. Be sure that paramedics arrive on the scene to care for any injuries sustained in the crash.
  • Record the facts and take pictures
    • Speak with responding officers and be as accurate as possible, but do not speculate about facts surrounding the accident or any injuries you may have incurred. In addition, take pictures of damage to your vehicle, the scene of the accident, any injuries you or passengers suffered, or anything else that may help your case in the future.
  • Gather and exchange information
    • Collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses to the crash. Obtain the insurance information of all drivers involved, too.
  • Seek medical attention
    • Sometimes injuries or pain from the accident won’t become apparent until days after the crash. If you are uncertain if you suffered an injury, err on the side of caution and get a check-up from your physician.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company
    • Contact your insurance company as soon as you can. As your claim is processed, keep a log of any medical expenses or crash-related expenses as well as any changes in health. Avoid speaking with other insurance companies or trucking company claims adjusters.
  • Contact an experienced truck accident attorney
    • Attorneys are responsible for protecting your rights as an accident victim and for making sure insurance companies are acting in your best interest. Our attorneys will immediately work to obtain and preserve evidence from the accident, give you legal advice, and ensure you receive ample medical attention. Experienced Alabama truck accident lawyers will make sure you are comfortable and informed throughout the entire process and pursue every measure available to obtain the compensation you deserve.

WHO CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR MY TRUCKING ACCIDENT INJURY?

Several parties can potentially be negligent in the case of an Alabama trucking accident. Negligent parties could include:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • Commercial vehicle manufacturer

Our team of trucking injury lawyers have handled these complex cases and are experienced in determining who is negligent in your case and who can be sued for the damages incurred. Whether it is the truck driver, trucking company, or vehicle manufacturer that is found to be negligent, our seasoned lawyers understand how they operate and have consistently demonstrated the ability to bring them to justice.

Thomas J. Henry injury attorneys have a proven record for delivering real results for our clients by standing up to the largest trucking companies in the nation. Through expansive discovery, depositions, and use of the best experts in the nation, our firm has proven how truck drivers and companies caused severe and unnecessary injuries and death.

WHAT TRUCKING REGULATIONS EXIST TO KEEP ALABAMA DRIVERS SAFE?

In order to reduce the number of trucking accidents and injuries on United States roadways, numerous regulations have been put in place. When they are disobeyed or ignored by drivers and companies, the lives of Alabama motorists are put in jeopardy. Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains laws that commercial motor vehicle operators must abide by.

All commercial motor vehicle drivers must obtain and hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Drivers with a CDL are held at a higher standard and can lose certification by committing serious traffic offenses.

Here are a few important regulations that truck drivers must follow in the United States:

  • Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
    • In Alabama, drivers must be at least 18 years old to drive within state lines.
  • To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
  • Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
  • In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
  • For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
  • Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
  • Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.

HOURS OF SERVICE REGULATIONS

Truck drivers are also required to abide by the hours of service regulations. These regulations are important in keeping drivers and other motorists safe. Drowsy driving is one of the most common causes of trucking accidents. A study conducted by the AAA Foundation revealed that driving on only four or five hours of sleep increased the risk of a crash as much as driving with a blood alcohol content between .12 and .15 (.04 is the legal BAC limit for truck drivers).

Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
  • Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

Passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers,

  • may drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following eight consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
  • Drivers using a sleeper berth provision must take at least eight hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.

WHAT ARE ECM AND GPS DEVICES?

Most commercial motor vehicles, including semi-trucks, contain electronic systems onboard that track the movement of the truck. Electronic Control Modules (ECM) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) record this vital data and information that can help determine how fast a truck was travelling at the point of impact in an accident. This fact is very important when putting together a case and determining negligence. ECM and GPS devices can also show driver habits and routes taken before the accident occurred.

Our experienced Alabama trucking injury attorneys immediately file a lawsuit and restraining order to obtain and preserve the ECM and GPS devices from the involved semi-truck. In addition to these onboard systems, we will acquire all Federal Motor Carrier required documents for the driver. These pieces of information can be paramount in achieving the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED ALABAMA TRUCKING ACCIDENT AND INJURY ATTORNEY

In the United States, more than 100,000 people are injured every year in crashes involving large trucks. Thomas J. Henry injury lawyers help trucking accident victims from across the country obtain record-breaking verdicts and settlements. If you or a loved one were injured in a semi-truck crash in Alabama, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced team of Alabama trucking accident attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends, to evaluate your case.

Disclaimer: Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only.  Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.

HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED?

Contact Us for a FREE Case Review

877-969-8159 • info@tjhlaw.com

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