Big Rig Accident Lawyer
If you were injured by a commercial truck or “big rig,” the experienced big rig accident lawyers from Serious Injury Law Group are here to help you every step of the way. Below, we discuss the aftermath of a big rig crash and how a knowledgeable big rig truck accident attorney can be of assistance during this critical time. Learn more by giving us a call or contacting us online.
What Is a Big Rig?
“Big rig” is an informal term for a tractor-trailer, a type of large truck that consists of a tractor unit used to haul one or more semi-trailers of cargo. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are currently more than 12.5 million big rig vehicles registered in the United States. These vehicles collectively traveled over 300 billion miles in a recent year.
Big rigs may be as long as 65 feet and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This means they are several times larger than average passenger cars, which weigh around 3,000 pounds. They present a considerable risk to other drivers on the road. Although large trucks account for fewer than 5 percent of all registered vehicles in the U.S., the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that 11 percent of annual motor vehicle crash fatalities were a result of large truck accidents.
Big Rig Accident Causes
Some of the most common causes of big rig accidents include:
- Driver fatigue – Commercial drivers are under a lot of pressure to deliver their cargo as efficiently as possible. They often work long hours to meet demanding quotas and may become dangerously drowsy behind the wheel as a result.
- Distracted driving – Big rig truckers sometimes drive while distracted by cell phone messages, GPS notifications, or even job-related tracking devices. Distracted drivers at the wheel of these colossal machines are especially likely to cause catastrophic accidents.
- Driving under the influence – Truck drivers under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or even certain over-the-counter medications may become drowsy, disoriented, or aggressive. Due to their impairment, they may cause devastating big rig crashes.
- Speeding – Big rig drivers have much more difficulty with slowing or stopping quickly, so speeding is a particularly risky endeavor for them. Speeding trucks are often involved in dangerous rear-end or rollover accidents.
- Driver error – Even veteran truckers sometimes make mistakes. Simple mistakes can be disastrous in a multi-ton big rig. Drivers who fail to gauge proper timing, distance, or right-of-way rules can and do cause serious big rig crashes.
- Trucking company negligence – To cut costs, trucking companies sometimes hire unqualified drivers or place unreasonable demands on their employees. These negligent actions can lead to accidents caused by driver inexperience or exhaustion.
- Improper maintenance – If big rig mechanics fail to properly inspect, maintain, or repair truck components, even the safest truck drivers can have accidents. Brake defects, tire blowouts, and hitch failure are all common causes of big rig accidents.
- Improper cargo loading – The teams that load cargo into big rigs may be responsible for accidents if they load trailers improperly. Drivers may lose control and crash while hauling trailers that are overloaded or full of unsecured cargo.
What To Do If You Are Involved in a Big Rig Truck Accident
If you are involved in an Alabama big rig accident, the Serious Injury Law Group recommends that you take the following steps:
- Seek immediate medical attention. Follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment plan. Keep all original medical records and bills. Start a journal to document any pain or limitations you experience.
- Keep track of all expenses you incur and any time you are forced to miss from work as a result of the accident.
- Keep all the documentation you are given, including copies of police reports, correspondence from insurance companies, and others. Provide this documentation to your lawyer.
- Watch what you post on social media or say to any third parties, including your own insurance provider, about the causes or effects of the accident
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney for a free consultation
Compensation After a Big Rig Crash
You may be able to receive compensation for the losses you incur because of a big rig accident, including:
- Past, present, and future accident-related healthcare expenses
- Lost income and future earning potential from missed time at work
- Repair or replacement costs for your damaged personal property
- Pain, suffering, and psychological distress from the accident
- Lost quality or enjoyment of life
Time Limit for Filing a Big Rig Accident Lawsuit
Alabama’s personal injury statute of limitations generally imposes a two-year deadline for filing a big rig accident lawsuit. The clock usually begins ticking on the date of the accident. You will then have up to two years to file your lawsuit in an Alabama civil court.
Knowing and observing this deadline is critical if you decide to take your big rig accident case to court since judges typically dismiss cases filed after the relevant statute of limitations has expired. And while most Alabama accident claims are settled out of court, the two-year time limit is still important in insurance settlements because the threat of a lawsuit is often a key bargaining chip during negotiations.
How a Big Rig Accident Lawyer Can Help You
The big rig accident lawyers of the Serious Injury Law Group can help you by:
- Explaining your rights and legal options
- Identifying and preserving strong supporting evidence
- Communicating with others on your behalf
- Negotiating for your full and fair compensation
- If necessary, representing you in court
Our team is available to meet with you wherever is most convenient to you. We are responsive and respectful of your time. We will fight for a fair resolution of your claim. We have established a reputation in the legal community as being tough in negotiations and seasoned in litigation. Contact us now for your free, no-obligation consultation to learn more.