Commercial Truck Accident Attorneys in Daphne, AL
There is no industry better equipped to deliver goods across Alabama as the trucking industry. Every year, more than $432 billion in goods is shipped to and from Alabama using large trucks. And trucking is important to Alabama with more than 9,000 trucking companies located here providing one out of every 15 jobs in the state.
While the trucking industry brings jobs and goods to Alabama, the downside is the number of trucks on our roads. Unfortunately for the residents of Daphne, a city located in Baldwin County on the eastern shoreline of Mobile Bay, they encounter big-rigs constantly as they are located near the major thoroughfares crossing the width of Alabama, I-10, which sees most traffic coming into and out of Mobile.
U.S. Route 98 also is a route between Pensacola, Florida and Alabama and passes right through Daphne north and south and intersects with I-10 along with US 90. As a result of all of these major roadways, Daphne, Alabama sees a great deal of big rig truck accidents.
Daphne Trucking Accidents
In 2017, in Alabama there were 9,351 trucks involved in crashes. Among those, there were 101 fatalities and 2,563 injuries, according to the state Department of Transportation (DOT).
Whether a big-rig, weighing up to 80,000 pounds, a tractor-semitrailer, a triple trailer, 6-axle, 18-wheeler, large trucks can pose a serious hazard to any automobile and its occupants.
Sadly, we often see that the major catastrophic injuries are found in the passenger vehicle occupants because of the size and weight differential between the two vehicles.
The DOT studied what led to accidents involving big trucks and found:
- Improper lane change or use – This led to 1,244 crashes and was the leading cause of truck crashes.
- Failure to Yield the right of way – Led to 900 crashes. Again the differential between a truck’s weight and a passenger car almost always means the car’s occupants will be on the losing end.
- Unseen Object, Person or Vehicle – This led to 828 crashes involving trucks in Alabama when something suddenly appeared in front of the truck.
- Tailgating – This was the fourth leading cause of truck-involved accidents in Alabama. A big-rig does not stop like a car. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) it will take about six seconds for a trucking moving at 55 mph to come to a stop. In those six seconds it would have traveled about 512 feet.
- Misjudged stopping distance – Just as the above suggests, both drivers need to understand that a big-rig does not stop like a car.
- Defective Equipment – Led to 396 crashes and would be the grounds for a product liability action to be filed.
Other causes of trucking accidents includes improper turns, crossing the median, driving too fast for conditions, fatigued drivers, and driving under the influence.
Investigating Daphne Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was created in 2000, an agency of the federal government’s Department of Transportation, that regulates the trucking industry in the United States. The agency develops and enforces regulations that attempt to keep everybody on the road safe.
It has established the hours-of-service rules for drivers. At the present time, property carrying drivers of big-rigs may drive a maximum of 11 hours after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours.
A fatigued driver on the road, whether a trucker or passenger vehicle, is one of the leading causes of trucking accidents in Daphne, Alabama, and as experienced truck accident attorneys we will need to retrieve the records to determine if the driver who caused your accident had been on the road too long.
Other areas of investigation include:
Retrieving the Black Box Recorder – Every big-rig comes equipped with an electronic control module or event data recorder. It is similar to the black box recorder on an airplane and is integrated into the engine components.
A black box recorder stores data about the vehicle, its location before the crash, its speed, whether there was a sudden acceleration or deceleration, whether brakes were applies or if the truck was in cruise control, among other information. This equipment will be vital to determining the at-fault party the led to this crash and we will use an expert to oversee the download of the data.
Hours-of-Service logs – This will tell us how long the driver had been on the road prior to the accident and we will always investigate whether there is a second set of logs that tell a different story. We can determine if the truck driver had adequate rest at the time of the accident. Federal law mandates a maximum of 11 hours driving after 10 hours off duty.
Cell Phone Records – These records will tell us if the driver was using his cellphone at the time of the accident and was sending text messages. This is a major cause of distraction behind the wheel. Was the driver engaged in using electronics at the time of the crash? Most companies do not allow their drivers to text while driving a big truck.
The Condition of the Truck – Our attorneys will look at the last inspection report to determine if the truck was in good condition when it hit the road. When were the tires last changed or rotated? Was the vehicle generally maintained regularly?
When was its last inspection including tires and brakes? Were there any items on the truck that were under recall that had not been fixed?
Daphne Truck Accident Lawyers
Burns, Cunningham and Mackey will begin working on your Daphne truck accident case immediately after you call our Mobile office. Let our experienced team begin to uncover the evidence we will need to prove your negligence claim.
The other side may claim that you contributed to the crash under the Alabama contributory negligence law. This is where experience counts to counter those claims.
You may be entitled to receive compensation for your property loss resulting from the crash such as a lost vehicle. You may also be entitled to receive compensation to cover medical and hospital bills, pain and suffering, and the cost of rehabilitation.
If there was a problem with the truck and a recall item had not been attended to, we might add a product liability action to your case. Punitive damages may also be involved if the actions of the parties responsible were willful or malicious.
Truck accident cases can be complicated, and Burns, Cunningham and Mackey has the experience and dedication to stand by your side during this difficult time. Let’s start the conversation with complimentary meeting. Call us at 800-574-4332 or message us online to schedule your free consultation and case review.