Crashes and collisions involving large trucks occur frequently in the Tuscaloosa area. There is a heavy volume of large trucks that travel through Tuscaloosa every day on Interstate 20-59, Highway 13/43, Highway 82, Highway 216 and several other rural state and county roadways. Tuscaloosa is often chosen as a pit stop for large trucks traveling across the Southeastern United States.
The trucking industry maintains a prominent role in our industrial economy. In the United States today, there are approximately 2.3 million large trucks on the roadways, 3 million tractor-trailer drivers and 500,000 trucking companies. Trucks are the most powerful vehicles on the road and their heavy loads combined with fast speeds create the potential for a catastrophic crash or collision. It is estimated that for every 100 miles driven on U.S. roads there are 2.3 deaths and 60.5 injuries caused from collisions involving trucks or 18 wheelers. The fatality statistics for truck and 18 wheeler crashes and collisions are startling. Almost 98% of all truck and 18 wheeler wrecks involving automobiles result in at least one fatality.
Often motorists drive their cars upon public roadways reasonably confident that because large truck drivers are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) they are, along with truck company employees and diesel mechanics, in compliance with all rules and regulations regarding safety. This assumption is misguided. Every year thousands of automobile drivers and passengers are seriously injured or killed by recklessly driven trucks as well as overloaded trucks, negligently maintained or repaired trucks, or trucks operated by fatigued drivers.
It is not unusual at all for the underlying cause of a truck wreck to be the reluctance of a truck driver to meet certain safety standards and laws or in order to meet dangerous and unrealistic deadlines forced upon him by his company or contractor. Other times it is a lack of experience by the driver coupled with poor training that causes truck collisions.
The proper investigation of a large truck crash or collision requires a detailed and systematic approach to each case. There is a wealth of fact information that must be collected and processed in order to properly evaluate the case. We immediately serve the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) Request. The FOIA Request seeks the entire file for the applicable motor carrier. The file produced by the FMCSA will contain all sorts of valuable information regarding the motor carrier and its drivers. We immediately send a form letter to the responsible motor carrier and driver requesting that all evidence related to the crash be preserved for review by our office. Our investigators collect as much field information as possible including inspections, photographs and videotapes of the accident scene, vehicles involved, witness statements, and interviews of law enforcement personnel. After we file suit, we have a comprehensive and detailed set of discovery requests that are served on the motor carrier and its driver. After completion of our investigation and receipt of discovery responses from the trucking company and driver, we obtain the testimony of the motor carrier, safety director and driver.
The attorneys at Cross & Smith have handled numerous large truck crash cases in Tuscaloosa. Dell Cross has handled cases in Tuscaloosa for over 20 years and Justin Smith has handled cases in Tuscaloosa for nine years. Both Dell and Justin have written materials and spoken at seminars for lawyers in Alabama regarding handling large truck cases.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a trucking or 18 wheeler accident or wreck, contact the Tuscaloosa truck and 18 wheeler accident attorneys at Cross & Smith. Our firm represents individuals that have been seriously injured or killed as a result of trucking and 18 wheeler wrecks.
"After my husband was injured in a burn accident at work, we felt the accident could have been avoided. I was not sure where to start, but after careful research, we met with Justin Smith and shared our experience. From day one, we felt we were in good hands. Justin and Dell explained everything and kept us informed from start to finish. It was a complicated case that took an outside the box approach. Both Justin and Dell made us feel like part of the team."