When it comes to tractor-trailer accidents in Alabama, determining cause can be a complex process. Alabama is also a state that recognizes pure contributory negligence, meaning if a victim is only partially at fault, he or she is prevented from collecting any damages from the other driver(s) also partially fault, even if the other driver(s) is determined to be primarily at fault.
In looking at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s list of top causes of trucking accidents, it becomes apparent that driver behavior is often to blame:
-Prescription drug use
-Driving too fast for road conditions
-Driver unfamiliar with road
-Failure to obey traffic control law
-Over-the-counter drug use
However, as the U.S. Department of Transportation points out, crashes are complex events and are rarely caused by a single factor. “Elements that influence the occurrence of a crash may take place hours, days, or months before the crash,” the report states. “They include driver training and experience, vehicle design and manufacture, highway condition and traffic signaling, and weather conditions.”
As a crash victim, you have a right to prompt medical attention. And you have a right not to answer any questions in the aftermath of a serious crash. It’s not the best time. Unfortunately, these are often very serious crashes. Even when dealing with your own insurance company, having the counsel of an experienced personal injury or wrongful death law firm in Alabama is the best bet when it comes to protecting your rights and your financial well being.
While the 10 reasons listed above were the top factors attributed to large trucks and their drivers, we can readily see that many of them could also be applied to the driver of an involved passenger vehicle. Don’t complicate your case by providing statements or volunteering information.
Three primary events were identified as most often associated with traffic crashes involving large commercial trucks:
-Running out of the travel lane: 32 percent of large trucks in the study were involved in a crash after either driving off the road or into another lane of travel.
-Loss of vehicle control: 29 percent of crashes were attributed to a truck driver losing control of the vehicle. Common causes included driving too fast for conditions, shifting cargo, vehicle system failure and poor road conditions.
-Rear end collisions: In 22 percent of crashes, the truck drove into the rear of another vehicle in the truck’s lane.
Trucking accident lawyers in Birmingham must also be familiar with federal regulations governing commercial drivers, including hours-of-service rules. A commercial driver’s drug testing history, employment record and driving record may also impact the outcome of your personal injury or wrongful death claim.
A truck’s maintenance records should also be thoroughly examined. Speaking to a law firm experienced in Alabama trucking accident litigation as soon as possible after an accident is always the best course of action.
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