Truck Accident FAQ

1. What is a “commercial vehicle”?

A commercial vehicle is a truck used to transport goods or people from one place to another. Often called 18-wheelers or tractor trailers that travel over the road and highways, they can also be log trucks, dump trucks, cement trucks, tankers and busses.

2. How are traffic accidents involving trucks different from accidents involving passenger cars?

Usually accidents with commercial vehicles cause more serious injuries than those involving cars because of the size and weight of the truck. On average, a loaded tractor trailer will weigh up to 80,000 pounds or more, and the average car weighs in at around 3,000 pounds. Because of their size difference, a collision with a commercial truck will likely result in serious, even fatal, injuries.

3. What are the most likely reasons accidents occur with commercial trucks?

Some common causes of truck accidents include:

4. I was injured by a truck driver who was at fault. What kind of damages can I recover?

Your damages can include payment for damage to your vehicle, your medical expenses, hospital bills, lost income, pain and suffering, future medical expenses, expenses for special accommodations for you home and any loss of your earning capacity that happened from your injuries.

5. If I am injured because of a truck accident, who is responsible for the accident?

The trucking company, the owner of the truck, the driver, the maker of the truck and in some cases, the facility that loaded the vehicle can be held responsible for you injuries.

6. What is an “underride” accident?

Due to their height, all commercial trailers must have a bumper or bracing that prevents a smaller vehicle such as a car or pickup truck from going underneath the back of the trailer in the event of a rear end collision. An underride accident occurs when a car collides with the rear end of the trailer and runs underneath the truck. This type of collision can result in very serious injuries and can even cause the roof of the passenger vehicle to be cut off.

7. If I am partially at fault for the accident, can I still recover compensation?

Maybe. Alabama law states that if you are even partially at fault, you are not allowed to recover anything. The facts in proving you were even partially at fault are often difficult to prove. However, if you have been blamed for being at fault, give us a call at 251-432-2580 right away and speak with a lawyer today who is experienced in big truck law.

8. What is the first thing to do when involved in a truck accident?

The first thing anyone involved in any accident is to contact emergency response to get medical and police assistance. You should never leave the scene and it is a good idea not to move your vehicle. Placement of the vehicles helps determine how an accident occurred and assists the police and others in reconstructing the accident to determine the cause. If you have a camera, you should take pictures of the accident and any damages to the vehicles and the position of each vehicle.

It is best to try and get witnesses of the accident. You will need their name, address and phone number. Also you should exchange information with the other driver including insurance and driver’s license information.

With every accident, some sort of trauma has occurred to your body. If you are offered an ambulance, it is best to go to the emergency room and be examined to make sure there are no hidden injuries. This will help provide documentation of your injuries caused by the accident.

As soon as you possibly can, consult with an experience truck accident attorney. Most truck companies have their own lawyers and investigators who are working hard to dismiss the liability. Never negotiate directly with trucking companies, insurance adjusters, or the truck company lawyers. They are highly skilled and anything you say or sign can be held against you in the future. Contact Richard Mather, Accident Attorney to help you get what you deserve.