Types of Truck Accidents
Along with different causes of truck accidents, there are different types of truck accidents. These different types are categorized by the various conditions of the accident. Different injuries and legal recourse are possible depending on the type of accident. Here is a list of the most commonly reported trucking accidents in Huntsville:
Blindspot Truck Accident:
This type of accident occurs when a truck tries to switch lanes, but the driver cannot see the other automobiles on the road. Cars that are directly adjacent to trucks are in their blind spot and are at particular risk of being hit.
- Head-on Collisions: These kinds of accidents occur when a truck crashes directly into another vehicle in a head-on fashion. Given the sheer size of 18-wheelers, this can be particularly deadly.
- Jackknife Truck Accident: Often caused by improper braking and skidding, a jackknife accident occurs when a truck’s cargo trailer turns at an angle from the truck itself.
- Lost or shifting loads: Sometimes, a truck’s cargo can fall or slip from its trailer. The cargo can hit other motor vehicles or land on the ground, causing dangerous conditions.
- Rear-end crashes: These accidents occur when a vehicle crashes into another vehicle from behind. While this type of collision is relatively common and often results in no more than a fender-bender, these can be particularly dangerous when a tractor-trailer is involved because of such vehicles’ sheer size and power.
- T-Bone: This occurs when a truck driver goes past a red light or stop sign, causing a collision in the intersection.
- Truck Rollovers: This occurs when the truck driver loses control in an attempt to swerve or brake, and the truck tips over as a result.
- Underride: This particularly disastrous kind of accident involves smaller vehicles sliding under the truck, usually due to the truck abruptly stopping while on the road.
- Wide turns: When a truck tries to turn, the rest of the truck sometimes maneuvers the opposite way. For example, if a truck driver tries to turn left at an intersection, it’s possible for their trailer to swing the opposite way. This is why it is sometimes called a swinging turn.
Alabama Trucking Accident Laws?
In Alabama, our laws follow the rule of contributory negligence. This means that if you are at all responsible for an accident, you cannot be compensated. It is particularly important that when involved in an accident, a victim reaches out to a personal injury lawyer to have the best possible chance of compensation.
Contributory negligence can be harsh and strict, which is why very few states have it as law. But there are ways to argue that the rule should not apply in your case. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to see what is possible in your case.
Contributory negligence can be fought in two ways: first, by arguing that you were not negligent at all, or second, by claiming your case fits into the exception of wanton behavior. Wanton behavior refers to when someone acts with a conscious disregard for the safety of others.
Wanton behavior can be understood as knowingly reckless behavior. In the case of truck accidents, the wanton behavior can come from the truck driver, the truck company, or the vehicle manufacturer. Accidents involving commercial trucks are unique due to the various kinds of liability that might be at play. A skilled personal injury lawyer will be able to investigate who is liable for an accident.
When investigating for liability, a personal injury lawyer may look at various factors. They may start with the truck driver and their behavior on the road. Was the driver acting in a reckless manner? Was the driver distracted? During a thorough investigation, a personal injury lawyer might discover that there was poor maintenance on the truck.
What makes these cases different is that the truck driver is an employee. Truck drivers are notoriously overworked. Liability might fall less on the driver and more on the employer who is overworking their employees, creating dangerous conditions for other drivers and the truck drivers, as well. Because of this, truck accident liability can be broken down in three ways:
- Truck Company Liability: This kind of liability occurs when a truck company is found to be at fault for an accident due to their negligence in maintaining operations, like following regulations, maintaining their supply of vehicles, and overworking their employees. An example of this kind of case could be that an accident ensues after a driver undergoes little training and is immediately put out on the road for long hours. While the driver was in the vehicle, the company is at fault for creating the dangerous situation.
- Driver Liability: Drivers are required to hold specific licenses, follow traffic laws, and drive sober. While a driver’s actions can often be attributed to a company’s negligence, sometimes the driver simply fails to follow the rules. In this instance, the driver may be liable for any ensuing accidents. An example of this could be a negligent truck driver who drank too much while on break and returned to the road.
- Manufacturer Liability: Sometimes, issues with the vehicle are not due to poor maintenance but because the truck had problems. This can be due to faulty parts or poor construction. In these cases, the liability would fall on the vehicle’s manufacturer. An example of this could be a truck whose engine was improperly built, leading to an accident on the road.