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Are Truck Drivers Always Responsible for Accidents?

— March 28, 2022

One of the main reasons a trucker might ignore safety regulations is that he was told to. By his employer.

Mobile, AL – According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, in 2019, there were over 10,000 crashes involving trucks in the state. More than 2,600 people were injured and 137 were killed as a result. When an 80,000 lbs 18-wheeler smashes into your puny 4,000 lbs car, you are lucky to make it out alive. Many of the victims suffer serious injuries that require long hospital stays, surgery and rehabilitation programs. The medical costs alone can be enormous, not to mention your lost wages or your suffering. How can you recover damages? If you’re dealing with such a problem, you should get in touch with experienced truck accident lawyers in Mobile to help you understand who is liable in this type of crash. As opposed to a regular fender-bender, in a truck accident you may have multiple liabilities and, since you have a lot of damages, it is essential to establish who might be held accountable.

Who is liable in a truck accident in Alabama?

Whether you talk to a professional in Mobile or a good truck accident lawyer in Hustleville, the first thing they’ll want to see is the police report into the crash. If you haven’t got it yet, your lawyers can help you with that, too.

The trucker

If you look at the police reports, you will find that a large number of truck accidents are indeed caused by truckers. Speeding, reckless or distracted driving are the most common causes of truck accidents, and in such cases it is the driver who is liable for damages.

However, skilled truck accident lawyers always dig deeper trying to look for other elements that might have contributed to the crash.

The trucking company

One of the most clear examples is driver fatigue. When a trucker is overworked his judgment will be impaired or he might even doze off behind the wheel. A few seconds are more than enough to cause a tragedy when you’re driving a big-rig or a semi.

Tired driver; image by Johan Funke, via
Tired driver; image by Johan Funke, via

Tip: If you’re ever involved in a truck accident, always have a good look at the trucker. If you notice dark circles around his eyes or any other sign indicating he might be overly tired, mention it to your lawyer and let them investigate.

Truckers operating across state lines are required to observe federal Hours of Service regulations which do not allow them to drive for more than 11 hours in one shift. One of the main reasons a trucker might ignore safety regulations is that he was told to. By his employer. If that is the case, seasoned Alabama truck accident lawyers can build a case against the trucking company. This is important for you as interstate trucking companies must carry at least $750,000 in insurance liability. 

If the accident was caused by a mechanical failure, such as a problem with the brakes system or blown tire, the trucking company might be held liable as it is their duty to provide maintenance to the vehicles. 

The manufacturer

Or you may have a case against the manufacturer of a part that turned out to be defective and caused the crash. Your lawyers might call in an independent expert to examine the truck. 

The shipping company

Also, if there was a problem with the load and that made the trucker lose control of the semi, your lawyers may be able to build a case against the shipping company or whoever was responsible for loading the truck.

Bottom line, truckers are liable for damages if it was solely their fault, but you always have to investigate and see whether other parties can be blamed, even partly, for what happened. 

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