Truck Collisions – Do you need a Truck Accident Lawyer in Mobile, AL?

Tractor trailers deliver goods all over the country every day of the week. Their drivers often work brutal hours and travel great distances, all while dealing with the pressure of tight deadlines—and in some cases, while carrying hazardous cargo. The combination of these factors create a potent mix that can lead to serious or fatal truck collisions, and many truck drivers find themselves needing a truck accident lawyer in Mobile, AL.

Because of tractor trailers’ massive size and weight, when they get into a collision, it is often horrific in nature: and more often than not, it’s not the truck driver who suffers. When involved in fatal truck accidents, the truck driver survives over 86 percent of the time. There are a variety of factors at play, but the biggest reason is that huge trucks offer a great deal of protection to their drivers; for the other vehicle involved, however, that size dramatically increases the chance of fatalities. According to a 2008 federal report, 8 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities involve large trucks, while those same trucks make up only 2 percent of motor vehicle injuries. The most common scenario in these types of crashes is a truck jackknifing due to equipment failure, improper braking, or adverse road conditions.

Reasons for Truck Collisions – Reasons you may need a Truck Accident Attorney in Mobile, AL.

Knowing your rights will help you make an informed choice should you need to contact a truck accident attorney in Mobile, AL. The following is a list of the most common reasons for truck accidents and injuries we currently see in our office.

  • Vehicle malfunction. The biggest culprit in this category is defective brakes. A 2006 federal study showed that deficient or poorly adjusted brakes were a factor in 29.4 percent of all fatal truck crashes, and that about 19 percent of all inspected commercial vehicles were found to have brake defects. Other causes include light/marker/signal malfunctions, lack of proper tire pressure, and suspension problems.
  • Driver speeding, often to meet a deadline.
  • Driver fatigue.
  • Driver inexperience.
  • Driver inattention, often due to eating or talking. This is one factor that leads to the single biggest cause of truck fatalities: the failure of the driver to stay in the proper lane.
  • Unsafe driving given inclement weather conditions.
  • Overloading of cargo

Although truck driver training is rigorous, if a commercial trucking company is facing tight deadlines, they may put drivers on the road after incomplete or inadequate training. In addition, one of the agreements in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) makes it easier for Mexican truck drivers, whose training is less intense than that of their American counterparts, to work in this country.

Though there are always multiple factors contributing to any car accident, when a truck is involved, the stakes are immediately raised. Not only does the size and weight of the truck increase the chance of serious personal injury, a truck’s cargo can create health problems as well. Overturned trucks carrying hazardous waste, flammable liquids, or other toxic materials can put you in immediate danger, even if you are not personally involved in the accident.

When to Consult a Truck Accident Lawyer in Mobile, AL.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in the Gulf Coast Area, then please contact Taylor Martin, P.C. Speaking with an experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Mobile, AL can help you decide the best course of action.

Drowsy Truck Drivers and Accidents - Taylor Martino

Drowsy Truck Drivers and Accidents - Taylor Martino

 

Drowsy Driving and Truck Accidents: When to Call a Mobile, Alabama Truck Accident Lawyer at Taylor Martino P.C.

Huge powerful trucks of deserve respect on the road, demand exceptional driver focus, added caution, a dedication to obeying traffic laws, and most importantly a driver that is well rested and attentive. Even with the best of intentions, dangerous collisions still occur. And that’s when calling upon a Mobile, AL Truck Accident Lawyer becomes most important. Recently, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) conducted a survey that determined a person being awake for 17 consecutive hours produced the same effect as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of five percent. The legal definition of impairment in Alabama is eight percent. The NSF also identified five factors that lead to fatigue while driving, all of which affect people who drive a truck for a living more than others. These include:

  • Erratic behavior caused by sleepiness: While falling asleep at the wheel is an obvious cause of trucking accidents, it’s far from the only one. Sleepy drivers engage in other types of dangerous behavior, including driving too fast and exercising poor judgment. Like driving while intoxicated, driving while drowsy causes slower reaction times, poor coordination, lack of concentration, and unclear vision.
  • Highway hypnosis: This condition occurs after long stretches of driving, with or without passengers in the vehicle. It causes drivers to be less aware of their surroundings and almost as though they are operating in a dream instead of real life.
  • Shift work: People who work irregular hours, including those who work overnight shifts, are more likely to feel drowsy while driving than those who work a typical daytime schedule. Driving at night is already more challenging due to the reduced visibility and dealing with the constant glare from headlights and stoplights. Night shift workers must also fight the body’s natural tendency to desire sleep once it’s dark outside. This is one reason why crashes involving commercial trucks peak in the overnight hours.
  • Sleep apnea: According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), up to 25 percent of big rig drivers suffer from sleep apnea. This condition disturbs normal breathing patterns and makes it challenging for people who have it to get a good night’s rest. Although federal laws prohibit those with sleep apnea from driving a commercial truck, many people who apply for this work don’t know that they have the condition. Sometimes employers do know about a trucker’s sleep apnea and insist that he or she drive anyway.
  • Sleep deprivation: With their regular long shifts, commercial truck drivers are more likely than other drivers to suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. The NSF reports that the risk of a crash increases by up to five times when a driver has had less than eight hours of sleep the night before the accident.

There’s also the fact that employers may offer incentives to drivers who disregard safety rules such as a mandatory rest period and focus on production instead. In addition to providing bonuses for deliveries that arrive on time or ahead of schedule, employers may illegally threaten to fire drivers who don’t meet their daily quota even if it means compromising on safety.

Laws to Prevent Drowsy Driving Truck Accidents

Together with the FMSCA, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has helped to push through legislation aimed at reducing these accidents. Truck drivers may not work more than 70 hours in eight days or drive more than 11 hours after being off duty for 10 hours. Even so, it’s not uncommon to falsify driving and rest break reports due to employer pressure. This is one reason why accidents between big rigs and passenger vehicles keep happening.

You Need a Mobile, Alabama Truck Accident Attorney

Trucking companies have the resources to protect themselves from personal injury claims even if it means denying the truth. If you have been injured by a commercial truck driver, we invite you to contact the experienced Mobile, Alabama Truck Accident Attorneys at Taylor Martino at 1-800-256-7728 to request a free and confidential review of your case. We’re prepared to fight for your right to receive fair compensation and are not intimidated by commercial trucking companies, their lawyers, or their insurance agents.

You just had a trucking accident and now you need an attorney. Whether you have been in an accident before or not, this can be a hard choice to make. At Taylor Martino, we like to make things as easy as possible for our clients, even before they choose to become clients. Here are a few things to look for in a personal injury attorney.

What kind of expertise does the lawyer have?

If you have been in a trucking accident, make sure the lawyers you are looking to hire are experienced in working truck accident cases. There are laws and regulations you need your lawyer to know about before representing you.

What kind of experience does the lawyer have?

If you are looking for a lawyer to represent you, having experience in litigation is much needed. Not all trucking accident cases go to court, so you will need an experienced negotiator to make sure your injury claims are settled correctly. If you do go to court, you want an experienced lawyer representing you to help get the most compensation needed.

Does the lawyer you are hiring have a good reputation?

When your lawyer represents you, they will be talking to a number of people on your behalf. Having a good reputation among insurance companies and other businesses in town is beneficial to helping your case be settled in a timely and fair manner.

Is the lawyer going to charge you for the initial consultation?

Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation before you decide whether or not you want to work with them. If you make an appointment, be sure to ask how much the first meeting will cost. Also, do not sign a retainer unless you plan to work specifically with the lawyer you are signing with. No one should ask you to sign a retainer simply for coming in to meet with them.

At Taylor Martino, we understand making the decision of which lawyer to choose to represent you after a trucking accident can seem like a tough task, but it doesn’t have to be. Use these helpful hints or call us for more information. Our lawyers would be glad to help.

Richard H. Taylor, Esq.

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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Requirements for CDL Truck Drivers

Why you should contact an experienced Mobile, Alabama Truck Wreck Lawyer at Taylor Martino P.C.

Traveling on the highways, with or without family, can be stressful at times. Especially if you worry about the truck drivers on the roads with you. New regulations required by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) state all USDOT physicals must be performed by one of the qualified health professionals listed in the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

According to the FMSCA website, “Safety is our highest priority and it is vital that every commercial truck and bus driver be qualified, alert, and focused when they are behind the wheel,” said Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “Medical examiners equipped with a thorough understanding of DOT fitness standards will be able to ensure that commercial drivers meet the health requirements necessary to operate on our highways and roads, thereby strengthening safety for every traveler.”

So what does this mean to you, the driver? It means CDL drivers must have their examinations done by medical professionals trained specifically on what to look for in drivers. A USDOT medical exam assesses a number of conditions that could affect a driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle they are driving. Cardiovascular disease, respiratory and muscular functions, vision and hearing capabilities are some of the things screened during the process. This new program is required by federal law for medical professionals and drivers.

As of May 2014, more than 22,000 medical professionals had completed the coursework and testing. These professionals are listed on the National Registry with more beginning the certification process. Interstate commercial truck and bus driver’s who currently hold a medical certificate will not be required to visit a certified medical examiner until their current license is expired. However, they must pass a USDOT medical examination every two years to maintain their CDL, obtain a medical certification and legally operate a commercial motor vehicle.

FMCSA developed the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners program as part of the agency’s commitment to enhancing the medical oversight of interstate drivers and preventing commercial vehicle-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities. The medical examiners on the National Registry are required as well to maintain federal standards through training and recertification. To learn more, visit http://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov

The Mobile, Alabama Truck Wreck Attorneys of Taylor Martino have handled a number of trucking accident cases. In each case, Taylor Martino determines  if a medical card was provided to an unsafe, unqualified driver. A trucking company must require the use of one of these certified examiners, but often they do not. Unsafe CMV drivers remain on our roads.

We anticipate several CMV drivers acquire a medical card from their “favorite” medical provider. Since they won’t have to recertify for a year, don’t expect safer roads until at least May 21, 2016! When you hire a Mobile, Alabama Truck Wreck Attorney, be sure that lawyer is up to date on the ever-changing trucking laws. Ask questions.

Contact an experienced Mobile, Alabama Truck Wreck Attorney

If you have suffered a personal injury, you need to call a Mobile, Alabama Truck Wreck Attorney at Taylor Martino at 251.433.3131 or Toll-Free at 1-800-256-7728 for a free consultation. You owe it to yourself.

 

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll-Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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no zone

In any given year, over 100,000 people are injured in truck accidents. When you are in a collision with an 18-wheeler truck there are things you need to know in order to maximize recovery against all of the defendants. For example, it is key that you do not talk with anyone from the trucking company. This includes employees, as well as companies assisting the trucking company, such as the investigators, lawyers, and the insurance company. 

It is key to begin investigating as soon as possible after a truck accident. An accident reconstruction expert will need to be immediately dispatched to the scene so they can secure measurements, photographs, and evidence. The truck’s black box data, as well as the truck’s GPS data, will need to be secured and downloaded. The trucking company’s licenses, insurance, and safety record will be investigated, as well as the background and criminal history of the truck driver. If the collision resulted in death, autopsy records will need to be acquired. Also, notice letters will need to be quickly sent to the trucking company demanding that all evidence remains in its post-accident state. Failure to act quickly on any of these accords can, unfortunately, result in the destruction of evidence. 

In addition to all of the items that need to quickly fall into place after a truck accident, it is also vital to research and determine the best venue in which to bring the claim. It is rare that a truck collision lawsuit involves only one state’s laws or court system. Most likely, the trucking company is located in a different state than the one where the collision occurred, not to mention the driver is probably a resident of a third state. In order to achieve the most favorable results, it is critical to determine at the start of the case which state’s laws are the most advantageous to you and bring the case to that state.

Truck collisions can occur for many reasons including bad trucking company policies or carelessness. Companies will often hire inexperienced drivers and fail to adequately train them. Often times, companies fail to even run a criminal and/or driving background check. Equipment also plays a large role in the safety of 18-wheeler trucks. If the truck is overloaded, not properly secured, or poorly maintained, an accident can occur. Companies tend to overwork and over schedule their drivers which can lead them to drive with a lack of sleep. Driving while sleep deprived can result in non-alert driving which is especially dangerous when operating an 80,000-pound piece of equipment.

Poor judgment from the truck driver can also lead to truck accidents. You would be unpleasantly surprised to know how many truck drivers choose to drive with drugs and/or alcohol in their system. Today’s drivers are also more distracted with talking on the phone, texting, checking emails, and looking at GPS. With the tight deadlines and busy schedule, they can choose to drive recklessly and speed. Other conditions, such as highway hypnosis (after thousands of miles watching the same scenery, a driver can enter a sort of “trance” like state) and blind spots (the area behind a truck which is not visible on most mirror systems) are more out of a drivers control.

There are also some causes of truck accidents that are not the fault of the trucking company or the driver. Road construction can create hazardous conditions, improper signage can obstruct the driver’s view, and defective highway design can lead to collisions.

Types of Truck Accidents Handled by Taylor Martino, PC:

  • 18-Wheelers
  • Commercial Trucks
  • Box Trucks
  • Tanker Trucks
  • Delivery Trucks
  • Gravel Trucks
  • Dump Trucks
  • Construction Trucks
  • Cement Mixers
  • Crane Trucks
  • Utility Trucks
  • Garbage Trucks
  • U-Haul Trucks & Trailers
  • Buses

The lawyers of Taylor Martino, PC have been providing aggressive, effective legal representation in courtrooms for over 30 years. When it comes to truck accidents, we have a wealth of experience, as well as a network of local experts to present opinions as evidence to prove our case. If you, or a loved one, has been injured in a truck accident in Alabama or the gulf coast area, then please contact the experienced truck injury lawyers at Taylor Martino, PC for an initial consultation. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay a dime unless we collect compensation for your case. Remember, time is of the essence when maximizing recovery so, protect yourself and call today!

TAYLOR MARTINO, P.C.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
51 Saint Joseph Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
Toll Free: 1-800-256-7728
Main Tel:  251-433-3131
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