Trying to maneuver a huge commercial truck down residential neighborhood or city streets can be especially challenging. In most cases, to make a wide turn, a truck needs to take up an extra traffic lane to execute a turn. People around the truck may be injured in the course of the turn if it is made carelessly. If you are injured in a truck turning accident in Alabama, you can consult Decatur truck accident lawyer Greg Reeves at the Reeves Law Firm. Not all personal injury attorneys understand how to handle motor vehicle collision cases involving large trucks. Often, trucking companies and insurers are very invested in avoiding liability, and it is important to retain an attorney who has the skill and toughness to fight them head-on so that you can get the compensation to which you are entitled.Establishing Liability for Turning Accidents
Turning accidents can occur in a few different ways. Sometimes the accident occurs because the semi or tractor-trailer truck driver needs to move into another traffic lane in order to make a right turn. If he is distracted, for example, he may collide with a car in the other lane, but he may also cause a squeeze play accident in which he hits a car on the right and squeezes the driver and any passengers between the truck and the sidewalk. Sometimes an accident occurs because the truck's long trailer swings out and hits a smaller vehicle or pedestrian.
There are many possible reasons for a turning accident. Sometimes the cause is an inexperienced truck driver who does not have the appropriate training to drive a huge commercial truck. In other cases, a driver is fatigued and has rested insufficiently. Sometimes a truck driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs. Sometimes a turning accident is caused by an overloaded truck or unsecured cargo. A turning accident can be caused by speeding or by a driver who does not check a blind spot.
If you are trying to hold a truck driver liable for a turning accident because you were seriously injured, or a loved one suffered a wrongful death, you will likely need to establish the driver's negligence. This means that your lawyer will need to prove that it is more likely than not that the truck driver had a duty to drive safely, but their unsafe driving caused an accident and damages. A truck driver can breach the duty to use reasonable care in a number of ways, including by drunk driving, distracted driving, or fatigued driving. Any of these breaches could cause a squeeze play accident, the truck swinging into oncoming traffic, or a tip-over accident. A truck driver who is not paying attention to oncoming traffic could encroach on the rights of oncoming drivers while trying to swing wide enough to make the turn, for example.
Even when liability is relatively clear, the truck driver may try to blame the accident victim. Under the doctrine of contributory negligence, the jury will evaluate the evidence and arguments about the truck driver's actions, as well as your actions. You will not be able to recover damages if you are found to have been negligent.
Sometimes, a truck driver's insurance policy is insufficient to pay all of an accident victim's damages. That is why it is important to retain an attorney who can look at the facts and circumstances of the turning accident closely to determine whether others were at fault and may be held accountable.
Another party that may bear responsibility for a turning accident is the trucking company. Trucking companies are supposed to conduct background checks and drug and alcohol testing. They are supposed to make sure that their drivers are adequately trained and supervise them appropriately. Training should include training in how to safely make turns. A trucking company can be held vicariously liable for a driver's negligence in the course and scope of employment, and it can also be held directly liable for its own negligence in hiring, training, or supervision.Explore Your Options Following a Truck Crash in the Decatur Area
If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a turning accident in Alabama, it is important to consult a lawyer immediately. Attorney Greg Reeves has 25 years of legal experience. He represents people in Decatur, Athens, Huntsville, Madison, Hartselle, and Birmingham, as well as other areas of Cullman, Lauderdale, Madison, Morgan, Lawrence, Limestone, and Jackson Counties. Contact us at 256.355.3311 or via our online form for a free appointment.