Car and Truck Accidents
Mobile Alabama Car and Truck Accident Attorney
According to Alabama Traffic 2012 Crash Facts, there were 128,307 crashes in the state in 2012, accounting for 40,202 injuries and 970 fatalities. Among 18-wheelers and semi-truck tractor-trailers, there where 5,798 crashes, resulting in 1,562 injuries and 90 deaths. The most tragic fact of all is that nearly all of these accidents were preventable and can be attributed to driver negligence or inattention, or improper vehicle maintenance or product defects. The personal injury attorneys at the Carter Law Firm in Mobile help victims of car and truck accidents recover compensation for their injuries from the negligent drivers or other responsible parties.
Alabama Car Insurance Requirements
Alabama law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance with coverage of at least $25,000 for personal injury to one person, or $50,000 if multiple people were injured in the accident, as well as $25,000 to cover property damage. Failing to maintain at least this minimum amount of insurance is a crime, carrying penalties that include fines, drivers’ license suspension, and suspension of vehicle registration. Most prudent drivers carry more than the minimum amounts, knowing that a serious accident can result in much higher costs to the victim in terms of present and future medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
While the insurance company may be obligated to pay a valid claim, they employ teams of “adjusters” who decide how much your claim is worth and how much they will pay you. Often, this amount is considerably less than the actual value of your claim, if all the aspects of your injury were properly considered. Whether negotiating a settlement with the insurance company or taking them to court, you need knowledgeable and experienced injury attorneys on your side to make sure you do not settle for less than your claim is worth, or have your claim denied entirely based on contributory negligence or some other factor.
What to Do when Struck by Uninsured Motorists
Despite the legal requirement to maintain liability insurance, more than one in five drivers on the road go without insurance in Alabama. At 22% uninsured, Alabama has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country! If you are hit by an uninsured driver, or injured in a hit and run where you cannot identify the driver, you can still make a claim with your own insurance company under your Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This coverage is required under all liability policies and is included with your liability policy, unless you specifically rejected the coverage in writing. Given the number of uninsured motorists on the road in Alabama, it is strongly recommended that you carry UM/UIM coverage in amounts equal to the liability coverage you purchase.
Just because you are making a claim with “your” insurance company, however, remember that they will still hire adjusters and try to pay as little as they can or find a way to deny your claim. Legal representation can help you protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
Tens of millions of tons of cargo go in and out of the Port of Mobile every year, and that cargo gets there either by rail or truck. With a heavy amount of semi-truck traffic traveling the I-10, I-65 and various state roads and highways at all hours, truck accidents present an ever-present risk of serious injury or death to the occupants of smaller, lighter passenger vehicles who get in their way.
Truck accidents are frequently caused by truck driver negligence or carelessness on the road. Speeding and aggressive driving may be a factor, as truckers are pressured to deliver their cargo on a strict schedule, and if they fall behind, they must find a way to make up lost time. Driver fatigue is another risk factor for truck crashes, since truckers may stay behind the wheel longer than is safe.
In addition to truck driver error, mechanical failures and improper maintenance is a very real threat on the road. Random tractor-trailer inspections by state and federal agencies frequently turn up out-of-adjustment brakes and worn tires that require the authorities to take the truck and/or driver out of service immediately. These inspections routinely discover falsified logbooks and records as well, revealing trucks that are being operated knowingly out of compliance.
Alabama Traffic 2012 Crash Facts lists the following reasons as the major causes of Alabama truck crashes:
- Improper Lane Change
- Failed to Yield Right of Way
- Unseen Object, Person, or Vehicle
- Misjudged Stopping Distance
- Defective Equipment
- Improper Turn
- Improper Backing
- Failure to Heed Sign/Signal
- Crossed Median/Centerline
- Driving too Fast for Conditions
- Improper Passing
- Fatigued/Asleep at the wheel
- Ran Off Road
- Driving Under the Influence
Get Help with Your Mobile Car or Truck Accident Claim
At the Carter Law Firm, our experienced attorneys know how to properly investigate a car or truck accident and determine who is responsible. We also take steps to preserve evidence and the record of the accident for future settlement negotiations or litigation. Without experienced legal representation, you are likely to settle for less than your claim is worth or lose out on your ability to recover much-needed compensation for your injuries. In Mobile and Baldwin counties, contact the Carter Law Firm for a free consultation with experienced and successful Alabama car and truck accident lawyers.