Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in an 18-Wheeler Accident?
Mobile, AL law firm Braswell Murphy LLC helps people who have been seriously hurt or who have lost loved ones in trucking accidents. We devote a significant part of our practice to these cases and have built a strong record of success with a reputation for tough litigation.
In one case, we obtained $2,315,000 for a dump truck driver injured by an 18-wheeler. Prior to arbitration, the most the injured driver was offered was $200,000. In another case, we won a $1,132,694 verdict for a driver who suffered back and neck injuries in a rear-end 18-wheeler accident.
About Our Mobile, AL Trucking Accident Attorneys
In addition, Attorney Kasie Braswell is a proud member of the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America, a group that backs new legislation to help make driving 18-wheelers safer and hold trucking companies responsible for the actions of their drivers.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an 18-wheeler accident, or if a loved one was killed, you need an experienced Mobile, AL trucking accident lawyer who will fight for your rights. Contact us as soon as possible after the accident, even if you are still at the scene. It's important to begin our work on these cases right away.
"How can a lawyer help if I've been seriously injured in a trucking accident?"
Accidents involving large trucks happen every day in this country. Because of their gigantic size, 18-wheelers are more likely to cause catastrophic injuries and death in an accident than cars. Severe injuries seen in trucking accidents include back and spinal injuries, paralysis and traumatic brain injury.
Trucking companies have lawyers, investigators, accident reconstruction experts and insurance adjusters on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When there's an accident involving one of their trucks, these companies will have their investigators on the scene immediately. They will remove evidence such as cell phones, beer cans or prescription bottles, often before the injured party has been released from the hospital.
At Braswell Murphy, we have our own team of investigators. If you contact us immediately after the accident, we'll get them on the scene, too. Our investigators will document, photograph and secure the physical evidence. They will also note the actions of the trucking company employees. Our experts can reconstruct the accident to determine the most likely cause.
If you've been seriously injured in a truck accident, we will conduct a thorough investigation to examine every potential cause. We will check to ensure that every law and regulation was followed by the trucking company and by the driver. Our experts will examine every detail, such as going over the driver's log and reviewing the maintenance records kept for the truck. And we will identify every responsible party or agency to pursue maximum compensation for you and your family.
"What are the causes of trucking accidents?"
In many cases, it is because of negligent behavior by the truck driver. Here's what happened to some people who were injured in a trucking accident:
"My car was hit by a truck driver who had been driving all night."
There are also Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state regulations that apply to trucking companies. Rules regarding the hiring, training and supervision of drivers must be followed. Trucks must be regularly inspected, repaired and maintained. Cargo must be properly loaded and secured. Special precautions must be taken when transporting hazardous or toxic materials.
But some trucking companies are more concerned about the bottom line than following regulations and taking safety precautions. And when they break the rules, people can get hurt-or killed. If the trucking company broke rules in your accident, we will fight to hold them responsible.
Everyone needs to be alert when driving. Drowsy drivers who have not had enough sleep have slow reaction time and impaired judgment. They make careless mistakes, such as failing to stop at a red light, not paying attention to their speed or failing to check blind spots. They may even fall asleep behind the wheel.
Drowsy driving when operating an 18-wheeler is even more dangerous. That's why there are laws that regulate the number of hours a truck driver can spend on the road each day and each week. But these laws are not always followed. In fact, they are commonly violated by truck drivers.
In some cases, a driver pushing a deadline may try to get in more miles by getting less sleep than needed. Or, the trucking company may have given the truck driver an unrealistic schedule, while putting pressure on the driver to meet all deliveries on time.
Our investigators review all driver's logs, schedules, police reports and other documents for any evidence of drowsy driving.
Drivers of 18-wheelers need to pay extra attention on the road, because their large vehicles are not easy to maneuver and can cause a lot of damage in an accident. But distracted driving is very common, and truck drivers are no different. They drive for hours each day, and their attention can wander. And when that happens, it can cause a serious accident.
Distracted driving means engaging in any activity that takes your attention away from operating the vehicle. Many commercial trucks have on-board computers that drivers use, and even glancing at the screen is a distraction from driving. Other common truck driver distractions include talking on a cell phone, texting, changing the radio station, eating, and reading or filling out paperwork.
We conduct a complete investigation of each trucking accident, and look for any evidence that the driver was distracted. This can include witness statements, police reports and cell phone records.
An 18-wheeler is a massive vehicle, and it is not going to slow down quickly when moving fast on the highway. That's why all truck drivers are required to obey speed limits and maintain safe following distances. But not all truck drivers do this.
Most truck drivers are paid by the mile. The more miles they can travel in a workday, the more money that they make. They may also have an unrealistic deadline. So some drivers try to increase their distance traveled each day by driving faster. This is not only illegal, it also increases the risk of an accident that leaves people seriously hurt or killed.
Information about what might have caused an accident could be captured on the truck's onboard electronic control module (ECM) or electronic data record (EDR)-sometimes called the "black box." These devices capture important data such as the truck's speed and direction of travel at the time of the accident. If you've been hurt in a trucking accident, it's important to call a lawyer as soon as possible to preserve this data, before the trucking company has a chance to erase it.
When truck drivers operate their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they put the lives of everyone around them at risk. Drivers under the influence don't make good decisions and have poor response times. And when they are driving an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer that is speeding down the road, it is an incredibly dangerous situation.
Most drivers are allowed to drive if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .07 or lower. A driver with a BAC of .08 or above is considered legally drunk and is not allowed to drive. But because driving trucks can be so dangerous, the legal limit for commercial truck drivers is even lower. A BAC of .04 is considered legally drunk.
Some drivers take drugs that allow them to stay awake longer and put in more miles. Drugs also affect a driver's decisions and response times, and also create a dangerous situation.
Our investigators review police reports, interview witnesses and examine physical evidence to look for any signs that a truck driver in an accident was under the influence.
The law requires commercial truck drivers to always make safe decisions on the road. The purpose is to try to prevent a collision that could leave people seriously injured. But the fact is, drivers don't always make safe decisions. One of the most common examples is improper passing.
Some examples of improper passing include passing in a construction zone, at an intersection or in a no passing zone. Other examples include passing when there is limited visibility, without using proper signals or without checking blind spots first.
Because of practical restraints of the road or certain driving situations, truck drivers may be limited in passing other cars or trucks. But it is the commercial truck driver's responsibility to recognize these restraints and act accordingly. Failure to do so and taking unnecessary risks can put people's lives in danger.
After a trucking accident, we will review police reports and talk to witnesses to determine if the truck driver was negligent when passing other vehicles.