Huntsville Truck Accident Lawyer
Helpings Residents Throughout Alabama
Do You Need Legal Help?
Huntsville Truck Accident Lawyer
Do You Need Legal Help?
Huntsville Truck Accident Lawyer
Helping Residents Throughout Alabama
Do You Need Legal Help?
The violence of an automobile crash is always scary, but the size and force of a commercial truck takes truck accidents to a whole new level of terrifying. In these accidents, vehicles struck by the truck are often totaled, and injuries are very serious. If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving a commercial truck, we urge you to find out if you are owed compensation.
If you’ve been seriously injured in a truck accident, you’ve probably missed a good deal of work, causing you financial strain. You may be dealing with pain. You are most likely searching for the right person to help you with a truck accident claim.
We are here to help with free legal advice. Call our Huntsville truck accident lawyer today for your free legal consultation.
Don’t let concern over money stop you. Reach out as soon as you can so we can answer your truck accident claim questions.
Huntsville truck accident lawyer Jacob Maples began his career defending insurance companies. His unique insight into the insurance defense realm makes him particularly adept at building strong claims for those he now seeks justice for: victims of accidents and insurance company abuses.
In addition, Jacob Maples holds an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a distinction of excellence only shared by approximately 10% of lawyers.
Commercial Truck Companies Have a Great Responsibility
When it comes to hiring drivers, commercial trucking companies bear a serious legal responsibility to make sure those they hire possess clean driving records. This includes obligatory background checks on every driver they hire. In addition to meeting the physical requirements of the job, drivers must also pass road tests and drug and alcohol screenings.
Once drivers are out on the road, they must adhere to both company and state safety guidelines. Under the rule of “vicarious responsibility,” the liability for any mistakes made by the drivers is shared by the trucking company. As such, the company is responsible for providing compensation to the injured parties.
How to Protect Yourself from the Risk of a Truck Accident
Accidents involving commercial trucks happen for many of the same reasons that they occur with other motor vehicles, such as driving under the influence, reckless driving, and driving while fatigued. Taking defensive driving precautions can help protect you around large commercial trucks.
Give big rigs their space to turn: Since large trucks cannot turn corners easily, it’s best to fall behind them and allow them the space to turn. This is particularly important when they are turning right, because again, they may have difficulty seeing you.
Assume they can’t see you: The bigger the truck, the larger the blind spot. Large commercial trucks are likely to have difficulty seeing the cars around them, especially on their right. Help them see you by staying out of their blind spots and passing only on the left.
Respect the momentum factor: The bigger the truck, the longer it will take them to stop. Don’t ever cut off a truck, even if you think you’ve got the right of way, as they are not going to be able to stop short and will probably hit you. It doesn’t matter who has the right of way when it comes down to your safety. The vehicle with mass and momentum on its side is going to do damage.
Achieving Compensation for an Alabama Truck Accident Claim
Collecting the compensation you deserve after an accident involving a commercial truck in the state of Alabama is tricky. Alabama is an at-fault state, which means that the insurance company of the driver who causes the accident will be liable for the damages suffered by the person they hit. Even so, the laws around fault in the state of Alabama are tricky and stricter than the laws of most other states. Having a lawyer by your side will give you the best chance of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
The most challenging aspect of your truck accident claim is going to be avoiding the insurance companies’ attempts to blame even a small percentage of the accident on you. The state of Alabama’s contributory negligence rule means that if the defendant can throw even 1% of the blame for the accident your way, you cannot collect compensation.
For this one reason alone, you owe it to yourself not to walk into a claim against an insurance company in Alabama without the help of an experienced attorney.
As if that’s not enough, another challenge to the success of your truck accident claim is the potential for more than one at-fault party. Since insurance companies will always seek to save as much money as possible from every claim, they will be looking for any opportunity to deflect blame. This means they may look to blame another potential at-fault party, such as the maintenance crew of the truck, the broker of the contracted clients, the manufacturer, or the crew that loaded the truck, just to name a few. And going back to the previously mentioned contributory negligence rule, the biggest party all other parties will be targeting to shift blame upon is you. If they can do that, your claim is over.
Don’t risk the success of your claim by trying to save money handling your claim alone. The majority of claimants who file claims without attorneys in Alabama receive many times less than those with legal representation, if they succeed at all.
Having the right attorney will ensure all truly at-fault parties are identified and included in your request for compensation without accidentally making yourself the target of blame.
Your Huntsville truck accident lawyer knows the ways the insurance companies will try to slide out of their obligation to compensate you. They can see and sidestep insurance company tactics without damaging the value of your claim.
One of the biggest risks of handling your own claim is the potential to say the wrong thing to the insurance company. Turning all communications with the insurance companies over to your Huntsville truck accident lawyer will provide a consistent message regarding your claim. This will go a long way in protecting your claim’s value.
Your Huntsville truck accident lawyer will also be able to correctly determine the value of your claim, factoring in all your damages. This ensures you don’t leave money “on the table” when negotiating a settlement.
Hiring the right attorney will also be of great help to you if you are one of many victims harmed by the truck. The size of commercial trucks makes it more likely they’ll damage more than just one vehicle. In such a case, it’s especially important to have an experienced attorney fighting for you, so you aren’t left out when compensation is awarded.
Protect the Value of Your Truck Accident Claim
The best way to protect the value of your truck accident claim is by moving forward with an experienced Huntsville truck accident lawyer. Until you select your attorney, however, there are things you can do to protect your claim.
See a Doctor
It’s critical to go to the hospital or get a medical exam right away after the accident. Assume that you may be more injured than you feel due to the adrenaline coursing through your veins. Let a medical professional decide whether you’re okay. If you are hurt, the sooner you receive medical care the better, and having an official record of injury right after the accident will support your claim.
Without an exam on record, the insurance company will start playing their games, suggesting you weren’t hurt because you didn’t seek immediate medical attention. Or, if you wait to get an exam, the insurance company is likely to suggest you were injured in an unrelated incident you are now trying to “cash in” on. It’s not fair, but it’s realistic to expect the insurance company to use any opportunity you “give” them to save money.
Follow the Treatment Plan
After you’ve been treated and released, your doctor will provide instructions for continuing your recovery at home as an outpatient. This is another crucial element that can support or jeopardize your claim.
Your treatment plan is going to include one or more things you can do to support your recovery. It may involve medication, physical therapy, rest, ice, heat, or something else. And it’s likely to involve a combination of these things. Whatever your treatment plan includes, it’s important that you follow it to support your physical healing as well as your claim.
Doing more than is recommended can jeopardize your claim as much as not doing enough. Insurance companies still employ investigators who may take video of you when you’re out in public. If you’ve got a back injury and you’re caught on surveillance at the county fair in a bumper car with your kids, for example, your claim is going to be in danger of getting tossed out. Make sure you follow doctor’s orders for all you should do and all you should avoid doing while you recover.
Refuse the Call from the Insurance Company
Once you’ve filed an accident report, the insurance company will have an insurance company employee call you for a statement. You do not have to take this call without the assistance of your attorney. The insurance adjuster is not calling to help you. This person is calling to help the insurance company save money by finding a way to twist your words to lower or deny your claim.
Remember contributory negligence—they only need to find an opening to blame you for 1% of the accident to prevent you from collecting compensation. Your best course of action is to delegate all conversations with insurance companies to your Huntsville truck accident lawyer. At the very least, speak to an attorney in a free legal consultation before speaking to anyone from the insurance companies—including your own insurance company. You have the right to seek legal counsel.
Hire an Attorney as Soon as You Can
It’s understandable that finding a lawyer may be far from your mind after you’ve been in an accident involving a commercial truck. Just the same, it’s crucial to retain an experienced attorney as quickly as you can.
Long before you must worry about the filing deadline for a claim, you’ve got to make sure evidence doesn’t “evaporate.” It’s an unfortunate truth that this sometimes happens, whether it’s unintentional or not. This is especially relevant when gaining access to the data of the truck’s black box. The data it contains regarding things like vehicle speed, GPS position, and rate of deceleration can be extremely valuable in supporting your claim.
Time is also an essential factor in gaining valuable testimony from witnesses. Witnesses are likely to forget critical details over the passage of time. They may also relocate, becoming impossible to find.
In addition, your attorney will want to take advantage of any electronic “witnesses” in the area, in the form of video cameras that may have caught footage of the crash. Depending on the quality of the footage, the proof supplied by security cameras can be almost impossible to contradict.
The sooner you select an attorney, the sooner they can begin building your case, and the stronger that case is likely to be.
You may feel far from capable of searching for an attorney right after the accident. If so, consider asking for help from a loved one. Your friend or family member will probably be grateful to have a way to assist you in your recovery struggle. They can bring you their recommendations and together you can narrow down the list of lawyers they should call to schedule a free legal consultation.
Make Sure the Lawyer You Hire Is the Best Fit for Your Truck Accident Claim
When you search for an attorney (or ask for help in selecting one), you or your helper will want to review their website to make sure they spend a great deal of their time focusing on personal injury, including truck accidents. As we mentioned, truck accident claims in Alabama are complex and the contributory negligence rule makes them risky to undertake alone. Look for a personal injury trial attorney with a record of success in truck accident claims.
Alabama Truck Accident Client Story
We are sharing the client story that follows to help illustrate additional elements of a truck accident claim. Please note, though we’ve changed the names and details to protect the privacy of our client, the value of the information remains. Please read to the end. When you’re finished, reach out to schedule your own free legal consultation so we can answer the questions you have about your own case.
Early on a sunny morning in late June not very long ago, Will Garvin and his wife Irene sat on the front porch of their Huntsville home with their dog, Edmund III. The back porch was private, but they’d always gravitated to the front, enjoying their coffee as they waved to neighbors and watched the world go by. It was a well-worn ritual they looked forward to every morning, rain or shine. As far as they were concerned, the view never got old.
Will and Irene had been married for 27 years and were both in their early 50s. They’d been in their home almost as long, raising their daughter and adopted son there. Macy was a sophomore in college, away at the University of Tennessee. At seventeen, Elias was still in high school. He’d be doing his senior year “away,” too.
They sat without speaking, sipping coffee and watching cars slide by, their sadness a heavy thing between them. At his distracted sigh, Irene popped up and went to the kitchen. She returned a few moments later with fresh cinnamon rolls, Will’s favorite. She hoped they would put a smile on his face, but he ate his without comment.
“Going to orientation today?” she asked casually, topping off his coffee cup. They both knew he was due at the facility in just over an hour.
“I am,” he said, staring off into the distance.
“I think you’re going to really enjoy it,” she said, hoping her encouragement didn’t sound as artificial as it felt. “Habitat for Humanity is such a great organization.”
Will had dropped his hours to part time for the summer, turning over the day-to-day operations of his small landscaping business largely to his foreman until September. He’d intended to spend quality time with Elias, who’d been uncharacteristically distant over the past year.
They’d gotten word that Elias’s biological father had returned to the area back in November. Though they’d been open to it, they’d never had any communication from the man. Elias had yet to bring it up, but his attitude had been deteriorating as the months ticked by.
The family counselor had recommended they let their adopted son set the pace, and they had. Except for the volunteering. Will had to commit to the decision by mid-June so he could make space in his calendar. He’d decided to go for it.
He’d signed them both up to help with landscaping projects through the summer with the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Will admitted he was hoping Elias would discover an interest in landscaping and might someday take over the family business. But at the very least, he hoped his son was happy with the quality time together.
Instead, everything had gone sideways. Will closed his eyes remembering how his son’s animosity finally flared at the news of their upcoming plans. He’d hoped Elias would be happy. He couldn’t have been more unprepared for Elias’s response. I’m such a dope, Will thought, sadly.
The last thing Elias had said to him was, “Stop trying to control my life,” and then he’d uttered the four words that had broken Will’s heart. You’re not my dad.
Elias had left to stay with his father, planning to remain there through his senior year of high school. Will took it very hard. As far as he was concerned, Elias would always be his son.
Though he’d had to cancel the boy’s volunteer commitment, Irene had talked him into keeping his own commitment, suggesting he might enjoy it. He’d been reluctant, but on some level, he knew she was probably right.
Less than an hour after they’d finished the cinnamon rolls, Irene gave her husband a bag lunch and a kiss on the cheek, ordering him to have a great day. She watched him from the porch as he climbed heavily into his small pickup truck and headed to the end of their street, where he turned left onto Craft Avenue to catch Pulaski Pike down to University.
Traffic was light and moving well, and Will made it to the facility on Pratt Avenue quickly. He was waiting to turn left when a semi-truck rumbled into his blind spot on the right. He registered it there out of the corner of his eye, assuming it would pass him and continue on. When it didn’t, he glanced over to find it looming larger and larger as it slid toward his pickup.
Will would not remember the deafening sound as the semi slammed into his truck, sweeping it into the oncoming lane. Miraculously, his pickup sailed across both westbound lanes without colliding with anyone else as both vehicles caromed into the mouth of the parking lot. Will’s truck finally came to rest as the semi jackknifed out across Pratt, its nose still buried in the cab of Will’s truck.
Will woke up in the hospital. The last thing he remembered was the truck’s left side eclipsing his cab. He had a broken left shoulder, a right knee sprain, and a traumatic brain injury (TBI). He’d been unconscious for over 24 hours.
Irene was by his side, sitting up excitedly as Will’s eyes fluttered open. He tried to speak but couldn’t seem to make the words come out right. Irene couldn’t understand him, concern washing over her face. Tears ran down Will’s face as he tried in vain to communicate. Irene squeezed his hand and told him she’d find the doctor.
She returned five minutes later with a petite woman wearing a white lab coat. After working with Will for several minutes, she explained to them that he was exhibiting dysarthria.
“It’s a condition in which the speech of a person with a traumatic brain injury may be difficult to understand due to damage to the area of the brain that controls speech. We’ll need to do further examination to rule out other forms of difficulty, such as dysphagia or apraxia. We may also see improvement over time,” said Dr. Burman.
“How is the condition treated?” asked Irene.
“If the issue does not resolve in the near future, several doctors will provide expertise in improving Mr. Garvin’s condition through a combination of therapies. This will likely involve myself as his neurologist, a speech-language pathologist, and probably an occupational therapist and an audiologist.
“It’s too soon to worry, as we don’t have enough information yet, but if we need to work on it long-term, the process can take months, up to a year.”
That afternoon, Irene began searching online for an attorney to give them guidance about a claim. She’d spent the morning reading about the various conditions the doctor had mentioned. Even if things improved as quickly as was reasonable, Will’s TBI and other injuries would wreak havoc on their finances for months to come. There was no way he’d be returning to work any time soon, and his company was too small to continue on for long without his involvement. They needed help and they needed answers.
Will and Irene met with Huntsville Truck Accident Lawyer Jacob Maples four days later in the hospital room.
How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?
“Thank you for meeting us here,” Irene said as Attorney Maples sat down. “As you know from our phone call, I’ll be doing the majority of the talking on behalf of my husband. He is still struggling a great deal with his speech.
“The first thing we need to know is, how much does it cost to hire your firm? Will owns a small landscaping company, and though he’d planned to drop to part time hours this summer, we had not been prepared for him to be sidelined like this. It’s going to be a financial mess.”
“I understand completely,” said Attorney Maples. “The firm operates on a contingency-fee model, which means we front all expenses for our clients from start to finish. There is no out-of-pocket expense for you. When the case wraps up, you only pay us when we’ve successfully resolved your truck accident claim.”
Irene closed her eyes, breathing a sigh of relief as her husband slowly nodded.
What is my truck accident case worth?
“Okay, thank you,” Irene said, making a note on her pad. “What do you think the value of a claim like this might be?”
“That’s a question everyone wants to know, understandably, but it’s not one that can be answered instantly,” said Attorney Maples.
“To give you a reliable answer, I’ll need to conduct a thorough investigation into the accident. We’ll also need Mr. Garvin to reach what is called ‘maximum medical improvement.’ This is the point at which he’ll be considered to have recovered back to his pre-accident level of health. It will mean he’s through with surgeries and we have an idea of what any future impact his injuries will have on his life.”
Irene and Will looked at each other. “And if he’s unable to recover all the way back to where he was before?” she asked, anxiety knotting her stomach.
“Then his maximum medical improvement will be when his doctors tell us he’s gotten as far as he can go,” said Maples. “Don’t worry, we’ll be in close communication with your husband’s medical team. They will help us to know how he’s doing.
“Once he’s reached maximum medical improvement, we’ll know his damages,” said Maples. “That’s when we’ll be able to give you a reliable idea of the value of his claim.”
How long will my claim take?
“Ow lah,” Will said from his bed, frustration tightening the skin around his eyes as he struggled to enunciate. “Ow laaaah?” He tried again.
Irene reached out and squeezed Will’s hand, nodding her understanding. She turned back to Maples. “My husband is asking how long a truck accident claim will take.” Will nodded in agreement, watching the attorney.
“That too, is going to depend on a couple of factors,” said Attorney Maples. “The first is how long it takes Mr. Garvin to reach maximum medical improvement, so we can be certain of his damages. Once he reaches that point, we’ll send a demand letter to the insurance company. Their response will set the timeline for the rest of the case.
“If they are open to working with us in good faith toward a full and fair settlement, we’ll be able to wrap up the claim quickly at that point. If they fight us, however, we’ll sue them in court. As you may expect, a lawsuit will extend the timeframe of the case.
“Please don’t worry over the possibility of a lawsuit, though,” Attorney Maples said. “You may have seen on my website that I used to work on the defense side of insurance company claims. I know all their moves, and I’m more than willing to meet them in front of a jury if necessary. This fact sometimes leads to willingness on the part of the insurance company to consider a fair settlement instead of risking a trial.
“There are no guarantees, but I assure you, I’ll be up to the challenge, whichever way your husband’s claim goes. That’s why whether you decide to retain me or another attorney, I urge you to make sure you hire a personal injury trial lawyer with experience in truck accident claims.”
Will and Irene were satisfied with the information they received during their free legal consultation. They promised to call Attorney Maples later that day with a decision about moving forward. As he left, a young woman entered the room with a dazzling smile.
“Macy!” Her mother beamed. Their daughter had flown home to Huntsville the day after the accident and had been visiting daily.
“Good news! I’m home until fall semester begins,” she announced. “And I’ve brought someone to see you.” Her smile turned mischievous as she held the door open. A young man hesitated in the doorway, looking self-conscious.
“Elias,” Will said, surprising himself, Irene, and Macy. It was the first word he’d spoken clearly since the accident.
“Hi, Dad,” his son said with a smile as tears ran down his face.
Irene called Attorney Maples that afternoon, and they moved forward with a truck accident claim. Attorney Maples won the claim, getting Will over seven times the amount initially offered by the insurance company.
Call Our Huntsville Truck Accident Lawyer Today
We hope you’ve gained helpful information from this page. Since no two claims are the same, we urge you to reach out to our Huntsville truck accident lawyer to schedule your free legal consultation. Let us help you navigate your own claim and pursue the compensation you deserve. Call today.
My experience with Jacob Maples was great! I appreciate him and his paralegal Lisa! They are easy to talk too, explain detail for detail and will keep you updated on everything.. Hands down great experience!