Commercial vehicle accidents affect thousands of lives each year – and leave many passenger car drivers with debilitating injuries. Of course, these crashes can be incredibly complex, due to the fact that commercial vehicles, like semi-trucks, have many parties involved in their operational procedures.
If you need help recovering from your injuries after a truck accident, you can count on our attorneys at Cunningham Bounds, LLC to advocate for your needs. We understand how devastating truck accidents can be for injury victims, and we’re committed to seeking out the restitution that you deserve. As one of the premier award-winning law firms in Alabama, we have the resources and the knowledge to increase your chance of compensation.
How Can I Seek Compensation for a Truck Accident?
When Drivers Put Passengers at Risk
While there are many different kinds of commercial vehicles out on the roads, the most formidable by far are semi-trucks (also known as tractor-trailers or “big rigs.”) These massive machines cause at least 4,000 deaths each year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The vast majority of these fatalities are passenger car drivers, because commercial trucks may weigh up to 30 times more than the average family vehicle.
Unfortunately, while other auto accident rates have steadily decreased over time, truck accidents have continued to cause a high level of deaths and injuries. Because passenger car drivers are uniquely vulnerable to these accidents, truck drivers have a high “duty of care” to ensure that their driving is above reproach.
Many truck drivers fail to observe this duty, and may commit the following acts of negligence:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to follow traffic safety laws
- Speeding in a slower freeway zone
- Distracted driving due to cell phones or music
- Falling asleep at the wheel due to driver fatigue
- Lack of proper training
- Improper truck maintenance
Logo Liability and the Role of Carrier Companies
Even if an individual truck driver was primarily responsible for your crash, this may not always be the best strategy for maximizing compensation – or ensuring that all the liable parties pay their fair share. Because of a principle called “logo liability,” trucking carrier companies may be ultimately responsible for the trucks that they own, rent, or lease for shipping and transporting purposes.
Most of the trucks you see on the road are owned by a small business owner with no more than 2-4 trucks in their fleet. These smaller companies are then leased out by the biggest national trucking companies and shipping magnates, and their drivers work as seasonal independent contractors for the carrier company. Although the company would not typically be liable for independent contractors, the doctrine of logo liability ensures that these bigger corporations are held accountable for accidents.
This is also important when it comes to seeking compensation for your truck accident claim: In most cases, the smaller companies and individual truck drivers will not be able to cover the costs of a life-altering catastrophic injury. Because of logo liability, you may be able to include the carrier companies in your lawsuit, increasing your chances of a settlement.
Here are just a few of the parties that could be held responsible in a commercial vehicle accident:
- The truck manufacturers
- The truck driver
- Maintenance workers
- The carrier company
- Individual employees at the carrier company
- The truck owner or proprietor
Taking Legal Action After Your Commercial Vehicle Accident
Given how many parties can be involved in the average semi-truck accident, it’s easy to be overwhelmed at the prospect of bringing a personal injury lawsuit. While you focus on recovering from your injuries, let our award-winning legal team take on all the responsible parties and hold them accountable for your losses.
At Cunningham Bounds, LLC, we have a national reputation for getting results in high-stakes litigation – and we’re never afraid to take on a large corporation. No matter who was at fault for your commercial vehicle accident, we’ll help you determine the best path forward, and strive to secure peace of mind for you and your family.
Call (251) 299-0101 to learn more about our legal services in Alabama.