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Steps to Take After a Fatal 18-Wheeler Accident in Alabama

When someone’s life is taken prematurely, it is always difficult. When it occurs due to the negligence of a driver of an 18-wheeler, it is even more devastating. Since these trucks are so much bigger than even large SUVs, the people in the smaller vehicles are generally the ones who suffer the fatal injuries. When this type of death hits a family, it’s hard to know what to do next. Although it will not bring a beloved family member back, seeking legal counsel in the state of Alabama, can help the surviving family members obtain some type of compensation for their loss.

© Gary Blakeley - Fotolia.comCommon factors for 18-wheeler accidents

Accidents involving 18-wheelers are, unfortunately, all too common. There are several factors that often contribute to an accident involving a large truck. Some of these factors include driver fatigue, driver impairment by alcohol or other substances, failure to obey traffic lights or other rules of the road and failure to maintain proper control of the truck. Other factors are having loads improperly stacked or secured, poor maintenance of the truck and poorly trained drivers. Regardless of the reason for the fatal accident, if there is a fatality involved, there is often a chance for compensation to the victim’s family.

Get emergency help

If there has been an accident with a truck that results in a fatality, a surviving party at the scene should contact emergency help as soon as possible. The faster medical help can arrive, the better. This will help lessen some of the injuries sustained by surviving parties. Also, as soon as the police arrive, they will be able to offer assistance and protection to the people at the scene of the accident. The police will also be able to take statements from the people who were involved in the accident as well as any witnesses, which may become helpful evidence down the road.

Gather information

Anyone who is well enough to be able to stay at the scene of the accident should do so. Immediately after an accident with an 18-wheeler is the best time to gather evidence and information while everything is still fresh in the minds of the people involved and witnesses. It is important to get contact information from witnesses so they can be reached at a later date when they will be needed. Be sure to get complete information including the full name, home address, home and cell phone numbers, work address and phone number and name, address and phone number of the trucking company. Also, be sure to get the driver’s license number and work ID number of the truck driver and any other drivers who were involved in the accident as well as all relevant insurance information.

Gather evidence

Any lawsuit that is brought about by an accident with an 18-wheeler in the state of Alabama cannot have too much evidence. The best time to collect evidence is immediately after the accident has occurred. Take photos of the scene of the accident. Be sure to include pictures of any damage to all of the vehicles involved in the accident. Be sure the position of the vehicles at the moment of impact is clearly shown in the pictures. Other factors that should be shown in the photographs include road conditions, injuries, skid marks, damage to property, and anything else that can be used as evidence. It is helpful to have video footage as well as still photographs if it is possible. If any of the vehicles involved in the accident need to be moved for any reason, either before or after the photos were taken, be sure to notate that information in an accident journal. Be sure to include details about where the vehicle in questions was moved and why.

Contact a lawyer

Fatal accidents involving 18-wheelers can be complicated. It is best to have an experienced attorney to help along the way. An attorney can assist the victim’s family seek compensation as well as deal with complaints and claims that arise as a result of the accident. A lawyer can offer invaluable assistance in helping with matters of this nature. They can also offer advice and guidance through the entire process of seeking compensation. Further, the family of the deceased victim will likely be contacted by the investigators and insurance company of the trucking company, it is best to have an experienced attorney help answer any questions that are asked by these people so a fair and unbiased claim can be settled.

Having the life of a loved one taken prematurely due to a horrific accident with an 18-wheeler is a devastating experience. Family members of the deceased person can take some solace in the fact that taking a few proactive steps, some of their suffering may be able to be vindicated.

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