It is very easy to find news about motor vehicle accidents involving logging trucks on Alabama roads with a simple Internet search. For example, a pickup truck and logging truck collided one March 2016 afternoon on U.S. 72 in Scottsboro, killing a passenger of the smaller vehicle and injuring both drivers, according to al.com. The driver of a delivery van died in a crash with an 18-wheeler hauling logs at a highway intersection in Tanner, south of Athens, in August 2015.
Alabama is a Pine Belt state, one that is part of a huge swath of yellow pine tree forests across the South. The Alabama Forestry Commission reports that about two-thirds of the state is timberland. In fact, Alabama has the third highest amount of forested area in the lower 48 states.
Not surprisingly, the state is home to more than 100 sawmills, as well as to many veneer and panel mills, pulp and paper companies and wood product manufacturers, reports the Alabama Forestry Association. Of course, this means that state roads must support the constant transportation of heavy logs by truck, putting smaller vehicles at risk of dangerous collisions likely to cause injury and even death.
Any Alabaman who is involved in an accident with a logging truck should seek legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney will immediately begin an investigation while evidence and memories of witnesses are fresh. The logging company, insurers and law enforcement will all conduct their own inquiries; it is important that the driver, as well of the car or other vehicle, as well as any injured passenger, involved in the incident have his or her own lawyer do the same.
The kinds of questions that must be asked after a logging-truck accident include:
- Was the driver of the logging truck driving negligently, recklessly, in violation of traffic laws, while fatigued or distracted, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
- Was the driver of the logging truck properly licensed, screened and trained?
- Was the logging truck properly maintained and inspected?
- Did the company or other owner of the logging truck comply with all federal and state regulations?
- Was the logging truck properly loaded to prevent shifting or unsafe balancing?
- Was the freight adequately secured?
- Were required trucking hours-of-service and logbook laws followed?
- And more
In addition, legal counsel will communicate with the insurance companies involved on behalf of the injured party as well as negotiate to a fair settlement, if possible. If fair settlement is not reached, the lawyer will advise his or her client about all legal remedies available, including the possibility of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
The attorneys of Johnston, Moore & Thompson in Huntsville advocate for the victims of motor vehicle accidents involving logging and other large trucks throughout North Alabama.