Trucking companies operate across Alabama and throughout the United States, delivering important cargo. While we rely on trucks and truckers for groceries, clothes, and basically any other goods we purchase, their driving is often less than safe, potentially leading to very serious accidents on the road.
If you were hit by a truck, you could be entitled to substantial financial compensation from the trucker, their insurance company, and the trucking company the driver works for. In many injury cases, victims can claim compensation for the full cost of their medical bills, any wages they missed because of the effect their injuries had on their ability to work, and pain and suffering the injuries caused.
Contact Howe Law’s truck accident lawyers today for a free review of your potential case by calling (844) 876-4357.
Suing Truckers and Trucking Companies for Accidents in Dothan, AL
If you were hurt in an accident involving an 18-wheeler or another commercial truck, you could be entitled to a lawsuit against the trucker and the trucking company they work for. At-fault drivers are typically liable for the accidents they cause as a matter of course. After all, they were the ones driving the vehicle when it crashed. However, our truck accident lawyers can often hold their employers responsible as well.
When you sue a truck driver, you need to prove that they caused the accident to hold them liable. This is usually done by showing that they violated a traffic law or that they made another unreasonable, unsafe decision behind the wheel that caused your crash. For example, if a trucker hit you while speeding, that would be an explicit traffic violation you can use against them to show that they were negligent in a court of law. However, if they were distracted because they were eating while driving, that might not be explicitly against the law, but it is unsafe by the standards of what a reasonable person would do while driving.
Suing Trucking Companies
Suing trucking companies often boils down to two options.
Trucking companies can be held liable for an employee’s crash by nature of being the trucker’s employer. If a trucker causes the accident while working within the scope of their duties as a trucking company employee, their employer can be made to answer for the damages they caused instead of suing just the individual trucker. This often allows injury victims to get compensation paid in full where the individual driver might not be able to afford damages.
Trucking companies can also be held liable for their own mistakes. Negligent hiring of dangerous drivers, negligent retention of drivers they know to be dangerous, encouraging drivers to violate trucking regulations, and failing to keep their vehicles safe are all common grounds used to sue trucking companies.
Keep in mind that many truck drivers are owner-operators or independent contractors, essentially meaning that they are self-employed. Lawsuits often stop with them, as there is no trucking company employing the driver. However, these drivers still must have insurance to cover injuries they cause, and that can often pay for your damages.
Damages in a Truck Accident in Dothan, AL
When you sue for damages in a truck accident claim or file an insurance claim, you are typically entitled to a few areas of damages:
Vehicle Repairs/Property Damage
The cost to repair or replace damaged vehicles and other damaged property can be claimed against the responsible driver. In minor accidents, this is usually the only area of damages you need to worry about. However, many truck accident victims face serious injuries, and property damage is only a secondary consideration.
If you were hurt and needed treatment, then you could be entitled to claim the cost of those medical treatments against the at-fault driver. This can include not only emergency medical care at a hospital but also follow-up care, physical therapy costs, and psychological care related to the injury and accident. Often, these damages involve ongoing future damages in cases of serious injury or disability.
Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity
Any work you miss because of the accident and the resulting injuries should be compensated in full. If you missed a known amount of work and were able to return at full capacity, then you can simply multiply your average wage by the time missed to arrive at how much compensation you deserve. If you were able to return to work but now have a reduced wage because of limitations and disabilities, you can claim the difference between your old and new wages as damages.
In cases where disabilities reduce your earning capacity or keep you from working entirely, you will often need financial experts to project how much money you will lose across your remaining working years. We can present these experts and their evidence in court to help claim the full value of your lost earnings.
Pain and Suffering/Non-Economic Damages
Damages that have no set price on them are commonly called “non-economic damages.” These damages are paid not for expenses or bills but for experiences and intangible harms. The physical pain, the mental and emotional suffering, the embarrassment of an accident, the fear of further injury, the discomfort of an ongoing disability, and the lost abilities you experience can all lead to damages for your injury case.
Calculating these damages is often difficult since they are not based on set financial values, so it is important to work with a lawyer to avoid undervaluing your case. Do not trust the insurance companies’ valuations of these damages without having a lawyer review the settlement offer and perform their own calculations for your non-economic damages.
Punitive damages are rare compared to other damages, as they are only awarded under Ala. Code § 6-11-20 when injuries are caused by “deliberate” or “wanton”/reckless conduct or through “malice.” These damages punish the bad actor instead of compensating the victim, but they are still part of the damages you ultimately get paid.
Dothan, AL Truck Accident Attorneys Offering Free Case Reviews
Contact Howe Law’s truck accident lawyers at (844) 876-4357 for a free review of your accident case.