Commercial trucks underway on the road carry large, heavy loads of cargo to various destinations. The weight and size of these semi trucks, 18-wheelers, and other large heavy-duty trucks means that the consequences are dire for anyone driving a smaller vehicle when an accident happens. If you ended up in a truck accident near Gadsden, you could end up with serious injuries, gigantic medical bills, and the prospect of a lengthy recovery period.
You do not need to deal with the aftermath of a truck accident alone. Our lawyers have experience handling truck accident lawsuits from beginning to end. We can collect medical records and other evidence, talk to witnesses, and fight for you in court to get you the financial compensation you deserve.
Call Howe Law’s truck accident lawyers at (844) 876-4357 for a free case review.
Parties You Can File a lawsuit against in Gadsden, AL
The first person you might think about taking to court for your injuries in a truck accident is the truck driver. Indeed, suing the driver is often necessary for a successful truck accident lawsuit. However, the driver is often only one of several parties you might want to file a claim against in your lawsuit.
The law allows employers to be liable for their employees’ bad actions. In a truck accident context, that means that if a truck driver injured you while on the job, you can also sue their employer. One of the reasons you are allowed to do this is that truck drivers are often what is called “judgment proof” or unable to pay your damages, even if you are successful in your claim. Employers are often better situated to compensate injured plaintiffs.
The key to holding an employer liable is that a trucker must be participating in an activity sufficiently related to work when they injured you. If the trucker was not doing something related to work, the employer cannot be held liable. For example, suppose a trucker runs into you while on a highway delivering a package or leaving a refueling point. In that case, their employer would be liable because the trucker was doing work-related activities. On the other hand, if a truck driver takes their company vehicle to go shopping for the day and hits you going to a store, the employer cannot be liable because the truck driver was not doing anything related to their job.
Negligence in a Gadsden, AL Truck Accident Lawsuit
To be successful in a truck accident lawsuit, you usually need to prove that another party was negligent. In law, negligence means that someone was careless, and their careless actions led to your injury. To prove negligence in court, you need to establish four “elements” of your claim. The elements of negligence are duty, breach, causation, and injury. When you discuss your case with our truck accident lawyers, we can go over the unique facts of your situation and put an argument together to prove another party’s negligence.
In law, a duty refers to an obligation a person or entity has toward another person. Legal duties require that people act to a certain standard. Usually, that standard is what a reasonable person would do under the circumstances. For example, a reasonable truck driver would not take their eyes off the road and get distracted. Thus, truck drivers have a duty to pay attention while driving.
Keep in mind that the reasonable person standard is higher than you might expect. While in reality, a reasonable person might occasionally accidentally run a red light or go above the speed limit, in law, the fictitious reasonable person the defendant’s actions are being compared to would never partake in unreasonable conduct under any circumstance.
Breach means that the defendant did not uphold their legal obligation to you. In other words, they did not perform their legal duty required of them, which could mean they violated a specific traffic law. In In trucking accident cases, examples of breach could include speeding, texting while driving, or driving under the influence. There are laws against texting while driving and speeding, so a truck driver who did either of those things breached their duty of care to you.
Causation means that the defendant’s conduct caused your injuries. While proving causation might seem straightforward, whether the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injuries is often one of the most fought-over parts of a lawsuit.
You need to prove not only that the defendant’s conduct caused your injuries but that their conduct is what is called the “proximate cause” of them. In law, proximate cause is an actual cause that is close enough in time and place to be considered the legal cause of your injuries.
The concept of proximate cause cuts parties from liability the further away from the accident they are. For example, suppose a car cuts off a trucker, who then gets mad and speeds down the road, hitting you. In this case, the car could not be liable for your injuries even though they technically helped cause them because they are too removed from the accident.
Injury is generally one of the easier elements to prove in a negligence claim. You need to prove that the defendant actually injured you. After all, if the defendant did not injure you, you do not need to be awarded any damages. Medical records hospital bills connected to the injuries and eyewitness accounts of the accident are all common ways to prove that the defendant’s conduct injured you.
Talk to Our Gadsden, AL Truck Accident Lawyers About Your Case
Have a free discussion about your case with our truck accident lawyers by calling Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.