Injured parties in truck accident cases often have a cause of action against the driver who hit them, the company that driver works for, and potentially other parties involved in the accident. Getting your damages paid can often be complex, especially in litigation involving multiple parties, some of whom might be large companies.
Working with experienced truck accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you need. Our attorneys can fight insurance companies and trucking companies to negotiate a fair settlement and, if they refuse to settle, take your case to court to fight for compensation before a judge and jury.
For a free review of your potential injury case, call our truck accident attorneys at Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.
Which Parties to Sue in a Montgomery, AL Truck Accident Case
When you file an injury claim for a trucking accident, you typically file it directly against the driver who hit you. Determining which driver was responsible means looking at the facts of the case; there is no presumption that the at-fault driver is actually the truck driver. Our truck accident lawyers will help injured drivers get compensation from whichever driver caused the crash – likely one of the following:
Many trucking accidents are indeed the truck driver’s fault. This can happen because of tired driving during a long shift or long haul. It can also happen because of drugs or alcohol in their system or simply because of everyday traffic violations.
Many truckers violate hours of service rules by failing to take necessary breaks. They might also become susceptible to laziness after hours on the road and forget to use turn signals or check their blind spots, putting other drivers in danger.
The Trucking Company
If the truck driver is at fault, then our lawyers can also file the case against the trucking company they worked for in many cases. Some truckers are classified as independent contractors or independent owner-operators. In these cases, they might not have an “employer,” and they are instead treated as self-employed. When that happens, the driver should still have additional liability insurance because they operate a business, and we can potentially include claims against that insurance.
Trucking companies can, however, be liable for any negligence their drivers commit in the course of their duties while actively working for the trucking company. Since the majority of their job duties involve driving a truck, most accidents they cause while on duty should allow a lawsuit against their employer.
Trucking companies are also often sued for their own errors in judgment and negligence if that negligence was a contributing cause of the crash. For example, trucking companies often take responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of their vehicles, so any equipment issues could be their fault. Additionally, there are trucking regulations these companies need to follow involving hiring standards for drivers, maintenance schedules, loading and weight limits, and hours of service rules. Any of these violations could potentially be contributing factors in your accident case.
If another driver was actually the one to blame for the crash, then our lawyers can help you sue them for the damages they caused you. They should have insurance to cover your injuries, as all drivers in Alabama are required to carry car insurance.
Unfortunately, many drivers contribute to their own crashes. This can involve simple conduct like turning your eyes away from the road for an instant or driving slightly over the speed limit. If the court finds that the victim contributed to causing the crash, Alabama’s “pure contributory negligence” rule bars them from suing anyone else for fault. This rule goes into effect even if they were only 1% negligent. However, our attorneys can help argue that these “contributions” were not actual causes of the crash and that the accident would have happened even without the alleged conduct. This can protect your right to compensation.
Evidence to Collect After a Truck Accident Case in Montgomery, AL
Before you can prove to the court or the insurance companies that their driver was at fault for your crash, you have to have evidence to back up your claim. If you were severely injured after the accident, you should focus on getting the medical care you need rather than collecting evidence. Much of the evidence you will need can ultimately be collected through a police report, but if you are well enough to stay at the scene and collect evidence, your own testimony and evidence will often be stronger – or at least help corroborate what is in the police report.
First and foremost, you will need evidence of who was involved in the crash. Getting the driver’s name and contact info will be vital, as well as their insurance information, information about the trucking company they work for, and that company’s insurance information. If any other drivers were involved, get their insurance and contact info as well; and if anyone stopped to say they witnessed the crash, get their contact info.
You will also need information about where the accident was and what the scene of the accident looked like. Photos can be incredibly helpful in detailing the positions of the vehicles, the shape of the intersection, and any traffic lights or signs that were present. Also collect details about lighting, weather, and road conditions.
Getting pictures of the vehicle damage and any resulting injuries will also be helpful. These images can help show the physical and financial impact of the accident and the severity of your injuries. They also help to prove the injuries resulted then and there because of this accident, not some other accident days or weeks later.
Your medical records will also be vital evidence that your injuries exist and evidence of how severe they are and what damages you faced in the crash.
For a Free Case Review, Call Our Montgomery, AL Trucking Accident Lawyers Today
After a serious crash, call the truck accident lawyers at Howe Law for a free case review by dialing (844) 876-4357.