Trucking accidents are some of the most devastating incidents that occur on the roadways. When an 18-wheeler that can weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds collides with a regular passenger vehicle, it can result in disastrous consequences. And the majority of the time, occupants of the passenger vehicle are the ones who sustain the most serious injuries from these types of accidents.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident that was the fault of another party, you have a right to compensation. Unfortunately, recovering compensation is not usually a simple and straightforward process.
The truck driver, trucking company, and their insurers will aggressively defend their interests in an attempt to minimize the amount of damages they have to pay, and this is particularly true when there are severe and catastrophic injuries and they are facing the prospect of paying out a large settlement. For this reason, you will need strong legal counsel by your side as early as possible after the accident, so they can go to work immediately to protect your interests.
What is Needed to Prove a Truck Accident Claim?
In order to recover full and fair compensation after a trucking accident, you will need to prove several elements:
- The party (or parties) responsible owed you a duty of care;
- The party (or parties) responsible breached this duty through negligent or reckless actions or omissions;
- This breach was the proximate cause of the accident, resulting damage to your vehicle and injury to your person;
- The property damage and physical injuries you suffered resulted in compensable losses (both economic and non-economic).
The first thing you need to determine with a truck accident claim is who are the responsible parties. With these types of cases, there are often multiple parties that could be at fault. These may include the truck driver, the trucking company that employs the driver, the owner or lessor of the truck, the shipping company that loaded the truck, the party responsible for maintaining the truck, or the manufacturer or distributor of a faulty vehicle or vehicle part.
Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to uncover all the key facts and pieces of evidence and get to the bottom of who was to blame. From there, they will prepare the strongest possible claim to present to the insurance company during settlement negotiations, or in front of the court if the case ends up at trial.
It is important to note that the standard of proof for personal injury claims is not the same as in a criminal case. In a criminal trial, you must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant is guilty of a crime. With civil cases, a much lower standard of proof is applied which is known as “preponderance of the evidence.” Preponderance of the evidence essentially means that it is “more likely than not” that what the plaintiff has alleging his true.
If the truck accident took place in Alabama, there is another hurdle that must be overcome in order to win your truck accident claim. Alabama is one of just a handful of states that applies the “contributory negligence” legal doctrine to personal injury claims. This means that if an injured party is found to have “contributed” in any way to the underlying accident (even 1%), they may be barred from recovering damages.
You can be absolutely certain that the other side will do everything possible to try to pin at least some of the blame (for the accident) on you, so they can avoid paying out damages. This is another good reason why it is important to get an attorney involved right away. Otherwise, you may jeopardize your legal right to recover just compensation for your injuries.
Injured in a Truck Accident in Alabama? Contact Burge & Burge Today for Skilled Legal Representation
Trucking accidents often result in serious injuries; but proving this type of claim is far more complicated than with a standard car accident case. At Burge & Burge, we have extensive experience successfully representing individuals who have been injured in truck accidents in Alabama. We work closely with our clients, and we have the knowledge, skills, resources, and commitment to help ensure that our clients recover maximum compensation.
Call us today at 205-251-9000 or message us through our online contact form. You may also stop by our Birmingham office in person at your convenience.