How Does Contributory Negligence Affect Trucking Accident Lawsuits?
After a serious trucking accident in or around Birmingham, it is essential for any victim injured in the collision to obtain optimal compensation for their injuries and losses. Generally speaking, a motorist who was injured in a crash caused by a truck driver (or another party associated with the large truck) may be eligible to file a claim for financial compensation. While some compensation may be possible through an insurance claim, it may be possible to file a large truck accident in order to seek additional damages. However, you should know that Alabama’s contributory negligence rule could affect your damages award. To explain, our Birmingham truck accident attorneys can tell you more about damages that may be possible in a trucking collision, and then explain how contributory negligence can impact your case.
Types of Damages in a Trucking Accident Case
If a truck driver, a trucking company, the owner of a large truck, or another party is at fault for your injuries from a trucking crash, you may be able to file a truck accident lawsuit to seek damages. Many truck accident victims seek compensatory damages, which may include economic and non-economic damages. Both types of damages are intended to compensate a person for the losses they have experienced. Common economic damages include compensation for medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages include compensation for more personal losses, such as pain and endured suffering.
In certain cases, it may be possible to seek punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages can be paid to an injured plaintiff, but they are based on punishing or deterring certain conduct. Alabama law is unique in that it only allows punitive damages in a wrongful death claim. In other instances where a victim is hurt but survives, Alabama law prescribes punitive when the defendant’s behavior rises to a level of “reckless or conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.”
Alabama’s Pure Contributory Negligence Standard
How can contributory negligence affect a person’s damages award in a Birmingham truck crash? Alabama is one of just a handful of states that still adheres to the rule of what is known as pure contributory negligence. With contributory negligence (or comparative fault more generally), a truck driver or other defendant might raise the defense of contributory negligence, arguing that the plaintiff is partially at fault for the accident. Under Alabama’s contributory negligence law, if it is determined that the plaintiff is even one percent (1%) at fault, the plaintiff can be totally barred from recovery.
Accordingly, it is critical to have a truck accident lawyer in Birmingham on your side to disprove defendant allegations of contributory negligence when they are unfounded. Even if a defendant raises the issue of contributory negligence, a truck accident lawyer can show that you bear no responsibility for the crash so that you can be entitled to receive damages.
Contact Our Birmingham Truck Accident Lawyers
Do you need assistance with your truck collision claim? Our Birmingham trucking accident attorneys can help you if you sustained injuries. Contact Goldasich, Vick & Fulk for more information