The city of Athens is located in Limestone County and is home to about 22,000 residents. It covers 118.2 square miles. Interstate 65 traverses the city from north to south, as does U.S. Route 31, while U.S. Route 72 crosses Athens from east to west. These highways often are sites of serious motor vehicle accidents, after which victims may be treated at facilities such as the Athens-Limestone Hospital. If you are injured in a car crash or another accident caused by someone else, an Athens personal injury lawyer may be able to recover damages from the at-fault party. It is important to choose a skillful trial lawyer who is able to take a car crash or other personal injury case to trial in the event that you are not offered a fair deal by the insurance adjuster for the at-fault party. At the Reeves Law Firm, Greg Reeves has 25 years of legal experience and is an accomplished trial attorney.Establishing Liability for an Accident
Most car and truck accidents are caused by negligent drivers. To establish a driver's negligence, you will need to show that the driver owed you a duty to use reasonable care, the driver did not meet this duty, and this was a direct cause of the accident. A breach of the duty to use reasonable care can occur in many different ways, such as speeding, texting while driving, weaving through traffic, drunk or drugged driving, fatigued driving, or tailgating.
Alabama applies a harsh negligence rule that is rare in the U.S. called contributory negligence. Under this rule, a defendant can try to avoid liability by showing that the other driver was also negligent. Contributory negligence is often a disputed issue in these cases, which makes it important to retain a personal injury attorney in the Athens area who is experienced in defeating these arguments.Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Compensatory damages following an accident may include both economic losses and noneconomic losses. The amount of damages awarded is often based on how severe the injuries are and their extent. Damages may include medical bills, lost wages, physical therapy, rehabilitation, household services, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. Your attorney will carefully investigate your case to determine the full amount of damages that you are owed and gather evidence to support them.
It is important to look at all of the contributing causes of a motor vehicle accident. Your attorney may retain an accident reconstruction specialist to determine whether a non-obvious factor contributed to an accident, such as defective brakes in a vehicle. You may have a product liability claim if that is the case.Special Issues in Truck Accident Cases
Interstate truck accidents are a little different from other kinds of motor vehicle accidents, in that truck drivers must follow the detailed regulations promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in addition to the usual road rules. A failure to follow the FMCSA regulations can be strong evidence of a breach of the duty to use reasonable care. A skilled Athens personal injury attorney like Greg Reeves will be able to identify a violation of the regulations and use it to your advantage.
For example, the FMCSA limits a truck driver's hours of service and mandates certain rest breaks in order to cut back on how many fatigued truck drivers are traveling on our interstate highways. Truck drivers are required to accurately log their hours in a logbook. Moreover, they are required to conduct regular inspections to make sure that the truck that they are driving is safe and in proper working order. Alabama's state regulations must be followed by truck drivers and trucking companies operating only within the state; many of them are simply FMCSA regulations adopted by the state.
After a car accident, your only recourse may be suing a negligent driver. However, after a truck accident, there is often another party that may be held responsible. Trucking companies are also strictly regulated by FMCSA regulations. They need to maintain their trucks and record maintenance activities. Cargo is supposed to be secured according to FMCSA regulations. Trucking companies are required to check their drivers' logbooks and make sure that they are not falsifying the logbooks. Unfortunately, some trucking companies actually encourage their truck drivers to break the hours of service rules and falsify logbooks because they put profit ahead of safety. We can help you hold a company accountable if this causes an accident.Consult a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer in the Athens Area
If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a motor vehicle collision or another accident in Athens, it is crucial to consult a skillful personal injury attorney who has the resources and tenacity to fight for compensation. The Reeves Law Firm is here to discuss your options and help you assert your rights. Call us at 256.355.3311 or use our online form to set up a free consultation.