Huntsville, nicknamed the Rocket City, is located in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama. It has a population of over 180,000 residents and an economy that is driven by military and aerospace technology. The city is served by I-65, I-565, and U.S. Route 72, among other roads. After being seriously injured in a car crash or another accident, you may be contacted by insurance adjusters for the party responsible for your injuries. In most cases, they are looking for admissions of fault from you, or statements that they can later use to fight a lawsuit for the insurer. It is critical to retain an attorney rather than speak to the other party's adjuster. An experienced Huntsville personal injury lawyer can help make sure your rights are protected and that you get the compensation to which you are entitled. At the Reeves Law Firm, our skillful trial attorney can provide sound legal counsel and aggressive representation in a lawsuit.Pursuing a Claim for Compensation After an Accident
After most accidents in Alabama, you will need to establish the other party's negligence to recover damages. Establishing negligence requires that you prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant breached a duty that it owed you and that this breach caused your injuries. The duty varies depending on the context. For example, all car and truck drivers have a duty to use reasonable care while operating a vehicle, and a failure to do so, whether because the driver is distracted, fatigued, aggressive, tailgating, speeding, weaving, or texting, will be a breach of the duty to use reasonable care.
Often, however, a defendant will argue that the plaintiff was negligent as well. Alabama follows the harsh rule of contributory negligence. Most states still allow you to recover damages if you were negligent in causing an accident. However, in Alabama, the law of contributory negligence can operate to prevent a recovery, if a jury were to find that your negligence was a significant cause of the accident. For example, if you were speeding along I-65 at 95 mph, and the other driver ran a red light, T-boning your car and causing back injuries, the jury could find that you were partially to blame for your injuries. And, if that happened, you would not be able to recover damages. Averting a successful defense of contributory negligence is one reason why retaining a Huntsville personal injury attorney is so important.
In some cases, more than one person is at fault for an accident. For example, trucking companies owe a duty to people on the road to make sure that their drivers are qualified and competent to operate a heavy big rig or tractor trailer. When a trucking company fails to conduct background checks, fails to ensure that a truck driver is properly trained to make certain maneuvers, or allows a truck driver to falsify his log book, it can be held liable under theories of negligent hiring, supervision, or training. Additionally, trucking companies can be held vicariously (indirectly) liable for their employees’ negligent acts while in the course and scope of employment.
The context of the accident can have an impact on whether you can recover damages. For example, Huntsville employers with at least five employees who work full-time must follow the Workers' Compensation Act, which may provide the exclusive remedy for a worker injured on the job. However, if an employer willfully or intentionally does something to cause your injury, you may be able to sue for damages. Additionally, you may have a claim against a third party. For example, companies that knew that asbestos caused a risk of mesothelioma to workers may be held responsible for the damages arising from a worker’s mesothelioma.
In other cases, there may be manufacturer liability for workplace injuries and other injuries. A manufacturer can be held liable for three types of defects: marketing, manufacturing, or design. The Alabama Extended Manufacturers' Liability Doctrine will allow you to hold a manufacturer strictly liable if a defective product caused your injuries.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in the Huntsville Area
If you need to sue after an accident or workplace injury in Alabama, you should contact the Reeves Law Firm. Greg Reeves has 25 years of legal experience, and he has served as staff at Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyer's College, a premier training program for trial advocates, since 2011. Call us at 256.355.3311 or contact us through our online form.