Birmingham Fire crews worked to put out a fire after an 18-wheeler accident involving a passenger vehicle at I-59/20 South just before the 65 junction. The Birmingham Fire Department said the 18-wheeler driver had significant burn injuries, but the crews were able to put out the fire. A woman was also transported to the hospital for medical evaluation although Birmingham Police were unable to confirm if she was involved in the accident. The bridge suffered some cosmetic damage and the highway was closed after the accident. After a truck accident leaves a victim with long term personal injury such as that incurred by burns, an Alabama accident attorney can effectively initiate a personal injury claim on behalf of the victim, toward a court award, or an insurance settlement that will compensate for losses.
Alabama requires mandatory insurance and is a “fault,” or tort system state with regard to accidents. In tort states, motor vehicle accident victims must first turn to the liability insurance of the person who caused the accident in order to recover compensation. An accident victim may have questions about how the laws will affect property damage and personal injury claims and what they should do to receive compensation for losses. A legal professional who understands the trucking industry and civil case law can answer them. Accident victims must prove “fault,” and experienced legal counsel is strongly recommended. If the accident was caused by poor maintenance, faulty equipment, excessive weight, or manufacturer parts, more than one party may be sued in a legal action. There is a two year time period to file a suit after an accident in Alabama, referred to as the statute of limitations.
- Economic damages for present and future loss of earnings, medical bills, future medical care, property damage, household expenses; and
- Non-economic damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of consortium or companionship.
Punitive damages are awarded under very specific and limited circumstances. Pursuant to Alabama Code Section 6-11-20, punitive damages are only awarded when the plaintiff can prove that the defendant consciously or deliberately engaged in oppression, fraud, wantonness, or malice with regard to the plaintiff. If an individual’s actions are found to be intentional, egregious, and harmful, these types of damages may be awarded to punish the named defendant to deter future similar acts. Punitive damages are usually capped at 3x the damage award amount, but no more than $1.5 million dollars.
Hire a truck accident attorney.
An accident victim can take steps to minimize additional stress by hiring a competent truck accident attorney to objectively speak on their behalf in a courtroom, or against an insurance company’s legal team. Cases involving long lasting physical injury and rehabilitation may require significant monetary compensation and hiring an attorney who is experienced with trucking industry regulations and federal and state motor vehicle laws is important for a comprehensive financial outcome.
Alabama Code Section 6-11-20