When truck accidents result in fatalities, the family members of the victim can normally try to receive compensation on behalf of their deceased relative. Alabama has a wrongful death statute that governs these situations, but the rules for these claims are slightly different from every other state.
An accident in Mobile County, Alabama involved a log truck and one other car, and two people died from their injuries.
Head on collision involving logging truck and car kills both drivers
Alabama State Troopers believe that the incident began when a log truck was heading southbound in Citronelle on U.S. Highway 45. At some point, a Ford Fusion sedan traveling in the opposite direction collided head on with the fully loaded log truck. The drivers of each vehicle were fatally injured during the crash. Police were continuing to investigate the accident and the area, and no citations were issued at the time of the report.
Lawsuits after a deadly accident
Fatal truck accidents will allow family members of the victims to file civil lawsuits against the person or business at fault. The basic structure of most lawsuits after a motor vehicle accident includes an attorney filing an initial complaint which states that the driver at fault breached their duty of care on the roads and caused injuries to others. This is called a negligence case, and it is the most common type of lawsuit that personal injury attorneys file. A wrongful death case is similar, but there are some additional rules laid out by the relevant statute.
Alabama’s wrongful death law
The specific language of the statute says that a civil case can be brought against the defendant for any wrongful act, omission, or negligence that caused the accident. Note that this also includes intentional acts that would not a part of a standard negligence lawsuit. This is also only for civil cases and monetary damages, as the state would need to bring criminal charges against someone who has committed an act such as murder or manslaughter. Even if someone is never found guilty of any crime or criminal charges are never filed, the wrongful death case can still be brought.
Damages are very different under Alabama’s wrongful death law. Only punitive damages are available rather than compensatory damages to cover things like medical expenses, lost wages, or funeral costs. This means the main inquiry will be related to the egregious nature of the defendant’s actions in order to punish them rather than compensate the plaintiff.
Limitations on who can bring the claim
The only person who can bring a wrongful death case in Alabama is the representative of the deceased person’s estate. This is a large difference between Alabama and other states, as family members such as spouses and children who were financially dependent on the deceased person are usually the ones to file. The estate will actually receive any money paid out as a result of the wrongful death case, rather than it going directly to any family members.
Get advice from a truck accident attorney in Alabama
If you have been injured in a collision with a truck in Mobile or anywhere nearby, there are lawyers available who can assist you. Use the listings on usattorneys.com to get local help.