Accidents with Commercial Vehicles
Being involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle can be a terrifying experience; these vehicles are often much larger than passenger cars, and they can cause severe damages when involved in a collision as such. Not only are these accident types scary and potentially devastating, but the aftermath of an accident with a commercial vehicle can be confusing, too. Indeed, many people who are involved in commercial vehicle crashes are left with a range of questions about who’s at fault, how to recover compensation, how long the claims process will take, and more.
At the Law Office of J. Allan Brown, LLC, we know that you want answers. Here’s a list of some frequently asked questions that our clients often ask – for more detailed answers or answers that are specific to your case, please call our law office directly.
- I’ve Heard of Car Insurance Claims, Personal Injury Lawsuits, and Wrongful Death Claims – Which Type of Action Should I Initiate After a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
How a person should pursue damages is one of the most frequent questions that we hear. The answer is that it depends on several things, including who has suffered injuries and whether those injuries were fatal. In most cases, starting with filing an insurance claim is recommended. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, a plaintiff may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit, or to file a wrongful death lawsuit if a family member has been killed.
- Who Will Pay for My Injuries?
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a commercial bus or truck, chances are that the damages you have suffered are significant. You may be dealing with a disability, medical expenses, property damage costs, lost wages, and more – surely you want these damages paid, and paid quickly.
Which party will be responsible for paying for your claim will depend upon who caused your accident. Potential parties who may be responsible for paying for your injuries (typically through their liability insurance) include a commercial vehicle company or driver, a shipper or loader of cargo, the party responsible for vehicle maintenance, a vehicle or vehicle part manufacturer, or even a party responsible for road maintenance, such as a municipality.
- Can I Still Recover Compensation If I Contributed to the Accident?
Many collisions take two to tango, so to speak, meaning that they occur because both drivers involved did something negligent, if not one more than the other. Unfortunately, while most other states allow an injured party to still recover compensation when they contribute to an accident, and to reduce their damages in proportion to their degree of fault, Alabama does not. Instead, the state of Alabama recognizes the rule of contributory negligence, which holds that if a claimant contributes to their injuries, even in the slightest, they are barred from recovery.
- How Long Will My Case Take to Settle?
Waiting for weeks or months to be offered a settlement that is fair and just can be frustrating, but unfortunately, this is typically the reality of the claims process. Commercial vehicle accidents are complicated, and an investigation into the accident alone can take weeks, or even months! Until an investigation is concluded, it can be difficult to know who’s at fault, and against whom to file a claim. What’s more, you usually should not seek a settlement until you have fully recovered from your injuries or reached what is known as Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). This too could take months. While most cases are settled in under a year, if a case goes to court, it could take over a year to resolve.
- Do I Need a Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer?
Hiring an attorney to represent you as you seek damages and file a claim is completely optional, but it is strongly recommended. Working with an experienced commercial vehicle accident lawyer improves your chances of maximizing your compensation award and walking away with the settlement that you deserve. An attorney, who is responsible for handling the most complicated elements of the case process, can also offer peace of mind and comfort.
You can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with the Law Office of J. Allan Brown, LLC by calling us today at 251-473-6691, or by sending us a message using the intake form on our website. You can also visit our office on Dauphin Street in person at your convenience. We promise to work hard for you.