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Suing a Property Owner in a Motor Vehicle Accident Case

Aug 30, 2019 - Car Accidents, Personal Injury by

Experienced Injury Attorney in Tuscaloosa, AL

If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Alabama, then you may be entitled to bring a right of action for damages against the liable parties.  As you consider the prospect of litigation, it’s important that you identify and sue every potentially responsible defendant.  Most motor vehicle accident plaintiffs do not realize that they might actually have a legitimate claim for damages against multiple third-party defendants — not just the negligent driver.

For example, if you are injured in an accident due to a defective traffic light, then you would likely have a claim against the City for damages, as the City (who is responsible for maintaining the traffic light in a reasonably safe condition) failed to properly inspect the traffic light, to discover the defect, and to repair it in a timely manner, leading to the accident.

As in the above example, it is not uncommon for motor vehicle accident plaintiffs to find that a third-party property owner — such as the City, State, a school district, or even a private landowner — negligently contributed to their injuries.  These disputes do not necessarily proceed in the same way as more “standard” motor vehicle accident litigation, as the legal basis for the action against the property owner defendant is fundamentally different.

Here at Cross & Smith, our team has extensive experience working with injured plaintiffs in Alabama.  Over the years, we have gained key insights necessary for investigating complex facts, identifying all relevant defendants, and developing an effective litigation strategy so as to maximize the potential damage award for the client.  Contact us to learn more about how we can help.

Property Owner Liability

Property owners may be held liable for exposing others to an unreasonable risk of injury.  In the motor vehicle accident context, property owners are often subject to litigation for their involvement in the following situations:

  • Defective crosswalks
  • Defective traffic lights
  • Signs and signals that are not visible
  • Road design issues
  • Failure to clear road of snow/ice
  • Inadequate road maintenance
  • Collision or visibility hazards from adjacent property

For example, suppose that you are injured in a motor vehicle collision due to the fact that a tree fell onto your car from a road-adjacent property.  It occurred so suddenly that there was no avoiding the tree.  You investigate the case and discover that the property owner (a private landowner) failed to inspect the trees on their property, and therefore failed to discover that there was a widespread tree rot disease that weakened the structure of the trees near the roadway.  This rot eventually led to the tree cracking and falling onto the roadway, which caused your injury.  Given the facts, it’s clear that you would have an actionable claim against the property owner for damages.

Contact a Tuscaloosa Injury Attorney at Cross & Smith for Guidance

Interested in speaking with an experienced Tuscaloosa injury attorney about your motor vehicle accident claims?  We can help.  Call us at 205-391-0618 or complete an online intake form through our website to schedule a free initial consultation.

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

"After my husband was injured in a burn accident at work, we felt the accident could have been avoided. I was not sure where to start, but after careful research, we met with Justin Smith and shared our experience. From day one, we felt we were in good hands. Justin and Dell explained everything and kept us informed from start to finish. It was a complicated case that took an outside the box approach. Both Justin and Dell made us feel like part of the team."