If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, Alabama law may entitle you to sue and recover damages. Generally speaking, the “standard” car accident lawsuit targets the defendant-driver whose negligent conduct directly caused the accident. For example, you might sue a speeding driver who lost control over their vehicle and sideswiped your vehicle.
Many car accident cases involve complexity beneath the surface, however, and so there can be other defendants worth suing. After all, what may seem like a simple case could be complicated by road visibility issues, product defect issues, and insurance issues, among many other factors. These may involve third-parties aside from the driver.
Consider the following.
Most injured plaintiffs would be perfectly happy to sue and recover damages from the defendant-driver, if the defendant had sufficient insurance coverage to payout their damages in full — unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many drivers simply do not have insurance coverage, or are “underinsured” (i.e., not adequately insured to cover the damages).
In such circumstances, the plaintiff’s best option for obtaining full compensation is to identify potential claims against third-parties and bring an action against these other defendants (who may have insurance coverage or assets with which to payout damages).
There are several defendants that may be liable, depending on the unique facts surrounding the accident.
In Alabama, employers may be held vicariously liable for the negligence of their employee-drivers, so long as the driver was acting within the course and scope of their employment. For example, if you get into an accident with a speeding warehouse delivery driver (who is delivering items for work), you would automatically have a claim against their employer. The employer is likely to have significant insurance coverage, making this an excellent strategy.
Car manufacturers may be held liable in situations where a defective part contributed to the accident. For example, the defendant-driver may have been speeding, but if their brakes locked up due to a design defect, then you could ostensibly sue and recover damages from the manufacturer as well.
Property owners can be held liable for their negligence in maintaining a safe premises affecting drivers. If a property owner fails to trim their road-adjacent trees, for example, then that could cause road visibility issues which contribute to an accident.
Another driver may have contributed to the accident. Multi-vehicle accidents involve shared fault in many cases, for example. In the alternative, another driver might have engaged in negligent conduct (i.e., swerving wildly), which forced the defendant to modify their driving, thus causing the accident.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Alabama, then it is important that you get in touch with a qualified attorney as soon as possible.
Not only will a Tuscaloosa car accident attorney be able to evaluate your case and identify potential defendants that you can sue, but they will do so in a timely manner, avoiding any statute of limitations deadlines that could undermine your case.
At Cross & Smith, our team has represented plaintiffs for decades, helping them secure damages in a range of car accident lawsuits. We understand how challenging it can be for injured plaintiffs to obtain a full and adequate recovery. As such, we are committed to working closely with our clients so that they are not kept “in the dark” about their case. It is our belief that by involving our clients at an early stage, we gain key insights that can help us secure a favorable outcome.
Ready to speak to an experienced Tuscaloosa car accident attorney? Call us at 877-791-0618 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation.