In the blink of an eye, a truck accident can strip you of the life that you once enjoyed. If you’re reading this blog post now, then you probably know that reality all too well. As you struggle to find a way to cope with your physical pain and suffering as well as the emotional toll that your truck accident has taken on you, you might also find yourself wondering what you can do to secure accountability and recover the compensation that you need to offset lost wages and medical expenses.
Fortunately, if the facts of your accident support it, a personal injury lawsuit may be justified. However, when you’re going up against a negligent trucker and his employer, you need to be prepared with a holistic claim that is not only persuasive but is also anticipatory of the other side’s arguments. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the common defenses that truck companies raise when they’re confronted with a liability lawsuit.
- Frolic: In a lot of truck accident cases, the truck company in question tries to shift the blame to someone, anyone, other than the company itself. This means that the individual trucker who caused the accident oftentimes bears the brunt. While that may not necessarily be a bad thing, the problem is that many individual truckers lack the financial resources needed to pay out large judgments like the one that may be warranted in your case. So, to address this defense, you’ll want to make sure that you can articulate how the trucker was performing his job duties at the time of the accident. After all, when the truck company raises a frolic defense, it’s going to argue that the trucker was operating beyond the scope of his employment at the time of the accident, such as by running a personal errand.
- Contributory negligence: Another blame-shifting strategy that truck companies often use is arguing contributory negligence. Alabama is one of the few states where your recovery of damages can be barred entirely if you’re found to be partially at fault. Even a miniscule amount of fault can lead to a denied claim. That’s why you’ll need to be prepared to play defense on your claim to a certain extent. Think about what the truck company can argue in that regard and how best to counter it.
- No fault accidents: Sometimes truck companies argue that no one is to blame for the accident in question and that it was simply unavoidable. Given that, argues the truck company, there should be no liability. This argument often comes up when there are poor road conditions or there was a hazard in the roadway at the time of the wreck. But close attention to detail here may salvage your claim. Make sure that you fully assess the trucker’s driving decisions at the time of the wreck to determine if they can be construed, in any way, as negligence.
Know how to anticipate and then attack
A successful personal injury claim has to be holistic in nature. It should address every potential argument that the other side may make, all while keeping in mind that you have to prove not just liability, but also the full extent of your damages. It can be a massive endeavor, but one that is necessary if you hope to find accountability and recover the compensation that you need and deserve. So, if you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, then now may be the time to start developing the legal strategy needed to position you for success.