$14M Awarded in Alabama Truck Accident Lawsuit

An Alabama man is now paralyzed after the semi-truck he was operating overturned on Interstate 10.

He recently won a $14 million truck accident lawsuit against the company that serviced his rig several days before the wreck.

The Mobile man might have received as much as $19 million following the two-week trial. However, he and the defense struck a deal during jury deliberations. The deal was that even if plaintiff lost the case, defense would still pay $2 million. However, if plaintiff won, the most defense would pay was $14 million. Both sides also agreed there would be no appeal.

Now, plaintiff in Lacy v. Empire Truck Sales should receive his settlement within one month of the verdict.

Our Montgomery truck accident lawyers recognize this as one of the many ways people in truck accidents can pursue damages.

While many people think of damages being paid by the trucking carrier or driver and their respective insurance companies, here, the injured party was the driver. Per exclusive remedy provisions of workers’ compensation law, he could not recover additional damages from his own employer (and he was in fact an employee, and not an independent contractor, meaning he was entitled to receive benefits, but he couldn’t sue the company for further compensation).

Central to this case was the alleged negligent maintenance of the vehicle. That meant attention was turned to the company that serviced the truck a few days before the crash.

According to news reports, the trucker was on his way to a job site in Florida when he lost control of the truck. He tried to stop, but the anti-lock brake system failed.

Three days earlier, the driver had noticed the truck was vibrating. He brought it to the dealer for repair. Apparently, a lateral rod control was left detached by defendant during an earlier oil change. However, when plaintiff took the vehicle back, the company reportedly failed to repair the defect.

Trial took place in Mobile because that’s where both the defendant and plaintiff were from. However, because the crash happened in Florida, it was that state’s statutes that were applicable. So while Alabama adheres to a system of pure contributory negligence in which any negligence by plaintiff could defeat his or her case, Florida law allows fault to be divided among various parties and compensation to be reduced by plaintiff fault.

Jurors determined plaintiff was not at-fault, but defendant was 80 percent to blame and another non-party seat belt manufacturer was 20 percent to blame. That company was originally a named defendant, but settled-out-of court.

Because truck accident cases can be complex and typically involve multiple defendants, it’s imperative to contact an experienced injury lawyer.

Call Allred & Allred P.C. at 334.396.9200 to speak with a Montgomery personal injury lawyer.

Additional Resources:
Truck company to pay Mobile man $14 million in lawsuit over 2011 rig wreck, March 23, 2015, By Brendan Kirby, AL.com

More Blog Entries:
New Data: Traffic Fatalities in 2014 Reveal Injury Risks, July 30, 2015, Montgomery Truck Accident Attorney Blog

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