How Are Punitive Damages Affected if I’m Injured By a Truck Driver in Violation of Hours of Service?

A truck accident in Montgomery, AL can be devastating. If you were hit by one of these trucks, it is likely that you are not only dealing with damages to your vehicle but that the hospital bills are getting large as well. When you work with a truck accident attorney, you will be able to file a claim in order to get compensation for damages, but you may also be curious about punitive damages as well.

Your truck accident attorney will be able to handle your claim when there is a trucking accident in Montgomery, AL. they have the knowledge to know when punitive damages are warranted and can determine whether your case fits the criteria or not. The good news about punitive damages is that while these claims are going to be driven by fact and will require you and your truck accident attorney to jump through some hoops, these types of accidents often include huge negligence and severe injuries, which makes the punitive damages warranted.

If you have been in a trucking accident in Montgomery, AL, it is important for your attorney and you to identify the facts, collect evidence in a timely manner, and understand all the intricacies that come with the law in Alabama in order to sustain punitive damages against the trucking company.

When can I get punitive damages?

In most states, you will only be able to get punitive damages where there is convincing and clear evidence that the individual, in this case, the truck driver, committed gross negligence or intentional misconduct. When it comes to the truck driver violating their hours of service, it is likely that you will get the punitive damages.

All truck drivers learn the rules of driving before they are given their license. They know exactly how the hours work and when they violate them, they risk being tired or not having enough concentration for the job at hand. Those jobs are sometimes seen as pesky by drivers who need to make certain times or get paid by the mile and want to make more money, but violating them can put people like you in danger.

In order to receive punitive damages for your trucking accident in Montgomery, AL, you and your truck accident attorney need to prove that the trucking company:

  • Knowingly and actively participated in the conduct that was punitive.
  • The managers, directors, and officers of the corporation knowingly condoned, consented, or ratified the conduct.
  • The corporation engaged in conduct that showed gross negligence and ended up with loss, damages, or injury that the claimant suffered.

How can I prove punitive damages?

Working with a truck accident attorney can help you to determine whether punitive damages can be awarded in a case. Some of the factors that can be considered include:

  • Were the truck driver and/or the trucking company violating any FMCSR’s?
  • Did the truck driver already have a driving record that was unsafe and that the trucking company knew about or should have known about?
  • Were the policies of the company incongruous with the FMCSRs?
  • Did the trucking company’s work environment seem to facilitate fatigued driving or incentivize violations of hours that are imposed by the FMCSRs?
  • Did the company ever cite the driver for driving violations in the past?
  • Did the company permit the driver to operate a truck that had a known physical defect that was likely to cause unsafe conditions while driving?

In the case of being injured by a driver who violated their hours, you could easily have a case for punitive damages. Your truck accident attorney and you can use the first part here to show how the driver violated FMCSR’s. You can also look at the policies of the company and see if they encourage the drivers to keep going past hours or make incentives for behaviors that would require the drivers to go against regulations.

Being in a truck accident in Montgomery, AL can result in some major injuries and damages to your vehicle. Often these can occur because the driver was negligent or not following the regulations for truck drivers in the country. Hiring a truck driving attorney can help make your claim go more smoothly.

If you have been in a trucking accident in Montgomery, AL, make sure to contact The Vance Law Firm today. Our team will be able to take a look at your case and help you file your claim today. Contact us to get started.

 

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