In February 2015 in Phenix City, Alabama, our client was making a left turn on green at a 3-way intersection when, suddenly, a tractor trailer ran the red light, causing our client to strike the 18-wheeler. From the beginning the defense tried to get out of compensating our client, putting up a hard fight at every chance and forcing McAleer Law to file a lawsuit against the truck driver and the trucking company. In the lawsuit, we brought not only claims against the driver for his negligence, but also a claim against his employer for negligent retention.
The driver of the tractor-trailer denied any wrong-doing, even denying running the red light. In spite of his denials, multiple scene witnesses contradicted the truck driver and testified that the tractor trailer appeared to slow down then accelerated through the red light. Through documents produced in discovery, McAleer Law’s attorneys found that this truck driver had actually caused previous accidents within his first few weeks at work for the trucking company and the trucking company had decided to retain him as a driver.
Our client suffered from severe spinal injuries and had to undergo 3 surgeries along with months of physical therapy and pain management, which the trucking company clearly did not want to pay for. Despite providing no evidence to support their arguments, the defense asserted that our client’s injuries were pre-existing to the collision due to our client’s blue-collar work history and even asserted that his surgeries were not necessary. Such defenses are typical and predictable in automobile or trucking collision cases such as this.
Another hurdle was that this collision occurred in Alabama, a jurisdiction where if a person contributes even 1% of fault towards the accident, that person cannot recover. The defense relied on Alabama’s negligence law to try to argue that our client contributed to the collision, even though the truck driver ran the red light, to get out of paying. Our attorneys successfully argued that, instead of Alabama’s law, Georgia’s law on contributory negligence should be applied in this case. Georgia’s law allows accident victims to recover damages even when they are partially at fault as long as they are not 50% or more at fault the collision. The federal judge agreed and decided Georgia’s law should apply to this case. This ruling helped lead to settlement just weeks before trial.
McAleer Law put up a hard fight for our client against a trucking company that wanted to avoid responsibility at every turn. Litigation was often challenging and time-consuming in this case, however, the result was worth it in the end.
If you or a loved one are the victim in a catastrophic motor vehicle collision, contact McAleer Law at 404-622-5337 for expert legal advice.