Earlier this month, a grand jury returned an indictment in a case brought against a truck driver who ran head-on into another vehicle carrying a family of five. According to a recent news report covering the case, the Alabama truck accident resulted in the driver being indicted for criminally negligent homicide.
Evidently, the truck driver told police that he had swerved to avoid a dog that ran in front of his truck. However, there was no evidence that the truck driver swerved or braked immediately prior to the collision. At the time of the accident, the driver was working for a trucking company based out of Columbus. The grand jury heard evidence that the driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision and that speed was not a factor.
In addition to the criminal charges brought by the State of Alabama, surviving family members have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the truck driver. The results of both cases are still pending.
Civil Cases Versus Criminal Cases in the Alabama Court System
As the above case illustrates, an Alabama truck accident can result in two different cases being filed against the at-fault truck driver. When there is evidence of criminal conduct, the government may choose to bring a criminal case against the driver. However, criminal cases focus on punishing the offender, rather than making the victim whole again.
The surviving family members of a fatal Alabama truck accident have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party or parties they believe to be responsible for the death of their loved one. In many truck accident cases, this means that not just the driver will be named as a defendant, but also the driver’s employer.
As the article discussed above noted, the truck driver was working at the time of the accident. Under Alabama law, an employer may be held liable for the negligent actions of an employee in some circumstances. The relevant question in these cases is whether the driver was acting within the scope of his or her employment at the time of the accident. If so, the employer may be held liable. However, if the employee is determined to be acting outside the scope of employment, it is unlikely that an employer can be held liable for the employee’s conduct.
Have You Been Injured in an Alabama Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in an Alabama truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The Reeves Law Firm has extensive experience assisting injured truck accident victims with pursuing the compensation they need and deserve. We represent clients across Alabama in all types of personal injury cases. We also offer free consultations to all Alabama accident victims at our Decatur offices and will also travel to your location. Call 256-355-3311 to schedule your free consultation today.