Roberto Linares, Child Killed in Montgomery, AL, Accident
Montgomery, AL -- March 10, 2017, Roberto Linares and a young child were killed, others were injured, following an 18-wheeler accident.
According to reports released by the Alabama State Police, the incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. along I-85. It happened between the intersections of Main Street and Highway 229.
Preliminary investigations indicate that 55-year-old Linares and a 16-month-old child were riding in a Toyota Sienna traveling northbound on the highway. In events that were not made clear, their vehicle was somehow hit by an 18-wheeler also in northbound lanes. This collision caused the Toyota to lose control, and it crashed into a Ford Focus.
Due to the severity of the collision, both Linares and the young child died at the scene. Three other passengers in the Toyota were taken to hospitals with unspecified injuries. It's unclear if any other injuries occurred.
Authorities did not report any citations or charges resulting from the accident. Their investigations are ongoing.
Map of the Area
I've talked a lot in the past about how trucking companies will take any opportunity they can to shift blame from their driver to pretty much anyone else. This is poignant in this accident because there is a third vehicle involved. It wouldn't be surprising to see them try to blame the secondary collision for the fatal injuries, it would be surprising if they didn't. This blame-shifting technique can reduce the amount that plaintiffs can recover in any state: In Alabama, it has the potential to torpedo the claim altogether.
Alabama is one of five states that uses something called contributory negligence. This basically means that if any percentage of blame is placed on the victims for their injuries, then the defendant is not responsible for any of the damages. Here's an example. Let's say a pickup runs a red light and kills a pedestrian. In one scenario, a jury determines the pickup driver was 100% at fault for the accident, therefore the driver is responsible for 100% of the damages. In a different scenario, the jury decides the pedestrian wasn't paying attention, and bears 1% of the blame for their death. The pickup driver would be a whole 99% at fault for the accident, but contributory negligence means that 1% essentially gets the pickup driver off scot-free.
So in an accident like this, there is a man and an infant tragically killed. Is a trucking company really going to fight to make sure their families don't get any sort of compensation for their loss? Unfortunately, yes. In over 25 years of litigating these types of cases, I have yet to come across a trucking company that accepted responsibility for their actions short of someone outside making them accept it.
Taking on a trucking company is about a family getting resolution, holding a negligent driver accountable for their actions, and finding whatever sense of closure they can possibly find during their time of struggle. To a trucking company, this is about money. When money is on the line, trucking companies pull no punches, and they'll create as many barriers as possible to work against victims and save their own hide.
However grim this all seems, let me assure everyone that the obstacles a trucking company creates are not insurmountable. Difficult? Yes. Impossible? No. With help from an experienced professional and tangible evidence, victims and their families stand a chance against combative trucking companies. With the right approach, a rock-solid case, and unshakeable determination, those affected by a truck accident can cut through the barriers put in their way and get the justice they deserve.
--Grossman Law Offices