An 18-wheeler is a movable business. If you get hit by one, you are injured by a business just as if you were crushed by a falling pallet at the local hardware store. Now the truck may be owned by an individual or by a large corporation but your fight is probably with neither. You are fighting the truck driver’s insurance company.
Here is what the Alabama courts tell me I cannot tell. I cannot tell a jury that the wrongdoer has insurance. The reason given is that it will bias the jury possibly leading to larger verdicts. Likewise, it is believed that juries are less likely to award big money if they think the wrongdoer will lose his or her house or if they believe the driver’s family will be destitute.
Some personal injury attorneys think this court ordered secret is unfair especially since opposing attorneys are able to tell the jury that the injured person has health insurance.
This secret may soon be common knowledge. We have talked about it on Local 15 LawCall here in Mobile and a law firm in Florida has recently started airing commercials to tell what we cannot tell in court.
Thankfully, federal law requires 18 wheelers to carry a minimum of $1 million in insurance. Here is the reason why. The legal weight for an 18 wheeler is 80,000 lbs. (40 tons). In comparison, the average automobile weighs somewhere around 5,000 lbs. So, when an out of control 18-wheeler travelling at highway speeds of 70 mph collides with a car, the end result is usually a life altering injury or even death.
So in an 18-wheeler accident, you are talking insurance and I am glad I could tell you about it.
Having trouble with an insurance company? You can talk to us at Eiland and Ritchie for free. There is no charge unless we collect for you. We want to help you get back on your feet.
Alabama personal injury lawyer