In serious car accidents, it is common for all people involved to sustain injuries. If you were a passenger in an Alabama car crash that was caused by another driver’s negligence, then you may be considering a lawsuit for damages.
But what happens if you were a passenger in the negligent driver’s car? Can you sue him or her for damages?
According to the Alabama Code, there are certain situations when a passenger can sue a driver for damages. In some cases, though, this is not possible.
A Mobile personal-injury lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC can evaluate your case to determine if you may be eligible for damages. If so, then we can structure your claim, gather evidence, negotiate your settlement and litigate your case if it goes to trial. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 1-800-537-8185.
In the meantime, read on to learn how Alabama’s guest passenger laws may affect your case:
Alabama’s Guest Passenger Law
The owner or operator of a car is not liable to a guest for damage or loss arising from injuries or death. This law is applicable only if you have not paid the driver for the ride. If you have paid the driver for the service, or even for gas, then you may still be able to sue for damages.
You also may have grounds for a lawsuit if the driver was guilty of clear misconduct. However, proving “willful or wanton misconduct” is not always easy. A simple transgression does not equal willful misconduct. You must demonstrate that the driver consistently broke regulations, and that this behavior caused the crash.
What Constitutes a “Guest?”
The Alabama Code does not provide a specific definition for “guest,” and in many cases, this is a grey area. However, previous rulings regarding this law provide some insight into what the court may consider to be a guest in a car.
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If the ride serves a mutual interest for both the driver and the passenger, then there is a “joint business relationship” in place. Under these circumstances, you may be able to claim that, due to mutual benefits, you were a passenger in the car and not a guest. If you can prove this in court, then your injury lawsuit may be successful.
As an injured passenger, there are several challenges to winning an injury claim. In addition to proving negligence, your attorney must show that you were not a “guest,” and that the accident caused a specific injury.
If you were in a car crash with a negligent driver, a Mobile personal-injury lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC can help. We can evaluate the cause of the accident to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit. If so, you may be entitled to health-care expenses, lost wages and other damages from the liable party. If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation, call our office today at 1-800-537-8185.