Car accidents have the potential to devastate personal, professional & physical lives every day and that is why it is important to hire an experienced Alabama personal injury lawyer. If you were injured in a car collision, you should recover your medical costs, lost income, and be compensated if you suffered from pain and anxiety.
Car accidents are the leading cause of injury in the country, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sharing data highlighting that more than 32,000 people are killed in car accidents throughout the country each year, and more than two million are injured. In fact, the crash death rate in the United States is more than twice that of the average rate in other high income countries, a serious cause for concern.
At the law offices of Taylor Martino, P.C., our Alabama car accident attorneys have seen the devastating effects that a car accident can have on an individual and a family. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle crash caused by the fault of someone else and aren’t sure what your options are or how to recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, please call our law offices today for a free consultation. We are prepared to fight for you.
Top Causes of Car Accidents in Alabama
Car accidents most commonly occur because of a driver’s failure to operate their vehicle with the proper duty of care required. Indeed, most car accidents would never happen but for drivers’ errors and acts of negligence. Some examples of actions that cause car accidents include:
Driving too fast for conditions;
Using a cellphone or handheld device;
Alcohol or drug-impaired driving;
Driving while fatigued;
Illegally changing lanes;
Failure to signal;
Failure to yield; and
Other breaches of traffic laws or common sense and safety.
The above actions can lead to myriad different accident types, including T-bone collisions, head-on crashes, rear-end crashes, sideswipe collisions, and rollover accidents.
All of these accident types have the potential to be very serious, even a rear-end collision. Drivers and passengers involved in a crash may suffer facial and head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, back and spinal cord injuries, bone fracture injuries, soft tissue injuries, and internal injuries. These injuries may be permanently disabling and impairing.
The Process of Bringing Forth a Car Accident Claim
After a crash, it is important that drivers and passengers understand what steps to take to initiate a car accident claim and recover compensation for their injuries. A simplified version of the process is as follows:
Report the car accident to the police;
Seek medical care;
Inform your insurance company and the insurance company of the at-fault driver of the claim;
Present evidence of damages; and
Review, negotiate, and accept a settlement offer.
While the above outlines the basic steps a person injured in a crash should take and the order in which the process of recovering damages typically unfolds, except for in the case of minor car accidents that result in few damages, the process is rarely as simple as described.
Alabama maintains an at-fault car insurance system. Simply put, this means that the party who is at-fault for a crash must pay for it, typically through their liability insurance. In order to actually have your claim paid by the other driver’s insurance company, though, you will need to prove:
That the accident would not have happened but for the actions of the at-fault party; and
The extent of damages you have suffered, which may need to be corroborated by the statements of experts, such as medical and financial experts.
In order to recover the evidence that you will need to bring forth a successful car accident claim, our attorneys will start investigating your case immediately. Not only do we move quickly to begin the process of gathering evidence, but we also have the resources and staff necessary to hire experts, including accident reconstruction experts, and thoroughly build your case.
Filing a Lawsuit in Alabama
Most car accident claims are settled out of court – once you file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance, there will likely be some back and forth over things like fault and the amount of damages that you deserve. However, in most cases, a settlement will be reached after negotiations, and a claimant will be paid the amount they are entitled to.
In some cases, however, a settlement cannot be reached. When this is the case, the plaintiff’s only option for recovering damages may be to file a car accident lawsuit. Our car accident attorneys at the offices of Taylor Martino, P.C. have litigation experience, and are not intimidated by the prospect of trial and being in the courtroom.
Shared Fault Laws and Time Limits
Two very important things to remember about the process of bringing forth a car accident claim are the state’s statute of limitations, and Alabama’s strict rules regarding shared fault.
First, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of accident. This means that all torts must be filed no more than two years from the date of the incident. If you wait longer than two years to file your case, you will likely be prevented from recovering even a cent of what you’re owed.
Second, Alabama maintains a strict rule of contributory negligence. This means that if you contributed to your accident in the least, even one percent, you are barred from bringing a claim against the other driver. This rule is one of the reasons that working with an attorney is so important – an attorney can gather the proof necessary to establish that your accident was 100 percent the fault of the party against whom you are filing a claim.
Take Action after Being in a Car Crash in Alabama
If you have been in a crash, you may be dealing with the aftermath, including serious physical injuries, psychological harm, and a range of emotions. We know that taking legal action can be difficult immediately after a crash, but we urge you to act quickly to ensure that evidence critical to your case is preserved, and that your claim is brought forth within the statute of limitations.
At the law offices of Taylor Martino, P.C., our Alabama car accident lawyers will do what’s necessary to build a strong case for. Please contact us at 251-433-3131, or through our online contact form, to schedule your free consultation.