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DO I NEED A LAWYER AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT IN ALABAMA?

Millions of people live and work in Alabama, in cities like Auburn, Mobile, Birmingham, Montgomery and Huntsville, and other towns and metropolitan areas throughout the state. Each day, people drive to get to work, drop their kids off at school, go shopping, go to a football game or visit friends and family. A car accident can happen at any time that leaves them seriously injured.

Car insurance is supposed to pay for the medical expenses for treating injuries, and also property damage caused in the accident. But insurance companies aren’t on your side. They are only interested in making profits, and will do what they can to avoid paying you. This can make the claims process very aggravating. Many people aren’t sure what to do next.

If you were injured in a car accident in Alabama, you need someone to look out for your best interests; someone who is familiar with the claims process and knows how to avoid the pitfalls that can get in the way of recovering compensation. A lawyer can make sure your rights are protected and help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

How common are car accidents in Alabama?

According to statistics from the Alabama Department of Transportation, there were 147,452 crashes statewide in 2015. Every county had its share of crashes, including Jefferson (27,409), Mobile (15,559), Madison (10,984), Montgomery (9,938) and Lee (5,144).

Other quick facts from the agency about Alabama accidents:

There were 44,020 people injured on the roads of Alabama in 2015. The fatality statistics for the state-849 in 2015-place it at number 6 among the most dangerous states to drive in.

There are different types of car accidents, including:

WHERE DO CAR ACCIDENTS HAPPEN IN ALABAMA?

Alabama has more than 102,000 miles of roads and highways across the state. Cars travel down these roads every day, and an accident can happen on any type of road at any time. All it takes is one negligent driver. In 2015, crashes occurred in Alabama on:

Due to factors such as poor visibility, high speeds and sudden changes in the number of lanes, U.S. Highway 431 has been nicknamed the “highway to hell,” and listed among the most dangerous highways in the world. But accidents happen all over Alabama-on I-85, I-65, Highway 280, I-459, and on country roads and city streets.

WHAT CAUSES CAR ACCIDENTS IN ALABAMA?

All drivers have a responsibility to follow the rules of the road at all times, and to use good judgment. When they fail to meet these responsibilities in some way, they can easily cause an accident that leaves people hurt. This failure is considered negligence and these drivers and their insurance companies can be held accountable for the damages caused in an accident.

The majority of accidents in the state involve some type of driver error. According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, of the 147,452 crashes in the state in 2015, 110,321 were related to driver error. These crashes involved:

However, it is typical for negligent drivers to deny responsibility and contest claims for damages. Insurance companies are only concerned about the bottom line, and work to keep payments low. In order to successfully pursue compensation, you will have to prove that the other driver was negligent.

INSURANCE LAWS IN ALABAMA

All drivers in the state of Alabama are required to have car insurance. This insurance provides drivers with liability coverage for injuries and property damage after an accident. The minimum amounts of liability coverage required by law are:

However, it is generally recommended that drivers carry higher amounts of liability coverage. The damages caused by an accident can easily exceed the minimum limits. In addition, all car insurance policies sold in the state are required to include uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This helps pay for damages caused by a driver who has no insurance, or not enough. Additional options include collision coverage, which can pay the cost of repairs to your car.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M IN A CAR ACCIDENT?

If you’ve been involved in a car crash, there are step you can take to make sure everybody is OK and to protect your rights:

INJURIES SEEN IN CAR ACCIDENTS

Injuries sustained in car accidents can range from mild to severe. In 2015, there were 44,020 injuries from all crashes in Alabama. Injuries require medical treatment, and those expenses can add up quickly. When injuries result in permanent damage, medical expenses can last a lifetime. Some common injuries seen in car accidents include:

OPTIONS FOR RECOVERING COMPENSATION

Alabama is a “fault” car insurance state. This means that the person considered at fault for the accident is responsible paying for the damages. But if you are the injured party, how do you actually go about collecting those damages? You have three options:

File a claim with your insurance company. They will pay for damages. If another driver is at fault, they will then seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company (a process called subrogation).

File a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, the insurance company will do what they can to deny or reduce any payments to you. They are only interested in protecting their profits.

File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This option can be used when the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to negotiate a fair settlement. A lawsuit must be filed within 2 years of the date of the accident.

Recovering financial compensation after a car accident is not easy. You can encounter obstacles from the insurance company when pursuing any one of these options. The at-fault driver may deny responsibility for the accident, possibly leaving you in the position of having to prove negligence.

And insurance companies are definitely not on your side. Paying claims cuts into their profits, so they will do whatever they can to keep payments low. Some of the ways they’ll try to this include:

HOW AN ATTORNEY CAN HELP

An experienced car accident attorney knows the tactics insurance companies use to deny and reduce payments. An attorney also knows how to fight back against those tactics to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. A lawyer can help you navigate the claims process and build a strong case that gets results.

A car accident lawyer can:

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, the insurance company will have their own attorneys looking out for them. You need an experienced lawyer looking out for your interests. An attorney has the legal knowledge, resources and time to focus on recovering compensation for you. This allows you to focus on recovering from your injury as much as possible. And when a lawyer works on a contingency fee basis, you don’t pay anything unless you receive compensation. It pays to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Contact Mike Slocumb Law Firm, an injury law firm that helps victims of car accidents fight back against the insurance companies to get the financial compensation they deserve. The firm has offices in Auburn and Mobile, AL and serves clients statewide.

Get Started Now!


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