Alabama, like many states, sees its fair share of automobile accidents. At least one story appears every day about someone being injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash. Recently, a story appeared in the news about a collision involving six vehicles. This particular accident caused one fatality and multiple injuries. The driver now faces criminal charges.
Allegedly, this particular driver got into his car after an argument with a friend. The police reported that he then sped away from the scene and onto the highway. At an intersection, he allegedly slammed into a car that was stopped at a red light, and that collision led to a six-vehicle accident. A passenger in the car initially rear-ended at the traffic light died from her injuries.
The driver and five others sustained injuries as well. Police reported that they had evidence that the driver of the speeding car was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The driver has been charged with manslaughter, but it remains to be seen whether or not he will be convicted.
What about the people who have been injured in this accident? Who is responsible? What about the family of the woman who was killed when her vehicle was hit from behind? Are they entitled to anything for their loss? If the man goes to jail, can they still collect money for their injuries or suffering? As you can see, this story sheds light on many of the questions and issues that can arise following an automobile accident.
If you have injuries from an Alabama accident, it is important to have people you can trust to analyze the facts of your specific case. The attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt have valuable experience processing claims and advocating for accident victims. Because each case is different, the details of your injuries and accident are needed before we can determine what course of action is right for you. Our attorneys will work hard to see that you are compensated fairly.
Wrongful Death Claim
In Alabama, any death caused by a wrongful, wanton or negligent act of another can be the basis of a wrongful death claim. The rules about wrongful death cases in Alabama differ from many other states in some ways. In Alabama, only a representative of the decedent’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Alabama is also the only state in the country that does not allow family members to recover compensatory damages. The only damages awarded in a wrongful death case in Alabama are punitive damages. Damage awards are passed on to the heirs outside of the estate and are not subject to the decedent’s debts.
An estate may bring a civil wrongful death case against the driver regardless of whether or not he faces criminal charges. They are completely separate cases, and one does not depend on the other.
If the driver was operating the car while intoxicated, perhaps there is a bar owner to blame for continuing to serve him. There is much research to do in a wrongful death accident claim in order to determine who may be at fault for your loss and required to pay monetary damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant and to deter future harm but do provide the victim’s family with a monetary award that they can use as they please.
Claims for Injuries
Passengers who suffer injuries also may be able to file claims with insurance companies or against the driver himself. The extent of the injuries, loss of wages and pain and suffering may all be part of a claim. In the case of a six-car accident, where one car hit another, and a chain reaction followed, it can be tricky to figure out who is at fault. Can all of the injuries be attributed to the first car that sped into the car at the stoplight? Did any car have faulty brakes? Was any other driver tailgating or texting? Were any of the injured drivers or passengers wearing seatbelts?
As you can see, the more people and cars that are involved in an accident, the more questions that are raised. There are more eyewitness accounts, more police reports, and additional insurance companies and medical professionals. In a complicated crash with many cars, an accident reconstruction expert may be needed to determine what exactly took place and bears the most blame.
Chances are if you are injured in a crash like this, you will be able to recover monetary damages from someone. If you have medical expenses to pay, lost wages from missing work or face a long road to a full recovery, compensation may be available to you.
Contact Alabama Accident Attorneys
If you are the victim of an accident in Alabama, we recommend speaking to our attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt. We can help determine your legal rights are and whether you are entitled to file a claim for damages. It can be difficult to navigate a multi-vehicle accident case, and our experienced team can help. Alabama has a statute of limitations. In other words, you only have a certain amount of time during with to file your claim. We cannot know how much time you have left unless you call and give us some details about your accident. Let us help you recover the compensation you deserve.