After a Birmingham car accident, you have a lot on your mind. If you’ve suffered injuries, your health is most important. But if you are the breadwinner in your family, you also consider how you will support everyone. Not having a paycheck while you recover is difficult enough. Having multiple medical bills to pay only makes it worse. The cost of doctor appointments, physical therapy, mediation, medication, surgery, and hospital visits, can add up quickly. You might also have to pay for damage to your car, truck, or other personal property.
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can help you secure a fair and substantial financial recovery for your injury. Insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their best interests. So should you.
We can help present your claim in a clear, complete, and timely manner. Furthermore, we can evaluate whether your medical records reflect the true extent of your injuries
Insurance companies tend to lowball personal injury victims because they know you are under financial and emotional stress. They want to give you as little money as possible without regard for what you truly deserve.
Let our car accident lawyers in Birmingham worry about securing your fair compensation while you concentrate on your health. Contact us immediately after a car crash or sustain an injury for a free case evaluation.
Why Do I Need a Birmingham Car Accident Lawyer?
Some people believe they can keep more of whatever money they receive for their Alabama car accident injuries by not hiring an attorney. That is precisely what insurance companies want people to believe, which is why agents will often encourage victims to “keep lawyers out of this.”
In truth, insurers prefer dealing with people who do not have legal representation because they usually don’t know how to handle a personal injury claim. An experienced attorney, backed by a seasoned legal team, can determine the true value of your case with a free consultation. Then we will fight to recover the compensation you deserve.
While insurance representatives for the at-fault party may seem genuinely concerned about your well-being, their goal is to get you to make damaging recorded statements about the crash. Remember, anything you say to an insurer could ultimately hurt your cases. Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can handle these phone calls on your behalf and begin negotiating a fair and full settlement, covering all your past, present, and future needs.
Why Choose Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP To Handle My Case?
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP wants justice for you and your family. We aim to negotiate a settlement covering medical expenses, lost income, future earnings, pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
Hiring the right personal injury lawyers in Birmingham is the first step toward alleviating some of your stress after you have been in an accident and are on your way to recovering compensation. At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, our car accident lawyers have extensive experience handling personal injury cases.
We can help you through every stage of a personal injury claim and provide you with professional, personal, and compassionate representation. The personal injury attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP want to help you achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Our firm also handles auto accident cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you do not pay any fees unless you receive a monetary award.
Birmingham Car Accident Lawyers: Cases We Handle
Every car accident is different and involves unique factors and causes. At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, we regularly handle a wide variety of car crash cases and car accident claims, such as:
- Distracted Driving Accidents: Driving while using a handheld device such as a cell phone or tablet takes a person’s focus away from the road and is against the law in Alabama. Even a minor lapse in attention can be the difference between a driver hitting the brakes quickly enough to stop and a devastating car accident.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Accidents: Alabama prohibits drunk driving, and a person operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance is exponentially more likely to cause a serious crash because of the effects that alcohol or drugs have on their ability to safely control an automobile. Furthermore, if the person became drunk by being over-served by an establishment, the vendor may share liability. In most cases, a drunk driver will face serious criminal charges after causing an accident. However, it is crucial to remember that a criminal case is separate from a civil action. Even if a driver can avoid a DUI conviction, they can still be held liable in a civil case.
- Bus and Train Accidents: Not all car accidents involve other cars. Victims can sometimes suffer severe injuries in crashes involving buses or trains. When these accidents result from a bus driver or train operator’s negligence, victims may be able to hold the bus or train owner liable. Whiplash-type injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and neck injuries, are commonly associated with bus and train accidents. Head-on collisions are particularly likely to cause severe injuries.
- Rideshare Accidents: With the popularity of ridesharing programs increasing, so are the number of accidents involving this kind of driver. This kind of case is incredibly complicated, so it is best to speak to a car accident lawyer. An attorney can help you understand your options, determine who is at fault, and outline how to pursue compensation.
- Construction Zone Accidents: Work zones in Alabama can cause frustration for drivers because they force the vehicles passing through them to slow down to comply with lower speed limits. Some drivers disregard these safety measures and often cause serious car crashes.
- Hit-and-Run Accidents: When an accident results in injury, death, or damage to any vehicle, Alabama law requires any driver involved to give their name, address, and the registration number of their car to the other driver. The drivers must also render reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident. Unfortunately, some drivers do not comply with this law and flee an accident scene. Leaving the scene of a crash is often referred to as a hit-and-run accident. Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can work with law enforcement to track down the offender and assist you in filing claims with your own insurance providers. You might need to rely on your insurance if the police cannot find the wrongdoer.
- Multi-Vehicle Accidents: Some crashes involve more than two vehicles. Such cases can quickly become very complicated, with drivers’ insurers and legal services blaming one another for being at fault. Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can conduct a thorough investigation of the car wreck to determine all liable parties and work to ensure that they are held accountable and provide financial compensation.
- Uninsured Motorist Accidents: Under the Alabama Mandatory Liability Insurance Act, no person can operate a motor vehicle unless they have an insurance policy that satisfies the state’s minimum liability insurance limits. Those requirements include $25,000 for death or bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more people, and $25,000 for property damage. Unfortunately, some Alabama drivers do not carry any insurance, and obtaining compensation in such cases is challenging. We can assist you in holding these negligent drivers accountable and claiming coverage from your insurance provider.
- Rear-End Collisions: Whether another driver was tailgating or simply inattentive, people often suffer severe injuries in rear-end crashes. In many of these accidents, negligent drivers were driving while distracted before causing the crash.
- Reckless Driving: Drivers who tailgate, weave in and out of lanes, ignore the right of way, run red lights, and other careless actions are difficult to predict. These careless drivers often cause serious car wrecks and devastating car accident injuries.
- Speeding Accidents: If you sustained catastrophic injuries or your loved one died in an accident someone else caused, the other driver should pay for the harm they’ve caused. Reach out to the Birmingham car accident attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP today. We’ll be here to help.
- Side-Impact or T-Bone Collisions: When crashes occur at intersections, one vehicle often strikes the side of another. Anyone on the receiving end of the collision could suffer severe injuries.
- Head-On Collisions: Head-on collisions significantly raise the risk of fatal and internal injuries in crashes. Such accidents often result from improper lane usage or another driver attempting to pass without sufficient room.
- Highway Defects: When you suffer injuries in an accident resulting from dangerous roadway conditions, a governmental entity might owe you significant compensation. Call us today to find out how we can help you.
- Whiplash and Spinal Cord Injuries: Did you or a loved one suffer whiplash in a car accident in Alabama? Our team can help you get the compensation you deserve for your neck, spinal cord, or traumatic brain injuries.
Not all car accidents involve other vehicles. Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP also handles isolated crashes resulting from defective automobile parts or maintenance company negligence.
What You Should Do After a Car Accident?
If you sustain injuries in an Alabama car crash, seek immediate medical treatment. This rule applies whether EMS takes you to an emergency room or you visit the hospital yourself. Keep in mind some car accident injuries will not display symptoms for days or weeks. An insurance company will likely use any delay in treatment against you if you file an injury claim later. It is always best to play it safe and have a doctor look you over to ensure you do not need emergency treatment.
When possible, use a camera (such as the one on your smartphone) to take as many pictures as you can of the crash scene. Get pictures of every vehicle involved, every person, and any other notable elements at the scene. Try to take pictures from many angles and distances to have a variety of images for your accident claim.
If any people saw the accident, ask them for their contact information in case you need an eyewitness. If you cannot do these things yourself, ask a friend, family member, or another person you know to help you.
When the other driver’s insurance company contacts you, be extremely cautious about what you say. Never provide any recorded statement to a claims adjuster.
What Types of Car Accident Damages You Could Recover?
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you could be owed significant compensation for the harm you’ve suffered and damage to your personal property.
The personal injury claim process usually starts with your attorney sending a demand letter to the responsible party’s insurance company. The letter explains that you want a fair settlement for your medical bills, lost wages, associated expenses, and other damages. If the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement, your attorney may file a lawsuit to seek compensation through the courts. While most injury claims for automobile accidents settle long before they ever see a courtroom, you could be eligible to recover the following compensation if your case goes to trial:
- Economic damages: The tangible costs a victim faces that you can calculate and prove. Common kinds of economic damages include awards for lost wages, medical bills for personal injuries, future medical bills, and property damage.
- Noneconomic damages: These damages include your pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of consortium.
Another type of damages you could recover is punitive damages. These awards are infrequent, only applying when a defendant deliberately engages in oppression, fraud, wantonness, or malice. Drunk driving accidents are one kind of accident that could result in a punitive damage award.
Alabama Car Crash Statistics
According to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), there were 159,102 total crashes in the state in 2019, resulting in 46,383 injuries and 930 fatalities. Of these, 19,210 crashes occurred in Birmingham, resulting in 4,289 injuries and 38 deaths.
There were 34,732 accidents in Jefferson County that year, resulting in 7,592 injuries and 85 fatalities. Of these crashes, 22,130 were classified as intersection crashes, and 12,602 were nonintersection-related.
Some other statistics from ALDOT include:
- A traffic crash was reported every 198 seconds in 2019, a person was injured in a traffic crash every 11 minutes and 19 seconds, and there are two to three crash fatalities per day in Alabama on average.
- Almost 60 percent of those killed in fatal crashes where seatbelts were available were people who were not wearing seatbelts.
- 51 percent of all fatal crashes occurred at night in 2019.
- 77 percent of all crashes occurred on urban roadways, while crashes on rural roads account for 59 percent of all fatalities.
ALDOT stats reveal over a 1 in 3 chance of injury or fatal accidents for typical Alabama drivers.
What Are the Common Injuries Reported After Car Accidents?
Car accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries. Some people may be completely unharmed, while others may sustain minor injuries that heal relatively quickly. Sadly, many people suffer devastating injuries that dramatically reshape their entire lives.
Examples of injuries people might sustain in car accidents include:
- Neck injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Muscle strains
- Nerve damage
More severe injuries are more expensive to treat. Some people require several weeks, months, or even years of rehabilitation and hospital bills. All of this coincides with when they cannot return to work to support themselves.
Many insurance companies will deny injury claims because victims allegedly had preexisting conditions. Ensure your car accident lawyer can prove the crash caused your injuries directly.
Some accident victims die because of the injuries they sustained wreck. In such cases, the deceased’s family may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
About Alabama Car Accident Laws
Alabama law requires drivers to carry evidence of insurance that includes insurance satisfying the minimum amounts provided in Alabama Code § 32-7-6(c). Under that section of state law, every driver must maintain insurance providing coverage of at least $25,000 for bodily injury to or death to one person in any one accident, $50,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
Many people carry insurance policies that provide greater coverage than state law requires. Unfortunately, some accidents involve uninsured drivers. In such instances, victims may seek compensation from their uninsured motorist policies, but the uninsured driver remains personally accountable.
Alabama law requires injured drivers to file a lawsuit within two years of an accident. This period is called the statute of limitations, and there are ways to extend the limitations period in certain instances.
If someone has a disabling condition preventing them from filing a claim, the two-year countdown begins once they’re no longer disabled. One common example of a disability is when someone injured in a crash is a minor. In these cases, the injured party has two years to file once they turn 18.
Another possible exception is when the defendant in a car accident claim has left the state or cannot be located. In such cases, the time that the defendant is missing is not counted.
How Do I Deal With the Insurance Company After a Car Accident?
In the aftermath of a collision, insurance adjusters are the last people you want to deal with. However, an adjuster will likely contact you shortly after the accident. The company’s representatives may seem concerned about your health and well-being. But remember who they work for (the insurance company) and what their job is (to save the company money).
The insurance provider is only looking to protect its bottom line. That typically means resolving your case for as little as possible. An insurer will not immediately reveal the extent to which it will go to reduce your award.
You want to let an attorney handle all conversations with insurance companies on your behalf. A car accident lawyer understands your claim’s value and negotiates a fair settlement effectively.
In many cases, the insurance company will argue that you caused your injuries. Alternatively, they might say your degree of fault prohibits you from receiving compensation. An attorney can investigate the wreck and gather evidence to show the other driver caused your injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
You likely have many questions about your rights and legal options after a crash. We have provided the answers to some commonly-asked questions below. If you want to know more, we can help answer specific questions when you schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Alabama is one of only five U.S. states that recognizes the affirmative defense of contributory negligence. Under this rule, a plaintiff cannot recover compensation if they contributed to their injuries in any way. Contributory negligence is one of the most important reasons you should not speak to a negligent driver’s insurance company without legal counsel. Insurers are always seeking ways to get victims to admit to even a marginal degree of fault for a crash.
Your first step after a car crash should be to seek medical attention, even if you do not think you were hurt. Not all injuries have obvious symptoms, and it is beneficial to have a record showing you sought medical care immediately. When possible, take pictures of your crash scene and get contact information for anyone who saw the accident. If you cannot take these steps yourself, try to have friends or family members do so for you. Also, write down everything you remember and keep a journal, as memories of these events fade quickly. Finally, do not speak to the other driver’s insurance company without first contacting Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP.
In most cases, people can obtain copies of crash reports from the law enforcement agency that responded to their accidents. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency provides reports for crashes all over Alabama, but drivers can also obtain accident reports from the Birmingham Police Department or the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Police must file a report if there’s a potential criminal case after a collision.
Contact a Birmingham Car Accident Lawyer Today
The experienced personal injury lawyers of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP have helped people throughout Alabama for more than two decades. We understand the tremendous toll automobile crashes take on victims and their families.
If you suffered injuries or your loved one died in a car crash in the greater Birmingham area, call a lawyer immediately. We understand you are under a lot of financial pressure, especially regarding the medical bills related to your injuries. That’s why you won’t have to pay us anything unless we win.