Birmingham Highway Defect Accident Lawyers
Did you sustain severe injuries or was your loved one killed in a car accident caused by a defective highway condition in Alabama? You should know that you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) is responsible for designating roads to be constructed, repaired, and maintained as well as constructing, standardizing, repairing, and maintaining such roads and bridges. Many counties in Alabama have departments charged with maintaining county highways, bridges, and roads.
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can help you navigate the complicated process of filing a civil action against a governmental entity in Alabama. Our firm can quickly work to complete an independent investigation that secures all of the valuable evidence relating to your case and helps you recover maximum compensation.
If you suffered serious injuries or your loved was killed in a car crash caused by a dangerous roadway in the Birmingham area, get the help you need right away. You can have our attorneys help you understand all of your legal options during a free consultation as soon as you call Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP or contact us online.
Do I Need A Highway Defect Accident Lawyer?
When you are involved in an accident caused by a dangerous roadway condition, the likely defendant in any civil action you file will be a governmental entity. Under Alabama law, any claim for personal injury against a city or town requires a sworn statement to be filed with the city clerk within six months of the date of the injury. A pre-suit notice has to be provided within two years of the date of the injury.
There are strict deadlines to satisfy, and an attorney will ensure that you meet them. If you attempt to handle a defective highway claim on your own, you should not be surprised if the governmental entity denies liability for your claim.
The governmental entity that is the defendant in your case will very likely try to attribute your accident to your negligence. A lawyer can counter any arguments about your negligence by identifying and proving the effect the dangerous roadway condition had.
Some governmental entities may attempt to resolve these cases through lump sum settlements quickly. These are typically offered before victims have even had the chance to contact an attorney. You should know that whatever you are being offered is a lowball amount, and you will want an attorney who can negotiate a full and fair settlement.
Why Choose Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP To Handle My Case?
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP was founded by lifelong Alabama residents Kirby Farris and Ken Riley. Our firm has maintained a commitment to our community through support of such organizations as Children’s of Alabama, United Way, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama, and Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama.
Mr. Farris and Mr. Riley are both admitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, and United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, as well as the Alabama Supreme Court. They are both members of the Birmingham Bar Association, Alabama Bar Association, and American Bar Association.
Our firm will work toward a settlement that provides for all of your past, present, and future expenses relating to your injuries. If you are not provided an adequate settlement, we will file a lawsuit to try your case in court.
You also will not have to worry about paying anything upfront because we serve clients on a contingency fee basis. You pay only when you get a financial award.
Types of Highway Defect Accident Cases We Handle
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP handles a wide variety of defective roadway claims, which include but are not limited to:
- Lack of median barrier
- Excessive drop-offs
- Improperly designed or designated construction zones
- Dangerous intersections
- Failure to maintain roadway
- Potholes and other unsafe pavement conditions
- Defective traffic signs or lights
- Unsafe bridges or overpasses
- Unsafe railroad crossings
- Improper lane marking
- Reduced radius or exit ramps
- Poorly designed or failure of bridges or overpasses
- Dangerous or non-existent shoulders
- Hazardous curves
- Treacherous inclines or declines
- Inadequate signage
- Unsafe freeway ramps
- Improperly placed barriers
- Lack of guard rails
Most roadways are not expected to be in perfect condition, but they must be safe. Proving that a highway in Alabama was unsafe can be a difficult task, but not an impossible one.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Highway Defect Accidents
Below are some common questions we hear from clients regarding Alabama highway defect accidents.
What should I do if I am involved in a highway defect accident?
Make sure that you receive medical care after any car accident – even if you think you were not hurt. Not all injuries have immediate symptoms. Getting treatment later can be used against you, as insurance companies will be quick to say that the failure to get the injury treated immediately is evidence the injury was not serious.
One of the most crucial things you can do after an accident caused by a defective highway is to take pictures of the specific hazard involved. Take as many photographs as you can and try to shoot them from different angles and distances. If any people saw your accident, ask them for their names and phone numbers in case they are needed as witnesses. Your last step is to stay quiet about the accident, being especially careful not to post anything about it on social media, which will almost certainly be examined by an insurer. Contact an attorney as soon as you can.
What is contributory negligence?
Contributory negligence is an affirmative defense that is only recognized by Alabama and four other states in the nation. With contributory negligence, a plaintiff cannot recover any damages from a defendant when the plaintiff’s own negligence contributed in any way to an accident. In other words, you must prove that somebody was 100% at fault for an accident. A governmental agency is likely to claim that conduct on your own behalf, such as speeding, was a factor in your accident and will try to use that element of negligence as justification for denying your injury claim. Contributory negligence is the primary reason that a person should not admit fault at the scene of their crash. Also, avoid making any recorded statements without legal representation.
How do potholes form?
Potholes are the result of both traffic and water, as the top layer of most roadways is intended to be water resistant but develops cracks because of both traffic and the heating and cooling of the surface. Sunshine during the day causes a roadway to expand while nighttime cooling causes it to contract. Cracks in the surface allow water to seep below the surface where it can freeze and expand at night, and the pavement will contract and have gaps as water gets trapped. The continuing freeze-thaw cycle weakens the surface and causes the roadway to break down, leading to a pothole. Potholes become more common in the spring when nighttime temperatures can be below freezing, and daytime temperatures are longer during Daylight Savings Time.
What kinds of compensation can I be entitled to?
Many cases are resolved through settlements. However, cases can end up in court when settlements are not possible. If a person proves a governmental entity’s negligence in maintaining or constructing a roadway, they could receive compensatory damages, which are a combination of economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are the actual costs a victim has suffered that can be proven, such as medical expenses, lost income, and property damage. Noneconomic damages are the types of harm that cannot be quantified like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.
Punitive damages are also available but are extremely rare and require a plaintiff to prove by clear and convincing evidence that a defendant acted with deliberate or conscious malice.
What happens if the government corrects the hazardous condition that caused my accident?
The governmental entity that is responsible for a roadway will likely make an immediate correction to whatever hazard caused your accident to prevent additional crashes. You should not be alarmed by this development as action after the fact will not mitigate the negligence that led to your accident. Again, it is essential to take photos of the defects that caused your accident before the hazards are corrected. Photographic evidence can be especially critical in these types of cases.
Contact a Birmingham Highway Defect Accident Attorney Today
If you sustained catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in a car accident caused by a defective roadway anywhere in or around Birmingham, you deserve justice. Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP knows how to deal with governmental entities and injury claims against them so that we can help you recover all of the compensation you are entitled to.
Our firm has been helping clients throughout Alabama for more than 20 years. Call (205) 324-1212 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.