Car crashes are one of the leading causes of injury in Alabama. When a person is injured in a car accident due to another party’s carelessness, an experienced personal injury attorney can guide them through the complex process of recovering compensation for damages.
At The Cochran Firm, we have decades of combined legal experience handling all types of auto accident cases throughout the Birmingham area and across Alabama. We have the resources and knowledge required to pursue every aspect of your claim. To learn more about your options, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
Car Accidents Are Common in Alabama
According to the Alabama Department of Public Safety, there were nearly 157,000 car crashes in the state in 2017, an increase of 0.70% from the prior year. In one year alone, there were over 47,700 people injured and 948 people killed on Alabama’s roads.
The number of registered vehicles, licensed drivers, and vehicle miles traveled on this state’s roads continues to go up each year, which increases the risk of a dangerous accident. Based on the latest data, a typical driver in this state now has a one in three chance of being involved in an injury or fatal crash while operating a vehicle during their lifetime.
Typical Causes of Dangerous Auto Accidents
Car accidents can happen anywhere, at any time, and for a variety of reasons, but these are among the most common causes:
Reckless/careless driving. Reckless and careless driving includes such things as improper lane changes, failing to yield the right of way, and running off the road.
Driving at a speed that is either over the limit or unsafe for conditions is a leading primary factor in injury and fatal crashes in Alabama.
Distracted driving. A driver that is texting is 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident than one who isn’t. Other types of distracted driving include eating, grooming, making phone calls, and adjusting a radio or GPS device.
Drunk/drugged driving. DUI was a factor in about 25 percent of Alabama’s fatal crashes last year and was a factor in more than 5,400 accidents.
Another leading cause of accidents is inclement weather such as heavy fog, rain, snow, and wind.
Design/manufacturing defects. Design, manufacturing, and other defects lead to millions of recalls each year. When these are left unaddressed, they pose a significant danger.
Who’s to Blame for Your Car Crash?
By their nature, accidents aren’t planned events. You may have been commuting to work or school, out with family or friends, or traveling for a weekend away when tragedy struck. Before you know it, you’re dealing with property damage, injuries, and the other potentially costly consequences that result from a car crash.
If these events happened because of another party’s carelessness or through no fault of your own, you might be able to financially recover your losses. Who is responsible and how you can recover depends on a variety of factors.
Sometimes the crash is the fault of another driver or several other drivers; other times, it might have been caused by a defect in the road or a misplaced road sign. Some accidents are triggered by a defective part or the poor design and manufacturing of the vehicle.
Most car accident cases are considered either personal injury or wrongful death suits. If a loved one was killed in a car crash, plaintiffs in Alabama are only permitted to seek punitive damages, which is something we can explain in further detail during your free consultation.
Our Law Firm Fights for Your Rights
Alabama’s personal injury and accident laws are not friendly to the average citizen. You lack a distinct advantage if you’ve been involved in an accident and are not familiar with this state’s legal procedures and personal injury laws. This is just one of the reasons it makes sense to partner with an experienced car accident firm that will put your interests first.
The Cochran Firm is not only intimately familiar with Alabama’s rules regarding these cases, but we also have extensive experience helping clients achieve the most positive outcome possible. Some of the ways that we will help you navigate this system include:
Insurance Companies. Despite what they tell you, insurance companies are not on your side. These are capitalist enterprises with the goal of maximizing profits, which means they need to close your case with as little financial payout as possible. Our experienced accident attorneys understand this dynamic and will take this burden off of your shoulders. We’ll deal with the insurance companies on your behalf so that you can focus on rebuilding your life.
Statute of Limitations. According to Alabama law, you have just two years from the date of the accident to make a formal claim for damages. If you fail to meet this deadline, you will forfeit the right to recovery.
Contributory Negligence. Alabama has one of this country’s harshest negligence doctrines, and this could derail your case before it begins. If you are found to be just 1% at fault in the accident, you will not be able to recover damages from the responsible party. This is why you need an aggressive legal advocate in your corner who will fight for your rights.
Guest Statute. In general, Alabama law doesn’t allow a passenger or “guest” to sue the driver or owner of the vehicle if there is a crash. Our firm can help you find the exceptions to this rule when there is evidence of reckless conduct.
Texting Laws. Distracted driving is a growing problem nationwide, and the laws are changing fast. While a ban on texting was put in place in Alabama in 2017, further restrictions on cell phone use in your automobile are possible in the future. Such changes could impact the outcome of your case.
Speak with an Experienced Alabama Car Accident Lawyer
The Cochran Firm provides strong legal advocacy for people involved in car accidents in Birmingham and throughout Alabama. Our experienced legal team will independently investigate your case, including determining whether issues such as vehicle defects or roadway design played a role in your accident.
We are a client-centered firm that will provide you with the individual attention you need and deserve. Our goal is always to obtain the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones. If you or someone you care about has been in injured in a car accident in Alabama, contact our office today at (205) 994-8555 to schedule a free, confidential consultation. We also serve in Tuscaloosa!