A car accident is an unsettling situation anytime it occurs. Sometimes, injuries and related costs make a car accident a life-altering situation, too. If you or your loved one sustained injuries in a crash that another driver caused, you might be legally entitled to a personal injury settlement that pays for your damages.
The team of Birmingham car accident attorneys at Morris Bart & Associates, LLC is ready to fight for you. From settlement negotiations with insurance companies to represent you if your case goes to trial, we handle it all so that you can focus on your recovery.
Table of Contents
- What Are Damages in Personal Injury Car Accident Claims?
- What Are Some Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Birmingham?
- What Evidence Do I Need to Prove Driver Negligence?
- What Can I Expect from Insurance Negotiations?
- What Is the Deadline to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Alabama?
- What if I Am at Fault for the Car Accident?
- What Damage Types Are Available in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
- How Do Attorneys Establish Car Accident Liability?
What Are Damages in Personal Injury Car Accident Claims?
If the court finds another party to be responsible for your injuries, you may be awarded compensation for:
- Transportation to the hospital and emergency treatment
- Ongoing and future costs of medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages for the time that your injuries prevented you from working
- Reduced ability to earn an income due to your injuries
- Any out-of-pocket expenses
As a service to our clients, our car accident lawyers will help you gather all the documentation needed to confirm these expenses. For any non-economic damages, your attorney will assign it a monetary value and calculate a sum of your losses to use in negotiations.
What Are Some Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Birmingham?
When a driver’s negligent actions cause your injuries, you may have an actionable personal injury case against them. Some of the most common scenarios our car accident lawyers in Birmingham see include:
- Aggressive driving: Going too fast, changing lanes wildly, or failing to maintain a lane are examples of aggressive driving that can lead to accidents.
- Driving under the influence: When a motor vehicle operator is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it can impair their ability to drive safely.
- Violating traffic laws: This occurs when a driver fails to comply with traffic signals, such as a red light or a stop sign, leading to a crash.
- Driving while fatigued: An individual fighting driver fatigue is unable to operate their motor vehicle safely and can cause a severe wreck by falling asleep.
- Driving while distracted: According to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), distracted driving is a leading cause of crashes across the state.
- Improperly maintained vehicles: The driver’s car may have missing mirrors, bald tires, or other neglected safety systems that lead to the accident.
- Following too closely: The cause for many rear-end accidents is a driver failing to leave enough room for them to stop.
- Speeding or going too slow: Motor vehicles traveling at higher-than-normal speeds are more likely to turn an insignificant issue into a fatal wreck, according to ALDOT. Simultaneously, cars driving at slower-than-average speeds are also more likely to be involved in a crash.
- Mechanical defect: Cars equipped with parts that fail can cause severe accidents. It may be possible to file a product liability claim against the company that produced the defective part when this happens.
Furthermore, inclement weather only exacerbates any of these examples.
What Evidence Do I Need to Prove Driver Negligence?
In a Birmingham car accident case, a plaintiff must typically produce evidence of the responsible driver’s negligent behavior. Key pieces of evidence your Birmingham car accident attorney can use to prove their negligence can include:
- Photos and video from the scene of the accident
- CCTV or surveillance footage of the accident secured later
- Statements from witnesses to the accident
- Testimony from traffic accident experts
- Evidence from your damaged vehicle that indicates the events of the accident
Our personal injury lawyers will handle gathering evidence to prove your claim while you concentrate on healing from your injuries and getting your life back to normal.
What Can I Expect from Insurance Negotiations?
After contacting your personal injury lawyer and totaling your damages, the other driver’s insurance company may offer you a settlement. However, be cautious when receiving an offer from an insurance agency since it may not cover the full extent of your injuries.
If you need ongoing medical treatment or you have life-changing injuries, you may deserve a more significant settlement amount than the insurance company is willing to offer.
What Is the Deadline to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Alabama?
Under Sect. 6-2-38 of the Alabama Statutes, you have two years from the accident date to file your personal injury case with the state civil court system. If this time limit expires, the court will likely dismiss your claim, and you can lose the chance to pursue compensation.
Your car accident attorney in Birmingham can advise you of the next steps should the two years be approaching. Even if the statute of limitations has passed, it’s still worth reaching out to us to see if your case may be an exception to the rule.
What if I Am at Fault for the Car Accident?
Alabama law outlines circumstances of shared fault in the state’s law known as contributory negligence. It states that if you are responsible for any portion of the accident, you can legally collect compensation from the other party.
Regardless of how much you were expecting to receive from a settlement, you cannot recover money if you are at all responsible for your own injuries. In addition, this law is only applicable to car accident victims over 14 years of age.
What Damage Types Are Available in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
If you suffer injuries in a car accident, you could be eligible to gain compensatory damages under Alabama law. For example, you could be compensated for:
- Loss of consortium with your spouse
- Emotional distress, past, and future
- Lost wages, past, and future
- Lifetime injuries
- Physical pain and suffering
- Reasonable medical treatment
In addition to compensatory damages, a jury could be authorized to award punitive damages against the driver if their conduct was deliberate. For example, this may happen if the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or operating their vehicle recklessly.
How Do Attorneys Establish Car Accident Liability?
To demonstrate liability in your car accident, skilled Birmingham car accident lawyer investigators will thoroughly analyze your claim’s evidence and supporting documentation to target liability and fault. You and your attorney must establish the following elements:
For a free legal consultation with a Car Accident lawyer serving Birmingham, call (205) 380-4158
Duty of Care
The driver at fault in your accident owed you a duty of care under the law. Duty of care is a requirement that the individual act with watchfulness, caution, and attention to protect you from unjustified harm.
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Breach of Duty
When negligent actions by the at-fault driver subjects you and your passengers to unnecessary harm, they’ve breached their duty of care.
By violating their duty of care, the at-fault driver caused the wreck and ensuing injuries. This causation contributes to the driver’s liability for any non-economic and economic damages.
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Your car accident lawyer will ensure you keep track of W-2s, medical bills, and other substantiating documents to chronicle any damages you may have suffered.
Morris Bart Can Protect Your Right to Receive Compensation
The Birmingham car accident lawyers at the Morris Bart law firm are ready to stand by your side. Our attorneys can negotiate with the insurer on your behalf. However, if they are not willing to provide a fair settlement, we will not shy away from defending your rights in court.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Our law firm operates on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning you do not need to pay upfront to retain our services. Instead, we only receive a payment if you secure a negotiated settlement or court award.
Questions?Call (205) 380-4158
to find a Morris Bart office near you.