If you experienced serious injuries due to a negligent driver in a Birmingham, AL rear-end crash, you may be entitled to compensation. Types of possible compensation may include your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
A Birmingham rear-end accident attorney can help pursue the compensation you may be eligible to receive from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. At the Morris Bart law firm, we have handled thousands of cases like these. We offer free case evaluations, and there is no fee unless we successfully collect a settlement or award on your behalf.
In many cases, rear-end collisions are preventable. If a negligent driver caused you serious injuries in a rear-end collision, contact the Morris Bart law office today.
Rear-End Collisions and Liability
With over four million licensed drivers in Alabama, according to Statista.com, the chance of a rear-end collision is very real. When traffic stops on a busy Alabama highway or city street and an approaching driver cannot react in time to avoid a collision, there is generally a reason.
A negligent driver is typically liable for your injuries when the accident they cause is due to one or more of the following behaviors:
According to PBS, drivers in southern states are most likely to use their phones while driving. In addition to smartphone use, distracted driving also includes reading, applying makeup, eating, or reaching for items. Even talking to passengers, breaking up an argument between kids in the backseat, or just thinking about an issue at work can cause a distraction.
Rubbernecking While Driving
All too often, one incident will lead to a domino effect of more incidents on Alabama’s highways and surface streets. It is only natural to look at another crash or “sightsee” other activities on the side of the road.
However, this can take your eyes off the traffic around you and your mind off your primary task of driving. Rubbernecking can cause serious collisions, including rear-end crashes.
Rubbernecking may even be more dangerous than other types of distracted driving because a crash on the other side of the road, a police stop, a fire truck or ambulance, or another similar issue may distract multiple drivers simultaneously.
Most drivers understand the dangers of drunk driving, yet many take the chance and mistakenly think they can safely drive a vehicle after drinking alcohol. Research by the University of Delaware shows that alcohol generates feelings of invincibility in the brain, leaving drivers to feel more confident an accident won’t happen to them.
The effects of alcohol on the body, however, can be immense. Decision-making slows, reaction time slows, and the brain and body do not work as well as the alcohol content in the blood increases.
A lack of proper sleep, poor nutrition, and stress is a deadly combination behind the wheel. Drowsy drivers experience reduced reaction time and impaired judgment, effects similar to those experienced by drunk drivers.
While this can happen to any driver, it is especially common in commercial drivers who may be rushed to meet strict deadlines and drive longer than legally allowed to make deliveries on time.
Speeding plaques roadways as drivers rush to get to their destinations. In addition to speeding, aggressive drivers may purposely tailgate, placing other drivers at risk for a rear-end collision.
Aggressive drivers may take other unnecessary risks that cause accidents, as well. This could include passing on the shoulder or in the turn lane, failing to maintain their lane, and more.
These are just a few examples of how the careless actions of one driver can result in tragedy. If you experienced serious injuries because another driver failed to share the road responsibly, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact a Birmingham rear-end collisions lawyer today to find out more.
For a free legal consultation with a Rear-End Collisions lawyer serving Birmingham, call 800-537-8185
Birmingham Rear-End Collisions FAQ
If you were in a rear-end crash, you might have a strong idea of who is at fault and how to navigate a claim. But not every accident is clear-cut, and not all rear-end collision injuries are mild. A Birmingham rear-end collisions lawyer can answer any question you may have.
Can You Sue for a Rear-End Collision in Birmingham?
Yes, you can sue for a rear-end accident in Birmingham if the collision was someone else’s fault. But you don’t always have to file a lawsuit to get compensation. Most auto accidents result in a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company before trial. Pending the breakdown of negotiations that fail to reach an agreement, you can proceed with a civil suit.
There may also be other reasons why a lawsuit and trial are necessary. Your attorney can discuss this with you during your free consultation or later when it becomes an issue in your case. Reasons to sue could include:
- There are disagreements about fault and liability
- The at-fault driver was not insured adequately
- The statute of limitations deadline is approaching
You may want to file a claim or sue if you’ve sustained rear-end collision injuries. But whether you’re pursuing a settlement or a court award, you and your lawyer need to be able to establish negligence and liability on the part of the driver who crashed into you from behind.
Alabama’s strict rules on contributory negligence mean that if you’re found to be partially at fault for the accident, you won’t be able to sue for compensation and would need to collect from your own insurer to the extent possible based on your auto insurance coverage.
Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision in Alabama?
While it seems on the surface that the driver who crashed into you will be at fault, knowing for certain who is at fault in a rear-end crash in Alabama is a bit trickier. That’s because laws in Alabama surrounding fault can be complicated.
Alabama follows strict contributory negligence laws, which means that if you are even a small percentage at fault for the crash, you won’t be able to sue or file a claim against the negligent party.
For example, if you stopped short in steady traffic, causing the vehicle behind you to hit you, a judge or jury might deem you partially responsible. Your portion might only be five percent, but it would bar you from holding the other driver responsible for their 95% of the liability.
In situations like these, you’d need to try to collect compensation from your own insurance company for those damages. This could include:
- Collision insurance for car repairs
- Medical payments (MedPay) coverage for injuries
- Health insurance coverage if you do not have a MedPay policy
Naturally, the at-fault driver will likely try to use the state’s contributory negligence law to their advantage to deny you compensation when possible. When you have an attorney on your side, they can help you establish fault and prove negligence, mitigating the effects of any allegations you played a role in the crash.
There might also be situations where numerous factors played a role in your rear-end accident. For example, if a semi-truck’s brake failure caused your crash, the at-fault parties could include the trucking company and the brake manufacturer.
If it was a drunk driver, you may hold the driver and the establishment that served them alcohol responsible under Alabama’s Dram Shop Act (Ala. Code §6-5-71).
Wrongful Death and Rear-End Collisions
Sadly, not everyone survives such a traumatic event as a rear-end collision. If you lost a loved one due to a negligent driver who caused a rear-end collision, we may be able to help through the state’s wrongful death laws under Ala. Code § 6-5-410.
Wrongful death cases in other states typically include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are expenses associated with costs like medical bills, while non-economic damages are intangible costs like the loss of companionship. However, this is not the case in Alabama. Alabama only allows punitive damages in wrongful death cases.
If you lost a loved one due to a distracted, drunk, or otherwise negligent driver who caused a rear-end collision in Birmingham, contact the Morris Bart law firm today for a free case evaluation. We can explain how these cases work and who can take legal action on behalf of your family.
Why You May Want Legal Representation for Your Rear-End Collision Injuries
The time immediately following your accident is often one of confusion and anxiety. A sudden and unexpected rear-end collision can change your daily routine—and possibly your life—forever.
Insurance companies like to settle claims quickly. A representative may contact you to make a settlement offer. Do not accept it, and do not try to negotiate for a better settlement on your own.
The insurance company wants to protect its best interests. At the Morris Bart law firm, we can gather evidence and build a case to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If we cannot reach a fair settlement out of court, we are willing to go to trial.
Personal injury and wrongful death claims take time to resolve. Accepting an initial settlement offer may seem like an answer to your financial problems. However, it may only lead to more hardship down the road. If you accept an offer, you lose your right to pursue civil action in the future should your medical condition worsen.
We Fight for Our Clients to Get Enough to Pay Their Bills
It is important that you avoid settling for less than you deserve. Each case is different, and our legal team is here to discuss the details of your unique case. We treat our clients with compassion and guide them through the legal process.
All drivers have a responsibility to share the road. If you experienced serious injuries due to a driver engaged in dangerous behavior behind the wheel, you may have a compensation claim.
The statute of limitations limits how long you have to file a personal injury or wrongful death civil lawsuit. If the driver who caused the accident faces criminal charges, the criminal case has no bearing on your civil action.
Contact a Birmingham Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you miss the statute of limitations deadline, you lose your opportunity for possible compensation. Don’t let this happen to you. Contact a Birmingham rear-end collisions lawyer today to explore your legal options.
Serious injuries result in expensive and often ongoing medical costs that may far exceed your personal finances. You should not have to pay for expenses that occur due to no fault of your own. For a free case evaluation, contact the Morris Bart law firm today.
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