You’re in a car accident. You’ve been hurt. There are questions you need answered right now.
Can I use my health insurance to pay for my medical bills? How much compensation am I entitled to? Can I sue the person who recklessly caused the accident? Am I at fault if I got hit from behind?
And who is financially responsible for the damages?
No matter how carefully you drive, you can’t prevent others from driving negligently. The sad fact is that responsible drivers get into accidents every day, get hurt, and are left to pick up the pieces of others’ mistakes.
Automobile insurance coverage in AL
Our experienced Birmingham injury attorneys know the value of your claim.
If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and property damage. Additionally, if someone close to you has suffered a fatal injury, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
Talk to a lawyer about your compensation.
You shouldn’t have to wade through mountains of paperwork, fight for fair compensation, and deal with denied claims on your own.
Talk to us. We can help.
What compensation can I expect after a car accident?
There are actual costs associated with motor vehicle accidents—even the most minor fender benders. The first and obvious cost is the damage done to cars. Vehicles are not cheap, and fixing auto property damage can be very expensive.
For many people, their car is a lifeline for getting to work. Unfortunately, some people with damaged cars might find themselves in the terrible situation of losing their jobs as well
But outside of property damage, people get hurt, too.
Even for car crash victims with less severe injuries, there are often hospital bills, time off work, and other financial costs associated with the accident, not to mention the “emotional costs” like the pain and suffering, emotional distress, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experienced by many car accident survivors. All of these financial and emotional costs add up to damages that someone should be liable for.
The amount and type of compensation you can receive after a car accident will depend on the severity of your injuries and other damages, the specific circumstances of the accident, and the coverage limits of the insurance policies involved.
Generally, compensation can include the following:
- Medical expenses. This covers all medical treatments, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy and any future medical care related to the injuries sustained in the accident.
- Pain and suffering. This is compensation for physical pain and discomfort caused by the accident and the injuries sustained.
- Property damage. This includes the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.
- Punitive damages. In cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious or reckless, such as drunk driving cases, punitive damages may be awarded as a way to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.
- Lost wages and earning capacity. If the injuries prevent you from working, you may be compensated for lost wages. Additionally, if your ability to earn in the future is affected, compensation for lost earning capacity can also be sought.
- Emotional distress. This addresses the psychological impact of the accident, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD.
- Loss of enjoyment. If the injuries prevent you from enjoying day-to-day activities or hobbies that you participated in before the accident, you may be entitled to additional compensation.
- Wrongful death and survivor benefits. If the accident results in death, the victim’s family may also receive compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional suffering.
The ultimate compensation you’re entitled to will depend on the details of your case. An experienced attorney can help evaluate your claim and ensure that you receive fair compensation for all your damages and losses.
If the other driver’s insurance company offers you a quick settlement, don’t take it before consulting with an attorney. Most insurance companies will try to pressure accident victims into accepting a low settlement offer before they have the chance to talk to an attorney and find out what their claim is worth.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve.
Understand the true value of your claim by scheduling a free consultation with our knowledgeable car accident attorneys today.
Common causes of car accidents in Alabama
Sadly, even though most motor vehicle accidents, if not all, can and should be prevented, drivers continue to cause millions of accidents every year.
In Birmingham and throughout Alabama, these accidents often stem from various forms of driver negligence. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common causes of accidents in our state:
- Distracted driving. This has become increasingly prevalent with the rise of smartphones. Drivers distracted by gadgets, phones or other in-car distractions are a major risk factor.
- Drunk driving. Driving under the influence remains a significant cause of accidents, often resulting in serious injuries and death. In 2021, drunk driving killed 13,384 people.
- Inexperienced drivers. Novice drivers might lack the skills or judgment required to navigate complex traffic scenarios safely.
- Ignoring traffic signals and speeding. Many accidents occur due to simple negligence, like running red lights or speeding. Drivers in a hurry often compromise their reaction time, leading to collisions. Speeding-related accidents caused 12,330 fatalities in 2021, or about 29% of crash fatalities.
- Mechanical failures. Sometimes, vehicle malfunctions like brake failure or tire blowouts lead to accidents.
- Poor weather conditions. Birmingham’s weather can contribute to accidents, with rain, fog or icy conditions reducing visibility and road traction.
- Wrong-way accidents. Another particularly dangerous situation is wrong-way driving, where a driver heads into oncoming traffic, often due to confusion or impairment.
- Tailgating. Following too closely can lead to rear-end collisions, especially if the front vehicle brakes suddenly.
- Fatigued driving. Drivers who are tired or drowsy can lose concentration or even fall asleep at the wheel, leading to accidents.
- Improper lane changes. Accidents often occur when drivers change lanes without checking for other vehicles or without signaling.
A multitude of factors, ranging from personal negligence to external conditions, contribute to the frequency of road accidents in Birmingham. Awareness and adherence to safe driving practices are crucial in reducing these incidents.
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The harsh reality of car accidents in Alabama and across the U.S.
Each year in the U.S., tens of thousands of people are killed in car crashes, and millions more are injured.
In fact, in 2021 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that almost 2.5 million people were injured and another 42,939 people died on U.S. roads. This is equivalent to 1 death every 12 minutes and 5 injuries every single minute due to a car crash.
That same year in Alabama, there were approximately 885 fatal crashes that led to about 983 deaths, which is equivalent to about 19.5 deaths per 100,000 Alabama residents.
Those who survive these accidents are often left with serious injuries like spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries that can have significant long-term implications for their lives.
Alabama car accident liability and proving fault
Fortunately, for those injured in an accident, Alabama has civil laws designed to protect and compensate victims. In Alabama, auto injury law is a part of personal injury, or tort, law, which is one of the oldest and best-developed areas of law in our legal system.
Every lawyer in America today started their legal education by learning the basics of personal injury law.
The basics of personal injury law are fairly simple. The law puts a responsibility on each of us to act with a “duty of care” toward one another to not cause harm.
This means that when a person gets behind the wheel and starts driving, that driver must obey traffic signals, drive attentively, and not breach traffic laws.
In fact, almost all accidents could be avoided if each of us simply kept this duty.
This is the civil code of laws we all live under and the standard we should be held to.
When drivers breach their duty to drive safely and cause accidents, victims can face serious injuries and financial burdens. In such cases, the law holds negligent drivers liable for the harm they cause. Victims can pursue compensation for their losses through a personal injury lawsuit.
However, it’s important for car accident victims to understand that Alabama is one of only a few states that use a legal doctrine called contributory negligence when determining fault. Under this doctrine, if the plaintiff (injured person) is found to be even 1% responsible for the accident, they can’t recover ANY compensation.
Do I need a car accident attorney?
Yes, hiring an experienced accident attorney can make all the difference in your financial compensation.
Additionally, because Alabama law is so strict in regard to liability, you’re far more likely to receive a payout when represented by an attorney. Their expertise is often essential to gathering and preserving the evidence required to prove the fault of the other driver and protecting your right to compensation.
|Type of injury
without a lawyer
without a lawyer
(adjusted for inflation 1999-2022)
with a lawyer
|Minor cuts and bruises
Note: Adjusted for inflation 1999-2022 (23 years, cumulative price change = 68.76%)
On average, the insurance payout for car crash victims with an attorney doubled or tripled, compared to those who settled without an attorney. (Source: The Insurance Research Council’s study, 1999 | Enjuris: Car accident guide)
Our injury attorneys provide expert legal support to get you maximum compensation
- We excel at negotiating with insurance firms, ensuring you’re not undermined by their tactics.
- Car insurance companies are not your friend – we are! We will fight for you in every negotiation and every courtroom if necessary.
- Our experience spans thousands of successful negotiations and litigations involving car accidents.
- Each case is unique, and we provide personalized attention, understanding your specific circumstances and needs for a tailored legal strategy.
- From the initial consultation to courtroom representation, we’re dedicated to guiding you at every step, aiming to secure maximum compensation for all damages, including injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and property damage.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Steps to take after a car accident to protect your rights
It’s often challenging for car crash victims to handle all the legal aspects after an accident, and many injured drivers are unsure of the steps required to obtain compensation.
To ensure your rights are protected and to reduce your liability following a car accident in Alabama, it’s important to follow these steps:
- Check for injuries and safety. Your first priority is to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Check for any injuries, and call 911 immediately if medical attention is needed.
- Call the police. Even for minor accidents, it’s crucial to have a police report. The report can be vital for insurance claims and legal purposes.
- Document the scene. Take photographs of the accident scene, including vehicle positions, damages, and any relevant road signs or signals. Also, note the time, location, and weather conditions.
- Exchange information. Exchange names, contact information, insurance details and vehicle information with the other driver. Be polite, but avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be used against you later.
- Look for witnesses. If there are any witnesses, get their contact information too. Their accounts may be helpful if there’s a dispute about what happened.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, some injuries may not be immediately apparent. See a doctor as soon as possible for a thorough check-up. It’s much easier to link your injuries to the crash when you seek medical help right away.
- Notify your insurance company. Report the accident to your insurance company promptly. Provide accurate information, but refrain from discussing fault until you have legal guidance.
- Consult a lawyer. Consider consulting a personal injury attorney, especially if there are significant damages or injuries. An attorney can provide legal advice, help navigate the claims process, and represent you in dealings with insurance companies or in court.
- Keep records. Document all medical treatments, repairs, and any related expenses. Keep a file of all accident-related documents, including medical bills, repair receipts and correspondence with insurance companies.
- Follow up on claims. Stay engaged with the insurance claims process and follow up regularly to ensure your claim is being processed.
Tips to follow if you are involved in a car accident
We can’t say this enough: Always be cautious about accepting quick settlement offers from insurance companies. You should be sure that all your costs (current and future) are covered before agreeing to any settlement.
Contact our experienced Birmingham car accident attorneys
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Alabama, don’t navigate the complex legal and insurance landscape alone. At Nomberg Law Firm, our knowledgeable attorneys specialize in car accident cases and will work tirelessly to protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Many of our clients were injured while driving cars or trucks as part of their job duties. Our injury attorneys can assist you with both workers’ compensation claims and car accident or personal injury claims.
Reach out to Nomberg Law Firm today for a free consultation and take the first step toward peace of mind and a fair resolution.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact us.
IIHS. (2023, May). Fatality Facts 2017: State by state. IIHS-HLDI Crash Testing and Highway Safety. https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state
Traffic Safety Facts 2021 Data. (2023, October). Https://Crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813515#:~:Text=In%202021%20there%20were%2042%2C939,Estimated%20number%20of%20people%20injured.