Car Accident Attorneys in Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is not your typical small Southern town. We have enormous highways, that are bustling with traffic every day. With multiple campuses of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a Museum of Art, the Legion Field Stadium, and a Walmart on Palisades Blvd, there are always many, many people on our roads.
While many accidents are minor, resulting in insignificant property damage and no injuries, others are catastrophic. When a serious car accident occurs that leaves occupants with significant damages, working with a committed car accident lawyer is a must. Attorneys at the office of Mann & Potter, P.C. are available to serve you.
Recovering the Settlement You Deserve Isn’t Always Easy
When you have been seriously hurt in a car crash that is caused by the negligence of another party, you no doubt have an expectation that there won’t be any hesitation when it comes to paying you the settlement that you deserve. Unfortunately, car insurance companies are often more interested in saving money and maximizing profits than they are in paying claimants the compensation awards they deserve. As such, you may be offered a smaller settlement than you deserve – something that is especially common when a claimant doesn’t have legal representation. Tactics that an insurance adjuster may use to reduce the value of your claim include:
- Alleging that you contributed to your accident and injuries;
- Diminishing the extent of your injuries;
- Claiming that your injuries were pre-existing;
- Casting doubt on causation (that your injuries weren’t actually caused by the accident in relation to which you’re filing a claim); or
- Simply offering you less than you deserve, hoping that your desperation will coax you into accepting anything that you can get.
Our lawyers understand the deceptive—and sometimes downright illegal—tactics that insurance companies use, and will protect you from unfair practices.
Proving Negligence in Birmingham Car Accidents
Car accidents don’t just happen in Birmingham; they are the result of negligence and error, and are almost always preventable as such. Some of the top causes of car accidents in Alabama include:
- Distracted driving – Driving while distracted is practically ubiquitous these days, especially with the rise in hand-held technology.
- Drunk driving – Another top killer on Alabama’s roadways is that of drunk driving. Drunk drivers take numerous lives every year, and cause injuries to many more. Drivers can also cause collisions when they operate a motor vehicle after using drugs, including illegal drugs, over-the-counter medications, and prescription drugs.
- Speeding – When drivers speed or drive at a speed that is unsafe for conditions (even if at or below the actual speed limit), the risk of being involved in an accident is increased. Not only does speed the risk of an actual collision, but it also increases the severity of damages should an accident occur.
- Driving aggressively – Drivers may commit other acts of negligence when behind the wheel, most of which can be classified as aggressive driving. These acts include tailgating, illegally changing lanes, running red lights or stop signs, cutting off another driver, and more.
- Drowsy driving is another increasingly dangerous possibility on the road these days. However, in some cases, car accidents are caused by factors outside of the realm of driver negligence. These factors include defective roads or dangerous road conditions, defective automobiles or auto parts, and adverse weather conditions.
Protect your rights just after a car accident:
1. Never leave the scene.
As a general rule, you should never leave the scene of an accident. In some cases, this could be treated as a hit-and-run, and you’ll face charges. The only time you are justified in leaving the scene of an accident is when you require emergency medical treatment. And even in cases like this, you should only leave in an ambulance and not with another bystander, family member, or friend.
2. Call the police.
Your safest bet is to call 911 immediately after an accident and request that the police come to the scene. If the police do show up, getting a police report filed is the best way to have an official record of the accident, which is something generally used by insurance companies to determine fault.
3. Get medical treatment.
If anyone is injured in the accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even a minor fender bender can lead to serious and life-changing injuries. The sooner you seek medical treatment, the better it will be for your case since you will have reliable documentation of your injuries.
4. Collect important information.
Even though the police will collect information at the scene of the accident, you should do this as well if you are physically able. In addition to taking pictures of the scene and damages with your phone, be sure to get the names and contact information of the other drivers, any witnesses, driver’s license and license plate numbers of vehicles involved, and insurance company information.
5. Call your insurance company.
You are required to report motor vehicle accidents to your insurance company as soon as possible, generally within 24 hours. What you don’t have to do is sign any release forms, give a recorded statement, or make any statements regarding fault. Make sure that you report the accident as required, but don’t go any further until you speak with an attorney.
Evidence Used in a Car Accident Case
Statements from Involved Parties
Both parties will give statements to the police and to their own insurance providers. Don’t give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company—this is likely to backfire on you. If there are discrepancies in the statements, the insurance companies will look at other types of evidence to figure out what the truth is.
A third party who witnesses the accident can be extremely helpful in a car accident case. As long as they don’t have any connection to either driver, their statements can clear up any inconsistencies in the drivers’ statements. However, their statements may be a little bit less trustworthy if they were with either driver at the time of the accident.
While expert witnesses are not used in every car accident case, they are often called upon in complex cases. These experts are helpful both in determining fault in an accident and explaining the ramifications of a victim’s injuries.
Photographs and Video Footage
The more physical evidence you have of the accident, the stronger your case may be. If you take photos and video footage of a crash scene, make sure that you make backups as soon as possible and send copies to your attorney. You don’t want a tech glitch to cause you to lose your most valuable evidence.
This is just one reason that it’s important to call the police when you are involved in an accident—the police report is a crucial piece of evidence for your insurance company and attorney. The police will take statements from both parties, look at the vehicles in question, and try to determine whether or not any laws were broken.
Part of building your car accident case is proving the severity of your injuries and showing how they have affected your life. Medical records are an essential part of this. Provide copies of all of your medical bills and reports to your attorney. You may also want your doctor to include information on how your injuries limit you or affect your daily life.
Understanding the True Cost of an Auto Accident
Even if you know just how expensive medical care can be, it’s difficult to get a full overview of just how much your crash will cost you. You’ll need a prompt medical checkup, and if you’re severely injured you may need to be transported via ambulance. That’s thousands of dollars right away. From there, add on the cost of diagnostic testing, pain management, medication to treat your injuries, surgical care, follow-up appointments, physical therapy, and follow-up testing to check your progress.
And the expenses extend beyond your medical treatment. Even after a minor collision, it’s likely you’ll need at least one day off of work. For more severe injuries, you could be out of work for days or weeks. Those with catastrophic injuries may find that their ability to work is permanently compromised. This adds to the cost of your accident through lost income, lost earning potential, and lost career advancement opportunities.
Don’t forget the cost of property damage. A totaled car can leave you tens of thousands of dollars poorer, and even if your vehicle is not worth much, you still have to replace it. This can be prohibitively expensive for many people, especially while out of work and without an income.
There are also accident-related costs that are harder to calculate. Your pain and suffering have value, even though it’s hard to put a precise number on them. You may also be owed money for your mental trauma, your family’s loss of consortium, and other immeasurable losses.
Effects of a Car Accident
- Head: The head often suffers significant injuries in a collision. An abrupt stop or collision with something in the car can cause the brain to hit the inside of the skull.
- Upper Body: The upper body, home to many vital organs, is at serious risk during a car collision.
- Lower Body: The pelvic bone is one part of the body that can sustain severe injuries in a car collision.
- Mental Trauma: Car accidents can cause an emotional meltdown when it passes and forces you to deal with the actual reality of a crash.
Why Work with the Law Office of Mann & Potter, P.C.
The best thing that you can do after a car accident is to seek the course of a qualified attorney. Our law firm offers:
- Years of legal experience. Our law firm was established more than two decades ago, which means that we have years of legal experience behind our name. Over the years, we have gained insight and experience working on nearly all types of car accident cases. When it comes to managing your case, we are confident in our ability to navigate it successfully.
- History of success and numerous recognitions and accolades. We pride ourselves on the fact that we have been winning settlements and jury verdicts on the behalf of our clients throughout the course of our time in business, successfully recovering the award amounts that our clients deserve.
- Commitment to our clients. When you choose our law firm, you can be sure of the fact that we are working for you. We have the staff and resources necessary to fully commit to your case, and we promise to develop a strategy that is unique to your case. We remain available and accessible throughout the process, and never fail to make your case a priority.
- Knowledge and skill you can count on. A good lawyer isn’t just knowledgeable in the law; they’re also skilled in and out of the courtroom. The lawyers at our firm are talented negotiators, aggressive litigators, and accomplished investigators who have what it takes to secure the best outcome possible for your case.
Schedule Your Free Car Accident Consultation Today
Don’t wait a moment longer to schedule your free case consultation with our Alabama car accident lawyers at the office of Mann & Potter, P.C. You can reach us online, by phone at 205-879-9661, or in person to learn more and start building your claim.
We also handle the following cases: