Car Accident Attorneys in Homewood
In a moment, your entire life can change. Someone driving next to you looks down at their phone and drifts into your lane, pushing you into the guardrails on the highway. A person driving opposite you flies through the stop sign, hitting your car as they turn left. A car accident is, at best, a minor inconvenience, and at worst, an event that completely changes your future.
Until you get proper medical care and assess the extent of your injuries, you can’t know where you fall on that scale. We can help. Schedule a consultation with the Homewood, AL car accident attorneys at Mann & Potter by calling us at 205-879-9661.
What Causes Car Accidents?
The majority of car accidents in Alabama and the United States in general is human error. Yes, there are cases in which mechanical error or malfunctioning vehicle components are the cause of an accident. In most situations, it comes down to failing to check your blind spot, driving too fast for conditions, or driving while distracted.
Some of the most common mistakes that lead to car collisions in Homewood and other Alabama communities include:
- Driving too fast, either by driving above the posted speed limit or by driving too fast for conditions
- Driving while distracted or fatigued
- Driving while impaired
- Failure to yield right of way
- Failure to adhere to posted road signs and stoplights
- Changing lanes without checking your blind spot
- Failure to leave proper following distance between yourself and other vehicles
- Intentionally driving in a rash or aggressive manner
- Weaving in and out of traffic
It’s important to know what causes car accidents because liability is a significant part of a personal injury claim. If you can trace an accident back to a specific error, it’s easier to prove who caused the accident and must pay for damages.
Pursuing Full and Fair Compensation for a Homewood, AL Car Accident
The fight for full and fair compensation begins with your attorney and the other party’s insurance company. Legally, you don’t have to have an attorney—you are free to negotiate with them on your own. However, doing so could harm you. Insurance companies have a duty to their shareholders to maximize profit margins. Unfortunately, they consider this duty more important than their obligation to injured accident victims.
That’s why they will use a wide range of techniques and tactics to minimize the amount of claims they pay out. You won’t even know it’s happening, but by the end of your first phone call with them, they’ll already have the information they need to drive down the value of your claim or deny it completely.
An attorney is your best tool to fight against this treatment. Since Homewood personal injury attorneys spend their careers fighting insurance companies, they have the experience and knowledge necessary to stay one step ahead of insurance providers. If your main goal is getting full compensation, your first stop after getting checked out by a doctor should be an attorney’s office.
Important Types of Evidence
Proving liability is a key part of your personal injury case. After an auto accident, some types of evidence you should gather include:
- Pictures and video footage of the crash scene, including footage from multiple angles and distances
- Contact information for any witnesses
- Copy of the police report
- Copy of medical reports from your post-accident checkup
- Dashcam footage
- Documentation from your insurance company
This is one reason it’s important to connect with an attorney as soon as possible after a collision. Since they have in-depth knowledge regarding successful auto injury claims, they’ll be able to figure out what type of evidence you need and how to gather it before it disappears.
The Role of Contributory Negligence
Living in Alabama adds another layer of complexity to your auto accident claim, and that’s the role of contributory negligence. In most states, one of two things happens when both parties share some fault. The victim may receive the full amount of their claim, even though they share some blame. They may also receive the amount of their claim reduced proportionately according to the amount of liability they have.
Alabama is not like most states, so it doesn’t follow either of those rules. Instead, Alabama law states that if a victim is at all responsible for an accident, they cannot recover compensation from the other party in a lawsuit. Imagine, for example, you get T-boned by someone approaching from the left as you pass through an intersection. They had a stop sign but ignored it. If their attorney can prove that you were even 1% at fault because you should have noticed that they weren’t slowing down, you recover nothing.
This obviously raises the stakes of your claim. You need an attorney who can assess the risk of recovering nothing and help you get what you actually deserve. This often means fighting to settle, since taking a case to court increases the likelihood of walking away with nothing.
Why You Need an Attorney
Trying to get back to normal after a car accident is exhausting. When you try to handle your own fight for compensation, you have even more on your plate. Insurance companies prefer claims that are handled directly by victims, since they know it is far easier to talk a regular person into a low settlement.
Unfortunately, if their tactics work and you accept less than you deserve, you have no recourse if you later realize you were taken advantage of. You accept their low settlement, cash the check, and use it to pay medical bills. However, by the time your vehicle repair estimate comes in, you realize you don’t have enough to pay both your medical bills and your car repair bill, not to mention your lost wages. At that point, it’s too late and you have to deal with the fallout on your own.
You don’t need this extra stress while trying to heal from a car crash. When you turn to the team at Mann & Potter, you can focus on recuperation while we got to bat for you against the insurance company. You can rest easy knowing your case is in good hands.
Reach Out to Mann & Potter Now
No matter what type of auto accident you have been in, you deserve strong legal representation. We’re ready to fight on your behalf to help you get what you deserve. Set up a meeting now by contacting our team online or calling us at 205-879-9661.