Fairfield Car Accident Attorneys
There are approximately 6 million motor vehicle accidents in the United States each year, and more than 90 people die each day in car crashes throughout the country. Auto accidents can happen to anyone, no matter how safely they drive or how many precautions they take. In fact, the average motorist will be involved in an accident approximately once every 18 years, which translates into three or four car accidents throughout the lifetime of a typical driving adult.
Vehicle accidents can happen in Fairfield or any other community in Alabama at any time, and although the chances are lower that one of these crashes will result in fatalities, there is a stronger probability of extensive property damage and moderate to severe injuries. And when someone is hurt in a car accident, they deserve to be compensated for their losses.
At Burge & Burge, we know that being involved in a car accident can be a life-altering experience, and we are here to provide strong legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time. For several decades, we have successfully represented victims of auto accidents in Fairfield, Birmingham, and nearby Alabama communities. Our firm is focused exclusively on personal injury and related areas of the law, and we have an in-depth understanding of the complexities involved with these types of cases.
Alabama car accident claims are not easy to pursue on your own. Insurance companies are motivated to mitigate their losses by paying out as little as possible to those who are injured in an accident, which means that their interests are not aligned with yours. Although they may be friendly and courteous when they contact you, they will often look for ways to undermine your claim. For this reason, it makes sense for Fairfield car accident victims to have a strong legal advocate in their corner looking out for their best interests.
What Contributes to Fairfield, AL Auto Accidents?
There are certain factors that increase a motorist’s chances of being involved in a vehicle accident. Clearly, the more frequently you drive, the more you are exposed to potential hazards on the roadways. So, if you are a traveling salesman or a commercial driver, you need to be extra cautious to ensure that you steer clear of these hazards. Driving regularly at night also heightens your odds of an accident because of decreased visibility and more chemically impaired drivers.
If you commute regularly from Fairfield to wherever you work or if you drive as part of your job, the best you can do is implement all of the best safety practices to help avoid an accident. Unfortunately, however, this is not always enough. You cannot control the actions of others, and you could end up in an accident simply because of the negligence of other drivers.
Some of the most common ways that a negligent driver may cause a Fairfield, AL car accident include:
- Alcohol: Alcohol is a factor in approximately 40% of all fatal auto accidents.
- Speeding: In roughly 30% of all fatal car crashes, at least one of the drivers is exceeding the speed limit.
- Reckless Driving: Driving recklessly is a factor in about one-third of all fatal vehicle crashes.
- Distracted Driving: Texting while driving causes about one out of every four auto accidents, and a driver who is texting is 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash.
Some car accidents are caused by outside factors, such as inclement weather, bumpy roads, and vehicle defects. In some cases, an accident injury claim may be filed against a third party that was not directly involved in the crash, such as the manufacturer or distributor of a faulty vehicle part.
Alabama Contributory Negligence Laws
When someone is injured in a Fairfield, AL car accident, they may be entitled to damages not only for direct monetary losses such as vehicle damage, medical bills, and lost earnings, but also for noneconomic losses such as physical and emotional pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, and permanent injury. However, as we talked about earlier, filing an injury claim is often a very difficult and confusing process.
In Alabama, the situation is made worse because we are one of the few states that still applies the contributory negligence legal doctrine in personal injury cases. Contributory negligence means that if an injured party is found to have contributed in any way to the underlying accident, even 1%, they can be barred from recovering any damages at all. With such a high standard to meet, it is crucial to get an experienced attorney involved as early as possible after your accident. Otherwise, your right to recover full and fair compensation could be jeopardized.
What to Do If you are Involved in a Fairfield, AL Car Accident
If you are in an auto accident in Fairfield or anywhere in Alabama, here are the initial steps you should take:
- Stay at the Scene: Never leave the scene of a vehicle accident until it is appropriate to do so. If you leave and someone ends up being hurt or killed, you could face hit-and-run charges.
- Call for Medical Help: The top priority after a vehicle crash is to make sure everyone who may have suffered injuries gets immediate medical attention, including yourself. Even if you do not feel hurt right away, you should still get checked out, because some injuries are not known until some time has passed after the accident.
- Summon the Police: Any time there is an accident with injuries, the police should be brought to the scene. The police will help secure the area and regulate traffic, and they will also compile an official report, which will be relied upon heavily in any subsequent legal proceeding. After the report is on file, follow up with the police and ask if you can review it to correct any inaccuracies.
- Take Photos: If you are physically able, take multiple pictures of the accident scene from several angles to show the impact of the crash, skid marks, and other details. Also, if you have a dashboard camera, be sure to capture video footage of the collision.
- Obtain Statements from Witnesses: If there are any individuals who witnessed the crash, get their contact information and a statement from them if possible. Some witnesses may be willing to provide a video or audio statement, which you can record with your smartphone. If this is an option, it is best to get a statement right away while everything is fresh in their minds.
- Speak Cautiously about the Event: Be polite and courteous with everyone at the scene, but do NOT apologize or in any way admit fault for the accident. It would also be a good idea to unplug from social media for a while, or at the very least, do not post any information whatsoever about your accident. Insurance company investigators have ways of uncovering social media posts, and they are known to take them out of context and use them against accident victims.
- Follow Up with Medical Treatment: If you suffered injuries from the accident, get in to see a doctor as soon as possible, and follow all of their recommendations.
- Get Prompt Legal Help: Before dealing at all with any insurance company representatives, get in touch with a skilled and knowledgeable personal injury attorney so you can be fully informed of your rights and legal options.
Contact Our Experienced Fairfield, AL Auto Accident Lawyers
If you or someone close to you got injured in a vehicle accident in Alabama, Burge & Burge is here to help. For a free consultation and case assessment with one of our attorneys, message us online or call our office today at 205-251-9000. We look forward to serving you!