Auto Accident Attorneys Lawyers in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Traffic is often very bad in Tuscaloosa, and to make matters worse, many motorists in the area are inexperienced because they have had their driver’s licenses for a relatively short amount of time. Add in a little road construction, which seems like it’s always going on as the city is continually trying to upgrade its infrastructure, and you have a recipe for disaster.
We have two major interstate highways: i-359, and i-59, as well as some major local roads including rt. 11, rt. 82, and rt. 215, which runs right through town. All these roads see car accidents on a regular basis, unfortunately.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident, the experienced Tuscaloosa auto accident attorneys at Burge & Burge, PC can help you understand your options to recover your losses.
Driving on Tuscaloosa’s Busy Roads
Whether you are a Tuscaloosa native, a student at one of our great colleges or universities, or commute into the area for work, you know that having a vehicle to get around is almost a necessity. Unfortunately, driving in this area can be a challenge because of the makeup of our roads and the resulting congestion.
The Department of Transportation reports that 40% of all car accidents within a city occur on a highway. The state of Alabama holds 1,130 miles of interstate across 11 routes and some of the most dangerous pass right through Tuscaloosa.
Interstate 20 spans approximately 215 miles between the Mississippi state line through Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. Parts of the highway are four lanes, and others are six lanes. Interstate 59 was built primarily to connect northern cities such as Chattanooga to New Orleans via Birmingham. Unfortunately, I-20 and I-59 merge in the Tuscaloosa area, which creates a bottleneck of traffic and leads to some serious accidents.
Causes of Tuscaloosa, AL Auto Accidents
Several years back, some of Tuscaloosa’s most dangerous intersections were part of a study conducted by Gatso USA. These included:
- McFarland and Skyland Boulevard, which had 160 crashes that involved 323 vehicles the year prior to the study.
- Alabama Highway 69 and Skyland Boulevard, which had 89 crashes that involved 180 vehicles the year before the study.
- McFarland Boulevard and James I. Harrison Jr. Parkway, which had 49 crashes that involved 102 vehicles in the year before the study.
- Lurleen Wallace North and University Boulevard, which had 18 crashes involving 40 vehicles in the year prior to the study.
Why It’s Becoming More Dangerous to Drive in Tuscaloosa
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the rate of vehicle fatalities in Tuscaloosa county per 100,000 residents has increased annually over the past four years. In 2016, there were 24.26 car crash fatalities per 100,000 residents compared to 20.07 the prior year and just 13.45 in 2102. Rates of fatalities types are up nearly across the board. One of the primary reasons for the increase is simply that there are more cars and trucks on the road than at any time in the past.
The Federal Highway Administration reports that drivers of cars, SUVs, vans, and trucks put a record 3.22 trillion miles on America’s roads in 2016, up 2.8% from the prior year. In Alabama, the state had just over 5 million total vehicle registrations in 2012. By 2017, that number had soared to nearly 5.6 million. The state not only has more registered vehicles within its borders, but there are also more congested roads thanks to interstate trucking and out of state visitors.
Common Causes of Tuscaloosa Auto Accidents
A car accident by its nature is almost always caused by human error. This means that a driver failed to exercise the proper degree of care required to protect the safety of others, including following the traffic laws and regulations set down by state and federal authorities. Some of the most common ways that an accident occurs in a city like Tuscaloosa include:
- Careless driving.This includes speeding, reckless driving, tailgating, cutting off other drivers, and not taking precautions when driving during inclement weather or at night.
- Fatigued driving.Because Tuscaloosa is a thoroughfare for interstate traffic, there are many long-distance truck drivers that come through the area who may be exhausted behind the wheel. The NHTSA reports that drowsy driving is the cause of up to 100,000 crashes each year.
- Distracted driving.One of the top causes of auto accidents in the United States remains distracted driving. When drivers take their eyes off of the road and hands off of the wheel in favor of a smartphone or for any other purpose, it puts countless lives in danger.
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only illegal, but it can also lead to dangerous and deadly car crashes that will change lives in an instant.
What to Do If You’ve Been Involved in a Tuscaloosa Car Crash
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in the Tuscaloosa area, you may find yourself burdened with repair bills, doctor’s visits, and lost time from work. Provided the accident was due to the negligence of another party, you have the right to file a claim for damages. Unfortunately, Alabama car accident cases are complicated at best. The state employs a doctrine called pure contributory negligence which states that you won’t be able to recover should you be found to be at fault in the accident by even one percent. Therefore, it’s vital that you take immediate steps to protect your rights following a crash.
To have your best chance at recovery, we recommend that you do the following immediately after a car accident:
- File a police report. If there is a certain level of property damage or any physical injury, you must file a police report.
- Document your accident. A police report is an excellent way to document your accident, but you should also take independent notes and pictures for your personal records.
- Seek medical attention. Seek medical attention immediately, even if you are unsure about injuries. This is another way that you can document your accident.
- Notify your insurance company. You must notify your insurance company of the accident, but it’s essential that you avoid giving formal statements or signing any paperwork.
- Speak with an attorney. Speak with a qualified Tuscaloosa car crash attorney about your rights.
Get Help Now From an Experienced Alabama Auto Accident Attorney
Car accidents can be overwhelming and confusing events. You may want to try to handle the case yourself, but experience proves that this could be a mistake. An experienced Tuscaloosa auto accident attorney will not only increase the chance of a favorable settlement, but they will also advocate for your rights with the insurance company and other service providers throughout your claims process. The legal team at Burge & Burge, PC takes immense pride in working on behalf of clients throughout Alabama. Contact our office now at 205-251-9000 or online to schedule a free consultation.