Auto Accident Attorneys in Gadsden, Alabama
Gadsden, Alabama was once one of America’s most important commerce and shipping centers. Today, while the economy and industries within Gadsden have changed drastically, the city continues to be well-connected, with commuters and others using the routes of Interstate 59, Interstate 759, U.S. Highway 411, U.S. Highway 341, and U.S. Highway 278 daily. In addition to these major highways and roadways, there are also hundreds of other, smaller roads throughout the state.
There is no doubt that driving is something that Gadsden-area residents may need to do on a regular basis. However, it should be noted that driving is not without serious risks. Indeed, auto accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States, as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Causes of Car Accidents
Even the safest of drivers can be involved in car accidents, as these collisions can happen in a blink of an eye, and only take one small act of error or negligence to occur. Some of the top causes of car accidents in Gadsden include:
- Driver errors. Driver errors are the leading cause of car accidents nationwide. However, the type of driver error that leads to a crash is evolving, and today, more distracted driving crashes are happening than ever before (fueled in large part due to the ubiquity of the mobile phone). In addition to distracted driving, tailgating, speeding, driving aggressively, failing to yield or come to a complete stop, and otherwise breaching traffic laws and safety standards all cause crashes, too.
- Road defects. Not allaccidents are caused by driver errors. In some cases, road defects and road surface conditions may cause an accident. For examples, animals in the road, potholes, downed or incorrect signs, construction zones, adverse weather conditions, and debris in the road can all significantly contribute to the risk of a crash.
- Vehicle problems. While we’d love to think that our cars are safe–especially when we have spent thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on them–this is not always the case. In fact, there are millions of vehicles recalled every yeardue to dangerous defects that create a risk for drivers, passengers, and others on the road. Things like faulty ignition starters, defective tires, and improperly working brakes can cause a crash, or contribute to the severity of a crash.
Who’s Liable for a Car Accident in Gadsden?
Because most car accidents are caused by driver errors, it is an at-fault driver who is most often liable for damages that result in a car accident. The at-fault driver pays for damages to others through their personal car insurance liability policy.
If the fault for an accident cannot be placed on the shoulders of an individual, other parties may be turned to. For example, the entity that is responsible for maintaining the road in a safe condition may be to blame. Or, a vehicle manufacturer, or vehicle part manufacturer, may be at fault.
How to Prove Fault and Causation
To recover compensation for a call accident, an injured party will need to prove that the party from whom they are seeking damages (the defendant) committed an act of negligence, and that the negligence was the direct cause of the crash. Negligence means the failure to exercise the required duty of care, and examples include a tire manufacturer designing defective tires, or a driver operating their vehicle after getting too little sleep, therefore falling asleep at the wheel.
In addition to negligence, a driver must prove causation. Causation means that the car accident would not have occurred but for the actions of the defendant.
Proving fault and causation can be an intensive process. In addition to reviewing police reports, physical evidence, photographs, and witness statements, professional accident reconstruction experts may need to come in to reconstruct the crash to determine exactly what happened and who’s to blame.
Contributory Negligence in Alabama – What You Need to Know About Shared Fault
It is very important that a claimant/plaintiff understand Alabama’s laws regarding shared fault. While most of other states allow a claimant to recover compensation from the defendant even if they contributed to the accident in party (typically less than 50 percent), this is not the case in Alabama. Indeed, in Alabama, if a plaintiff is found to have contributed to their damages in the least, they will be completely barred from recovering compensation. If an insurance adjuster is alleging that you did something to cause the accident and therefore should not be paid what you deserve, you should hire an attorney immediately who can represent you.
Damages Available Following a Gadsden Car Accident
Our attorneys at the law offices of Burge & Burge, P.C. want to make sure that you recover the full amount of compensation that you deserve after a crash. As such, we work hard on your behalf to improve your chances of recovering 100 percent of your losses of the following damages types:
- Medical expenses. You deserve to be compensated for your medical expenses, whatever the extent of those may be. This includes present and future hospital costs, expenses for doctors’ visits, physical therapy and rehabilitation, in-home care, medication, special medical equipment, and more.
- Lost wages. If your car accident results in you missing any work and suffering lost wages as a result, we will help you to recover compensation for the value of those lost wages. If your earning capacity is diminished, we also fight for your right to damages forfuture lost wages.
- Pain and suffering. Car accident have physical consequences, like pain and suffering, as well as psychological ones, like emotional distress or depression. We calculate the value of these damages, and then negotiate for a settlement that reflect this.
Contact Burge & Burge, P.C. Today
If you have been in a crash in Gadsden or surrounding areas, our attorneys are here for you. We never charge you a cent in upfront legal fees, and our services are free if your case is not successful. To schedule your no-cost consultation today, call us directly at 205-251-9000, send us a message online, or visit us in person.