Car Accident Attorneys in Chatom, AL
A car crash happens every three minutes and 18 seconds in Alabama, leading to almost 1,000 fatalities and nearly 50,000 injuries per year. This is a serious problem in Alabama and the United States as a whole. Car accidents often leave behind multiple victims, who suddenly find themselves with substantial medical debt, unexpected time away from work, and no idea of how to move forward.
We can help. At Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough, Howell, Huggins & Bradley, we help personal injury victims pursue the compensation they deserve. Take the first step now and call us at 251-847-2237 (Chatom) or 251-651-0483 (Bay Minette) to schedule a consultation.
Common Causes of Car Crashes
To get the compensation you deserve after a crash, you must be able to prove how the other party was negligent. This often comes down to determining the cause of the accident, which is why a thorough investigation is necessary. In many situations, human error is the main factor.
Common causes of accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while fatigued
- Inexperienced drivers
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Driving above the speed limit or above what is safe for weather conditions
- Failure to yield right of way
- Failure to heed traffic signs and signals
While human error is usually the root cause of an accident, there are other causes that an investigation may discover. Faulty vehicle components or unsafe repairs can cause deadly car accidents, as can inclement weather or unclear road signs.
Car Crash Injuries
Injuries vary widely in car accidents, from minor aches and pains to permanent traumatic brain injuries and death. Some of the most commonly reported injuries after car accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash, cuts, and lacerations
- Infection resulting from road rash
- Internal injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Burns, possibly resulting in disfiguring scars
Clearly, injuries differ quite a bit in severity. Within each of these categories there’s often a huge range of possible outcomes. Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most frightening and uncertain outcomes of a car accident. Neuroplasticity, which allows the brain to repair itself after an injury, differs significantly from person to person. Someone may be partially paralyzed by a traumatic brain injury after a car accident, but eventually overcome it with years of physical and occupational therapy. Someone else may develop severe mood swings and inappropriate outbursts after a crash and never reach the same level of control that they had before.
This is why it’s so important to get checked out by a doctor after a car crash. Some injuries have the best outcome when treatment is started immediately, and the longer you delay treatment, the worse your prognosis is.
What to Do After a Car Collision
Taking the right steps after a car crash can protect your right to pursue a personal injury claim and help you get the medical treatment you need. After a car crash, make sure you:
- Call the police to report the accident and notify them of any injuries
- Take photos and video footage of the crash scene
- Exchange contact information with the other driver and any witnesses
- Seek medical attention promptly and keep copies of all reports you receive
- Contact an attorney to discuss your legal options
Getting the Compensation You Deserve
If the other party was responsible for the crash, you may be able to seek compensation from them and their insurance company. While settlement amounts and types vary, many settlements include compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
How do you go from getting in an accident to securing the compensation you deserve? It all starts with hiring a personal injury attorney.
Tips for Building a Strong Auto Accident Claim
Gather Evidence Immediately
It’s hard to think clearly in the immediate aftermath of an accident. However, staying calm and focused during this time can only help you. Evidence starts disappearing soon after an accident, and you want to collect it immediately. While at the scene of the accident, try to:
- Get photos of the crash scene from multiple angles and distances
- Get video footage of the crash scene
- Take photos of interior damage to your car
- Take photos of your and your passengers’ injuries
- Get contact and insurance information from the other party
- Find out how to get a copy of the police report
Keep Detailed Notes
People think the human memory is infallible, but memories can become faded and distorted very quickly. That’s why it’s crucial to write down everything after an accident and during the recovery process. As soon as possible after a crash, write down your memory of events. Include as many details as possible.
As you move through the healing process, take notes each day about your injuries. Jot down anything you are unable to do because of your injuries and your pain level. This will make it easier to prove your claim and your damages.
Seek Medical Care
You might feel fine after an accident, but that’s no reason to pass on medical care. A number of injuries aren’t immediately visible after an accident, but they still require prompt care. You might not even feel pain set in until the day after the accident, since adrenaline temporarily blocks your perception of pain. Not only is prompt care important for your physical health, it’s essential for your personal injury claim as well. Immediate medical care creates a direct link between the accident and your injuries.
Reach Out to Your Insurance Company, But Not the Other Party’s
As part of your contract with your insurance company, you are likely required to report accidents right away. Call your insurance agent and let them know what happened.
During this time, you may also get a call from the other party’s insurance adjuster. Hold off on talking to them. They are not on your side, and anything you tell them can be used against you to drive down the value of your settlement.
Hire an Attorney
Instead of contacting the other party’s insurance company, reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. You want to find out if you have a valid claim, how much your accident may be worth, and what your chances of success are. Your attorney can take a look at the evidence you have, assess your medical evidence to understand your injuries, and determine whether or not you can seek compensation from the other party.
If they take your case, they will handle all communication with the other party’s insurance provider. This saves you from having to talk to them directly, decreasing the risk of unintentionally harming your claim.
They’ll also handle negotiations, one of the most important parts of any personal injury claim. Since most personal injury cases are settled out of court, you want a strong negotiator who can fight for the compensation you are due.
Choose Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough, Howell, Huggins & Bradley for Your Personal Injury Claim
At Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough, Howell, Huggins & Bradley, we take our responsibility to our clients very seriously. We know that you’re counting on a settlement to cover medical bills, time away from work, and other losses. We’re here to guide you through the process and advocate for you. Set up a consultation now by calling us at 251-847-2237 (Chatom) or 251-651-0483 (Bay Minette) or getting in touch with us online.