Hartselle, AL Auto Accident
Your usual drive to work, your kids’ school, or the Hartselle Aquatic Center took a turn for the worse when another driver popped up out of nowhere and crashed into you. Now you’re looking at a damaged or totaled car, injuries and medical bills, and an unknown amount of time off of work. How can you protect yourself and avoid ending up in dire financial straits?
The first step is to talk to an auto accident attorney in Hartselle, AL. We are ready to fight aggressively on your behalf to help you pursue the compensation you truly deserve. Call Hodges Trial Lawyers at 256-539-3110 to schedule a consultation right now.
What Causes Car Accidents in Alabama?
A wide range of driver errors and other factors can cause car collisions in Alabama. A big part of fighting for fair compensation is proving what went wrong and whose fault it is. Some of the most common driver behaviors that lead to Alabama collisions include:
- Drinking and driving
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while fatigued
- Failing to yield
- Ignoring or not seeing signs or traffic lights
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Unsafe turns or lane changes
While most car crashes are the result of human error, there are some that are caused by road conditions or malfunctioning vehicles. If the road is unsafe to drive on or the signs are unclear to the point that they cause a crash, the municipality obligated to maintain those roads may have caused the crash. If a malfunctioning vehicle component is to blame, the manufacturer could be at fault for the crash.
Your Top Priorities After a Collision
After a crash, you will want to report it to the police, get the other driver’s contact information, and take photos of the crash scene for evidence. However, your top priorities should be seeking medical care and talking to a Hartselle auto accident attorney.
Medical care is crucial after a car accident. So many victims skip this step and damage their personal injury claim in the process. Local facilities like Urgent Care of Hartselle Health Park and Stopwatch Urgent Care make it easy to get checked out promptly and begin any necessary treatments.
Not only is this important for your health, but it also makes it easier to link your injuries to the accident. When you wait until later to see the doctor, the insurance company has a chance to claim that your injuries actually occurred after the accident.
From there, you want to talk to a lawyer. The other side’s insurance company will be in a rush to settle with you once they realize that their driver is at fault. If they can get you to accept a pitifully low settlement, they save their company money and avoid litigation.
How do you protect yourself from this? You talk to an attorney who knows how insurance companies work and what it takes to beat them. You want to do this before you talk to the other party’s insurance company. They are ready to turn anything you say against you.
Fighting for Compensation
Depending on how your accident happened, how much evidence you have, and how serious your injuries are, you may be entitled to multiple types of compensation. Common types of compensation for car accidents include:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses*
- Lost wages
- Lost future income*
- Property damage
*Note that these types of compensation are only available in certain circumstances. If you are injured to the point that you will need medical care for the rest of your life or be permanently unable to work, you may get additional money for those losses.
Evidence is a crucial part of getting the money you deserve, so talk to your attorney about what you can do to help your case. You may want to provide photos of the crash scene, contact information for witnesses, and medical reports. You can also get a copy of the police report, save your medical bills, and keep a personal injury journal.
Alabama Personal Injury Laws
In most situations, you only have two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. If the injured person is a minor, the two-year window doesn’t start until they turn 19.
If your claim is against a municipality, you only have six months to file. The timeframe is one year for claims against the county. Failing to file your claim in the right timeframe can leave you without any way to seek compensation.
It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the contributory negligence rule. Alabama is one of just a few states with this rule. If your case goes to court and the jury finds that you share any liability for the crash, you will not be able to receive any compensation. Even if you are only 1% liable, you are left with nothing. This is a very important thing to know since insurance companies will absolutely use it to their advantage during negotiations.
There are some limits on compensation in Alabama. If punitive damages are awarded, you can receive up to three times your compensatory damages or $1.5 million—whichever number is larger. If the liable party is a municipality, you cannot receive more than $100,000.
How Hodges Trial Lawyers Can Help
When you have been hurt in a crash, you need an aggressive advocate whose only priority is what is best for you. That’s what we do at Hodges Trial Lawyers. Whether we can get you the compensation you deserve in negotiations or in court, we are ready to fight for you.
Thanks to our extensive body of experience in personal injury law, we know how insurance companies reduce settlement offers and how they take advantage of victims like you. Our team uses this knowledge to create solid cases for clients and pursue the money they deserve.
Let’s Start—Contact Us Today
Ready to talk more about your car crash in Hartselle? Set up a time to talk to the team at Hodges Trial Lawyers. You can contact us online or call us at 256-539-3110.