Are you in need of a Birmingham accident lawyer? If so, you are not alone. In 2014, there were over 23,000 accidents in Jefferson County. Each year thousands of motorists are injured in Alabama car crashes and are in need of legal help. Our attorneys are here to help if you have been injured and are dealing with expenses relating to your accident. Call us now for a free consultation.
We Use Cars Every Day
We are a nation dependent on our cars. Cars are a convenience, a pleasure, and for many, a necessity, but spending a lot of time on the road in your car comes with a risk. In the United States, there are millions of car crashes and over 1,000,000 people are injured.
Car accidents also kill between 30,000 and 40,000 people each year. They take a terrible toll in human life, and cause untold amounts of suffering—both emotional and financial—to families who have lost a loved one. Many of these car wrecks could be prevented. Too often they are caused by driver negligence—poor driving behaviors that results in loss of control, resulting in a collision. By eliminating negligent driving, we could reduce the number of traffic fatalities dramatically.
If you or a member of your family has been killed or injured in an Alabama car accident, you know how a crash can turn your life upside down. Fortunately, there is help for the injured and their families. At the Drake law firm in Birmingham, we have a long history of making negligent drivers pay for the damage they’ve caused.
Alabama Car Accident Statistics
Below are the top 10 types of vehicles that were involved in accidents in Jefferson County.
|6||Single-Unit Truck (2-Axle/6-Tire)||217|
|9||Single Unit Truck (3-Axles)||116|
Age of Drivers Involved in Accidents
Based on data from the NHTSA, typical drivers in Alabama have greater than one in three chances of involvement in an injury or fatal crash operating a vehicle over their lifetimes. The probability of individuals being in a crash of any severity during their lifetime is greater than 98%. Here are some statistics from the NHTSA.
- In 2013, there were 852 people killed in 766 fatal crashes in the state of Alabama
- Someone was injured in a traffic accident every 13 minutes and someone was killed every 10 hours
- 76% of car crashes occurred in urban areas, but most fatalities (56%) occurred in rural areas
- Of all drivers involved in fatal crashes, 24% were under the age of 25, while 9% were age 19 or under
- Of all fatal crashes, 50% occurred at night (including dusk and dawn)
- There were 92 fatalities involving motorcycle or moped riders and 9 fatalities involving bicyclists
- The pedestrian death toll was 80
- If you are riding in the front seat during a vehicle crash, the probability of being killed is 50 times higher for those not wearing safety belts than those who are properly restrained
Fatal car accidents
Alabama traffic fatalities totaled 852 in 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports.
Car accident fatalities have been on a generally downward trend over the past decade, largely due to the safer cars on the road today. But the numbers are still in the tens of thousands, and a downward trend offers little comfort to the families who have lost someone they love. No one can bring your loved one back, but you can hold the negligent driver responsible for the wrongful death take responsibility and be held accountable for your loss in an Alabama wrongful death action.
In Alabama the damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death action include:
- Pre-death medical costs
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages, benefits (including future benefits like Social Security, pensions, etc.)
- Loss of companionship, support, and guidance
Alabama has been given the dubious distinction of being home to one of the most dangerous highways on Earth, according to data provided by the World Health Organization: US 431. DrivingExperiences.com reports that the main hazards on the highway include poor visibility, vehicles traveling at excessively high speeds, and abrupt changes from two to four lanes. It was named the nation’s fourth most deadly highway and has been dubbed “Highway to Hell.”
This and other highways in the state have taken all too many lives and caused all too many injuries. Many are caused by dangerous driving behaviors, including drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, unsafe lane changes, and aggressive driving, among others. CarInsuranceComparison.com conducted a study that found Alabama roads and highways to be more dangerous than every other state but Florida and South Carolina.
Many highway fatalities are caused by large commercial trucks, which cause untold amounts of damage when in a collision with a much smaller passenger car and are often the result of driver or trucking company negligence.
Texting and driving
Text message has become a favored means of communication among people of all ages, but texting and driving can be deadly. Writing or reading a text message while behind the wheel increases the likelihood of causing a wreck 23-fold, according to a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study.
Drinking and driving
As the graph above shows, each year in the U.S. around 10,000 people die from alcohol related accidents. According to the NHTSA, there were 308 alcohol involved accident deaths in Alabama in 2013. Our state was the very last state to enact an ignition interlock law, in 2011. Worse, the law wasn’t implemented until 2014, when law SB 319 went into effect, finally implementing the program to incentivize the use of interlocks for all convicted DUI offenders.
In 2012, Alabama reported 257 drunk driving fatalities— with a .08 blood alcohol content or above—totaling roughly 30 percent of the state’s total traffic deaths, according to M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).
Head -on Collisions
Head-on collisions are the most deadly of all traffic accident types. They comprise up only about 2 percent of all motor vehicle accidents, but they cause about 10 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Head-on collisions are the most likely type of traffic accident to produce fatalities or devastating, life-changing injuries, including spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, amputations, organ damage, fractures, and burns. Drivers and passengers typically sit in the front seat of a car, so they are more vulnerable to a front end impact.
Head-ons occur when a car drifts out of its proper lane or crosses a median to hit an oncoming vehicle. They may also occur when a driver enters a highway on the wrong ramp, traveling in the wrong direction. Some type of driver impairment is often involved, such as drunk driving, distracted driving, or driving when overly fatigued.
Railroad Crossing Accidents
Alabama ranked fifth in the U.S. for train collisions with cars and pickup trucks at railroad crossings in 2013. One primary reason is that many of the state’s crossings do not have warning gates. Railroad crossing accidents often occur because of malfunctioning or missing signals or barriers, brake failure, hand brake malfunction, defective communication equipment, or train operator error. Trains appear to be further away than they actually are, often causing drivers to misjudge the amount of time required to cross the tracks, so having working barriers and signals is essential to prevent a crash. Failing to install appropriate safety equipment, failure to adequately train operating personnel, and failing to maintain equipment in proper working condition may constitute railroad negligence, enabling the families of victims and those few who survive a railroad crash with injuries to recover damages from the railroad.
What to Do Following a Car Accident
Knowing what to do and what not to do after a car accident can make a great difference in the outcome of your claim to recover damages. Do the following to improve the odds of obtaining compensation for your injuries:
- Get the names and contact information of all drivers, owners, passengers, and witnesses to the accident.
- Get the registration, plate numbers, and insurance information of all vehicles
- Call the police and provide them with the basic information about the accident, without unnecessary detail. Later, you should obtain a copy of the accident report from the police department.
- If you are injured, let the police know you need an ambulance.
- If you are able to do so, take photos of the accident scene, including all cars involved, showing the point of impact on each vehicle. Include street signs or other identifying features to identify the location of the crash.
- If you don’t feel you need an ambulance, you should still be checked out at a hospital emergency room, or by your own doctor or an urgent care clinic. Give a detailed description of any injury or pain, no matter how small. Some serious injuries aren’t apparent at first, such as certain brain injuries, complex regional pain syndrome, and herniated discs. These may not show up for days or weeks after the accident. Aches and pains that don’t seem very serious right after a car accident sometimes worsen with time. If they do, go back to the doctor immediately. Keep seeing your doctor as long as you have any symptoms at all.
- Do not apologize for the accident. (Many people apologize because they are trying to be polite, but it could be easily construed as admitting fault.)
- Do not comment about your physical condition (except to ask someone to call an ambulance).
- Do not give the adjuster a recorded statement or sign any paperwork, authorization, or release.
- Call a seasoned Alabama auto accident attorney. In Birmingham, the Drake Law Firm is a top choice for experienced legal representation.
How to Select the Best Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Car Accident Case
The key to the best outcome for your car accident case is having the best possible lawyer. You should look for a lawyer who:
- Practices personal injury law. You don’t want a lawyer who is a jack of all trades and master of none. Only a lawyer who deals with personal injury cases day in and day out has the level of knowledge and experience you need for the best results
- Has many years of personal injury experience
- Has a demonstrable history of high dollar amount recoveries for clients
- Is someone you feel comfortable with
- Is rated highly by Martindale Hubbell
- Will handle your case personally
- Is comfortable before a jury and willing to take your case to trial, if needed
- Is well respected in the community
- Returns emails and phone calls
- Is active in legal organizations
Call Birmingham’s Drake Law Firm for the Top Quality Legal Representation that Gets Results
At the Drake Law Firm, you will receive the client-centered legal services that get you the results you want with the least amount of stress. We know personal injury law better than most, because it’s all we do—all day, every day. We have 25 years of experience to put to work for you. We know how insurance companies work, and how to overcome the obstacles they invariably attempt to throw in your path. We are superb negotiators who can usually obtain an excellent out-of-court settlement, but if need be, we are extremely effective in the courtroom and know how to present a thoroughly prepared and persuasive case to a jury. We have a long history of large recoveries, even in the millions of dollars, for our car accident clients. We are dedicated, diligent, tireless, and passionate in our commitment to justice. You will always work with your attorney in person, not be shunted off to a paralegal or junior associate.
There is never a risk to you, because we front all the work and expenses of developing and preparing your case. You will never owe us legal fees unless we recovery money for you.
Call Drake Law today. Alabama law allows only a limited time to file your case, so don’t take a chance on losing your right to receive a recovery and hold the person who caused you so much harm accountable. If you can’t come to us, let us know, and we’ll come to you.