Every year, there are thousands of car accidents on Alabama highways, and a high percentage of those accidents result in personal injuries. More than 3 million people are injured in car accidents every year, resulting in billions of dollars in damages. When a car accident occurs, it is imperative that aggressive action is taken right away to protect the rights of injured people. Every insurance company employs adjusters, investigators and attorneys whose job is to minimize the compensation paid to those injured people.
In addition to possible physical injuries, as an automobile accident victim or the family of a victim, you also may be suffering from emotional, physical and financial injuries. While monetary compensation cannot change the past, it can help lessen anxiety about medical bills, employment, rehabilitation, and your future.
The first thing you should do after a car accident is contact a physician and a car accident lawyer, because seemingly minor auto accidents can cause prolonged pain and medical costs. Car accident victims should be thoroughly examined by a doctor, since seemingly minor injuries often develop into major health problems. Even if you do not have obvious injuries — broken bones, cuts, lacerations or bruises – you may have sustained a connective-tissue or brain injury which, if left untreated, could cause major health problems in the long term. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you will need to prove that either a person negligently operated a vehicle that caused the accident, or some defect involving the vehicle or the roadway caused the accident. Many factors can result in a traffic accident, and sometimes multiple causes contribute to a single accident.
Traffic accident factors:
- Driver distraction, including fiddling with technical devices, talking with passengers, eating or grooming in the car, dealing with children or pets in the back seat, or attempting to retrieve dropped items.
- Driver impairment by tiredness, illness, alcohol or other drugs, both legal and illegal.
- Mechanical failure, including flat tires or tires blowing out, brake failure, axle failure, steering mechanism failure.
- Road conditions, including foreign obstacles or substances on the road surface; rain, ice, or snow making the roads slick; road damage including pot holes.
- Speed exceeding safe conditions, such as the speed for which the road was designed, the road condition, the weather, the speed of surrounding motorists, and so on.
- Road design and layout. Some roads are notorious for being accident “black spots” for a variety of reasons, including alignment, visibility, surface conditions, road markings, etc.
As with other types of accidents, figuring out who is at fault in a traffic accident is a matter of deciding who was negligent. In many cases, your instincts will tell you that a driver, cyclist or pedestrian acted carelessly, but not what rule or rules that person violated. Fault issues can be complicated, and an experienced car accident attorney will look to a number of sources, such as police reports, state traffic laws, and witnesses, to help you determine who was at fault for your auto accident.