Getting into a car wreck is scary, and the days and weeks following can be full of pain and uncertainty. One pressing question many Alabama accident victims ask is whether they can hold the person responsible for the crash financially accountable for their injuries. It’s possible — and an experienced car accident attorney from Stokes Stemle, LLC can answer your questions after reviewing your case.
Alabama personal injury law allows individuals hurt in car accidents to seek compensation for their losses. However, obtaining the money you need to pay your medical bills and move forward can be an uphill battle if the insurance company disputes your claim. Building a strong case and proving the other driver’s liability starts with analyzing the crash and determining what went wrong.
Let’s look into the various types of crashes, the most common car accident causes, and how to identify who is to blame for each one.
The following driver typically carries the largest portion of blame for a rear-end collision. Fatigue, intoxication, and distraction often contribute to these types of crashes. Speeding and tailgating can also play a role, lessening the driver’s ability to slow or stop until it’s too late.
Although many people assume that the driver in the rear vehicle is always at fault for a rear-end collision, there are situations where the leading driver is liable. For example, the first driver could:
- Have malfunctioning taillights, so drivers behind cannot easily anticipate them slowing down or stopping
- Have defective brakes
- Engaged in “brake checking” a tailing vehicle
- Reversed for no clear reason
Side-Impact (T-bone) Crashes
A T-bone crash is named based on the angle at which vehicles collide: the front of one car hits the side of the second car. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), side-angle crashes accounted for 22 percent of vehicle occupant deaths in the U.S. in a recent year.
T-bone crashes commonly happen when a driver proceeds through an intersection without stopping or yielding to traffic with the right-of-way. T-bone accidents also occur when drivers make unsafe left turns in front of oncoming traffic.
According to the National Library of Medicine, T-bone crashes have a high incidence of internal organ damage and injury to the body’s core, causing injuries to the pelvis and ribs.
Modern vehicles have airbags and crumple zones (areas of the car designed to absorb much of the force of impact in a crash). However, a front-end wreck still carries a high chance of serious injury. While only about four percent of multi-vehicle crashes are head-on collisions, they account for about eight percent of injuries and 30 percent of fatalities, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).
Head-on collisions are particularly dangerous because the combined force involved includes both vehicles. For example, two cars colliding head-on at 55 miles per hour produce the force of one vehicle hitting a stationary object at 110 miles per hour.
Single Vehicle Accidents
The NSC estimates that single-vehicle collisions account for 26 percent of all fatal traffic collisions and are the second leading cause of injuries.
While many victims assume they have no recourse to recover compensation after a single-vehicle crash, this is not always the case. For example, if you were following a detour that wasn’t clearly marked or adequately lit at night and hit an object, then the municipality responsible for ensuring safe detours could be liable for the crash.
Unraveling the snare of liability in chain-reaction crashes is tricky. If you’ve been involved in a multi-car pileup, you may benefit from the advice of a car accident law firm with experience litigating these complicated cases.
Occupants involved in a multi-car crash often suffer repeated rear-end force as each car strikes the vehicles involved. Serious neck, back, and spine injuries are common. Those in the middle of the pileup are at increased risk of being crushed or pinned from being wedged between colliding vehicles.
Pileups usually begin with an initial two-car collision. Those motorists are subsequently hit by approaching vehicles without sufficient space to stop. If these crashes happen at high speeds on a highway in Montgomery, Opelika, or Dothan, the chance of a life-changing injury is high.
A pedestrian hit by a car suffers much worse injuries than the vehicle’s occupants since they lack the protective metal shield of a car. If you’ve been struck by a vehicle, you and your lawyer may file a suit for compensation against the driver who hit you. Perhaps they were distracted while driving, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or failed to pay attention when you entered a crosswalk.
Hit and Run
Being involved in a hit-and-run accident can be especially frustrating. How can you pursue compensation from an at-fault driver you can’t contact? An experienced car accident attorney may need to conduct an extensive investigation to find the person who hit you.
Leaving the scene of an accident in Alabama is illegal, and the driver could face criminal charges in addition to being liable for your injuries.
Preventive Tips to Avoid Car Accidents
Practicing defensive driving techniques can help you avoid danger on the road. Follow these tips the next time you get behind the wheel:
- Stay alert: Stay focused on the road. Avoid multitasking or distractions like mobile phones, food, or other electronic devices.
- Obey speed limits: Stick to the speed limits assigned for particular roads and adjust your speed according to traffic and weather conditions.
- Never drive under the influence: Alcohol and drugs can impair your driving abilities and make it harder to avoid a collision.
- Observe traffic rules: Always follow traffic signals, signs, and road markings. They’re in place for everyone’s safety.
- Avoid aggressive driving: Stay calm and patient, even when other drivers are not. Reacting aggressively can escalate situations and lead to accidents.
- Adapt to weather conditions: Drive slower in rain, ice, fog, or other adverse conditions. Maintain a longer following distance and ensure your lights and windshield wipers function properly.
- Be careful at intersections: Look both ways, even if the light is green, and always yield the right of way when necessary.
Contact Our Alabama Car Accident Attorneys Today
At Stokes Stemle, LLC, we are committed to helping car accident victims get the money they need to rebuild their lives. If you’ve suffered injuries in a collision someone else caused, contact us today for a free consultation with a proven Alabama car accident attorney.