Car accidents are one of the leading causes of preventable injuries in Alabama and throughout the country. But are certain areas or situations more hazardous than others? Are accidents more common in cities or rural areas? Is a car crash accident in an urban area more or less likely to cause severe injuries?
Our attorneys at Stokes Stemle, LLC, have extensive experience helping car accident victims throughout Alabama get the money they need to rebuild their lives. Whether you were hurt in a car accident in the city or the country, our dedicated legal team is here to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.
What Is the Landscape of Car Accidents in Alabama?
Car accidents in Alabama happen far more frequently than many people realize. According to Drive Safe Alabama, a traffic collision occurs somewhere in the state roughly every three-and-a-half minutes. In a recent year, 986 people lost their lives in car accidents, and another 40,000 suffered injuries. These statistics underscore the gravity of motor vehicle collisions across the state and the far-reaching impacts on the lives of Alabamans.
Urban Car Accidents – Challenges and Common Causes
Urban areas pose unique challenges that contribute to car accidents, including more vehicles on the road, complex intersections, and distractions like pedestrians and billboards. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 56 percent of all traffic fatalities occur in urban areas. Key factors leading to urban car crashes include speeding (30 percent of fatal crashes), drunk driving (30 percent), and nighttime driving when visibility is lower.
Urban areas also see more accidents involving non-occupants like pedestrians and bicyclists. These road users are particularly vulnerable due to their lack of protection. As such, they are more susceptible to severe health outcomes such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries, and internal organ damage.
Rural Car Accidents – Risks and Patterns
Less populated, rural areas account for 43 percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide. Contributing risks include curved or unlit roads, wildlife, and a higher rate of speeding. Additionally, rural crashes more often involve rollovers and ejections, both linked to more severe injuries. Lack of seatbelt use is also slightly higher in rural fatal crashes. Data shows that 52 percent of those killed in rural passenger vehicles were unrestrained versus 49 percent in urban vehicles.
Impact on Victims – Urban vs. Rural Accidents
Both urban and rural car crashes can cause devastating injuries with life-long effects. However, some data suggests rural accidents lead to worse outcomes. Rural fatal crashes are more likely to result in death at the scene (66 percent vs. 51 percent in cities), likely due to slower emergency response times. And while urban accidents see more overall fatalities, rural wrecks have a higher fatality rate per miles driven. Survivors of serious crashes often face physical disabilities, emotional trauma, lost income, and reduced quality of life regardless of location.
Legal Considerations and Challenges
Seeking compensation for a car accident is often challenging, regardless of where it occurred. Urban crashes may involve more vehicles and injured claimants, which can complicate the determination of fault. Rural crashes involve issues like long emergency response times and crash sites covering more distance. Factors like poor road design or maintenance could make government entities liable in both cases. An attorney can help address these complexities, identify all at-fault parties, and hold them accountable for victims’ losses.
Safety Measures and Preventive Strategies
Many practical safety steps can help reduce both urban and rural car crashes. The following actions may be particularly effective for mitigating the hazards of traffic accidents throughout Alabama:
- Driver education on speed limits, drunk driving dangers, and occupant restraint use
- Roadway improvements like increased lighting and rumble strips separating lanes
- Updating rural EMS systems to allow faster response
- Advancements in vehicle safety features like automatic braking and lane departure warnings can compensate for driver errors and prevent collisions
However, driver negligence will remain a challenge even as the state and the public work toward implementing these changes. Furthermore, even the safest and most conscientious motorists are at risk of suffering injuries in traffic accidents if other drivers behave negligently. If you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s bad behavior, it is vital to work with a seasoned legal professional who can work to recover the compensation you need.
Seeking Justice and Compensation After a Car Accident
If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a car accident due to another party’s negligence, you can demand that they compensate you for your:
- Medical expenses, including ambulance rides, ER visits, specialist consultations, surgical procedures, assistive devices, rehabilitation, medication, and long-term care
- Lost income due to missed time at work, including lost benefits and paid time off
- Reduced earning capacity if a disability forces you to take a lower-paying job than you previously held
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you have lost a loved one in a traffic collision, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. This allows you to recover punitive damages that punish the at-fault party for their wrongdoing.
An experienced Alabama car accident attorney can investigate the accident to determine who was at fault, calculate the total value of your losses, and fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve.
Contact our Alabama Car Accident Attorneys to Learn More
Being hurt in a car accident can turn your life upside-down, no matter where it happened. The physical pain, emotional turmoil, and financial stress can be overwhelming. However, you do not have to face these challenges alone. Our attorneys with the motor vehicle accident law firm of Stokes Stemle, LLC, have the experience and skills to help you get your life back on track. We will listen to your story and give your case the individualized attention you deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.