Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Dothan
If you are injured in a car accident, there are a number of actions you can take to help your case.
- As soon as possible, write your own account of the crash. Include any details you can remember. Gather all photographs and medical receipts into a single file. This information could be important later, whether you end up filing a lawsuit or not.
- Get a copy of the police report. If the police were called to the scene, the report may contain important details that you don’t have access to. There may be information about the behavior of the other driver or road conditions that could help your case.
- If the police were not called, file an accident report. This report can be an important piece of evidence. The Alabama Department of Public Safety requires you to report an accident within 30 days if it resulted in injury or death, or caused property damage worth more than $250.
- Notify your insurance company of the accident. It’s important to contact your insurer as soon as possible to report that you were involved in an accident. You should be careful about what you say, even to your own insurer. Don’t admit fault or sign any statements without consulting a lawyer first.
- Hire an experienced Dothan car accident attorney. Your lawyer can get an accident investigation started, as well as advise you of the best way to proceed. Your lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company, or they may advise you to pursue a lawsuit to seek compensation.
- Follow any treatment plan set forth by your doctor. Attend follow-up appointments and complete therapy and medical procedures. Take all medication as directed and keep your prescription bottles. Keep all your medical records, X-rays, and receipts as potential evidence.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Dothan
A variety of factors can come together to cause a devastating crash. Some of the most common causes are preventable and could be the result of negligence on the part of one or multiple drivers.
These common causes of accidents in Dothan include:
- Exceeding speed limits – The top contributing factor in fatal crashes, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation, is speeding. Driving at unsafe speeds may not allow a driver enough time to react in the critical moments before a crash. Higher speeds also mean more severe impacts and more severe injuries.
- Distracted driving – Taking your eyes off the road to send a text message or use your phone may seem quick and harmless, but it can lead to a serious crash. Distracted driving is a leading cause of car wrecks, and a driver who is sending or receiving text messages is 23 times more likely to have an accident than one whose eyes are on the road. Looking down for even a few moments can keep you from noticing critical changes in traffic or a hard-to-spot motorcyclist or pedestrian.
- Reckless or aggressive driving – Following the car ahead too closely, failing to signal when changing lanes, and weaving through traffic can easily cause a wreck. When combined with other dangerous behaviors like the use of drugs or alcohol, or with bad road conditions like inclement weather, an accident becomes very likely.
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol – Driving while drunk or drugged is one of the biggest causes of injury and death in car accidents. Alabama was fifth in the nation for deaths in drunk driving accidents in one recent year. Driving under the effects of alcohol or certain drugs can slow mental processing and reaction time and inhibit decision-making to an extreme degree. It is very dangerous to get behind the wheel while impaired.
A thorough investigation performed by a skilled accident attorney can uncover evidence of negligent behaviors that could help make your case for compensation.
Car Accident Injuries That Could Qualify You for a Personal Injury Claim
The types of injuries that occur in a car crash can range from minor to severe. Some car accident injuries require long-term home care and rehabilitation.
Some of the injuries and conditions that could entitle you to compensation include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Muscle strains, sprains, and other soft tissue damage
- Lacerations and deep flesh wounds
- Whiplash caused by neck or back damage due to sudden stops
- Severe head or brain trauma
- Crushed or severed limbs
- Damage to joints
- Partial or full paralysis
- Pain and suffering
Even if it seems like your accident left you uninjured, you should always seek medical attention immediately after any car crash. You may be suffering from a concussion or hidden internal injuries that are initially masked by the adrenaline running through your system.
Know When to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Dothan, AL
The car accident attorneys at Stokes Stemle, LLC are ready to advise you about the best ways to maximize your compensation for your injuries. We serve the entire Wiregrass region of Alabama. Call us as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
An automobile accident can be a legally complex and difficult situation to resolve. It’s important to perform a thorough investigation of the crash, which may uncover evidence of negligence on the part of one or several parties.
An experienced Dothan car accident lawyer is skilled at gathering evidence and hiring expert witnesses to put together a strong case for compensation.
Insurance companies are reluctant to pay out claims on car accidents. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible, and ideally nothing if they can get away with it. Don’t give in to them.
It’s always a good idea to have your Dothan traffic collision attorney speak with insurance company representatives, rather than trying to talk to them yourself. Insurance adjusters know exactly what to get you to say, so they can avoid taking financial responsibility for your injuries. A skilled Dothan accident attorney can make sure your right to compensation is protected and may be able to negotiate a higher settlement on your behalf.