Car Accident Attorneys Serving Mobile, Dothan & All of Southern Alabama
The Dothan car accident lawyers at Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, LLC know that car accidents are life-altering events. At the least, they’re a costly inconvenience. In the worst-case scenario, they can result in loss of life. Unfortunately, any given Alabama driver has a more than 90% chance of being in a car accident in their lifetime, according to Alabama’s 2020 Crash Facts.
As car accident lawyers, we understand how stressful it can be to deal with the aftermath of an accident while attempting to recover from the trauma and physical injury caused by the event itself. At Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, LLC, our objective is to help victims of car accidents pursue just compensation for their damages.
Insurance companies are unconcerned with your well-being. They will attempt to settle as quickly and cheaply as possible, worrying more about their profits than your injuries or losses. Yet, if you have been injured or a loved one has been killed by the negligence of another driver, you deserve compensation for all you’ve lost.
With more than 130 years of collective legal experience, we have a track record of maximum recoveries in both settlements and verdicts. Our car accident attorneys will exhaust every resource available to obtain the best possible outcome for our clients.
If you have been injured or a family member has been lost in a wreck, choose a team that can stand up and defend your rights. Call the car accident lawyers at Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, LLC, at (334) 316-0930 to schedule a FREE case evaluation. We represent people throughout southern Alabama and the Tri-State Area, including Dothan and Mobile.
You Deserve Competent, Understanding Representation
Your case comes down to much more than money. The shock and trauma of a car accident are bad enough. Having to deal with injuries (or losing a loved one), medical bills, accident reports, insurance companies, and more, can be overwhelming. How are you expected to handle all this yourself?
You’re not. Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers is here to help. We know your case is about more. It’s about seeking justice for your sudden tragedy; it’s about regaining a sense of normalcy; it’s about having the time to mourn your loss; it’s about trying to stop this same tragedy from happening to someone else; it’s about all this and more.
Our mission is to help those who need us, to stand up for them, and to facilitate their pursuit of just recompense for all of their losses. We’ve dedicated ourselves to this mission. Let us help you too.
As the Tri-State area’s attorneys of choice, we have a history of maximized settlements and winning verdicts. Your choice of representation will impact the success of your claim. Settle for nothing less than the competent and understanding legal counsel you deserve.
Car Accident Statistics for Alabama
Every day, thousands of people are injured in car accidents across the U.S. The 2020 Alabama Crash Facts offers a shocking picture of car accidents here in Alabama.
- There were 134,039 crashes.
- Every 3 minutes and 55 seconds, a traffic crash was reported.
- There were 37,983 injuries.
- Every 13 minutes and 50 seconds, someone was injured in a traffic crash.
- The number one cause of non-fatal crashes was “failure to yield the right-of-way.”
- In 853 fatal crashes, 932 people were killed.
- There were 40 injuries for each fatality.
- The top contributor to fatal crashes was speeding.
If you think those numbers can’t apply to you, consider that the average driver in Alabama has a greater than 2 in 5 chance of being in a crash involving an injury or fatality in their lifetime. Unfortunately, it can happen to any one of us. Being prepared and contacting a car accident lawyer could save you time, energy, and distress if these statistics hit too close to home.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
For most people in Dothan, driving a car is an everyday occurrence and a fact of life. We drive to work, to get the groceries, to pick up the kids from school, etc. What we forget is that it is statistically a hazardous activity that places us at risk of serious injury or death.
Car accidents are among the leading causes of accidental injury or death across the country every year. Though it certainly won’t help to stress over these facts, it does help to be cautious and vigilant regarding your own behavior on the road.
Collisions happen for many reasons, but some are more common than others:
Driving above the speed limit is considered one of the most prevalent contributing factors to car accidents. In fact, it contributed to 7,722 crashes in Alabama in 2020, 128 of which were fatal (Crash Facts). Speeding makes it difficult to react quickly to avoid an obstacle or another driver, especially in inclement weather or on subpar roadways. Additionally, speeding can contribute to the severity of a crash.
Disobeying Traffic Laws
Failing to yield the right of way was the number one contributing factor to Alabama crashes in 2020, resulting in 20,713 accidents. Improper lane changes, tailgating, failure to heed signs, etc.—all of these infractions are established for a reason. Failure to adhere can lead to an accident, injury, and even loss of life.
Distracted driving is considered anything that would take your attention away from the road. This can be due to eating, talking on the phone or to passengers, using a navigation system, adjusting the climate control, and more. One of the most common and dangerous types of distraction is texting while driving. A driver who is texting is 23 times more likely to get into a car accident than a driver who is not.
Driving While Under the Influence
Getting into a car and driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs puts you and everyone on the road at risk. In 2020, Alabama had 934 drunk driving fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Each of these fatalities could have been avoided. In addition to compensatory damages, a plaintiff may also seek punitive damages from a drunk driver per Code of Alabama § 6.11.20(b)(3).
Here are some additional acts of negligence that may lead to a car accident:
- Aggressive driving
- Fatigued driving
- Defective vehicles or vehicle parts
- Unsafe roadways
- Lack of proper roadway signage
- Unqualified commercial drivers
If someone else’s negligence leads to a car accident, that party must be held accountable for the consequences of their actions. Sometimes more than one party may be liable for an accident. In that case, the knowledgeable lawyers at Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, LLC, can work to seek compensation from all of the at-fault parties.
Injuries from a car accident can vary drastically. Though many may result in minor cuts and bruises, other injuries may be more severe—even catastrophic. Only a small percentage of crashes result in fatalities, but even one life lost is too many.
Some of the more common car accident injuries are:
- Soft tissue injuries (e.g., whiplash)
- Head & brain injuries
- Chest injuries (e.g., broken ribs, collapsed lung)
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
We encourage everyone to wear a seat belt, as they can save your life in an accident.
Types of Damages
Suffering an injury in a car accident can throw your entire life into chaos. Not only are you trying to cope with the financial hardship of paying medical bills while being unable to work, but you’re also dealing with the pain of your injuries while trying to heal.
If you’ve lost a loved one, your grief overshadows the minutiae of medical bills and funeral expenses. It is an impossible feat to think about insurance claims when your heart aches for the untimely death of a family member.
It might not be a consolation, but you may be entitled to compensation for both the economic and noneconomic losses you’ve endured. Perhaps taking care of the financial pressures involved in the aftermath of a car accident can give you time to mend and mourn.
Compensatory damages that you may be able to pursue in a car accident or wrongful death claim include but are not limited to:
- Medical bills
- Lost income (past & future)
- Pain & suffering
- Property damage
- Replacement services (childcare, housecleaning, grocery shopping, etc.)
- Physical discomfort
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of companionship
With the help of an Alabama car accident lawyer, you may be able to hold the responsible parties accountable for their destructive actions by pursuing compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.
Alabama is one of a handful of states that abides by a contributory negligence rule regarding car accidents. Per the rule, you cannot receive any compensation from the other driver if you are found to have any fault in causing the accident. In other words, if the court or an insurance adjuster finds you to be even minutely at fault for an accident, you cannot pursue a personal injury claim to recover your damages.
Insurance companies will utilize any reason to attempt to deny your claim. Contributory negligence is an often-used excuse. For this reason, among others, it is essential to use the services of an experienced Alabama car accident attorney.
To recover monetary damages for car accident injuries, you must prove the other driver’s negligence in the car accident. This can sometimes be relatively straightforward, such as in the case of a drunk driving accident where the drunk driver is clearly at fault. Other times it may be more challenging to prove that the driver was responsible, but the lawyers of Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, LLC, know where to look for evidence to support your claim.
If the accident was caused by a sudden tire blowout or other defects, another possible source of compensation might be a product liability lawsuit. We leave no stone unturned when developing a case and work diligently to help our clients pursue the maximum compensation.
When to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
To obtain the best result in your case, it is important to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. There are several reasons for this:
- Proving Liability
As stated above, proving liability can be complex. In a contributory negligence state like Alabama, you will not have a claim unless you can prove the other party or parties are entirely responsible for the accident.
- Statute of Limitations
According to the Code of Alabama § 6-2-38, you generally have two years from the date your accident occurred to file your claim. There are some exceptions to this law where the filing time may change. Having a skilled car accident attorney in your corner means you will have someone who knows how to keep track of these details while you are focused on recovering.
Insurance companies will attempt to push you to sign a settlement agreement as soon as possible. However, many car accident injuries are known to slowly develop over the days and weeks after they initially occurred. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer will advise you to wait until your injuries and damages are thoroughly determined. Then, they will negotiate on your behalf for just compensation.
When dealing with the aftereffects of an injury or the loss of a loved one, having someone on your side is indispensable. We are champions for your rights and will handle the details, allowing you to focus on what really matters—the well-being of you and your family.
Is Alabama a No-Fault Car Accident State?
No, Alabama is not a no-fault car accident state. Instead, Alabama has a fault-based auto insurance system. This means that if you have been injured in a car accident in Alabama, you need to be able to prove that someone else was at fault in order to recover just compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Alabama law requires that all drivers carry liability insurance. So, if you got hit by someone who was speeding, distracted, drunk, or otherwise being reckless or negligent, coverage should be available. Unfortunately, despite the state’s auto insurance requirements, Alabama has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the nation. If you got hit by an uninsured driver, you can file a claim under your uninsured motorist (UM) policy if you have this optional coverage.
Do You Have To Have a Police Report To File an Insurance Claim in Alabama?
No, you do not have to have a police report to file an insurance claim in Alabama. When you get injured in a collision, you may or may not receive a copy of the police report at the scene. Regardless of whether you receive a copy of the police report, you should file an insurance claim as soon as possible.
But, having a copy of the police report can help when filing an insurance claim, and Alabama law requires that drivers report all car accidents resulting in bodily injury. So, if you don’t have a copy of the police report (or if the police didn’t respond to the scene of the accident), you will want to contact the authorities promptly—or have your lawyer do this on your behalf.
How Long After an Accident Can You File a Police Report in Alabama?
Under Alabama law, you have up to 30 days to file a police report after a car accident. Failing to report an accident can lead to fines and other penalties, so you will want to make sure you report your accident as required by law. If you aren’t sure whether an accident report has been filed, or if you aren’t sure how to file an accident report, you can contact our car accident lawyers for help.
How Do I Get a Car Accident Report in Alabama?
There are several ways to get a copy of a car accident report in Alabama. One of the easiest ways is to request a copy from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) online. But, since it can take up to 15 days for the ALEA to process an online request, many accident victims will want to choose another option.
In addition to requesting a copy of your car accident report online, you can also request a copy in person at your local police station, or you can request a copy by phone. Submitting a mail request is an option as well, though mail submissions can take even longer to process than online requests. Our lawyers can assist you with obtaining a copy of your accident report as well.
How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident in Alabama?
When you get injured in a car accident in Alabama, the amount you can recover depends on: (i) the losses you have incurred to date; and, (ii) the losses you will incur in the future. The value of your claim is entirely unique to you, and you will need to work closely with your lawyer to calculate just compensation for your accident-related losses. This includes not only your financial losses (i.e., medical bills and lost income), but also your non-financial losses (i.e., emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life). Punitive damages are available in some cases as well.
What Is the Hit and Run Law in Alabama?
Drivers who cause hit-and-run accidents in Alabama can face steep criminal penalties for fleeing the scene of the collision. They can also be held liable for victims’ losses just as they could if they had remained at the scene of the accident. If it is not possible to identify a hit-and-run driver, accident victims may still be able to recover their losses by filing claims under their uninsured motorist (UM) policies.
What Is Considered a Totaled Car in Alabama?
In Alabama, a vehicle is considered totaled if the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds 75% of the car’s current “fair retail value.” Totaling a vehicle is also referred to as declaring the vehicle a “total loss.” If your vehicle is a total loss, the amount you can recover depends on the type(s) of claim(s) you can file and the amount of insurance coverage that is available.
Oftentimes, insurance companies will try to avoid totaling a vehicle in order to limit the amount they have to pay. This can be extremely frustrating, and it can leave accident victims feeling helpless to protect themselves. If you believe your vehicle should be declared a total loss, your lawyer can help with this in addition to seeking financial compensation for your injuries.
Contact a Dothan Car Accident Lawyer Today
At Morris, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, LLC, we know that you are more than a statistic. We understand that if you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be facing one of the most traumatic experiences of your life.
When you come to our Dothan car accident lawyers for help in filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim, we will give compassionate legal guidance and robust representation in your pursuit of compensation. Call (334) 316-0930 today for a FREE consultation! We represent clients throughout southern Alabama and the Tri-State Area, including Dothan and Mobile, and we are ready to fight for you!