If you live in Birmingham or any other city within Alabama and you've suffered injuries after being involved in a car accident, then you are entitled to getting compensation for your damages and losses. If you would like to learn more about getting compensated for your injuries or how you can maximize your settlement, then consider reaching out to a Birmingham car accident lawyer for legal counsel and representation.
Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers is a Birmingham-based law firm that offers professional legal solutions to car accident victims who live in Birmingham and its environs. As the go-to law firm in Birmingham, we've made it a point to ensure we offer case evaluations are free and non-obligatory, allowing anyone in need to get the legal help they need. As a victim, we are here to help you understand your rights, answer any questions you might have, and help determine your claim's worth.
As one of the leading personal injury firms in Birmingham, we have helped thousands of accident victims recover more than they'd have received without the help of our lawyers. As an injured victim, getting compensated for your injuries and damages will go a long way in ensuring that your livelihood isn't that affected. How? Well, think about the loss of income, the medical bills, and the different problems injuries caused by a car accident cost – are you ready or even able to cover most of these costs by yourself?
The main focus at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers is to ensure that anyone who chooses us to represent them gets appropriately compensated for their troubles. From multimillion-dollar trials to small fender bender cases, we'll fight for your rights to the end and are ready to take your case to court if that is what it will take to ensure you get compensation.
Car Accident Statistics in Alabama
How common are automobile accidents in Alabama? What are some of the injuries people who've been involved in such accidents suffer? According to Alabama's Department of Transportation, the number of traffic-related crashes and collisions in 2017 alone totaled 156,993. On account of these accidents, 948 people lost their lives, while over 47,000 people suffered some form of injury.
- About 17 accidents happen every hour in Alabama
- Every 9 hours and 14 minutes a person is killed by an auto accident
- About five people suffer a form of accident-related injury every hour
It is worth noting that the severity of the injuries suffered in car wrecks vary considerably.
The experienced and professional team of car accident attorneys at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers has successfully represented car accident victims who have suffered:
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Broken or Fractured Limbs
- Burn Injuries
- Wrongful Death
While most accidents involve serious injuries, there are some that, regrettably, end with fatalities. If you've lost a loved one due to a car accident, make sure you contact a lawyer as soon as you can and seek justice for them. Our team of attorneys is experienced in handling wrongful death and are well-versed with matters related to wrongful death law. In most cases, successful Birmingham wrongful death claims against the responsible parties are the only way for the affected families to recover financially after a fatal accident.
How Much Do Car Accident Lawyer Services Cost in Birmingham Cost?
A lot of people are not willing or ready to reach out to an attorney after a car accident because they're worried about how much it will cost them to hire the services of these legal professionals. What most people don't know is that a majority of personal injury attorneys and law firms in Alabama work on a contingency basis – this means that you only owe the attorney or firm if they win your case.
And if they do win the case, you'll owe them a percentage (previously agreed upon) of the amount you get as compensation, which generally ranges between 25 to 40 percent. In most cases, the fee range is determined by how much work and effort they put in to ensure you get compensated for your injuries and damages.
As such, if a settlement is reached with the insurer out of court, chances are you'll owe them less than if the case goes to court. The good thing about this payment structure is that apart from paying your attorney only if you get a settlement, they also have to be vested in the case considering that their pay is based on the amount of money they can get you as compensation.
However, it is worth noting that some lawyers use a different payment structure – some charge a flat rate while others charge an hourly fee. While some of these options are ideal in some cases, most clients prefer the contingency option.
What Should I Do If I'm in a Car Accident?
Here are the steps we recommend you take following an auto accident:
Ensure Everyone Is Fine
Immediately after the accident, the first thing you need to do is to make sure everyone involved is fine and safe – at that moment, trying to determine who is responsible or at fault doesn't matter. Checking on others is the most human thing you can do immediately after a crash. If you can, move your car or truck to the side of the road to avoid it being hit by other vehicles in traffic. Remember, safety is paramount.
Seek Medical Assistance
Even if you're feeling fine after the accident, it is advisable that you still seek medical attention. Apart from getting checked for injuries, some of which could be internal, you will still need to have proof of injuries suffered. For you to prove this, you'll need medical records that show you actually got injured during the accident and how much money you've spent on medical care.
Call the Proper Authorities
Any time you are involved in an accident, it's advisable that you involve the police even if the case is a minor one. As such, always make sure you call 911 and have a police officer sent to the scene of your accident. By doing so, you allow your local law enforcement to investigate the accident and to collect insurance and license information from both you and the other driver. As officers of the law, they are also required to prepare and file a police report which might be handy in your case. For this reason, remember to get the officer's name and contact information – you might need it later.
Get the Other Driver's Contact Information
While at the scene, make sure you get the other driver's contact information. If there are other people involved, such as passengers, make sure you take their contact info too. Attorneys use this information to reach them for statements.
Collect Witness Information
If someone witnessed the accident, make sure you get their contact information too! However, keep in mind that not everyone who witnessed the incident is willing to get involved. Nevertheless, with the help of the first officer on the scene, getting their contact info won't be that hard.
Take Photos of the Scene
If you are still capable, make sure you take as many photos of the accident as you can. Fortunately, with the advances in technology, most of today's phone cameras take very good pictures. Take several photos of the scene from different angles. Make sure the images you take are clear and are relevant to the crash. Documenting the scene of the accident is one way of helping your attorney recreate the scene of the accident.
Get a Copy of the Police Accident Report
Ask the responding police officer for a copy of the accident report they file. Please note that you'll have to wait a couple of days since the police have to compile and file the report.
Contact a Car Crash Attorney
The personal injury lawyer you hire will contact all of the involved insurance companies to ensure your claim for compensation is filed. Since the lawyer has to start gathering the information and evidence needed to prove your case and recover damages for you, the sooner you contact them, the better.
Why Should I Consider Hiring a Birmingham Car Accident Lawyer?
Any time anyone suffers both injuries and property damage following an auto accident, their claim for compensation becomes a bit more complicated. While an accident might look like an open-and-shut case, it is still advisable that you speak with a professional and experienced Birmingham car crash attorney about your rights. As a victim, it is worth noting that insurers do not have your best interest at heart and are out to ensure that they pay out the least amount of money possible. At the same time, they have teams of lawyers working round the clock to protect them and their best interests.
Our skilled attorneys will take a strategic, well-thought-out approach to ensure that they develop an all-inclusive car crash claim that best suits your needs. You can trust the team at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers to:
Thoroughly and Effectively Investigate Your Auto Accident
Our lawyers will do all they can to ensure they identify the person that should be held responsible for the accident and the injuries you suffered. In most instances, the ‘other' driver is often the responsible party, and we'll work to ensure we gather the evidence needed to prove they are liable.
Nevertheless, depending on the nature of your accident, there could be a handful of third parties who might also be held accountable. So, for instance, in a drunk-driving suit, an individual or business might be held liable if they gave or sold alcohol to the defendant despite them being already intoxicated.
Analyze all of Your Medical Records
Our attorneys will do their best to ensure they've determined the total extent of injuries suffered and your future outlook once you've recovered. In the event your injuries lead to permanent disability, we will work with vocational and medical consultants, where necessary, to determine some of your life and medical care needs in the future and how much they cost.
Account for all Losses and Costs
According to Alabama personal injury laws, victims can seek compensation for:
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Loss of consortium for spouses who have been physically injured
- Past and future medical bills
- Aggravation of pre-existing injuries
- Permanent disfigurement
- Lost income, earnings, and wages ─ including future income payment unrealized due to a reduced capacity to earn or the inability to continue working
Manage Negotiations and Communication With Insurers
The attorneys at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers will handle all of the insurance documentation and paperwork needed when filing a claim for max compensation. We are known to be aggressive negotiators who will settle for nothing less than what you, our client, deserve.
Fight for You in Court, If Need Be
When insurance companies decide to play hard to get and do not want to payout prompt and appropriate amounts, you can trust in the fact that we are going to file a car accident lawsuit against them to get you the compensation you deserve. Sometimes insurers will, abiding by policy, wait to be sued to take the claim seriously. Whatever the circumstances, we aren't here to play any games or waste anyone's time. Our main aim is to fight for you and your best interests.
It is advisable that you do not talk to any insurance company or accept a settlement without having talked to a Birmingham-based personal injury lawyer. The attorneys at the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers are skilled professionals with tons of experience when it comes to compensation claims and ensuring deep-pocketed insurers are held accountable. At the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we will review the circumstances of your accident and any settlement offer you've received from insurance companies for free.
Will I Get Compensated for My Car Crash in Birmingham?
All insurance companies try their best to ensure they settle claim cases as quickly as possible and the least amount possible. At the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, our main aim is to ensure that our clients get well compensated for their injuries and losses.
However, for a better shot at getting compensated, it is advisable that you start your case against the defendant once you've gone through medical treatment, and your doctor has released or dismissed from medical care. The reason why you need to do this is that some accident-related injuries take time to manifest, with some even taking days, weeks, or even months to become evident. If you settle your case too soon and new injuries arise, you won't be compensated for these injuries.
As a professional and dependable law firm, our first priority is to ensure that you receive proper medical care. If you are unable to, our lawyers will try their best to help you by recommending reputable specialists and doctors that can address your condition. We also handle the property damage part of your case by working with your insurer to make sure they hire you a rental car that you can use to move around while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced.
When it comes to investigating accidents, we do our best to ensure we are thorough in gathering all of the needed evidence and relevant information. Once we are on the case, our attorneys take it upon themselves to gather witness statements, the police report, photos and videos of the accident scene, and, if need be, expert analysis of the vehicles and or scene.
This information helps us make a claim case seeking full compensation for your damages and injuries. If the insurance company, through its attorneys, fails to offer a reasonable amount, then the next option is to take the case to court, which we are ready and willing to do – our record of success when it comes to arguing personal injury cases in court is quite impressive.
What Damages Can I Recover Through a Car Accident Claim in Birmingham?
Collisions can cause both life-changing injuries and minor damages. If the cause of the accident is another person's negligence, you reserve the legal right to get compensated for your damages.
Depending on the nature of the accident, you might be able to recover compensation for one or more of the following damages:
When it comes to car accident claims, one of the most common types of damages that most people recover involves medical expenses, since most accidents leave victims with severe injuries that tend to cost a lot to treat. Sadly, in many cases, injuries suffered tend to require ongoing medical treatment. As a victim, you reserve the right to receive compensation for both future, present, and past medical expenses for injuries suffered during an accident.
Pain and Suffering
Apart from physical injuries, many car accident victims also experience severe pain caused by the damages suffered. Suffering and pain can also include any emotional or mental anguish, such as anxiety. As a victim, you reserve the right to receive compensation for future and past suffering.
In some instances, collision-related injuries may require the victim to work in a reduced capacity or to take time off from work to recover. In other cases, damages may be so severe that they make it impossible for victims to return to work. As a victim, you reserve the right, regardless of the outcome, to recover lost wages if your injuries have hampered your ability to earn a living.
While most accidents often lead to injuries, some do lead to the death of those involved. In such cases, the deceased's family reserves the right to seek recompense for the untimely and wrongful death of their loved one.
Loss of Consortium
Cases of wrongful death and injuries can lead to a loss of companionship or loss of affection. This type of damage typically affects the relationship between the victim and his or her family as it often leads to a change in how people behave/relate due to the changes caused by the accident or loss of life.
Determining how much a victim can seek as compensation for lost wages and medical bills is a bit more straightforward since these aspects have more concrete amounts. Things tend to become tricky when it comes to valuing future expenses or the accident's emotional impact. Hiring a professional car accident attorney and having them handle your claim can help you not only understand how much to seek as compensation but also may go a long way in ensuring you receive the amount as an award.
How Do I Know Who Is at Fault for My Car Accident in Birmingham?
If you want a better shot at receiving compensation for injuries suffered after a car accident, then it's vital to prove your injuries were caused by the negligent actions of the other driver.
The following components need to be proven:
- The responsible party had a duty of care to the victim
- The responsible party breached this duty
- The victim suffered injuries and damages
- The injuries and damages suffered by the victim were the results of the responsible party be breaching their duty
For instance, when operating a vehicle on the road, motorists have the legal duty to ensure they abide by Alabama road laws and that they drive safely. When a motorist engages in reckless driving behaviors, like texting and driving or speeding, they breach their duty of care.
When their texting while driving or speeding leads to an accident, causing injuries to other road users and damage to their cars, then it is considered that the responsible driver's negligent behavior is what led to these damages, and they are at fault for the collision.
What Are Some of the Things that Cause Accidents?
When seeking compensation for injuries caused by a car accident, you must know how accidents are caused. If the negligent actions of another driver caused your crash, then you should have an easier time seeking compensation for injuries suffered.
Here is a look at some of the things that cause car accidents in Birmingham Alabama:
- Wrong-Way Driving
- Weather Conditions
- Unsafe Lane Changes
- Running Red Lights or Stop Signs
- Reckless Driving
- Poor Road Maintenance
- Night Driving
- Inexperienced/Teen Drivers
- Drunk Driving
- Drowsy Driving
- Distracted Driving
- Design Defects
- Construction Zones
Types of Auto Accidents
The way a car is struck during an accident is one of the things that indicate negligence on the part of the responsible motorist. For instance, most head-on crashes are almost always the result of negligent actions while operating a vehicle. Proving that the other driver behaved negligently, and that's why you got into the accident, can greatly help your claim.
Here is a look at the most common types of car crashes on Alabama roads:
- Intersection Accidents
- Head-On Collisions
- Sideswipe Accidents
- Rear-End Accidents
- Rollover Accidents
- Work Zone Accidents
- Side-Impact Accidents (T-Bone Collisions)
- Hit-and-Run Accidents
- Uber/Lyft Accidents
- Parking Lot Accidents
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accidents
- Highway/Interstate Accidents
What If the Insurance Company Denies My Claim for Compensation?
It is worth keeping in mind that the insurance company can deny your claim for compensation. There are several reasons why this could happen:
- The insurance company believes the accident was your fault.
- The driver wasn't insured under the policy.
- The policy lapsed or was canceled.
- The insurance company doesn't think the accident is what caused your injuries.
- The company doesn't believe you were actually hurt.
- The statute of limitations period has already passed – according to Alabama Law, you have two years from the day of the accident to file a claim.
Our car accident attorneys can help file with the filing of your claim. We will call and maintain communication with your insurance company's adjuster to see if they can get your compensation claim paid. As your legal services providers, we'll do our best to ensure we negotiate and score you the best possible settlement out of court so we do not have to go through the process of attending court proceedings, which can be quite lengthy.
However, if the insurance company refuses to pay your claim, then we will have to take the next step, which is filing a lawsuit against the company on your behalf.
What Happens If the Driver That Hit Me is Uninsured?
Alabama is a ‘tort' or ‘fault' state when it comes to insurance coverage and traffic accidents. What does this mean? It means that after the accident, you will file your claim with the responsible driver's insurer. While you have some claims to seek from your insurance company, the focus of all injury claims typically lies on the motorist who caused the accident.
If the responsible driver is uninsured or underinsured, the victim will have to collect whatever compensation they can from the defendant. Ultimately, this means that public welfare programs, accident victims, and health insurance companies will have to foot the bills. This basically means that we all pay the price for underinsured or uninsured drivers.
As a form of protection, drivers in Alabama typically have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). While you are not required to have UM/UIM coverage, most car insurance policies still carry $25,000 in coverage. If your damages exceed the at-fault driver's policy or if they are uninsured, the next reasonable option would be to file a claim against your uninsured/underinsured policy.
How Much Time Do I Have Before Filing a Car Accident Compensation Claim in Alabama?
In the state of Alabama, car accident victims have two years from when the accident happened to file their claim for property damage and personal injury. Once this two-year period is over, you lose your right to file for compensation for damages and injuries suffered.
Contact Our Birmingham Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you have suffered injuries as a result of being in a car crash in Alabama that you believe was not your fault, make sure you give the Birmingham injury attorneys at the Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers a call right now. You only have a limited period to file your claim for compensation. If you fail to file your claim within this period, your chance to file a case will be lost forever.
Our lawyers are proficient and professionals with the experience and skills needed to handle insurance companies and make sure they settle your claim. If we cannot settle the matter out of court, then we are ready and willing to file a lawsuit and take the matter to court for you.
Our consultation is free and non-obligatory – you won't pay a single cent until the claim is settled. The other party and their insurer are going to have lawyers working for them to ensure that they either pay out the least amount or nothing at all, if possible. Give us a call today for the best legal representation and improved chances of getting compensated for your injuries and troubles.