Car Accident Attorneys
Serving Birmingham and the Metro area
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident in Birmingham, it can be a troubling, difficult time. We want you to know we understand, our Birmingham car accident attorneys have helped thousands of accident victims. A crash can be traumatic emotionally and physically, and it is important that the victim of an accident takes time to heal.
We know what accidents are like and the people you speak with at our firm truly understand. This webpage has more information about what to do after an accident, including tips about speaking with insurance companies. We have also included FAQs to help answer questions we find many individuals have, perhaps just like yourself.
The car accident you or someone you love has been involved in is unique, and the healing process will also be unique. Practical methods for recovering often involve a lawyer who can remove the burden of police reports, insurance paperwork, and phone calls requesting recorded statements.
Those recovering from a serious car accident face numerous burdens. The challenges are physical, emotional and financial. As you recover, the thought of hiring an auto accident attorney may not even cross your mind.
That’s OK, and it’s often the common behavior. But if you have been in an accident and are reading this page, you have found of one the most experienced law firm’s in Birmingham who has represented thousands in severe auto accidents involving, cars, commercial trucks (including 18 wheelers), and trains.
How much does it cost to hire car accident attorneys?
The attorneys at Pittman Dutton Hellums handle cases on a contingency-fee basis. You only pay once we get you compensated. There are no upfront costs, hourly billing, court fees or litigation costs.
Our fee is contingent on a favorable outcome and you being compensated. To put it simply, you pay nothing until we win your car accident case.
Will I Get a Settlement?
Great question, and yes, you may get a settlement. However, this is not the situation in all cases. In order to help determine what you may be able to recover, you can have a free consultation. Consultations are also confidential and you have no obligation to continue. Consulting with a lawyer will help you to understand your rights and how to protect them when dealing with the aftermath of a car crash.
It is important that you understand an attorney may be able to get you what is needed to ensure the best recovery. Pittman Dutton & Hellums has secured numerous multimillion-dollar verdicts or settlements on behalf of Birmingham car accident victims to help them get their lives back on track after they were harmed through no fault of their own.
We have the experience necessary investigate your accident and make a strong case for compensation or an auto accident settlement.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an auto accident, we know you are facing a difficult ordeal. Give us a call today at (205) 900-4188 and allow one of our Birmingham car accident attorneys tell you how we may be able to help get you and your family back on track.
What to Do After an Auto Accident
- Contact Authorities. Of Course, Call 911 If Anyone Is In Need Of Medical Attention. Get Police On The Scene Of A Serious Accident. Report An Accident To The Police When Property Damages Total More Than $250, There Is Injury Or There Is Death.
- Gather What You Can. If Able, Document As Much As Possible At The Scene. Take Photos Of Any Injuries Or Vehicle Damage. This Evidence May Be Very Useful If You File A Claim For Compensation. While We Will Thoroughly Investigate Your Accident If We Represent You, It’s Never Possible To Fully Re-Create The Scene Of A Crash After The Fact.
- Report The Crash To Your Insurance Company. Only Give Them The Basics Of The Accident. Do Not Give Any Insurance Company A Statement Without Speaking To Your Car Accident Attorneys First.
- Collect Info From The Other Driver(S). This Includes Name, Address, Insurer, Policy Number, Vehicle Make, And Model.
- Do Not Admit Fault To Anyone And Don’t Sign Anything. Don’t Discuss The Accident With Anyone But Your Doctor And Your Lawyer.
- If You’ve Been Injured, Call Pittman Dutton & Hellums. Don’t Delay. The Sooner We Begin Working On Your Case, The Better. Under Alabama Law, You Have Two Years To Bring A Claim After An Injury Or Death In An Auto Accident. This Is Called The Statute Of Limitations.
Birmingham and Alabama Auto Accident Stats & Facts
We often use the word “accident,” but as our years of experience has shown, rarely is there ever an accident – it’s a car crash. A crash because a driver was breaking a law. A driver was speeding. Someone was texting. Taillights didn’t work properly, or there was alcohol involved.
These “accidents” turn into the accident stats you will find below.
The best way to prevent an auto accident is to know the facts, and know how to prevent getting into a car crash. We anticipate if you are viewing this page that you may need more information on statistics, for which you will find citations and references. We hope you are a proactive driver or parent who may be able to share this information with others so there will be less crashes.
The Alabama car accident statistics below will explain the who, how, where, when and why of accidents across our state. You will also learn how, when the worst happens, aggressive legal representation can make all the difference. Our attorneys handle car accident cases across Alabama.
On Average There are 427 Car Crashes Per Day
Taking a look at car accident statistics from our state will help you better understand how accidents occur and frequently they happen. Alabama’s Department of Transportation issued a thorough report in 2017 that broke down Alabama car accidents into the smallest of details. While the number of vehicles registered in Alabama decreased in 2016, crashes, fatalities and injuries all increased year-over-year.
There were 155,907 auto crashes reported to police in 2016. That averages out to 427 each day across the state. These accidents injured more than 47,650 people.
Here are some other shocking statistics:
- One Traffic Crash Was Reported Every 202 Seconds, Or About Every 3 Minutes And 22 Seconds.
- 994 People Died In Alabama Car Accidents In 2016. That’s A Death Every 9 Hours Or So.
- 47,653 People Were Injured In Motor Vehicle Accidents. This Means One Person Is Injured In A Crash Roughly Every 11 Minutes, On Average.
Causes of Car Accidents
The most common causes of accidents in Alabama are predictable – and preventable. Yet accidents occur day after day.
According to the state Department of Transportation’s statistics from 2016, these were the top 10 most common causes of car accidents:
- Failing to yield right of way
- Misjudging stopping distance
- Improper lane change/use
- Unseen object/vehicle/person
- Swerving to avoid a vehicle or other object
- Failing to abide by traffic signs or signals
- Driving under the influence
- Vehicle going off road
Many times, there are multiple factors involved in each type of crash. “Other” causes account for the most crashes, which may include a combination of any of the above reasons.
Fatal Car Accident Trends
Unfortunately, the fatality rate for car crashes in Alabama has increased dramatically. In 2012, there were 870 car crash fatalities. In 2016, there were 1,089 fatalities, an increase of 28.27 percent year-over-year. Alabama’s fatal car crash rates remain above the national average.
Those driving in Alabama are twice as likely to die in car crashes as the average American.
Types of Car Crashes in Birmingham & Alabama
What types of car accidents occur in our state? Well, the most common type of crash is no surprise – one moving vehicle colliding with another moving vehicle. This accounted for 71.8 percent of all crashes in 2016, according to the Department of Transportation. That’s nearly 112,000 crashes.
The next most-common type was a collision with a fixed object or other object, which accounted for 11.2 percent of all 2016 crashes. The third most common type was hitting a parked vehicle, followed by hitting an animal. These four collisions accounted for nearly 90 percent of all accidents.
Birmingham & Alabama Car Accidents by Month, Day and Time
When do car crashes occur in our state? Check out this chart, courtesy of our state’s Department of Transportation.
Month Total Crashes Fatalities
January 12,107 74
February 12,532 75
March 13,741 94
April 13,291 68
May 12,788 101
June 12,180 103
July 12,469 83
August 13,822 94
September 12,877 102
October 13,613 114
November 12,900 86
December 13,587 95
According to statistics, the most crash-prone time of the day is between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Be careful on your commute home from work.
The day of the week with the highest percentage of fatalities is Saturday, when 18.1 percent of all fatalities occur.
Birmingham & Alabama Car Accidents By Age
How much more likely are young drivers to be in an accident? Thanks to the Department of Transportation, here’s the breakdown on exactly who died in car accidents in Alabama in 2016, by age:
In Alabama, men are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash than women.
Pedestrians in Birmingham & Alabama Car Accidents
Recent years have seen the number of pedestrian accidents rise, as well as the number of deaths associated with them. From the Department of Transportation’s report:
Auto Accident FAQs
Under Alabama law, if you are injured in a car accident, you might be entitled to recover compensatory damages for the following:
- Reasonable Medical Treatment
- Past And/Or Future Lost Wages
- Permanent Injuries
- Loss Of Consortium
- Physical Pain And Suffering
- Past And Future Emotional Distress
In addition, if there is evidence that the driver’s conduct was deliberate or wanton, the jury may be entitled to award punitive damages to punish the driver and prevent future harm. This may occur where the driver is reckless or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Who you can recover damages from depends on the facts of each case. Typically, you will be able to recover monetary damages from the at-fault driver.
If the driver is on an errand for his employer or is driving a commercial delivery truck, the employer may also be liable to you.
Under some circumstances, the owner of the vehicle may be liable for negligent entrustment.
If the at-fault driver was served alcohol by an establishment in violation of Alabama law, the bar or dram shop might be liable to you.
Why File An Auto Accident Lawsuit?
Insurance companies will want to handle your accident claim as quickly and as cheaply as possible. They understand you are upset, and while may not admit their driver to being at-fault, the more quickly they can dismiss the potential of an auto accident lawyer, the better.
They may offer you a settlement early on that may sound enticing, however, it is likely not to cover the near the total compensation to which you may be entitled under Alabama law.
Be Aware: Accepting a potentially “low-ball” offer will likely forfeit your right to seek further compensation.
Insurance companies are not on your side. They are huge companies that often make huge profits. They will try to boost their bottom line by shortchanging you.
The Birmingham car accident attorneys with Pittman, Dutton & Hellums are experienced in the ways of auto insurance companies and their tactics to avoid paying what you deserve. We care about your health and well-being. We’ll deal with insurance companies on your behalf, and we’ll stand up to them to protect your rights and seek compensation that can truly better your situation.
The job of an attorney is to be your legal voice and work to build the strongest case possible. Your attorney’s actions are driven by your best interests at all times. Call us today at (205) 900-4188 or fill out the contact form on this page.
What Kind of Compensation May Be Available?
If you were injured in an auto accident, a Birmingham car accident attorney at Pittman Dutton & Hellums may be able to get you compensated for:
- Property Damage
- Medical Expenses (Ambulance Rides, Hospital Stays, Tests, Medications, Etc.)
- Loss Of Wages, Both Past, And Future
- Pain And Suffering
Under Alabama law, you may also be entitled to punitive damages, as well. Pittman Dutton & Hellums has successful secured these damages in car accident claims.
If you lost a loved one in an auto accident, there is no cap on the punitive damages available.
Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Birmingham
There are many factors that can cause a crash, but the majority of accidents are the result of driver error or negligence. Examples of this include:
- Distracted Driving. According To It’s Never Safe, But Also Not Uncommon To See Drivers Texting On Their Phones, Applying Make-Up Or Reaching Into The Backseat While Behind The Wheel.
- Speeding. The Department Of Transportation Determined Long Ago That Vehicles Traveling At Above-Average Speeds Are More Likely To Be Involved In An Accident. Vehicles Traveling Less Than The Average Speed Are Also More Likely To Be In A Crash.
- Following Too Closely. It’s Simple: Less Distance Means Less Time To Stop. This Is The Cause Of Many Rear-End Accidents.
- Disregarding Traffic Signals. This Can Include Ignoring Stop Signs, Not Stopping At Red Lights, Failing To Yield And Any Other Failure To Abide By Traffic Laws. For Our Safety, We Count On Other Drivers On The Road To Follow The Same Rules We Do. When They Don’t Our Lives May Be Put At Risk.
- Intoxicated Driving. Driving While Under The Influence Of Drugs Or Alcohol Is Irresponsible And Dangerous. The Likelihood Of A Crash Increases Exponentially As A Driver’s Blood-Alcohol Level Rises. Alcohol Is Involved In 40% Of All Traffic Deaths. That’s Why It’s A Crime. Pittman Dutton Hellums Has Zero Tolerance For This Reckless Behavior.
Bad weather can enhance the dangers of all of these examples.
Another potential cause of an accident is a mechanical defect. In these cases, it’s possible to file a claim against the company responsible for the defective product. This is known as products liability and one of our Birmingham car accident attorneys would be happy to let you know your legal options.
Birmingham Car Insurance Rules and Regulations
Alabama law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance on any registered vehicle. This is to ensure that, for every vehicle on the road, there’s a policy behind it.
But that is not always as helpful as it seems. Liability insurance can compensate the other driver. It won’t cover your injuries or damage to your vehicle. Additional policies, such as collision, comprehensive and/or medical insurance are available to cover those costs. There are not required by law; however, if you take out a loan on a vehicle, the lender may require you to carry additional insurance.
Also not required is uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage will protect you in the event the driver who caused the accident is illegally driving without insurance. It can also help if the driver’s policies are insufficient to cover the damages.
There are many kinds of insurance, and insurance companies are notoriously difficult to deal with. After a serious accident, that stress is the last thing you need. That is why you should contact Pittman Dutton & Hellums. If we represent you, we assume that responsibility. We will always assert your rights and take your side. Call us today at (205) 900-4188.
What’s Contributory Negligence?
Contributory negligence is a statute in Alabama that can frustrate many car accident victims. It means that if it is determined the at-fault driver was only 90% responsible for the accident and you were somehow responsible for the other 10%, the amount of compensation you receive would be less.
In essence, this can allow the driver who is at-fault to point the finger at you. It is yet another reason why it’s important to have an attorney representing you throughout this process. Our attorneys are very familiar with the laws surrounding traffic accident liability in Alabama. We will always do our best to maximize the compensation our clients receive.
Contact a Birmingham Car Accident Attorney
There’s nothing we — or anyone — can do to take back the terrible accident that has changed your life. But, while you can’t change the past, you can work towards the brightest future possible. We want to help you do that. It’s the most rewarding part of our jobs.
If you or a loved one were injured in a car crash in Birmingham or one of the many other Alabama cities we serve, give us a call when you’re ready. There is no obligation whatsoever when you speak with us. We’ll listen to your story and let you know your legal options going forward. After that, the choice is yours.
We’re waiting to help. Call our team of accident attorneys today at (205) 900-4188 or fill out the contact form on this page.
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2001 Park Pl.
Birmingham, AL 35203
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