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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 what you’re going through, as our Birmingham car accident lawyers 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.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an auto accident, we know you are facing a difficult ordeal. Contact Pittman Dutton & Hellums today at (205) 322-8880 and allow one of our Birmingham car accident attorneys to tell you how we may be able to help get you and your family back on track.
We know what accidents are like, and the people you speak with at our firm genuinely understand. This webpage has 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.
Common Injuries Resulting From a Car Accident
Though each car accident is different and may involve different factors, certain types of injuries may be common across many accidents. These can include:
- Head, neck, and spine injuries (including whiplash)
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Loss of limb
- Various other injuries
Those recovering from a major 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 understandable, and it’s often the common response. But if you have been in an accident and are reading this page, you have found one of the most experienced auto accident law firms in Birmingham. At Pittman Dutton & Hellums, we have represented thousands in severe auto accidents involving cars, commercial trucks (including 18 wheelers), and trains.
Types of Damages Available in a Car Accident Lawsuit
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 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. Examples of this are where the driver is reckless or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Common Causes of Auto 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: It’s 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 or Drunk 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; 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 a product liability claim. One of our Birmingham car accident attorneys would be happy to let you know your legal options if you believe a defect was part of the problem.
What to Do After an Auto Accident
If you’ve been involved in an accident, there are several actions you can take to protect your rights. These include:
- Contact Authorities: Of course, call 911 if anyone needs medical attention. Get police on the scene of a serious accident immediately, and report an accident to the police when there are major property damages, injuries, or fatalities.
- Gather Evidence: If able, document as much as possible at the scene. Take photos of any injuries or vehicle damage. This evidence may be useful if you file a car accident claim for compensation. While we will thoroughly investigate your accident, it’s never possible to fully re-create the crash scene after the fact.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: Only give them the basics of the accident. Important: Do not give any insurance company a statement without speaking to a Birmingham car accident attorney first.
- Collect Driver Info: This includes the name, address, insurer, policy number, vehicle make and model for all drivers involved.
- Do Not Admit Fault or Sign Anything: Don’t discuss the accident with anyone but your doctor and your lawyer.
- 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. Once the filing window closes, you lose your chance to claim damages.
The car accident you or someone you love has been involved in is unique, and the healing process will also be different for each person. Practical methods for recovering often involve a lawyer who can remove the burden of police reports, insurance paperwork, and phone calls requesting recorded statements.
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. 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 to speak with a Birmingham car accident lawyer today at (205) 322-8880 or fill out the contact form on this page.
Car Accident FAQs
What should I do if I am in an auto accident in Birmingham?
The first thing you should do after being involved in a Birmingham car accident is to check if anyone is injured. Even if people may appear to have less-than-minor injuries, the safest thing you can do is call 911 and request an ambulance immediately. Certain ones do not surface immediately, such as brain injuries.
It’s best to have all involved in the accident evaluated on-site by medical professionals. You should also contact your insurance company. You may be entitled to certain no-fault medical coverage options, and they can likely assist you in getting your car repaired or replaced.
How much does it cost to hire car accident attorneys?
Our fee is contingent (dependent) on a favorable outcome and you being compensated. To put it simply, you pay nothing until we win your car accident case.
Will I receive a settlement?
Great question. You may get a settlement, however, this is not always the case. In order to help determine what you may be able to recover, call today for a free consultation. Consultations are confidential, and there is no obligation to continue. Consulting with a lawyer will help you to understand your legal rights and how to protect them when dealing with the aftermath of a car crash.
You should understand that obtaining the best recovery often depends on your attorney’s skill level and capabilities. At Pittman Dutton & Hellums, we have secured numerous multimillion-dollar verdicts or settlements on behalf of Birmingham car accident victims who were harmed through no fault of their own. We have the experience necessary to investigate your accident and make a strong case for the compensation you truly deserve.
Should I give a statement at the scene of the car crash?
Should I give a statement to the other driver’s insurance?
No — the other party’s insurance company is not working for you! They are diligently trying to reduce their involvement, especially if their driver is determined to be partially or wholly at fault. The adjuster’s job is to save money for their insurance company.
By speaking to our car accident attorneys, we can aid in speaking with the other party’s insurance on your behalf. Your goal is to focus on recovery while we move your auto accident claim forward.
Should I accept an offer from the insurance company?
Insurance companies will want to handle your accident claim as quickly and as cheaply as possible. They understand you are upset, and yet the faster they can dismiss the potential of an auto accident lawsuit, the better.
They may offer you a settlement early on that may sound enticing; however, it is most likely not enough to cover anywhere near the total compensation to which you may be entitled under Alabama law.
Be Aware: By accepting a potentially “low-ball” offer, you 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.
An attorney’s job 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. If you or a loved one have been in a car accident and need representation, call us today at (205) 322-8880 to speak with an auto accident attorney in Birmingham, AL.
Can I trust my own insurance company after a car accident?
It depends — while an insured person should be able to trust their own insurance company, there are some situations where your own insurance company’s position might be considered in conflict with your position. For instance, most people have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage. This type of coverage allows you to recover from your own insurance company if the at-fault driver is either uninsured or underinsured – that is, where your damages exceed the at-fault’s available coverage limits.
There are Birmingham auto accident cases which indicate that, in such a situation, the insurance company’s position is adverse to yours, and they may not owe you the same level of good faith and fair dealing that you might expect. Consequently, it would be advisable to consider contacting an attorney to advise you of your rights and responsibilities.
What’s contributory negligence?
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 well-acquainted with the laws surrounding traffic accident liability in Alabama. We will always do our best to maximize the compensation our clients receive.
Who pays for the damages?
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 certain 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.
Determining liability and damages requires the skill and expertise of an experienced Birmingham car accident lawyer. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact Pittman Dutton & Hellums today at (205) 322-8880 for a free consultation. We are here to help you determine your legal rights and advise you on your next course of action.
“We filed a lawsuit against an insurance company as the result of an automobile accident. No one likes to face the legal procedure of recovery but that must happen sometimes. Mike Bradley handled our case smoothly through arbitration and recovered our costs adequately. He pointed out the risks of a jury trial in this case and we felt that we were properly advised. Mike was thorough, very professional and a pleasure to work with.”
“They are number one in my opinion. Very good law firm and I recommend them highly!”
Additional Car Accident Information
For more information on car accidents, click on the following links:
- Backing Up Accidents
- Birmingham Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys
- Birmingham Truck Accident Injuries
- Distracted Driving
- Finding an Car Accident Attorney in Birmingham
- Car Accident Injury Claim Process in Alabama
- Car Accident Injuries
- Car Accident Statistics
- Common Types of Auto Accidents
- Filing a Car Accident Claim After an Auto Accident
- Most Common Car Accident Causes
- Parking Lot Accidents
- Reckless Driving Accident Attorneys
- Tire Blowout Accidents
- When Your Teen Has a Car Accident
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