Madison Car Accident Lawyers
Protecting victims and families after a car crash in Alabama
At Martin & Helms, we understand that a car accident can change your entire life plan. Suddenly, you’re worried about how you’re going to pay your bills, or if your car can be repaired, or how long you’ll need to be out of work because of your injuries. When you’re hurt, you deserve a team who will listen and fight for you. Call our Madison car wreck lawyers today to find out more.
Why car accidents happen in Madison
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 553 people died in single-car accidents in Alabama in 2017. Close to 400 people died in multi-car crashes on Alabama roads. Survivors of car crashes often suffer traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord damage, muscle damage, whiplash, and other serious injuries. These injuries often occur because drivers and passengers are thrown into dashboards, doors, and each other. Some are thrown from their vehicle onto the hard road. Some injuries change lives forever. Many injuries require long-term medical care.
More often than not, driver negligence plays a role in the wreck:
- Drunk driving. Drivers should never drink and then get into a vehicle. Drunk drivers are a major cause of car accidents in Alabama and nationwide.
- Driver fatigue. Many car accidents happen because drivers fail to get enough rest. Tired drivers can’t react to traffic emergencies.
- Driver distraction. Drivers should never text while they drive. Texting while driving in Alabama is a violation of the law. Any activity that takes a driver’s hands off the steering wheel, eyes off the road, or mind off of driving is considered driver distraction. Examples include:
- Talking on a cellphone
- Texting on a cellphone
- Eating or drinking
- Looking at a GPS system
- Watching a video
- Social media distractions
- Violating traffic laws. There’s no excuse for speeding, failing to merge properly, running through a red light, or violating any traffic law. Many car crashes happen when drivers fail to obey Alabama’s traffic laws.
- Driving too fast for conditions. Drivers must use common sense when driving. If there’s a downpour, a driver must slow down or stop to avoid getting into an accident.
The common ways car accidents occur
The way an accident happens often indicates who was at fault. The way a Madison car crash happens also strongly indicates what injuries are likely. The most common kinds of car accidents are:
- Intersection crashes
- Head-on crashes
- Rear-end crashes
- Single-car accidents
- Multiple-car accidents
There are times, of course, when the driver is not entirely to blame, or could not avoid the crash. Defective auto parts and road defects can lead to accidents. So can distracted pedestrians, unsafe motorcycle riders, wildlife, and anything else unexpected. No matter who caused your crash, we want to help.
Liability for car accidents
Experienced car accident lawyers in Madison file claims against all responsible parties. In many car accidents, the driver isn’t the only responsible party. Some of the other people and companies who may be liable for your injuries are:
- The owners of the vehicle. If the owners are different than the driver, then the owners may be liable for the negligence of anyone they gave permission to use their car, if the at-fault driver was an unfit or unsafe driver.
- Car parts manufacturers. Makers of cars and car parts have a duty to the public to make their parts safe. If the electronic system, fuel line, tires, or any car part are defective, and the defect causes an accident, anyone hurt in the accident can file a product liability claim against the makers of the parts.
- Sellers of alcohol. In some cases, any business that sells liquor to someone who is visibly intoxicated can be held liable if the drunk driver causes an accident.
The rights of victims injured in Alabama car accidents
The estates of anyone killed in a car crash have the right to demand that those responsible pay punitive damages for the wrongful death of a loved one. The estate files the claim on behalf of the heirs of the deceased. Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer and to deter other careless drivers.
Survivors of car accidents have the right to demand the following damages:
- Compensation for any economic losses. This includes the loss of income through the time of settlement or verdict. It also includes the likely loss of future income because the driver, passenger, or other victim can’t earn a full living.
- Payment for medical expenses. This includes payment for all surgeries, any hospital stays, and visits with doctors. It also may include payment for physical and emotional therapy. The cost of medical devices and medications may also be included.
- Pain and suffering. Many victims are left with pain, anxiety, and depression after a car accident happens. They deserve to be paid for these changes to their lives due to someone else’s fault.
Additional compensation may be demanded for any type of disfigurement and for the costs to repair or replace their car.
A quick note about contributory negligence
In Alabama, it is critical that anyone hurt in an accident show that he or she did not contribute to the accident in any way. This is because of the state’s contributory negligence laws, which can bar you from collecting compensation if you contributed in some way to your injuries.
It is also why working with a Madison car accident attorney from Martin & Helms is a smart move. Our lawyers review every part of your case so we can make the strongest arguments with insurance companies and defense lawyers. This review includes reviewing police reports, working with investigators to view the scene of the accident, inspecting the damage done to your vehicle, and conducting extensive discovery of all witnesses. When insurance companies don’t make a fair settlement offer, we present the strongest case possible before a jury of your peers.
Insurance requirements for drivers
Alabama requires that car owners carry minimum insurance amounts of $25,000 for bodily injury to one person and $50,000 for bodily injury to multiple victims. Owners must also have $25,000 in property damage insurance. If the case is worth more than these minimum insurances, we demand that the insurance companies of the defendants pay the damages due, up to their policy limits. When defendants don’t have enough insurance to pay your claim, we file claims through your uninsured/underinsured policy.
Get immediate help for a Madison car accident
At Martin & Helms, we work aggressively to show how the accident happened and who is responsible. We also contest any defense effort to show our client contributed to the accident. To speak with a Madison car crash lawyer who will guide you through every phase of your case, call 256-539-1990 or fill out our contact form. We have your best interests in mind.