Birmingham Car Accident Lawyers
Don’t let another driver, company, or entity get away with negligence. After a serious crash, retain a Birmingham car accident lawyer to help you seek justice and compensation from at-fault parties. The Birmingham car accident attorneys at Mitchell Law Firm has more than 35 years of combined legal experience in Alabama. We can come to the aid of car accident victims, defending those who can’t do so themselves. Contact our firm for a free consultation about your recent car accident. You may be eligible for financial recovery.
How Our Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You
After a car accident, you’ll have the choice to hire a car accident attorney to represent you or to represent yourself. The latter means taking a significant risk – the risk that you’ll lose your case and walk away with nothing at all or take a settlement that’s significantly lower than what you could have received. Only with an experienced attorney can you be sure that you get the best possible results for your case. Here’s how the team at Mitchell Law Firm can help:
- One-on-one attention from a lead car accident attorney. At our firm, clients communicate directly with our lead attorneys – not paralegals or assistants. From the beginning to end of your case, you’ll work with an attorney who has the skill and expertise to take your case to the next level. We believe in open communication and transparency with our clients, always advocating honesty and a dedication to justice.
- Tailored legal services. We start the legal process with a free consultation where we’ll discuss each client’s needs and goals for a claim. Then, we’ll proceed in a way that aims to achieve these goals. Whether you’re looking for representation during a fast insurance settlement or a lawyer who is willing to take your case all the way to trial for full recovery, we can help.
- Fast and efficient claims filing. At Mitchell Law Firm, you get large-firm resources with small-firm personal attention. This means we can quickly and easily file your car accident claim in Birmingham, without unnecessary delays. It’s our goal to get you compensation for someone else’s negligence as quickly and efficiently as possible – saving you time and money.
The accident attorney you choose to represent you can make all the difference in the outcome of your Alabama car accident claim. Our firm has proven results in which we’ve secured six- and seven-figure settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of our auto accident clients. We get the best results possible through aggressive claims negotiation, cutting-edge litigation tactics, and an absolute commitment to our clients.
Negligent Examples of Traffic Collisions
In our time helping auto accident victims in Birmingham, we’ve come to learn that most of crashes happen because of human factors. Acts of negligence such as texting and driving or driving while intoxicated can make the roadway an impossibly dangerous place. The following are brief descriptions of several of the most common negligence-related reasons for traffic collisions – all of which could give injured victims the right to file lawsuits:
- Distracted driving. In 2014, more than 8,500 Alabama car accidents involved distracted driving. Distracted driving is driving while performing any activity that can divert a driver’s eyes, hands, or mind away from the primary task. Distractions such as cell phone use, passengers, eating/drinking, adjusting a radio, and personal grooming can lead to accidents.
- Drunk driving. Drinking and driving is against the law in all 50 states. Yet every day thousands of reckless drivers drive while intoxicated around the country. In Alabama, police cited 9,494 people for DUI (driving under the influence) in one year. DUI is an act of gross negligence.
- Speeding, or driving too fast for conditions, is one of the most common causes of serious accidents. Driving above the speed limit gives a driver less time to react to changing roadway conditions, such as a stopped vehicle. It also increases the risk of losing control of the car.
- Sleep deprivation. Drowsy driving is just as negligent as driving under the influence. Falling asleep behind the wheel can lead to catastrophic accidents such as high-speed head-on collisions. It is a driver’s responsibility not to get behind the wheel if he or she is sleep deprived. Truck drivers with long, overnight shifts are at an especially high risk of causing these types of accidents.
- Road design. Another common cause of accidents is a defective or dangerous roadway design. Poorly designed crosswalks and intersections, malfunctioning traffic lights, and issues such as potholes can all result in car crashes. It might be possible to file a claim against the city of Birmingham for accidents due to road design flaws.
- Manufacturing errors. If a part on your (or another driver’s) vehicle breaks down or malfunctions, a resultant crash could be the fault of the product manufacturer. Defective auto parts such as bad brakes and tires can lead to serious accidents. Review your options after such a crash with our product liability attorneys.
When a car accident takes the life of a loved one, seek help from a Birmingham car accident attorney. A fatal accident could lead to a wrongful death claim if another party is guilty of an act of negligence or breach of duty that caused or contributed to the crash, such as any of those listed above. Our wrongful death lawyers can help surviving family members go up against other drivers, vehicle manufacturers, large corporations, insurance companies, and the city government in pursuit of damages. Our team can help you discover what caused your (or a loved one’s) accident.
A Look at Alabama’s Road and Highway Infrastructures
Not all car accidents happen because of driver negligence. Even the best drivers may get into accidents when the roadway presents an unavoidable hazard. Alabama’s roadways have caused hundreds of car crashes in the past. Potholes, uneven shoulders, fallen trees, unmarked construction zones, loose gravel, malfunctioning traffic lights, and poorly designed infrastructure can all spell trouble for unsuspecting drivers. Here are some facts about Alabama and Birmingham’s transportation networks:
- Birmingham is the largest metropolitan area in Alabama. Developers created the city around railroad transport and industrial enterprises. The metropolitan area encompasses seven counties and is home to over 1,145,600 people, as of 2013.
- There are an average of 20 active road projects at all times throughout Alabama. Currently, these projects have construction on 1-59, SR-117, US-72 West, US 280, SR-182, 1-10 Eastbound, and several other major highways.
- The infamous Malfunction Junction, where Interstates 20, 59, and 65 intersect dangerously, forcing motorists to cross multiple lanes to get where they’re going, is scheduled for a $750 million makeover in 2018.
- US Highway 431, running from the Alabama-Tennessee border to Dothan, Alabama, is one of the world’s most dangerous roads according to the World Health Organization. It made number four for the most dangerous in the country. WHO cited risks such as poor visibility, high speeds, and sudden lane changes.
Avoiding the state’s most dangerous roads could reduce your chances of being in a collision. However, even the most prudent driver could become a victim when roadway conditions are unsafe for driving. Dangerous road infrastructures and lack of proper maintenance typically come down to government negligence. The City of Birmingham is responsible for roadway safety. Suing the government for a car accident is possible, but it’s not easy. Retain an attorney to improve your chances of success.
Alabama’s Most Dangerous Intersection
Intersections are some of the most accident-prone areas in cities, but a handful of intersections in Alabama have taken more lives than others. At Mitchell Law Firm, we’ve long been aware of the riskiest intersections in the state. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that Alabama is the eighth-most-dangerous state for drivers in the country. Alabama’s deadliest intersection (accounting for two fatal accidents in a 10-year period) is at University Boulevard and 28th Street, according to statistics.
Local intersections that pose the greatest risks to drivers are those with flashing lights, roundabouts, high speed limits, and service and frontage roads. Intersection accidents happen when one or more parties fail to come to complete stops or do not yield the right-of-way. Confusion as to who has the right-of-way, malfunctioning traffic signals, and poorly designed intersections all increase the risk of collisions. If you or a family member has suffered injuries or died in an intersection wreck in Alabama, contact our lawyers to discuss your rights. There is a high probability that someone else’s negligence contributed to the accident.
Common Car Accident Injuries
So while car accidents remain one of the leading causes of deaths and serious injuries in the U.S., in Alabama auto accidents are even more serious and dangerous then most other places across the U.S. Car accidents are the cause of a number of different types of injuries. These injuries resulting from car accidents range from being not very serious to very serious. Here is a list of some of the more common injuries that result from auto accidents in the state of Alabama.
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- Burn injuries
- Leg and knee injuries
- Wrongful death
Alabama’s Car Accident Compensation Laws
When you hire the Mitchell Law Firm for auto accident claim representation, you don’t have to understand the nuances of Alabama’s car accident compensation laws. We’ll take care of all the red tape and legwork for you, including filing your claim with the right courts at the right time. Our lawyers understand, however, that you and your family might have pressing questions about your rights after a harmful crash in Alabama. Some of the laws we believe you’ll want to know include:
- Fault system. In Alabama, injured accident victims must identify the at-fault party to pursue damages. Victims must file claims with the at-fault party’s insurer to recover damages. The fault system also gives victims the right to file lawsuits against the at-fault driver.
- Contributory negligence. Alabama is unique in that it abides by contributory negligence laws. This means that if a victim was just 1% at fault for a crash, he or she loses the right to compensation. It’s important to hire an attorney to help you prove the other party was 100% responsible for the crash.
- Statute of limitations. Car accident victims have two years from the date of the accident or the date they discover their injuries to file personal injury claims in Alabama. Missing this deadline will almost always mean loss of the right to file and pursue compensation.
- Guest rights to file. In Alabama, an injured passenger (a “guest”) cannot bring a lawsuit against a driver unless the driver acted “willfully or recklessly.” Negligent driving alone is not enough for a passenger to have the grounds to file a claim.
- Claims against the government. If you have grounds to file a claim against the city or state government for dangerous roadways, your claim will abide by a different set of rules. Instead of having two years to file, you have only six months to file your formal claim with the alleged at-fault agency.
Don’t want to worry about navigating Alabama’s complex web of car accident compensation laws on top of recovering from your injuries? We don’t blame you. Our knowledgeable attorneys have all the information you’ll need to know about car accidents in Birmingham, including any federal, state, or local laws that may apply to your unique case. You can learn all you need to know during a complimentary consultation with one of our lawyers.
Alabama Car Accident Statistics
The state of Alabama has one of the highest rates of auto accidents in the U.S. The motor vehicle occupant death rate in Alabama is 13.7 (per 100,000 population), and the national average rate is 7.0, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) based off data from 2012.
Source: CDC Motor Vehicle Safety
This high auto accident death rate in Alabama is not because Alabama’s population is worse drivers, or because they don’t wear their seatbelt as often. No, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, it is because such a large segment of Alabama’s population lives in rural areas where hospitals are farther distances away than normal.
Rural Vs. Urban Fatal Car Accidents in Alabama
While total crashes and fatalities across the state decreased by almost eight and 29 percent between 2005 and 2014, Alabama still has much room for improvement, according to the latest crash facts from the Alabama Department of Transportation. In 2014, a crash occurred every four minutes. Of those, someone was injured every 13 minutes while a fatality occurred every 10 hours.
Most Dangerous Travel Times
While more accidents occur between 3PM and 6PM, crashes with fatalities tend to happen after dusk or before dawn. The graph above shows the percentage of total car accidents and percentage of fatalities by the hour. In total, there were 133,219 car accidents and 821 fatalities in 2014. The most crash-pone day of the week is Friday while the deadliest day is Saturday.
Traffic Fatalities Per 100 Million Miles Travelled
Understandably, the more miles traveled the more fatalities. In the graph above you can see the dip in fatalities during the recession- a time marked by people saving money by spending less on gas and not traveling by car as much. Traffic analysts are closely monitoring conditions now, however, as the economy is rising again and people have returned to vacation and leisure driving.
Alabama drivers have greater than one in three chances of involvement in an injury or fatal crash in their lifetime. Almost all drivers, 98 percent, statistically will be involved in an accident of any severity level in their lifetime.
Why Hire the Mitchell Law Firm, LLC?
The right Birmingham car accident lawyer can make a substantial difference in your legal experience and the outcome of your claim. At Mitchell Law Firm, we’ve helped thousands of clients recover fair and full financial compensation for their past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, property damages, loss of consortium, and lost enjoyment of life. We know exactly what it takes to maximize the results of a car accident claim in the Yellowhammer State. Our past clients praise us for our:
- Courtesy and professionalism
- Diligence taking care of all case-related issues
- Keeping them up to date on the status of the claim
- Handling insurance claim negotiations
- Getting outstanding results
- Giving personal attention to each case
Hiring Mitchell Law Firm will immediately give you an edge over the defendant(s) in your case. Our decades of experience and substantial legal resources will go to work for you the moment you retain our firm. You’ll benefit from a wealth of legal knowledge and networking within the local civil court system. When you trust us with your car accident claim in Birmingham, we’ll take care of everything for you, from helping you find top-notch medical care to bringing your claim against one or more parties within the appropriate deadline. Our number one goal is to help car accident victims in any way we can. To learn more about a potential car accident claim, call (205) 236-4574 or send your message online.
“I was injured when a car rear-ended the vehicle I was in. Mike took over the case and did an awesome job for me. I will call him in the future if I need a lawyer.” – Heather T.